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Writers' News

This Is What 300 Writers Say Made Them Successful

entrepreneur.com – Sunday March 1, 2020

Red Smith, a legendary sportswriter, was once asked if it was hard to write his daily column. “Why no,” he said. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

Any person who’s ever tried to string a bunch of words together and make them sound interesting can feel Smith’s pain. Writing is brutal — and writing for a living can feel like you’re Jack Nicholson in The Shining typing the same sentence over and over again.

And we all know how that turned out.

On my podcast, Write About Now, I interview writers of all types — novelists, journalists, screenwriters, showrunners, and business gurus — about how they stopped bleeding, started writing, and landed at the top of their profession. I launched the show two years ago and during that time I’ve done a deep dive into the techniques and tactics of over 300 successful scribes. After a while, I noticed some common themes start to rear their poetic heads. Call them writer hacks, but just not the type that draw blood. Here are six things successful writers do.

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The Myth Of Inspiration As The Source Of Good Writing

studybreaks.com – Saturday February 29, 2020

You have an idea that comes to you in a burst of inspiration. Your mind is filled with the possibilities of where this thought will take you. You sit down with a hot cup of tea at dusk by your 19th century vintage typewriter as it rains outside — not too hard, of course, but just enough to complete the aesthetic. You poise your fingers over the keys, ready to type it out, write 12 or 13 pages of absolute genius, but your fingers stay suspended over the keys, unmoving. Seconds tick by. The ideas have stalled; your mind is buffering. It’s like that scene from “Spongebob” where all you’ve got after hours is a decorated, anticlimactic “The” at the top of the page. So, you call it a night and open up Netflix instead, feeling vaguely disappointed. Your tea has gotten cold.

Why does inspiration fizzle out like this? Why do ideas that seem amazing in the moment go kaput when a writer tries to put them to paper? Where does the mood go, where does the magic go?

[Read the full article]

Crime Story 2020: Innovative crime writing festival turns spotlight on contemporary crime

newsroom.northumbria.ac.uk – Saturday February 29, 2020

A series of events for crime fiction fans will take place at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle this spring, bringing together people from the two very different worlds of fact and fiction.

Across the three events, celebrated writers AA Dhand, Oliver Harris, Jessica Moor, Judith O’Reilly and Mim Skinner will be paired with experts who will offer unique insight into how contemporary issues are dealt with in real life.

Experts taking part in Crime Story include three Northumbria University academics - ​Dr Nicci MacLeod, a forensic linguist, who has written on women in the criminal justice system; ​Professor Mike Rowe, a criminologist who specialises in policing culture and reforms; and​ Professor Lars Holmquist, an internationally-leading researcher in human-computer interaction.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Jamilah Ahmed

firstwriter.com – Thursday February 27, 2020

Briefed with developing new writers in fiction and nonfiction.

[See the full listing]

Publishers, Agents Scramble to Reschedule Bologna

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday February 26, 2020

The news on Monday that the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been rescheduled to May 4–7 due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has left North American publishers and agents scrambling. Most are working to reschedule appointments, hoping that other attendees will agree to shift their existing appointments to the new dates.

[Read the full article]

Ways to Describe

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Tuesday February 25, 2020

One important job of the author is to describe what the reader can’t see (smell or taste, etc), and that includes a description of the point of view character even if the novel is in first person; descriptions of other characters from the first person character’s point of view; and descriptions of the setting, both the macro setting (the city, for instance, but maybe the neighborhood and/or the house) and the micro setting (such as the home interior or a room in the house). Not to mention everything else, the dinner, the restaurant, the music, the crowd, the scent in the air, well everything...

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How to write an action scene (by someone who hates having to do them) by A.K. Larkwood

femalefirst.co.uk – Monday February 24, 2020

I’ve never met a writer who likes writing action scenes. I assume this is because we got into writing from a love of staying inside and not doing anything too exciting. Unfortunately, sometimes you do want something exciting to happen to the characters. I write fantasy adventure novels, which have a higher than average rate of duels, chases and explosions. Here’s the method I came up with to deal with them:

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday February 24, 2020

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Accepts submissions of flash fiction up to 500 words, short stories and creative nonfiction up to 4,000 words, or up to five poems, by email. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Kerry Glencorse

firstwriter.com – Monday February 24, 2020

Always on the lookout for new talent, especially in the areas of literary and upmarket commercial fiction; well-written genre fiction, including crime, thrillers, women’s fiction, and historical. And on the non-fiction side: memoir, narrative non-fiction, popular science, natural science, social and cultural history.

[See the full listing]

More city, less village

thebookseller.com – Saturday February 22, 2020

Last month at the Association of Authors’ Agents (AAA) a.g.m., I stepped down from AAA Committee after six years, the last two in the role of president. I am proud to have worked for a trade association whose value for its members is unquestionable. I am not referring to our informative or social events, or our advocacy for agents and authors to publishers and in the public sphere, though they are great. Rather, to the fact that —because any cowboy can call themselves a literary agent—membership of the AAA is the only simple way for an agent to convey their seriousness and reliability as a professional. All our agencies commit to abide by our Code of Practice and its associated guidelines, you see. 

 Beyond that joint commitment, and our fiduciary duty to put our clients’ interests first, the AAA is a pretty broad church in many enjoyable ways. But although many AAA members are actively engaged in the project of making our profession more inclusive, we are still an undeniably white, middle-class group, for the most part.

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