Archives For Resources

A woman reads a tablet beside a fire pit on cold winter evening outside the Science Center at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts February 18, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT) - RTR4Q65X

Young adult literature is booming – and the secret is in the communities of young book lovers forming online. Photo: Brian Snyder

A post by Marcella Purnama and Mark Davis, University of Melbourne

Before JK Rowling, critics and experts predicted that young adult (YA) literature would finally die, as sales continued to decline. In 1997, a mere 3,000 YA books were published. A decade later that number was 30,000.

The success of Harry Potter changed everything. YA is now embraced by teenagers and adults alike – a 2012 Bowker Market Research study in the US found that 55 per cent of people buying YA books are over 18.

We’re currently living in the second golden age of YA literature. But why is there a sudden demand for these coming-of-age books?

Apart from the undeniable quality of the books themselves, a generation of online readers are creating new ways to discuss, dissect and celebrate their favourite stories. And it’s driving sales in a big way.

Take John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (2012). It reached #1 on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists six months before the book was published. It received thousands of five-star reviews, ranked by readers who hadn’t even held their copies.

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Fellowship and Mentorship Programs for Screenwriters in 2016

Please check the relevant websites for full entry terms and conditions.

Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab
is an intensive four-week program that runs two to three evenings a week in Los Angeles every Autumn. It is designed to help screenwriters develop and express their unique voices as writers and to take their current scripts to the next level. Lab Fellows connect with various established screenwriters and explicate their films, learn about their careers, and discuss the writing process. The fellowship includes a $10,000 cash grant as well as inclusion in the Screenwriting Lab.. Non-member applications close on 18 April or Film Independent members have until 2 May to apply.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. All entrants must be aged over 18.The final entry deadline is 2 May.

CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program
aims is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. The program is held in Los Angeles but writers do not need to be American residents to apply (there are no travel grants or subsidies though). Applications close 2 May.

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The Matador Review

The Matador Review is a new online literary magazine based in Chicago. We contacted co-founder and editor-in-chief JT Lachausse to find what this new publication has in store for 2016 and beyond.

What made you decide to establish the Matador Review?

I had been interested in the literary magazine communities for a while and felt that there was something my team could offer. I won’t say that there was anything missing, because the online and print culture is vast and diverse; however, we wanted to dig a hole – welcomed or not – into both the literature and art world. There are great publications out there, namely The Adirondack Review and Bat City Review, that are unquestionably doing the Magazine Lord’s work; we are just cocky enough to think that we could have a place behind them, if not beside them, or somewhere upon the landscape of what they do and represent. We sat at a little glass table in my apartment and began tapping out questions, ideas, hopes, issues, things like: “What if we were The Paris Review’s ‘evil, rotten twin’?” That’s what really started it. Yes, there are countless houses for alternative art and literature, but we wanted to build something really special of our own. We wanted a style for our magazine akin to the recognition level of, say, The New Yorker or Paper Darts; we believed and believe that there are not enough characters in the magazine world. It’s difficult to really go on about all of the conversations we had during the conception phase without sounding all jumped-up – and maybe that’s because we really are jumped-up about this project – but that’s the nature of this team. We saw enough big and beautiful dogs in the fight that we wanted to jump in with our own scrawny, overweening chihuahua. But enough of the caveats and metaphors; in summary, we want to assemble a publication of “alternative” art and literature, both forms represented equally in quality and attention, and we want the magazine to be of real significance to the communities we are working with.

You describe yourself as being an ‘alternative art and literature magazine’: why alternative?

For every piece of quality art or literature, there is a home. Some “homes” include work that is regionally or culturally inspired, and some are reserved for particular genders, sexualities, or ethnicities. This sort of exclusivity creates an environment for distinct voices, and due to its distinction, these magazines are considered “alternative” (syn: “different”, “nonstandard”). What we wanted to do was to open up a home for art and literature that is, in every capacity, unconventional; this could mean a “fresh” voice, or perhaps a peculiar style, or maybe a bizarre subject that would otherwise struggle to find a place willing to parade it. As stated in our “About” section: “…our purpose is to promote work that is thought-provoking and unconventional; we want the controversial and the radical, the unhinged and the bizarre; we want the obsessive, the compulsive, the pervasive, the combative, and the seductive.” The Matador Review wants all of your redheaded stepchildren, but we want them on a damn good hair day. And they better not behave.

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A post by Naomi Wood, Goldsmiths, University of London

Writing is something of a lawless place. Lawless, because there’s no clear indication that your effort will bring success; or that an answer will ever emerge from the mud; or that the most insane, most unpromising idea won’t reward you eventually.

Writing, especially in the drafting stage, can get very swampy indeed. In the first drafts I write to see what’s going to happen. I don’t know anything until I’ve begun to probe the life of the character. Is there someone at the door? A piece of unexpected news in the post? Weevils in the flour which means the cake is ruined?

I find first drafts scary and hard to do. I will do lots of other things instead of writing this draft. Scrubbing mould from the bathroom’s grouting. My laundry. My marking. Even my tax return, with its eminently calculable results …

What I do to get it done is lie to myself. I tell myself I’m writing short-stories, not a novel. If I take baby-steps I know I can get there, but if I knew it was a marathon, I’d never begin.

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Mistakes Writers Make When Submitting to Literary Magazines
In this guest post Eva Langston from Carve Magazine shares ten of the most common mistakes writers make when submitting their work.

1. Not reading literary magazines

This seems obvious, but if you want to get published in a journal, it’s helpful to read the types of pieces they publish. Most literary magazines suggest you read a few back issues first to get a sense of their aesthetic. In an ideal world, you should do this, but chances are you don’t have time to read multiple back issues of every single journal you’re going to submit to. Instead, make it your goal to simply read more literary magazines than you currently do. Subscribe to a few each year. Get your friends to subscribe to different publications and then trade. And of course, take advantage of free online journals, such as Carve. Read a story whenever you have a spare moment, even if it’s on your phone while waiting in line at the grocery store.

2. Not submitting your best work

Instead of finishing a story and submitting it immediately, let your piece rest for a few months then go back and revise. Workshop it, or let a trusted writer friend read it and give feedback. Print it out and triple-check for grammatical and spelling errors. Read your piece out loud at least once. Only submit when you think the piece is the best it can possibly be.

3. Not following guidelines

Double check all guidelines before submitting to a magazine. Is there a word count requirement? Should your name be removed from the piece? Should your document be in Word, PDF, or rich text format? If it’s an email submission, do they want the document attached, or pasted into the body of the email? Do they accept simultaneous submissions? Don’t risk getting your piece being tossed out because you didn’t follow the rules.

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Residencies for Writers in 2016

We will be adding to this list throughout the year, so please check back for updates. For more regular updates about residencies for writers, as well as other opportunities for writers, follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

 

American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship
Found in 1920, the American Library is Paris is a private, non-profit English-language library. It’s fellowship program is open to writers worldwide. Fellows receive a stipend of US$5000 to assist with travel and housing costs. Applications close 12 February.

Danish Centre for Writers and Translators
Since 1999 the Danish Centre for Writers and Translators has offered writers, translators and illustrators free working residencies at the old manor Hald Hovedgaard, situated 10 kilometres from the town of Viborg, in the middle of Denmark.The Centre is offering four-week residencies in June 2016 to international authors who have had at least two books of fiction or poetry published. Applications close on 21 February.

Norton Island Residency
Located in Maine, halfway between Mount Desert National Park and Campobello Island, Norton Island  is a remote, rustic wilderness with facilities to accommodate writers and artists. A committee of independent jurors will selected 16 writers (from fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction) for inclusion in the program which runs from 26 June to 5 July 2016. If accepted, a $125 residency fee is payable, though a small number of scholarships are available. Applications close on 1 March.

Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence Project
The Kerouac Project provides four residencies a year to writers living anywhere in the world. Each residency consists of approximately a three-month stay in Orlando, Florida, in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums. Utilities and a food stipend of US$800 are included. The Project also offers opportunities for residents to participate in readings, workshops and to interact with the central Florida writing community. Applications for the 2016-2017 residencies close on 13 March and results will be announced in May.

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An L to Z of Places to Write

What to do there and why it’s good for you

 

A guest post by Shaun Levin

Writing outdoors and away from our desks helps deepen our experience of the world, expand our range as writers, and takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes I feel that writing anywhere but at home is where I work best. For the past ten years or so I’ve been writing about painters while sitting in parks, art galleries, waiting rooms, cemeteries, on mountains or on trains. Not just in cafés.

Not everyone agrees on the virtues of public writing. A while back, Geoff Dyer took a dig at writing in public places. “In the early 1990s,” he said, “I went to live in Paris. The usual writerly reasons: back then, if you were caught writing in a pub in England, you could get your head kicked in, whereas in Paris, dans les cafés . . . Since then I’ve developed an aversion to writing in public. I now think it should be done only in private, like any other lavatorial activity.” On the whole, I like what Geoff Dyer has to say. When I was first starting out as a writer, Geoff Dyer said something nice to me, the kind of thing an established writer says to a new writer that fortifies the new writer’s faith in their own work.

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