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The online feature for PEN America 11: Make Believe is now online at PEN.org. The new issue focuses on the question of belief in various forms—religious faith, political commitment, the “willing suspension of disbelief,” and more.Several pieces from the issue are available online, and I’ll have...
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareAs reported today in the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Nelson, a major independent Christian publisher, is adding a self-publishing line to its business.Books from the new imprint, West Bow Press, will be designed, printed, and distributed by Author...
Theme 1: Change by xcode Only those who know nothing of the history of technology believe that a tecnology is entirely netural… Each technology has an agenda of its own. It is, as I have suggested, a metaphor waiting to unfold. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death There’s a lot of...
AKASHIC: Some of the poems in The Ravenous Audience are based on the films of Catherine Breillat and Pier Paolo Pasolini, among others. What was it in particular about the medium of film that inspired you?DURBIN: Catherine Breillat’s films incited the first works I wrote for this collection. I...
Why are Milk Duds called Milk Duds? Yet another candy factoid I didn't know when I was writing True Confections. This new candy piece developed in 1926 by F. Hoffman in Chicago was supposed to be perfectly spherical, much like a malted milk ball, but each batch of the dense, milk chocolate covered...
This year's judges for The Story Prize are author A.M. Homes, critic/blogger Carolyn Kellogg, and librarian Bill Kelly. Our aim is to have a diverse group that represents different constituencies that support short fiction. One of the judges is always a writer (who has published short fiction). We...
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareHere are eight words you never want to hear from a publisher that is considering your manuscript for publication:"How many books are you planning to order?"Many writers are aware that it's a major red flag when a publisher's contract includes a clause...
Regular blogging will resume here later this month, with news about PEN America 11, our contributors appearing elsewhere, and other items of note. In the meantime, an update concerning “Reckoning with Torture: Memos & Testimonies from the 'War on Terror',” taking place Tuesday, October 13, at 7...
Posted by Victoria StraussAs I close in on the end of my current writing project, the issue of self-promotion is much on my mind. I don't mind admitting that it's a prospect I contemplate with dread. I'm one of those I-just-want-to-sit-in-my-room-with-my-laptop writers who really is not...
In 1984, shortly after reading Raymond Carver's short story collection, Cathedral, I wrote a letter to him expressing my admiration for the story, "A Small, Good Thing." One moment in, particular, struck me as being incredibly vivid, real, "cinematic" (which I thought then was quite a compliment)....