Archives For Fiction

“Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others: because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little more wisdom, goodness and sanity.”

As writers and book lovers, we know everyone should be reading literature. But there are people who view it as frivolous and who question the value of reading novels and poems when there are so many real problems and issues happening in world. In this video The School of Life, founded by philosopher Alain de Botton and curator Sophie Howarth, explains why we should all be reading literature – and even why we should prescribe it as a cure for life’s many ailments.

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Museum of Words Flash Fiction Contest

The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation’s fourth ‘Museum of Words’ international flash fiction contest is now accepting entries. The competition is for very short fiction pieces of up to a maximum of 100 words. The winner will receive a prize of $20,000, with three runners-up each receiving $2000.

This contest is open to writers from all countries and entries are accepted in four languages: English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew. The slogan for the 2014 contest is  ‘Mandela: Words and Concord’ but there are no subject or genre restrictions. All stories entered must be original and unpublished.

With such a generous prize on offer, the contest is extremely competitive. The last Museum of Words contest attracted 22,571 entries from writers in 119 countries.

The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation is based in Spain and is a private, not-for-profit foundation. The foundation’s aim is to encourage dialogue between different cultures, ideas, religions and sensibilities.  Continue Reading…

 I wish I had a formula, I wish I had a way of proceeding that would be kind of, you know, this is what Chapter One is always like, and this is what Chapter Two is always like.  But it isn’t.  I just have to plunge into it.  And it’s usually the one . . .  that the voice of sanity and reason is telling me not to write.  It’s usually that one that I end up writing.”

In this interview recorded for bigthink.com, 74-year-old Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood explains her creative process.

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18 Countries 18 Publication Opportunities
A list of 18 literary magazines from around the world that accept international submissions.

Argentina
Digital publication The Buenos Aires Review publishes work by emerging and established writers from the Americas in both Spanish and English. All prose submissions – fiction and non-fiction – must be under 5000 words and poets are asked to send 3 to 6 poems at a time (up to 2000 words). The Buenos Aires Review also publishes cultural criticism and interviews.

Papua New Guinea
Stella describes itself as a thinking woman’s magazine from Papua New Guinea for the Pacific. The magazine covers fashion, health, travel, arts and lifestyle topics. Stella welcomes submissions of articles and creative-journalism from emerging and established writers from across the Pacific region.

Canada
The Malahat Review invites writers at all stages of their careers to submit their work. The magazine publishes poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction by writers from Canada and abroad as well as reviews of Canadian books. The Malahat Review runs four literary contests per year.

South Africa
Published four times a year, New Contrast is South Africa’s oldest literary journal. It accepts submissions of fiction up to 6000 words and poetry up to 75 lines. The journal welcomes writers from around the world, though preference is given to pieces which have some bearing on issues, events or reactions relevant to South African and in some case African contexts. Continue Reading…

Rainbow Rowell Reflections on Writing Fangirl

Nebraskan author Rainbow Rowell was recently described by Flavorwire as ‘the next YA sensation adults need to know about’ . Her second novel, Eleanor and Park, was the Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year, with Dreamworks buying the film rights earlier this year.
Rowell’s third novel Fangirl was written in 2011 as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the project that challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in a single month. In 2013 she wrote the following inspirational letter other authors undertaking the month-long writing challenge.  

Dear Writer,

I was very skeptical about NaNoWriMo at first.

It seemed like something that amateur writers would do. Or young writers. People who needed to be tricked into finishing their books. I’d already written two books by October 2011, and sold them to publishers, and I couldn’t imagine writing either of them—or anything good—in a month.

That’s not writing, I thought, that’s just piling up words.

But then I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a pile of 50,000 words…

Maybe some writers enjoy the first draft—the part of the writing process when anything is possible, and you’re out there forging your own path. I hate that part. All I can think about when I’m starting a book are all the words I haven’t written yet. I actually feel them, hanging around my neck, tugging at me. First drafts always make me feel anxious and a little desperate—like, “Oh God, I just need to get all of this out and on paper, so that I have something to work with.”

I like having something to work with.

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How Writers Write Fiction

In February of this year, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program ran its first massive open online course (MOOC). The course, Every Atom: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, ran for six weeks with around 2000 students from around the world signing up. Starting on 27 September, interested word lovers can participate in the program’s latest MOOC – How Writers Write Fiction: Talks on Craft and Commitment.

The course will run until 8 November and intends to be an interactive study of the practice of creating writing. The program will be coordinated by Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program, and will feature a curated collection of talks created by fifty authors of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation. This will be complemented by online discussions, writing assignments and practical workshops.

In the Daily Iowan Merrill explained that “Anybody who has access to the Internet has the chance to hear really superb writers, and artists, and thinkers talk about what they love, and I think that’s a great boon for the writing and educational enterprise.”

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Sherman Alexie Writing Tips

Sherman Alexie is the author of 24 books including Reservation Blues which received an American Book Award in 1996. His first young adult fiction novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, has sold over one million copies.  

In the September 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine Alexie shared the following advice for writers.

1. Don’t Google search yourself. Continue Reading…