“Good luck writing children’s books: It’s all you’re good for.”*
What is this? Has Aerogramme been hacked, or decided to turn abusive for a day?
This is a sampling of the reply letters to declines or feedback I and some editor friends receive each reading period.
Are you shocked? Well, thank you. The solidarity helps. But don’t be too shocked: Something like this happens several times per reading period. And I think we’re seeing more of this type of reply each year. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about. The fact that the Internet has made everyone bolder; that we say things to people online or in emails that we’d never have the nerve (or the bad taste) to say to their faces—that’s not up for debate. Nor is the idea that writers are sensitive about their work, and rightly so. Most editors I know are writers too, so we only need to look in the mirror for a reminder that it hurts to get rejected.
No; what I really want to talk about here is money. Again.
Would you like a month in Berlin to expand your writing horizons? Or perhaps a working cattle ranch in rural Wyoming would provide you with the inspiration you need to start a new project? These residencies provide writers with a chance to escape daily life’s distractions and focus on their work.
Each residency has its own terms and conditions, so please read the relevant websites thoroughly before commencing any applications.
American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship
is open to writers worldwide. Fellows receive a stipend of US$5000 to assist with travel and housing costs. Founded in 1920, the American Library is Paris is a private, non-profit English-language library. Applications close on 15 February.
Vermont Studio Center
is the largest international artists’ and writers’ residency program in the United States. Each month the Center hosts over 50 writers and artists from across the country and around the world. There are three fellowship application deadlines in 2019; 15 February, 15 June and 1 October.
Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program
is dedicated to young and emerging writers from the Cities of Literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. It offers a two-month stay at Villa Decius, a historical complex and cultural centre in Krakow. Residents receive a stipend of 2500 PLN (US$650 plus travel costs. Applications close on 25 February. View Post
Tackling climate change will require huge changes in society. Decarbonising energy, restoring habitat and making food supply sustainable are all critical, but methods for motivating these actions have typically taken the wrong approach – by highlighting the urgency of the issues and the disastrous consequences of failing to act.
Research increasingly suggests that trying to promote behavioural change through fear can be counterproductive, leading to anxiety or depression that results in an issue being avoided, denied or met with a sense of helplessness. However, in education, news and fiction, stories with positive role models and which focus on the positive outcomes of solutions are much more likely to inspire action to solve it. View Post
If you want to write a good sentence, you must learn to love the full stop. Love it above all other punctuation marks, and see it as the goal towards which the words in your sentence adamantly move.
A sentence, once begun, demands its own completion. As pilots say: take-off is optional, landing is compulsory. A sentence throws a thought into the air and leaves the reader vaguely dissatisfied until that thought has come in to land.