Stuff for writers: “old” authors, short (and shorter) stories, and more

By Midge Raymond,

  Filed under: News, On Publishing, On Reading, On Writing

Given the way our culture celebrates youth (including writers), I really enjoyed this post by Randy Susan Meyers in the Huffington Post: a list of 41 writers whose debut novels were published after they turned 40 (among them: Meyers’ own book, The Murderer’s Daughters, as well as National Book Award winner Julia Glass and Pulitzer winners Paul Harding, Edward P. Jones, and Elizabeth Strout).

Many authors, both emerging and established, are choosing to self-publish these days, and those of you who are emerging D.I.Y. authors will want to check out this post by Alan Rinzler on literary agents taking on self-published writers to see what agents are saying, both pro and con. Of course, many self-published authors (like John Yunker, author of the The Tourist Trail) already have agents; they just weren’t able to find publishers. For those of you in that category, also be sure to see Rinzler’s list of top genres for multi-book deals in 2010, along with his tips on how to “make publishers drool.” And then there are those self-published authors who are already successful and decide to go solo; this article highlights a couple of these writers.

For those of you who love short stories (and who doesn’t?!), check out Storyville, an iPhone/iPad app that brings stories directly to your device. It’s $4.99 for six months’ worth of stories — one each week. And even better news for short story (and literary novel) readers: Andrew’s Book Club is back! And there’s already a new pick for the new year.

Maybe it’s our diminishing attention spans, but stories seem to be getting shorter and shorter and shorter. Along with flash fiction, micro fiction, and prose poems, we now have “hint fiction” (check out this NPR story for samples).

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, The Paris Review has made its interviews available online — an amazing series of author interviews all the way back to the 1950s.

If you draw inspiration from seeing where writers work, in the U.S. there are 73 writers’ houses open to the public, including Norman Mailer’s and Edith Wharton’s.

And did you know that for 90 percent of what we communicate, we use only about 7,000 words? We’re losing words from the English language every day, and Oxford University Press hopes to save them with Save the Words, where you can visit with long-lost words and offer up your own words for safekeeping.


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