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Amsterdam Writers' Residency - credit Maurizio Mori

Author John Green has described Amsterdam as the city he loves most in the world. It was an important setting for his bestseller The Fault in Our Stars and it was at the Amsterdam Writers’ Residency in 2011 that Green worked on many of the Dutch sections of his manuscript.

The Amsterdam Writers’ Residency was founded in 2006 and offers writers from around the world the opportunity to live and work in the literary heart of the city for up to three months.

About the Amsterdam Writers’ Residency
The Amsterdam Writers’ Residency was established by the Dutch Foundation for Literature (Nederlands Letterenfonds). Since it began over eight years ago it has provided a space for international writers to live and work in the city. Residents are provided with an apartment located above the Athenaeum Bookshop. The apartment has two bedrooms, a kitchen and living/working spaces. Residents are also provided with full access to University of Amsterdam Library. Writers usually stay for between two and three months, with the minimum stay being six weeks.

Residents are required to cover their own travel costs, though the program will actively work with writers to help locate other funding schemes to assist with such costs. A monthly service fee of 250 Euros is payable during the residency, though this may be covered by a monthly residence grant of up to 1500 Euros.

Writers in residence are expected to become involved in city’s literary and cultural life. This may include giving guest lectures and readings, or participating in media events. Many of the guest writers visit Amsterdam not only to write or to do research, but also to promote the translation of one of their books or to attend a literary festival. Continue Reading…

10 Library Fellowships for Writers
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.” – Sidney Sheldon

I.  Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence
United States of America

Library Fellowships - Boston Public Library - Credit Brian Johnston

Image: Brian Johnston

Boston Public Library was established in 1848 and is the oldest large municipal library in the United States. Today the service has 25 branches, including the beautiful Central Library in Copley Square. The Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence Program provides an emerging children’s writer with the financial support and space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults. The writer in residence receives a $20,000 stipend and a private office in the Central Library. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and script projects are all eligible. Applicants cannot have published more than three books to date.

II.  State Library of Victoria’s Creative Fellowships
Australia

Library Fellowships - State Library of Victoria - Credit Brian Yap

Image: Brian Yap

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What's in a Quotation Mark

A guest post by Craig Hildebrand-Burke, blogger for Momentum Books

Quotation marks are odd things. I guess this is true of most punctuation marks, but I find quotation marks especially odd.

Ostensibly there to mark the difference between prose and spoken dialogue, they dress the words up, label them as special, as different, and thus direct the reader how to read them. For me, as a reader, it’s the most overt direction a writer gives to the me, instructing me, telling methe characters are talking now! Pay attention!

So for me as a writer, it’s the most conscious I am of my writing as I’m writing. It is worth mentioning how much I enjoy Elmore Leonard’s golden rule for writing:

‘If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.’

And this is where I struggle with quotation marks. I have no problem reading them; it’s a convention of how we punctuate our stories that dialogue is practically expected to be held within quotation marks. We notice when they’re not there.

The first time I discovered that writers could do this was when I read James Joyce. I was probably too young to do so. Within the first pages I was thrust into dialogue like this:

– History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

From the playfield the boys raised a shout. A whirring whistle: goal. What if that nightmare gave you a back kick?

– The ways of the Creator are not our ways, Mr Deasy said. All history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.

Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:

– That is God.

Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!

– What? Mr Deasy asked.

– A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.

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Cells for Writers - Old Melbourne Gaol - credit Duncan Chen

If having a distraction-free place to write has been that one thing stopping you from completing your manuscript, then this unique writers’ residency program might just be the answer. Since May 2012 Writers Victoria, in partnership with the National Trust of Australia, has offered writers the opportunity to work in the historic Old Melbourne Gaol.

Melbourne Gaol opened in 1842 and has played an important part in Australia’s history. Until its closure in 1929 it held some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including bushranger Ned Kelly who was hanged there for murder in 1880. Today, night-time ghost tours of the gaol are a popular tourist attraction.

Writers Victoria’s Cells for Writers program offers two spaces in unrenovated former double cells, located on the top floor of the gaol building. Each cell is furnished with just a desk and a chair. Since the program started two years ago, thirty writers have participated each staying a month or more.

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I.

How to Mix Voices Like Annie Proulx

“In a rough way the short story writer is to the novelist as a cabinetmaker is to a house carpenter.” – Annie Proulx

 II.

“A good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything.” ― Walter Mosley

III.

“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story.”
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Writing for HelloGiggles

HelloGiggles is a lifestyle website that attracts millions of readers each month. It covers topics including beauty, friendship, sex & relationships, pop culture, pets, books, television, movies and more. The site was founded in May 2011 by writer Molly McAleer, producer Sophia Rossi and actress Zooey Deschanel. In this post Kerry Winfrey shares how she started writing for the popular site.

When people find out I write for HelloGiggles, their first question is, “Do you know Zooey Deschanel?” The answer to that one is easy: no. The second question, usually, is, “How did you start writing for them?” That answer is a little longer, but it’s still pretty basic.

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WH Auden

New York City’s  92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association, better know as the 92nd Street Y, is an iconic cultural and community center. Since opening in 1939, the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center has played host to many of the world’s literary greats including T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore and Dylan Thomas. 

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