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Writer Resources

Seth Godin Recommends Books on HugDug

sethgodinreviewsAuthor Seth Godin has been using a new online community called HugDug to share reviews of his favorite books and authors. He has reviewed a couple of books on the site including Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Easy.

“One of the biggest benefits we’ve found in the way people use Hugdug is their ability to share the work of people they respect,” he explains on his blog. “Today more than ever, ideas spread horizontally, from person to person, not from the top down, not from an ad or from a talk show or from a promotion.”

HugDug is an interesting new online community from the founders of Squidoo that is worth checking out. It is currently in beta and is designed as a site to allow people to share recommendations and discover products and reviews. The site lets you read reviews by reviewer, as well as by category and then links to the product’s listing on Amazon to make it easy to purchase the item. There is also a featured charity every month.

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Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

How Does One Tackle Chronic Writer’s Block?

How does one tackle chronic writer’s block?

For Sting, it means writing songs that feature the stories of other people. In a presentation delivered at the TED 2014 conference, the Grammy Award-winning musician talks about the inspiration he found in the shipyard workers he knew from his youth.

We’ve embedded the full talk in the video above. For more on storytelling, check out the “How to Tell a Story” playlist curated by the TED team. What are your tips for battling writer’s block?

PEN Center USA is Looking For ‘Emerging Voices Fellows’

thinkbigPEN Center USA has opened the admissions process for its fellowship program. The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary fellowship that is designed to help launch literary careers for writers that lack the tools and access to do so on their own.

Writers can find applications at this link. The deadline for submissions is August 11, 2014. Fellows that are selected will earn a $1,000 grant and will participate in an eight month professional mentorship program. This includes courses donated by UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, being a part of hosted Author Evenings with authors and several public readings in Los Angeles.

Fellows will be paired with mentors. In the past, Sherman Alexie, Aimee Bender, Chris Abani, Héctor Tobar, Ron Carlson, Jerry Stahl, Susan Straight and Harryette Mullen have all served as mentors.

What’s Your Favorite Font?

What’s your favorite font? It’s possible that it was created by designer Matthew Carter.

Carter invented several famous typefaces including Bell Centennial, Verdana, and Georgia. During the TED 2014 conference, he gave a talk and shared several stories from a career that spans more than three decades.

We’ve embedded the full presentation in the video above. According to the TED blog, “Carter think of himself as an industrial designer whose medium is type. When one designs a font, one deals closely with the technology that renders it, Carter explains, whether that’s a mechanical printing press or a central processing unit.” What do you think?

Does the English Language Drive You Crazy?

Does the English language drive you crazy?

Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffit, the co-creators of the AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel, have written a poem called “English Is Crazy!” The two collaborators posted a poetry video on their second channel, AsapTHOUGHT, featuring Moffit as the narrator.

The Huffington Post lists some of the reasons why English can cause frustration; “grammar rules can be inconsistent, spelling nonsensical and don’t get us started on plurals, pronouns and pronunciation. Tough, cough, bough and dough. Enough said.” What do you think?

Are You For or Against the Oxford Comma?

Do you regularly use the oxford comma in your writing? The animated video embedded above features a three-minute TED-Ed lesson called “Grammar’s Great Divide: The Oxford Comma.”

This linguistics lesson focuses on the debate between those for and against what is “perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time.” Back in 2011, the University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide noted that use of the serial comma should be generally avoided.

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Laugh Riot Press to Launch E-commerce Site For Indie Authors

laughriotLaugh Riot Press, a new site dedicated to indie authors and humor books, plans to launch an e-commerce website this year.

The website will be designed as a location for writers to connect directly with readers looking for funny books. The platform will give writers publishing and social media marketing tools. The site will be genre-specific, focusing on humor, in an attempt to garner a more focused readership.

“I wanted my books to have a life of their own as soon as possible, my theory being the more funny books in the world, the better,” explained Rich Leder, screenwriter, novelist, and founder of Laugh Riot Press, in a statement.

Amtrak is Offering Writer’s Residency on Trains

amtrakWriters residencies just got mobile. Amtrak is now offering free rides to writers on long rides so that they can get some writing done.

The idea came from a Twitter. Inspired by an interview that discussed writing on trains, writers Zach Seward and Jessica Gross tweeted their desires for a writers in residency program on Amtrak. Amtrak responded to the tweet and offered Gross the chance to test drive the idea. She took a ride from New York to Chicago and back. The Wire has the story:

She rode the rails from NYC to Chicago to NYC again, writing the whole time. No one else on the train knew about her residency, Gross said, or if they did, they “definitely didn’t act like it.” Now, perhaps the most important point: The residency was free. According to Gross, all Amtrak asked was that she send out a few tweets while she was traveling, and do an interview for the company’s blog at the end of her trip.

20 Authors Share Tips for Writing Love Scenes

book heartAre you spending Valentine’s Day at your writing desk? For those who are crafting fictional romance stories, we’ve collected 20 tips on how to write love scenes. The various authors who contributed advice specialize in the young adult and adult fiction genres. (Photo CreditJudy Van Der Velden)

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Louis Sachar: “Always be willing to rewrite.”

LouisOver the weekend, Louis Sachar visited New York City to headline an event for the 92Y’s Children’s Reading Series. Attendees listened to him perform a reading and joined in on a Q&A session.

When asked for writing advice, Sachar (pictured, via) recommended that one “always be willing to rewrite.” He shared that he always comes up with the best ideas as he is re-writing. He feels that initial ideas can sometimes seem superficial and it is only in subsequent drafts that those ideas become more substantial.

For Sachar, each book typically requires him to write six drafts. He usually devotes the first three or four drafts to ironing out the plot and character development. For his final drafts, he tries to write the story in the most artistic way he can. What do you think?

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