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Articles, Lectures, Online Reading,
and Websites for Readers and Writers

For more practical ideas, see my Tips for Writers page.


"When the subject of creative writing courses is raised in company as sophisticated as readers of this paper, say, two virtually automatic responses can be expected. First a withering "Can you really teach anyone how to write?" An editor of this very paper asked me that only two days ago.

"And then someone is almost certain to repeat a legend from the old days, when male American writers acted like tough guys, like Humphrey Bogart, to prove that they, although they were sensitive and liked beauty, were far from being homosexual. The Legend: A tough guy, I forget which one, is asked to speak to a creative writing class. He says: "What in hell are you doing here? Go home and glue your butts to a chair, and write and write until your heads fall off!" Or words to that effect.

"My reply: "Listen, there were creative writing teachers long before there were creative writing courses, and they were called and continue to be called editors."

 

 

From an Ex-Publishing Professional

 

A former student of mine had a conversation with an ex-editor at a major New York publisher.

"He started by reminding me," says the student, "that publishing a hard cover is very expensive. The publishers make money from selling hardcovers. There is a large profit margin there. But now the sales of hardcovers are decreasing while Ebooks are coming on stronger each year. The publishers haven't figured out, he said, how to make money from Ebooks yet. The profit margin is ridiculously small. And because they don't make money from this source, they don't market the books.

"Therefore, it seems, according to him, that they are staying with authors who have big reputations and can be relied upon to sell. The number of new authors they take on is minimal. I asked him if that meant I was engaged in an exercise of futility, and he said probably 'yes.'

"He also pointed out...that self-publishing on the net requires an enormous amount of personal marketing, and most Ebooks don't do well."

 
"Imaginative literature … does not enslave; it liberates the mind of man. Its truth is not like the canons of orthodoxy or the irrationality of prejudice and superstition. It begins as an adventure in self-discovery and ends in wisdom and humane conscience."
      -- Chinua Achebe, "The Truth of Fiction" in Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays (New York: Anchor/Random House, NY, 1988).

 

 

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Meli's Way Ebook Cover ImageOradell at Sea Ebook Cover ImageLove Palace Ebook Cover ImageDwight's House Ebook Cover ImageHigher Ground Ebook Cover ImageOnly Great Changes Ebook Cover Image
Trespassers Ebook Cover ImageA Space Apart Ebook Cover ImageRe-Visions Ebook Cover ImageOut of the Mountains Ebook Cover ImageThe City Bulit of Starships Ebook Cover Image


(To buy any of these books as e-books, click on the image. They are also available at the Kindle Store and at the Nook Store as well as the iBook store and other e-book stores.)


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I'm running occasional haiku-esque poems by poet-photographer Randi Ward.
These poems are from a book called Whipstitches to be published in the spring
by MadHat Press. See more of Randi Ward's work here.
 
 
Images and photos found on the various pages of this web site may be used
by anyone, but please attribute the source when it is specified.

 

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Meredith Sue Willis Author and Teacher is licensed under a

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