We Are All Poets Now

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Nina de Gramont In the late nineties, when I was just a couple years out of graduate school, something happened to me that all young writers dream about: I got a two book deal from a big New York publishing house. I remember the phone call exactly, where I was standing, which windows were open, and the temperature …

Can Being a Bad Blogger Hurt an Author’s Career?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story Neil Gaiman, Emily Benet and a bevy of industry pros offer their thoughts about blogging and why it’s (mostly) a good idea to do it. It is received wisdom these days that all authors should be blogging. But is that true? What if an author is simply unsuited to it? Or is incapable …

Should Readers Be Invited into an Author’s Creative Process?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In our lead article today, Hannah Johnson discusses the Digital Life Design conference in Munich at which Tim Kring, the creator of Heroes, and Peter Hirschberg of The Conversation Group presented NBC’s multi-platform promotional strategy for the TV series, which includes creating a large cache of content spread across Web sites and games. The result, says Johnson, “is not …

Is Labeling a Writer by Race or Ethnicity Too Reductive?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story, Nigerian-born author Chika Unigwe, who now lives in Belgium, states: “I’m African, and I never question my African identity. What I question sometimes are the expectations that come with being labeled an ‘African writer.’ What you are supposed to write, how you are supposed to write and so on. But then that is …

No Truth in Travel

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

By James E. McWilliams AUSTIN, TEXAS: When news arrived that I’d received a modest advance for a book I was writing on global agriculture — published this month as Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong And How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly by Little, Brown in the USA — my first thought was: “Where’s my passport?!?!” With the upfront …

Focus-Grouped Thoughts on the Branded Page

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

By James P. Othmer MAHOPAC, NEW YORK: Writing this sentence is a brazen, deliberate and irrevocable act of branding. Trust me, before it (and all subsequent vowels and consonants below) was written, it was parsed, focus-grouped and post-mortemed by twelve angry, bookish consumers on the shiny side of a two-way mirror in Teaneck, New Jersey.  To wit, they were asked: …

Why Bangkok?

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

By Timothy Hallinan BANGKOK: Well, as a place to live, it is undoubtedly the most cheerful big city on earth. The Thai people somehow ingest the heat, the gasoline fumes, the permanent Gordian knot of traffic, the heartbreaking poverty, and through some form of internal alchemy turn it into broad, beautiful smiles and almost infinite compassion for the befuddled, sweating …

Bonus Material: How to Finish Your Novel

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Tim Hallinan learned the hard way about finishing a novel. Before becoming a published novelist, as he explains on his website, he had started three novels, but finished none of them, when his house burned down, destroying all of his manuscripts. “Naturally,” he writes, “I had backups of all my unfinished novels, and naturally, they were all in …

Bonus Material: Could This Be America’s Best Writing Conference?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka DALLAS, TEXAS: While it seemed like everyone else was at Comic-Con in San Diego fighting their way into preview screenings of Iron Man 2 and GI Joe, this past weekend I attended the fifth annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference at the University of North Texas in Dallas. It was the third time I’ve gone and I …