Halloween in the Summer? Inkshares Seeks Horror Stories

Photo via VisualHunt

If you write horror stories, now is your chance to scare up a book deal. The Inkshares 2017 Horror Contest will publish three or more manuscripts based on their popularity and judges’ choices. The contest is open until Halloween. (more…)

4 Small Presses Welcome Theme-Based Submissions from Unagented Writers

If you have a manuscript with a strong theme, check out these niche publishers that welcome works by unagented writers. They are seeking political, international, and nautical books, as well as manuscripts focusing on the American Jewish experience. (more…)

38 Lines from Novels and Movies You Won’t Soon Forget

Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972.)

Whether it’s your kid offering a slice of pizza to his sibling or your friend volunteering to babysit, the person might say, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.” Many people know the line though they have never seen Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 movie, “The Godfather.” The dialogue has taken on a life of its own. There are many movies and novels like that; they are famous for zingers and memorable dialogues. (more…)

Private Sector Forms Group to Advocate for Public Libraries in the Face of Budget Cuts

Fair Oaks Library entrance, Photo by Vincent Fazzi, June 2017.

A group of publishers and trade associations formed the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI) to advocate for library funding and support in the face of proposed cuts or elimination of funding for public libraries. Do your part—check out the American Library Association’s awareness campaign now. (more…)

38 Literary Characters You Won’t Forget—For Better or For Worse

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” (1995).

William Faulkner’s approach to writing a character explains why some literary characters are so real.  “Once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does,” said Faulkner. (more…)

Why Corporate America Frowns on These 13 Traits of Creative People

Monet Paintings-CindyFazziPic

Special traits set an artist like Claude Monet apart. (Photo by Cindy Fazzi)

If you’re a writer or artist or scientist and you like working on your own, it could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, independence is one of 13 traits of highly creative and productive people. On the other hand, employers will say you’re not a team player. (more…)

This Summer, Read More Books for Fun—and Good Health

Photo credit: TinaOable via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Summer is here—stretching out as far as the eye could see. It’s a great time to catch up with our reading, not just for fun but also for our health. Multiple research studies have shown the many benefits of reading, from reducing stress to increasing empathy. The greatest benefit of all? Reading will help you live longer! (more…)

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. (more…)

14 Lessons for Writers from 3 Classic Foreign Films

Photo credit: popturfdotcom via VisualHunt / CC BY

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. (more…)

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.” (more…)