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10 Ways to Make Your Submission Stand Out in the Slush Pile

It’s been said that literary agents are the gatekeepers to the (traditional) publishing industry. Every year agents receive thousands of submissions in their respective query boxes—both unsolicited and solicited. Many agents also work full-time jobs separate from their work at an agency. Needless to say, they are incredibly busy people. As a result, the unsolicited slush piles are often left to agent apprentices and ...

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Jerzy Kosinski Stars in a Novel About His Own Strange Life

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Jerzy Kosinski in 1982.Credit...

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Finding the Right Writing Inspiration for Your Life

“Writing takes a combination of sophistication and innocence; it takes conscience, our belief that something is beautiful because it’s right. To be great, art has to point somewhere.” —Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Writing helps you find the lost pieces of yourself—those pieces that were misplaced, forgotten, or squashed long, long ago. Through words, we may carve a new path for ourselves or recapture the power to own who we are...

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In AMC’s Western ‘The Son,’ the Novelist Philipp Meyer Lassoes TV

It’s rare for novelists to wield this much influence over screen adaptations of their work. They may get an executive producer credit and an occasional ceremonial visit to the set, yet typically they just cash their checks and move on to their next novels. But Mr. Meyer is far from typical. Bald and muscular, with a square jaw and thick beard, he’s handy with pistols, rifles and hunting bows, and looks more at...

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Lit Hub Daily: March 30, 2017

The Best of the Literary Internet, Every Day

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This is Not a Defense of Poetry

The following remarks were originally delivered at the the Oslo Poesifestival 2016.

A defense of poetry is a contradiction…

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The post Lit Hub Daily: March 30, 2017 appeared first on Art of Conversation.

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Crime: The Best and Latest in Crime Fiction

Marilyn Stasio’s crime column takes us to three watery venues — Venice, the English Fenland and the French Riviera. And for a break, how about chilly Norway?Source link

The post Crime: The Best and Latest in Crime Fiction appeared first on Art of Conversation.

The Making of a Tireless Literary Translator

Megan McDowell, a translator from Kentucky living in Chile, has had eight books published in the past two years. “It’s not really healthy what I do, because I work a lot,” she tells me. “But a lot of those books I’ve been working on for a really long time.”

McDowell first started translating Carlos Fonseca’s Colonel Lágrimas—a novel about a famous mathematician living in a cabin in the Pyrenees—when she was in Switzerland in 2012. ...

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8 New Books We Recommend This Week

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Devotees of Elena Ferrante should check out the latest piece in the puzzle of her identity: a novel by Domenico Starnone, “Ties,” that offers a response to her early work “Days of Abandonment.” Bonus: “Ties” is translated from the Italian by the Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, who also provides a captivating introduction. Two nonfiction books tackle the timely issue of inequality: one from the point of view of constitutional gove...

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Juan Pablo Villalobos Volunteers the Nation of Mexico to Build Trump’s Wall

Let’s build the wall. And okay, we’ll pay for it, us Mexicans. But we’ll build it ourselves, and we’ll put an aid station every twenty kilometers, a proper shelter with doctors, food, water, beds where people can rest and gather their strength, and English classes. And most importantly, we’ll have lots of doors all up and down the wall, thousands of them. Doors that can only be opened from one side: o...

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How to Craft the Perfect Antihero

I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of fiction, to stories that brood on the imperfections of the human soul and the obstacles that war, poverty, social upheaval, illness, or just plain bad luck, throw in our way. All day long, I try to be exceedingly bright and pleasant to my neighbors and colleagues, my family, my dog. But when I pick up a novel, or begin to write one, I want to indulge in the shadows. Fortunately, modern literature i...

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William McPherson, Book Critic and Novelist, Dies at 84

Under his editorship, Book World took its place as one of the leading literary publications in the United States, and his wide-ranging, elegantly written reviews played no small part in establishing its reputation. In 1977, awarding him the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, the prize judges noted his “broad literary and historic perspective.”

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Preparing Your Mind for Writing: How to Make the Shift

I teach a workshop called “Fearless Writing,” which is not a “how to write” class but a “how to get into the frame of mind where writing is possible” class. If you’ve ever had a good day of writing, you are already familiar with this frame of mind: It is relaxed, patient, receptive, curious, intuitive, and interested. You don’t go to the ideas—they come to you. If you write fiction, your characters talk to you and surpris...

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William Powell, ‘Anarchist Cookbook’ Writer, Dies at 66

“As almost everyone knows, silencers are illegal in virtually all the countries of the world,” he wrote before describing how to build a silencer for a handgun, “but then a true revolutionary believes that the government in power is illegal, so, following that logic, I see no reason that he should feel restricted by laws made by an illegal body.”

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Constant Stimulation and Cocktails at the 2017 PEN Literary Awards

It’s hard to keep people in their seats for two hours, but the 2017 PEN Literary Awards, hosted by Aasif Mandvi, made sure to provide performances to keep us sated and happy, like children who need constant stimulation. When Natalie Scenters-Zapico won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, she read one of her poems onstage by a violinist. Preceding Suzan Lori-Parks’s speech for her PEN/Laura Pels Award for...

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Russia blamed for hacking Amazon listing of anti-Trump book | Books

Publishers believe that Russian hackers are behind an attack on the Amazon page for a self-styled manual for resisting US president Donald Trump and other populist leaders, with the author, historian Timothy Snyder, claiming the hack as just the latest in a series of efforts by Russians to undermine his work.

Images of Snyder’s On Tyranny were replaced on Amazon.co.uk with those for a non-existent colouring ...

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The Unglamorous Ordeal of Recording Your Own Audiobook

It was around noon of my third grueling day recording the audiobook of my first novel, The Gargoyle Hunters, when my innermost self cried out to be heard. I mean this literally. The disembodied voice of my director burst into my headset to inform me that my disgruntled, empty stomach was grumbling loudly enough to be picked up by the hypersensitive microphone; my solo performance had inadvertently become a duet. To muffle...

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Luck and the Death Penalty

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In 2002, the playwright Arthur Miller wrote the brief essay below to help the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern’s law school in its campaign to abolish the death penalty in Illinois. In it, Miller described the case of Peter Reilly, a teenager who was convicted in 1974 of brutally killing his mother. The essay, previously unpublished, is featured in a new anthology, “Anatomy of Innocence,” which features the testimony of several ...

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Losing mom and finding Flo

While my mother was losing her marbles, I tried to crawl into her brain. Listening to her jumbled sentences, I pictured the microscopic beta-amyloid clumps and tangled protein strands, commanding them to unclump and untangle and resume their synapse communication. It didn’t work. So I jotted down our conversations driving to our weekly lunch date or walking in the garden at the independent living community. Her observations were odd and disjointed...

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With Purchase of Souq.com, Amazon Moves Into Middle East

The sands of online bookselling in the Middle East are shifting.

At the end of February, Dubai online retailer Souq.com launched what it called a new “global bookstore,” with plans to offer six million titles for sale. At the time, Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO of Souq.com, said “We are aligned with the UAE’s National Reading initiative and this category expansion comes at an interesting time when we are witnessing new momentu...

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