Lists

September 6, 2011

Ten Things I’ve Learned over 12 Years of Sending Out Stories 20

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Perhaps the most embarrassing (and humbling) rejection I received was: “Sorry – but we can’t consider anything with an f word in it. You surely must know that BYU is church-sponsored.”

August 10, 2011

Homage vs. Rip-off: An Interview with Lev Grossman and a Guide to Literary Allusions in The Magician King 13

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“When people think you’ve plagiarized from another writer, rather than alluded to them, the reaction is extreme. They get angry. It’s a dangerous game; you have to get it right.”

August 2, 2011

DMV Redux: An Expanded List of Writers Who Met Death By Motor Vehicle 7

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When we posted our “List of Writers Who Met Death By Motor Vehicle” here recently, we acknowledged that the list was most likely far from exhaustive. Readers proved us right. Today, thanks to reader comments, we expand our tribute to writers who left us too soon.

July 5, 2011

Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2011 Book Preview 45

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At 7,500 words strong and encompassing 66 titles, this is the only second-half of 2011 book preview you will ever need.

June 24, 2011

Six Egyptian Writers You Don’t Know But You Should 17

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More writers from Egypt made the longlist for the $50,000, 2011 International Arabic Prize for Fiction (IPAF) than writers from any other country. And now it was Egypt’s Arab Spring. Where was the work of these men and women, work that was a catalyst for the ongoing social transformation of the largest nation in the Middle East?

June 23, 2011

D.M.V.: An Incomplete List of Writers Who Met Death by Motor Vehicle 22

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Is it my imagination, or do an inordinate number of writers die in motor vehicle accidents?

May 31, 2011

Kindle-Proof Your Book in Seven Easy Steps! 28

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For the Luddite writer who wants to put her royalties where her mouth is, I offer the choicest trade secrets…plus a Top 10 list of eBook-resistant texts.

May 23, 2011

Boom! Crash!: A Handicapper’s Guide to Panic Lit 4

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The winners and the also-rans in the race for the best book on the Financial Panic of 2008.

May 20, 2011

The Perils of Reading Pregnant 26

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People’s protective urges extend beyond the body of the mother-to-be, and into her reading life. If literature is clogged with unhappy marriages, it’s certainly also darkened with dead babies and the complex melancholy of mothers.

May 18, 2011

Migrations: A Reading List 6

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Migration in its various forms is at the heart of a great many of my favorite plots in fiction. But beyond that it seems to me that migration, as an idea of motion, is inextricable from good fiction. Your characters must change—they must move, psychically at least, from point A to point B—and the plot must move forward.