Posts tagged ‘writers conference’

October 9, 2011

The Boston Book Festival: Copley Square, Saturday Oct 15. It’s free.

There are many events including a Flash Fiction Open Mic at 2:00pm, Old South Church, Mary Norton Hall, 645 Boylston Street. For other events, check out the site:

Read your very, very short story out loud for an eager audience. The Drum, an audio literary magazine, will be recording each story, choosing the best ones for publication in the magazine. Each piece must be no longer than three minutes. Emceed by Henriette Lazaridis Power, editor of The Drum. (The Drum is a made-up one-time literary magazine created for this event, but the readings should be fun.)

June 7, 2011

My ten favorite rules for writing fiction

My ten favorite rules for writing fiction
(Partly derived from: this Guardian article which includes the “Top Ten” lists
the authors: Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, AL Kennedy)
The List:
1. The most important thing in fiction is sincerity: don’t fake it.
2. If it sounds like writing, read it out loud, then rewrite it.
3. Feel your anxiety—it’s an important part of the process.
4. Keep a grip on reality with a good meditation practice.
5. Read. Read all the best books: look them up.
6. Most writers don’t know how to use an em-dash: look that up.
7. Spend most of your time not writing. Readers don’t care about words,
they want to hear your imagination speak.
8. Don’t be afraid to change your mind. Kill good ideas with better ones.
9. Never fall in love with your own writing.
10. Write a book you’d love to read.

May 26, 2011

If you don’t have the guts to finish a novel, is there another way?

For $12,000 you can get Geoff Dyer to show you how to finish a manuscript. You’ll have to jet to the UK and sit in a classroom for nine months. If all you ended up with was a meandering text-vacation through a Dyer-like brain, was it worth it? For my money nothing exceeds the process of putting ass to chair, pen to paper, and heart to mind. Of course, it won’t get you an advanced diploma in creative writing from UEA, The University of East Anglia, but I don’t remember Scott Fitzgerald needing one to explore his ambition or Willa Cather to explore her American frontiers. The next novel I read had better be something unlike anything I’ve read before. Anything like anything is a waste of time to me. I don’t even like to read fine writers who tend to repeat themselves too much. Someone once said a writer has one basic story to tell. This may emerge through many novels, but still a good writer will make each one new. Whether it’s a muse or a certain gut-feeling that propels the writer, I want, as the reader, to be able to touch that spirit in some way as I read. There should be music between those lines—can you find that in classroom?

April 20, 2011

Agent, Molly Friedrich, from Poets & Writers

Here’s an excellent interview from Poets & Writers with the agent, Molly Friedrich. It’s an in-depth view of the world from one of the best agents in the publishing business. Enjoy.

March 7, 2011

Writing: The Sweetest Curse

Writing is like pro football—you have to work at it until you sweat every day (and, of course, the injuries are more severe).

February 11, 2011

How to Write a Great Novel

If you want to write a great work of fiction, there is no better
(or worse) dictum than John Bunyan’s. I guess this should be
listed in the If-You-Have-to-Ask category.

From: THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS
by John Bunyan

The Author’s Apology for his Book

{1} When at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode; nay, I had undertook
To make another; which, when almost done,
Before I was aware, I this begun.

—DELIVERED UNDER
THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM

Write on . . .

January 29, 2011

See If You Can Beat Me

I entered the 20th Annual James Jones First Novel contest. Not sure if this a good step towards sharing my writing, or an expensive lottery ticket. Will you try? Any first novelist may apply.

It will be awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress, in 2011, by the James Jones Literary Society. Novellas and collections of closely linked short stories may also be considered for the competition.

The award is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by the late James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity and other prose narratives of distinction. Jones himself was the recipient of aid from many supporters as a young writer and his family, friends, and admirers have established this award of $10,000 to continue the tradition in his name. Two runner up awards of $750 each will also be given by the Jones Literary Society.
Apply Here

December 15, 2010

Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival will be held in May in Salem, MA. Information is on Doug Holder’s Website here: http://tinyurl.com/28dxovd

December 12, 2010

Interesting Interview with Lan Samantha Chang on Bookworm

Of course, good writing can’t really be taught, although parts of it can be learned. But if one wanted to learn to be a good writer, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to someone like Chang.

http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/bw/bw101118lan_samantha_chang_a/embed-audio

September 4, 2010

Tardy Son Synopsis

When a 12-year-old California boy’s attempt to run away from his abusive home is thwarted, he defies the police, and wages a war of words against his father. At first he escapes by jumping onto a freight train bound for San Francisco. He wants to start an imaginary baseball team, go to an imaginary school, and become a real writer. But when cornered by the police and angered by the lies his father tells to the newspaper, he uses his wit and humor to fight back and he publishes his own truth for his teammates, his girlfriend, and his father to read. He’s a polio survivor and a Mexican adopted by a white family in the 1950s, so his fight for his truth becomes more than a struggle to survive life on the street—it becomes a struggle to find his own identity.

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