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Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category

As I follow the news of the literary industrial complex, I’ve noticed the increasing use of the term debut in describing first published novels. Debut has become over-used in the same way that iconic is overused—a term repurposed, its nuanced meanings and associations lost to intellectual arcana. (more…)

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It happened unintentionally. I followed a series of internet links that carried me into a blind alley. I was perusing social media on a Sunday morning and encountered a post about The Timberline Review. It’s a new literary journal, cooked up by Oregon writers, good people committed to fostering the art and craft of writing.

When I met the journal founders last summer I refrained from the question that loomed overhead, that dark discouraging cloud that rains on bright ideas. But I wondered, “Do we really need another literary journal?” I know the numbers. New journals flare like meteors and then die out after the seed money is spent and volunteers lose interest. (more…)

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In the current issue of Poets and Writers. Michael Bourne offers an inventory of his own writing effort and its incumbent frustrations. In “Why We Write: Failure is an Option,” he asks a question I’ve long sought to answer: why do writers write when it can be such unsatisfying work? His answer: “I keep writing fiction because it isn’t easy, because it is the only discipline I care about that I will never truly master, no matter how long I work at it.” (more…)

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I’ve never been very good at networking. Write it off to my introverted personality. While I’ve always been responsive to others who call on me for professional assistance, I’ve never felt comfortable doing the same. I still cringe at the prospect of requesting a letter of recommendation. (more…)

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As I’ve started circulating my novel to agents, I’ve received the question – always from women – “Why is your protagonist a man?” (more…)

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Over dinner with a few writers the conversation evolved to a discussion of agents. Two present had met agents through local writers conferences. Both were invited to submit writing samples. Neither heard from the agents. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the story.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned about the matchmaking business that occurs at writers conferences. Organizers know they can draw more registrants if they’re enticed with the opportunity to meet literary agents. Everyone has dreams. (more…)

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