Four Small Presses Welcome Unagented Works

If you’re a writer seeking publication, take advantage of the summer months to submit your work. These four small publishers welcome unagented submissions of literary novels, mystery, romance, fantasy, and science fiction. Read the full post »

14 Lessons for Writers from 3 Classic Foreign Films

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Film is a universal art form. Those of us who write novels can learn a lot from the storytelling techniques of filmmakers, especially masters like Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, and François Truffaut. Their films defied Hollywood norms and yet found a global audience. Read the full post »

Two Chinese-American Novels Redefine the American Dream

(Image courtesy of Penguin Random House)

All the political talk about the place of immigrants in America under the present political climate got me on an immigrant-saga kick in my readings. I was happy to discover two excellent debut novels:  Celeste Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and Jade Chang’s “Wangs vs. the World.” Read the full post »

Study: Reading Completion Rate Correlates with Reader’s Age

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Finishing a book depends a great deal on a reader’s age, according to a study by Jellybooks. In most cases, completion rates were higher for readers under 35 and those older than 45. Readers between those two groups had the lowest completion rate. Read the full post »

Beware the “Submission Itch” and Other Common Mistakes Writers Make

“You are what you submit,” says a former managing editor of a literary magazine. It behooves you to submit only your best work, and yet, the submission itch—the mad rush to release one’s work to the world—is a common malady.  Before you submit, make sure you’re not making these three common mistakes. Read the full post »

3 Writing Lessons from “Catch-22” and “Slaughterhouse-Five”

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

I’ve been meaning to read Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” for their popularity and critical acclaim.  I finally read both recently—at the same time. To be honest, they are not my favorite books, but they taught me three important lessons in writing. Read the full post »

3 Reasons Why the Copyright Office’s Independence Matters to Authors

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The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would increase the autonomy and authority of the Copyright Office. Why is it important? If you’re a professional writer, here are three reasons why it matters. Read the full post »

4 Small Presses Accept Unagented General Fiction, Genres, Nonfiction

FairOaks-Laptop-Computer-CindyFazziPicSpring is not just for spring cleaning and gardening. It’s a great time to submit manuscripts. If you don’t have a literary agent, check out these four publishers that are willing to consider submissions directly from writers. Read the full post »

Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 Cover Wide Range of Genres

As Americans, the First Amendment guarantees our freedom to read, and yet to this day, some books are banned. The American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged books in 2016 covered a wide range of genres: fiction, memoir, picture books, and graphic novels. Read the full post »

Why Do We Buy Books? Let Me Count 8 Reasons

Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg identified eight common reasons why people buy books. Instant gratification is at the top of the list. Compare these book-buying motivations with yours. Read the full post »