Do We Really Need the Oxford Comma? A Federal Court Says Yes

Photo via Visual hunt.

If you don’t think the Oxford comma is necessary, a federal court’s recent decision will tell you otherwise. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of delivery drivers who claimed they were eligible for overtime pay under Maine’s regulations. Their argument relied on the absence of a serial comma in the law. Read the full post »

6 Small Presses Focus on Regional Fiction and Nonfiction

ManuscriptComputer-CindyFazziPicSmall presses can focus on niche markets, an advantage they have over big publishers. If your novel has a strong sense of place, check out these six publishers that specialize in regional titles. They welcome both agented and unagented submissions. Read the full post »

Sales of Print Books Rose in 2016

NapaValley-BookSign-CindyFazziPicUnit sales of print books increased slightly (3.3 percent) last year, the third year in a row of growth, according to Publishers Weekly. Print-book sales rose by 2.8 percent in 2015 and 2.4 percent in 2014. Read the full post »

In Praise of the Perilous Multiple POVs: William Martin’s “Citizen Washington”

CitizenWashington-Cover-CindyFazziPicAuthors who use multiple points of view risk losing their readers’ interest or confusing them with every shift. Only a few pull off such a perilous approach. In “Citizen Washington,” William Martin blows away the competition among “daredevil” authors. He uses not just three points of view (“The Girl on the Train” and “The Help”) or five (“The Poisonwood Bible”) but 16! Read the full post »

4 Small Presses in UK Welcome Unagented Submissions

If you’re seeking traditional publication but you don’t have literary representation, look into publishing companies across the pond. These four small presses don’t prohibit non-U.K. submissions on their websites, but if you live outside of the U.K., mention it in your query or submission. Read the full post »

The Easiest Way You Can Help Save the Future of Arts & Literature

The Campanile at UC Berkeley (Photo by Cindy Fazzi). The university’s Pacific Film Archive is one of the many recipients of NEA grants in California.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), which provide much needed resources to low-income communities in all 50 states, face the danger of complete elimination.  The Authors Guild is working with a host of literary and arts organizations to prevent the defunding of the two agencies. Support the guild’s initiative by signing a petition now. You don’t have to be a member to lend your name. Read the full post »

Study Shows There are Only 6 Emotional Arcs for All Novels & Plays

A great novel or play touches or enrages or saddens us. It makes us look at ourselves or other people differently. Despite the many emotions we feel while reading books or watching plays, they follow one of only six emotional arcs, according to a recent study. Read the full post »

15 Most Memorable Lines from Movies

movienightsign-cindyfazziNot all great movies have memorable lines, and not all memorable lines come from great movies. But the latter stand the test of time because the quotes themselves live on.   Read the full post »

Snowflake, Alternative Fact, Post-Truth, & Other New Words Stemming from Politics

(Photo via Visual Hunt)

(Photo via Visual Hunt)

The new political order in America has added new words to our vocabulary. The media and technology also continue to influence our ever-growing lexicon. Read the full post »

5 Publishers that Accept Unagented Romance & Other Genre Novels

Fiction Sign-CindyFazziPicThere’s a reason genre fiction is called popular fiction. Those who love genre fiction, from thriller to romance to horror and fantasy, are among the most loyal and voracious readers. If you are a genre novelist without a literary agent, check out the following small presses that welcome unagented submissions. Read the full post »