St. Martin’s Press Launches Writing Contest for Thriller Writers

Photo Credit: Photo via ghwtog via Visual Hunt

Photo Credit: Photo via ghwtog via Visual Hunt

If you write thrillers, this competition sponsored by St. Martin’s Press might be just the thing for you. The Big Five imprint will choose five winners in the writing contest promoting “A Divided Spy,” a new novel by Charles Cumming. Read the full post »

Five of the World’s Biggest Publishers Stay at the Top

fairoakslibrary-bookshelf-cindyfazzipicFive of the world’s biggest publishers, led by Pearson, the U.K.-based educational publishing company, maintained their positions on the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly  annual ranking for 2015. Read the full post »

Paula Munier’s “Guide to Beginnings”: Why the Opening Can Make or Break Your Novel

writersguidetobeginnings-cindyfazzipicBook Review—“The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings that Sell” by Paula Munier, published by Writer’s Digest Books, 2016

The image of an open door graces the cover of Paula Munier’s latest writing book. It’s an invitation to learn and keep an open mind. It also reminds me of the proverbial door being slammed in a novelist’s face. “Competition is fierce—and that’s why your words must be fierce as well,” says Munier. Read the full post »

Top 10 Character Descriptions that Defy Elmore Leonard’s Writing Rule

The vivid character descriptions in “The Aviator’s Wife” by Melanie Benjamin are effective.

The vivid character descriptions in “The Aviator’s Wife” are effective.

When it comes to describing the physical qualities of your characters, how much is too much? Elmore Leonard advised writers to “avoid detailed descriptions of characters.” He used Ernest Hemingway’s work as an example. While the minimalist style of Hemingway and Raymond Carver can be very effective, there are many writers whose works show that descriptive writing can be equally powerful. Read the full post »

Big Five Publishing: At A Glance

books1-9-2015There used to be six big companies in the publishing industry. Now there are five. Though the Big Five is smaller, the group continues to dominate the trade-book publishing industry, with a 34 percent market share in 2015. Read the full post »

Why Do We Need Literature? Four Unexpected Benefits

fairoaks-3books1-cindyfazzipicDid you know that reading “Ulysses” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” helps you save time? Reading “The Grapes of Wrath” will make you nicer. A video by The School of Life explains some of the unexpected benefits of reading literature. Read the full post »

Which of These Banned Classic Books Have You Read?

greatgatsbycover-simonschusterForty-six out of the top 100 novels of the 20th century chosen by the esteemed Radcliffe Publishing Course at Columbia University have been banned or challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Read the full post »

2 Small Presses Seek Contemporary Novels and Genre Fiction

manuscriptplums-cindyfazzipicDo you have an unpublished novel or memoir? The Unnamed Press and the Red Adept Press accept unsolicited manuscripts from unagented writers. Read the full post »

13 Nuggets of Wisdom from Novels

fairoaks-alchemist-cindyfazzipicI read novels for pleasure. I consider it a bonus when a book also enlightens or offers advice. Indeed literature can empower readers to take positive actions, according to a recent study.  Read the full post »

NEA Survey: More Women and Older Americans Read Literature for Pleasure

Photo credit: Researching Media via / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Researching Media via / CC BY-NC-SA

Women and adults belonging to the 65-74 age bracket are the most active readers of literature in America, according to a new survey by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Read the full post »