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Posts tagged writing

If you write, start planning to attend GenCon Indy this August
April 15, 2014 | 7:20 pm

GEDC1339 When I attended GenCon Indy for TeleRead last year, I interviewed a number of self-publishing authors, game industry execs, and other people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve posted a few of these, but life has been so busy over the last few months that I have had a hard time getting around to doing most of them. I’m going to try to change that in the weeks to come. I’ve got another interview transcribed and posting later tonight. That being said, it’s worth noting that if you’re wanting to come to GenCon in Indianapolis this year,...

Picking at the scabs: Are freebie writers blacklegs?
April 10, 2014 | 2:34 pm

rochester-labor-day-parade-1910-1Scab is a pretty emotive term, as well as a nasty thing to have. Strikebreakers, scabs, and blacklegs of all kinds have been demonized in the tradition and folklore of organized labor for centuries, as turncoats and betrayers of their own kind. And now we have one academic writer claiming that writers who write for free are scabs. Yasmin Nair, writer, academic, activist, and commentator, wrote her original piece under the emphatic title "Scabs: Academics and Others Who Write for Free." And she does at least know whereof she speaks: "Over the years, I’ve steadily embarked upon a career of freelance...

Scandal: Writers want paying for work
April 9, 2014 | 3:04 pm

dollarsign1.jpgThe Nation recently ran a post all about writers' impudent, presumptuous demand that they should be paid for writing. In the journal, Julia Carrie Wong outlines the work of Manjula Martin,  whose blog Who Pays Writers? more accurately described who pays writers what, with very regular updates on publications accepting paid contributions, and their rates - from the writers' perspectives. The blog then led to Scratch Magazine, "a digital magazine for writers" covering "writing + money + life." Wong puts an ideological spin on all this, decrying "capitalism’s effect on journalism," but arguably capitalism has been around all through the history...

Six reasons to use a pen name
April 6, 2014 | 12:08 pm

mynameispenname When an author publishes a book, they need to make a decision before the book hits the market. Do they want to use a pen name? Here are six reasons why a writer may want to use a pen name. 1. You write erotica: There is nothing wrong with writing in the genre, but writers may want to choose a pen name because they don’t want close friends or relatives to know. They may want to hide that book from dear old dad. 2. You write under different genres: If an author writes under several genres, they may want to use a different name...

Jonathan Cape holds open submissions month: Do they know something we don’t?
April 2, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Venerable, highly reputable UK publishing imprint Jonathan Cape has announced that it will be throwing open the doors for the whole of June this year, inviting open submissions of fiction " from new writers of high calibre and imagination." This ought to be of interest to any aspirant or even established writers. But it also invites some interesting speculation - which could be on the mark, or a shot in the dark. You decide. Jonathan Cape originally opened in the 1920s, and boasted writers such as Ian Fleming and James Joyce in its prime. Part of Chatto and Windus from 1969,...

Book editors really do edit books. Really! They’ll tell you so themselves!
March 30, 2014 | 3:18 am

find-an-editor1What does it say about what people think of you if you have to write a lengthy editorial insisting that, no, really, you actually do do your job? That’s how a piece by book editor Barry Harbaugh in The New Yorker comes off. Entitled, “Yes, Book Editors Edit,” it insists that, despite Amazon claiming otherwise, book editors at major publishers actually do edit books. The fact that this piece had to be written in the first place possibly says more than does the entire piece itself. Especially since there are just a few problems with it. ...

Porter Anderson: The authors are revolting
March 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Well, perhaps that's a little too strong. But veteran ebook/publishing journalist Porter Anderson, over on Thought Catalog, has penned a very interesting and challenging update to his earlier interview with Hugh Howey on author advocacy. It examines the phenomenon of: "A New Voice in the Book World: The Author." Porter Anderson's argument is simply that digital disruption in the book world has led directly to author empowerment - to authors transitioning from passive media assets - albeit sometimes highly volatile ones that required careful handling - into active agents and even competitors of their erstwhile publishing elders and betters. "Of all...

Revisiting the Magic Mountain in Davos
March 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Davos in Switzerland is one of the cities lucky - or unfortunate- enough to be canonized by a 20th-century classic of intellectual and cultural crisis. Thanks to The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann put Davos on the map alongside James Joyce's Dublin, T.S. Eliot's London, Andrei Bely's Petersburg and Franz Kafka's Prague as one of the capital cities of early modernism, and helped its transition from a 19th-century health spa for tuberculosis patients to its modern status as a mecca for high-level [pun intended] intellectual, political, and economic debate. At a conference there last week, I had a chance to touch...

A whale of a tale: Why off-line research matters
March 12, 2014 | 5:30 pm

spermwhalemouthA long time ago, in some book of weird tales, I ran across the story of a man who had, allegedly, been swallowed alive by a whale, and later retrieved alive from its stomach. He was supposedly catatonic for two weeks, then finally able to resume his duties, with the side effect that his skin had been bleached white by exposure to the whale’s digestive juices. Some ministers used this tale as “proof” that the Biblical story of Jonah was plausible. But one fellow—Edward B. Davis, Associate Professor of Science and History at Messiah College—heard the story and got...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...

Amtrak Residency Program begins taking applications from writers
March 9, 2014 | 3:49 am

zephyrAs was promised a few days ago, the application process for the Amtrak Residency Program has opened up. Amtrak discusses it in a blog post, and links to the actual application form. Up to 24 writers will be chosen for the first batch of residencies, taking place from March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015. The application form asks why you want an Amtrak Residency, and how it would benefit your writing, and gives you 1,000 characters to answer each question. Then it asks you to upload a sample of your work, of up to 24 megabytes in size....

More details emerge about Amtrak Writer Residency program
March 7, 2014 | 12:59 pm

amtrakbridgeA few more details have come out about the Amtrak Writer Residency program, thanks to a Reddit Ask Me Anything with Julia Quinn, Director of Social Media for Amtrak. For those who lack the time to go through the entire thread, The Wire has a pretty good summary of the important points. Amtrak is planning to open an online application process within the next few days, with the program to begin this spring. Applications will be considered by a panel of representatives from Amtrak and the literary community, with a fairly loose definition of “writer” for the purposes of the program....