Why is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy so compelling? How about The Matrix or Harry Potter? What makes these disparate worlds come alive are clear, consistent rules for how people, societies – and even the laws of physics – function in these fictional universes?

In this animated video from TED-Ed’s Writer’s Workshop, author Kate Messner shares the methods and questions she uses to build the worlds in which her books take place.

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Stephen Fry and Russia's Open Book Writing in the Age of Putin

Who is the new Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, or Gogol waiting to be discovered by the English-speaking world? Russia’s Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin, hosted by Stephen Fry, seeks to answer this question.

This documentary gives a fascinating insight into the work of six contemporary Russian authors. Hosted by celebrated writer and actor Stephen Fry, it features interviews with Dmitry Bykov, Mariam Petrosyan, Zakhar Prilepin, Vladimir Sorokin, Anna Starobinets and Ludmila Ulitskaya.

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Filmed at The New Yorker Festival in October, this video features Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Junot Diaz and Karen Russell, author of the acclaimed Swamplandia, discussing the difficulties writers experience when writing short stories.

Diaz and Russell are in-conversation with The New Yorker’s senior editor Willing Davidson.

The full 90 minute version of their conversation can be found on The New Yorker’s Youtube Channel.


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This video from Random House gives a behind the scenes look at the book design process. It features interviews with designers Christopher Brand, Chip Kidd, Peter Mendelsund, Marysarah Quinn and Robbin Schiff.

 

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I’d like a girl who reads
Who needs the written word
& who uses the added vocabulary
She gleans from novels and poetry
To hold lively conversation
In a range of social situations
I want a girl who reads

It’s fairly obvious why we love this video from poet Mark Grist and director Guy Larsen, and we are far from alone; it has been viewed over two million times since it was posted less than a week ago.

Contains adult language

 

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