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Thrity Umrigar on what writing has taught her.
The Publishing Front
You Might Be an
Editor If... by Erin Brown
Blog by Bill Kenower
If you watch the tickers at the bottom of CNN, MSNBC, and FOX and
yell at the screen, “It’s ‘Obama campaigns in Canton, Ohio, in front
of 30,000’ not ‘Obama campaigns in Canton, Ohio in front of
30,000!!!!’ God, can’t you people hire someone that knows about
comma placement? Sheesh!”...you might be an editor.
If your boss asks you to read the 500-page manuscript he just
received in the next four hours and report back about whether he
should buy it, at what advance, and to make sure that at least ten
colleagues read and concur in the same amount of time...you might be
If every neighbor, relative, casual acquaintance, and random person
on the street who finds out your profession asks you to read and
comment on the 200,000-word memoir they’ve been writing for the past
twenty years...you might be an editor. more...
can develop proprietary feelings around words,
up to and including wanting the last one. No one
wants to be the bore at the party,
hogging the airwaves until the room is pummeled
into exhaustion because we just have one . . .
more . . . thing . . . to say—but this is merely
an example of the best intentions leading to the
worst results. The best intentions in this case
being to leave your audience better than where
you found them. That’s our job as writers, after
all: To take readers on a journey, however
small, that leads them someplace better.
As I wrote in an
earlier column, we are, however, necessarily
powerless in determining where exactly it is our
readers decide to travel through our work—but
this all to the good. Actually, not only is it
good, it’s the best arrangement possible. Why?
Because it’s proof that—in all that really
matters in the world to you—you will
always, always, always have the last word. more...
Editor's Pick: Get Known
Before the Book Deal reviewed by
That's Not What You Are:
The scary world of publishing continues to be a hard mountain to
climb for a lot of people, and Christina Katz breaks down the little
details and supplies the equipment necessary to reach the peak.
Agents want to know your “platform,” or the ways you are visible to
readers interested in what you are writing about. More and more,
fledgling writers need to have developed a successful platform
before they even approach someone to represent them. How is that
Years ago, I was in art school and the art department was having a
Juried Show in which students submit pieces by
hanging them in the hallway and having a
professional artist selects the “winners” for
display. I was, at the time, frightened of this
idea and hadn’t ever chosen to submit anything
for consideration until the day I made a
painting in class that my professor suggested I
Although I was pleased about the positive attention, my insecure
self, inclined to hiding, was not so sure about
the opportunity. Waves of anxiety rushed
through me as I worked, with my teacher, to
prepare the painting for display. It was a
medium-sized painting on a wooden board.more...