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Writers' News

What is your writing goal? Digging into the real reason to write

montclairlocal.news – Saturday March 10, 2018

“So,” the literary magazine editor said, peering around the classroom at us over his wire-rimmed glasses. “As a writer, what’s the goal?”

We all glanced at each other and laughed nervously. This was the last formal class of a week-long writer’s retreat at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, and so far, it had been a dream.

For five whole days, I had done nothing but write, talk about writing and take classes about writing with 20 other people who also wanted to do nothing but write, talk about writing and take classes about writing. At night, we would sit around the kitchen of the seminar house, discussing our projects while the ocean breeze flowed through the open screens.

It was like the best summer camp ever. With wine.

But by Thursday morning we were starting to wilt.

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Writing a novel is hard but the story shouldn’t be. It should be your favourite thing

irishtimes.com – Friday March 9, 2018

It took me a long time to find the story I was able to tell. For years I carried around the seeds of something different – I had the characters, the setting, the incident that would kick the story off, but I could do nothing with it. I gave it time, poked it and prodded it but it was stale. A dead thing. It was only when I gave that up, turned away from it entirely and wrote something new, something closer to home, that I found my rhythm. I’ll never make that mistake again, try to create something that my head tells me I should write but for which I feel very little.

Writing a novel is hard, but it shouldn’t be hard in that way. What is hard is finding the time, fitting it around a day job and children. It’s hard too to build your confidence in your work when the first 20,000 words are, inevitably, rubbish. But the story itself shouldn’t be hard. The story should be your favourite thing. It should call to you in between making the lunches, doing the school drop, between the pages of other novels.

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Traditionally Published Authors Want What Indies Have

goodereader.com – Friday March 9, 2018

When self-published authors like Amanda Hocking became book industry names, it was for reaching incredible sales figures on the fairly new Kindle e-reading platform. After reaching newsworthy levels of success, Hocking and others like her attracted the attention of literary agents and publishers looking to reach consumers. Experts would often question why an author who was already on the bestseller list would possibly be convinced to give a sizeable portion of their royalties; the answer was almost always the same: “I’m tired of being a businessman, I want to go back to being a writer.”

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From romance to rhetoric and from sonnets to satire: the Canterbury festival poet of the year competition 2018 is launched

firstwriter.com – Friday March 9, 2018

The Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition 2018 is now open for entries.

This is the 12th year of the Competition which has grown into an internationally respected event and forms a major part of the Festival year. In 2016 there were a total of 391 entries from all over the world and in 2017 there were 311 poems submitted.  

Each year around 35 poems are longlisted from the entries received and these are published in an anthology; copies are available from the Festival Office for £5 each. Poets included in the booklet receive a free copy. 

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This Podcast-Based Writing Course Will Get You Working on Your Dream Novel

lifehacker.com – Thursday March 8, 2018

Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K writing podcast is a delightful, intense, encouraging eight-week journey towards writing a novel. For the best experience, go into it blind; all you need to know is that it’s good and it’s appropriate for any experience level. If you want to know more, keep reading, but be aware that here be spoilers.

Okay, just us? I won’t give away the specific writing exercises, but I’ll provide a rough map of where the course will take you. It’s an adventure! At first I thought I’d listen to a few episodes to see if it was worth recommending. Instead, it drew me in and I completed the whole course. Ever since I finished, I miss hearing Tim Clare’s encouraging and slightly angry voice every day. But that pleasure can now be yours.

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Teaching William Zinsser to Write Poetry

newyorker.com – Tuesday March 6, 2018

In the spring of 2012, I got a call from William Zinsser, asking if I thought I could teach him to write poetry. “Yes,” I replied, confident not so much in myself as in him: if Zinsser, the beloved nonfiction guru, the author of “On Writing Well” and eighteen other books, couldn’t be taught to write poetry, nobody could. There was just one catch: Bill was blind.

He wasn’t completely blind, not yet; he could still make out shapes and shadows. Progressive glaucoma had recently caused him to retire from writing prose, a practice he’d maintained, weekdays from nine to five, into his eighty-ninth year, working in a one-room office on East Fifty-fifth Street. Bill’s daily commute to that office—a half-mile walk—had become too harrowing.

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Philip Pullman calls for authors to get fairer share of publisher profits

theguardian.com – Monday March 5, 2018

Philip Pullman has called on publishers to stop damaging “the ecology of the book world” and start giving authors a fairer share of the money their books earn.

Speaking in his capacity as president of the Society of Authors, the His Dark Materials author hit out at the fact that while profit margins in publishing are rising, the money authors are paid is going down.

“To allow corporate profits to be so high at a time when author earnings are markedly falling is, apart from anything else, shockingly bad husbandry. It’s perfectly possible to make a good profit and pay a fair return to all of those on whose work, after all, everything else depends. But that’s not happening at the moment,” said Pullman. “I like every individual editor, designer, marketing and publicity person I deal with; but I don’t like what publishers, corporately, are doing to the ecology of the book world. It’s damaging, and it should change.”

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Owlkids Books named finalist for Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year

quillandquire.com – Sunday March 4, 2018

Toronto’s Owlkids Books has been shortlisted for this year’s Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year. The awards are given to publishers representing six international regions, as selected by publishing houses, associations, and other books institutions.

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Writers, editors offer pet peeves to mark National Grammar Day

prdaily.com – Sunday March 4, 2018

Editors wish people would think about their grammar every day—and those professional nitpickers are using an upcoming holiday to sound off about what drives them nuts.

March 4 is National Grammar Day, and to mark the occasion, we at PR Daily solicited writers’ and editors’ biggest gripes when it comes to linguistic lapses.

Whether it’s in the form of improper punctuation, misapplied homonyms or a lack of care when speaking off the cuff, word nerds can all agree: Bad grammar is like nails on a chalkboard.

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Annick Press named finalist for Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year

quillandquire.com – Friday March 2, 2018

Toronto’s Annick Press has been shortlisted for this year’s Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year. The awards are given to publishers representing six international regions, as selected by publishing houses, associations, and other books institutions. This is Annick’s second nomination since the inaugural awards in 2013.

Also nominated for this award in the North America category are Toronto’s Owlkids Books and Editions D’eux from Sherbrooke, Quebec.

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