News roundups

"A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction. "
William Faulkner

Random picks

  • Tidbits of interest to writers from around the ‘net. ETA: Here’s a fascinating article from the NYTs on what we are all wondering: how much it actually costs to produce a book But publishers also say consumers exaggerate the savings and have developed unrealistic expectations about how low the prices of e-books can go. Yes, they say, printing [...]
  • In the 39th in a series of posts on 2012 short story collections entered for The Story Prize, Michael Jeffrey Lee, author of Something in My Eye (Sarabande Books), discusses some story ideas he pursued that didn't work out. What’s the worst idea for a story you’ve ever had? I have ideas for stories all the time: I might be standing on a bridge, looking down at the freezing water, I might be walking home late at night, trying not to be murdered, or I might be getting intimate with a significant other, but no matter where I am or who I'm with, my mind is working overtime, helping me...
  • Happy 4th of July!  Here’s to grills that don’t burn food, ice cold beverages, bug-free picnics and sparkly fireworks!  Back to work July 5.  Until then, have a safe and fun holiday.
  • Given the obscene glut of stories, almost daily I find myself looking at the latest crop of e-book articles, wondering, “What can I leave out today?” Here are three I couldn’t. Agents, publishers, and authors in Mexican standoff over e-rights for hybrid books iPad’s text-to-voice feature may get the nads of publishers’ legal teams tingling Will e-reader’s survive the coming of the tablet?
  • There really is only one literary award that awes me. The Pulitzer prize? Everybody gets one eventually. National Book Award? Too clubby for my tastes. But the Nobel Prize for Literature is usually something special, and has by far the best track record of every major literary award. J. M. Coetzee. Orhan Pamuk. Isaac Bashevis Singer. Kenzaburo Oe. Mario Vargas Llosa. Seamus Heaney. Derek Walcott. Pablo Neruda. Doris Lessing. Jean-Paul Sartre. William Golding. Jose Saramago. Nadine Gordimer. Albert Camus. Harold Pinter. Gunter Grass. Dario Fo...

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Fast fact about writing

The history of human communication dates back to the earliest era of humanity. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago, and writing about 7,000.