Archive for the 'REAL WORLD' Category

Apply Now for the Bill Ferris Hyundai Accent Residency

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. So I hear you didn’t get your Amtrak Residency. You may think the next logical step is to stuff your laptop into a bindle and hop […]

Provocations in Publishing: “Engineering Serendipity”

Coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole in a 1754 letter, [serendipity] long referred to a fortunate accidental discovery. Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation? − Engineering Serendipity, April 5, […]

A ‘Logic Model’ for Author Success

“Managing our career.” “Managing our expectations.” “Managing our resources and time.” All these “management” terms being applied to the writing life — with good reason — can make it sound like we might actually need an MBA to reach our goals as writers. In fact, in this age of the “writer as an entrepreneur” responsible […]

An Agent’s Role in Shaping an Author’s Career and the Second Book

Today I want to talk about the literary agent’s role, not just in selling an author’s book, but in shaping their career. It’s a more nebulous part of the job description, beyond the editing, negotiating and contract work that comprises the nuts and bolts of the job. I’ve also found it to be both the […]

The Thrill of the Write

Recently I read on Kirkus about novelists “who do really funky research.” Like Jodi Picoult who spent time in a prison. Susan Minot traveled to Uganda to get to know girls kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Peter Rock explored an underground shelter used by former members of a New Age religion. Ann Tyler has written: […]

How to Make Somebody Hate Reading

Here’s how to make somebody hate reading:  Send them to an American high school. The end. Hmmm – in proofreading this post, it seems a little short. So maybe I should elaborate. I’ve seen some statistics floating around the web claiming that one third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest […]

Should You Read About Writing?

A writer friend of mine recently moved offices, and in doing so, had to downsize his book collection. He purged several dozen books about writing. Offering them to a group of us fellow writers, he wryly noted, “Take what you want, but remember, if reading books about writing was enough to make someone a successful […]

Love Every Word

Everyone who writes likely has a favorite book (or a hundred). And within those favorite books are favorite passages. My most often-revisited books fall open to specific pages, the ‘good parts’–those which hit an emotional high, or which spark a resonance within me, or even those that had me so completely enraptured in their literary […]

How Seth Godin Saved My Career: Lessons a marketing guru taught a literary novelist

Our guest today is Deborah McKinlay, author of some half dozen, nonfiction, humor titles, and the author of two novels The View From Here (Soho Press, 2011) and That Part Was True (Grand Central, 2014), a NYT Book Review editors’ choice on February 16th, and one of Parade Magazine’s “Ten Books You’ll Love For Spring.” It […]

Presenting to School Students: top tips

How do you feel about public speaking? Author talks? Writing workshops? If, like me, you’re the introverted kind of writer, more comfortable in the world of the imagination than out on centre stage, that part of the job can be as much ordeal as opportunity. But we all know how necessary those public appearances are, […]

Why Are You Here?

It was the best of spring breaks, it was the worst of spring breaks. Two weeks. Yep, my kid’s private school takes off not one but two weeks. Did I mention it was two weeks? In March? When public schools aren’t out? When there’s only one week of sports camp offered? When babysitters–such as but […]

Dear Publishers, Signed (You)

This is not an April Fools post. But for any office workers out there, I hope you keep tabs on your mouse and question any blue screens of death that might appear while you’re away from your desk. I’ve had some interesting correspondence lately with folks in the publishing industry. Not my publisher, not anyone […]