Around the Web: Articles to inspire from the world of writing, reading

 By G. Robert Frazier

I occasionally like to troll the interwebs in search of interesting articles about writing and reading, how-to’s, advice, and news about authors, books, and film. Because I’m so cool, I then share those links with my fellow writers and book lovers (even though there are some out there who say this is not a good use of blog space and effort). This one is a bit longer than usual because I haven’t posted in a while. Just click on the link to read the full articles.

Pat Conroy lives on. The Pat Conroy Literary Center, named for the author known for such novels as The Prince of Tides, will open in October in Beaufort, S.C.

Steven James is Calling All Applicants in one of the best articles I’ve read on what it means to pursue this craft of writing.

British writer Frederick Forsyth has penned his last thriller novel because he says he’s run out of things to say. Sounds like a serious case of writer’s block to me.

eqm_sept-oct2016webEllery Queen Mystery Magazine celebrates 75 years with a special issue this month. Always worth reading, though the anniversary cover leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. As part of the celebration, here’s an article about the Ransom of EQMM #1.

Wow. Check out this illustrated guide to writing scenes and stories from Jeff VanderMeer.

This tidbit is old news (unless you’ve been living under a rock), but worth noting: Criminal Minds actor Thomas Gibson was fired from the show after kicking one of the writers on set. About time someone stood up for writers.

A Pew Research Center study has concluded that people prefer physical books over their digital cousins. That’s how I feel as well. Haven’t looked at my Kindle in forever, and I’ve got dozens of books on there.

I recently came across this neat article from BookRiot about how to repair your books from torn pages, sticky price tags, and more with these helpful tips. Nothing I hate more than sticky price tags on the covers of my books.

Jane Friedman offers this advice on when and if you should pay for a publicist to help promote  your book and your brand as an author.

Pamela Burger traces the Bloody History of the True Crime Genre in this excellent article.

Author Jonathan Maberry talks about writers helping writers in this interview from Writer’s Digest.

Author/blogger Kristen Lamb discusses writers’ brands and platforms and what’s the difference.

Liz Kay discusses the broadening scope of stories by and for women in this article from LitHub. (LitHub, by the way, aggregates stories from around the web every day, so if they can do it, why can’t I?).

Penguin Classics has published Writings from Ancient Egypt in Great Britain (it will be available in the US in January), the first literary English translation of some of the texts that cover thousands of square feet of monuments and tomb walls.

So, can you make a living as a self-published author? This article puts that question into perspective.

Envy stimulates innovation and keeps writers and other artists from becoming complacent in their work. Read more about why a little writing jealousy isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this column.

Feeding thousands of books into a computer to find new meaning in literature sounds intriguing, but does cultural analytics actually tell us anything about the books we read? That’s the question posed in this interesting article from The Guardian.

Boris Kachka put together a comprehensive Encyclopedia of Every Literary Plot, Ever. Whoa.

Joyce Carol Oates spoke recently about great editors, reviews, and the internet in this wide-ranging interview with LitHub.

The Bestseller Code by former publisher Jodi Archer and Matthew L. Jockers, of Stanford University’s Literary Lab, attempts to dissect the elements of what makes a bestseller using an algorithm they built.

Ann Patchett, who owns Parnassus Books in Nashville which I frequent regularly, discusses how writers must take responsibility for themselves and our industry in this interview with The Guardian. I attended Patchett’s official book launch for  Commonwealth in Nashville on Sept. 12 and blogged about it here. The Tennessean featured this excellent article about the nun who taught Patchett to read.

There was an interesting article on LitHub recently about the history (and present) of banning books in America. The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) in New York fights yearly to challenge books banned in libraries and schools. And since this is National Banned Books Week, this column would be incomplete without a link to this handy graphic from showing the 24 Most Controversial Books of All Time.

In Memoriam:

Edward Albee, best known for his Broadway hit “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and widely considered the foremost American playwright of his generation, passed away at age 88.


Author Jacqueline Woodson discusses her new novel, Another Brooklyn, with Publishers Weekly.

Here are six podcast episodes that promise to make you a better writer.

Writer Jeff Goins shares three habits writers should embrace in this podcast with Andy Traub. Jeff also shared this post about how practice makes perfect.

If you’re ready to publish, here’s a helpful podcast from Joanna Penn about how to write your book sales description.

Seen any good articles on writing or reading lately? Share them in the Comments section. Until next time, happy writing and reading!


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