GalleyCat is at the 65th annual National Book Awards tonight in New York. We have been speaking with the nominees about their advice for writers.
Maureen N. McLean, the nominee in the poetry category for This Blue said: “Have open ears and read dead writers because they are channeling sounds that are still alive and they might attune you to things in the air that aren’t necessarily on the web or on TV or on a video game. English is a huge big weird language and why not swim in it.”
Steve Sheinkin, Young People’s Literature nominee, for his book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights told us that the goal is: “to get to that point where you just show it to somebody. Everyone will always tell you, ‘you have to write every day,’ so you know that. But what really accelerates the improvement, is getting past that fear of showing it to somebody and really listening to what they say open-mindedly. It will be so much better after two or three smart and trusted readers have given you feedback and the whole rest of the world will never know that it was bad to begin with.” Read more