Finding an agent has to be one of the worst chores in publishing. How can you make the job easier for yourself? GalleyCat has put together a video of some succinct advice from author David Henry Sterry:
In the New York Times Sunday Magazine yesterday, David Gessner addresses the issue of writers who teach in order to make a living and asks:
What exactly does all this teaching do to our writing? And what, if anything, does it mean for a country to have a tenured literature?
He notes that some writers need their teaching jobs, not for the money, but for the structure it gives to too much free time:
Yet no matter how much support you have, how many schedules you make or how many books you’ve written before, there remains the basic irrationality of the task: you are sitting by yourself trying to make something out of nothing, and you rarely know where you’re going next.
One particular toll on the writer/teacher’s resources:
While the effect of teaching on writing may be a matter of debate, its effect on reading is undeniable. That is because there are only so many hours in the day, and those hours are used up reading our students’ work, which is, by definition, apprentice writing. Energy is finite while college students seemingly are not, and after teaching for a while you begin to feel as if you are in a “Star Trek” episode, lost on a strange planet made up of a thousand pods of need, all of them beaming out at you, sucking your energy, and all of them, invariably, asking you to read something. Since the reading life feeds the writing life, since we are what we eat, this can wear you down, to say the least.
Very interesting article. Do any writers/writing teachers out there care to comment?
From today’s Washington Post Sunday Magazine:
Illiterature: Can a computer judge fiction?
By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, September 21, 2008; Page W40
The ad on Craigslist was from an Oakton company called Zirdland.com. Zirdland claims it has developed a software system that can electronically analyze the quality and commercial viability of a work of fiction and prompt changes that will make it better.
Warning: reading the article out loud to one’s spouse may result in disruption of reading due to uncontrollable laughter on the part of the reader.
Weingarten submitted a short story to the software, including such gems as:
The two lovers writhed as one, entwined and moist, like a spool of twine that had been dropped in the toilet.
The software gave the story a positive evaluation.
Maybe WriterHouse should consider a lucrative consulting contract with this software company…
What Is This?An almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. You can see more about the design process on Wired creative director Scott Dadich’s SPD blog, The Process. This is a one-time experiment, tied solely to the Charlie Kaufman profile scheduled to run in our November 08 issue.
Rumor has it that the famous “Charlottesville Words” may soon be coming to the WriterHouse blog domain. Also, poet and monologuist-about-town Browning Porter is rumored to be working on a blog including podcasts. Stay tuned for more information.
Get your own blog under the prestigious WriterHouse imprint by becoming a member.
Finally they made room for the WriterHouse story. Here’s the video:
On Monday a local reporter from NBC 29 came over and filmed an interview and a video tour of WriterHouse. It was supposed to be shown on the sunrise report at 5am and 6am the next day. Of course, Monday was the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy story, along with a school bus accident in Augusta County and a shooting in Staunton, and somehow our story wasn’t deemed as important. I TiVo’d the Wednesdsay morning news, thinking it would be pushed back a day. If only Michelle Obama hadn’t decided to show up in Charlottesville on Wednesday, we might have been on the news. Oh, yeah, and then Wednesday night there was a shooting on Ivy Road–the first murder of the year for Albemarle county, so nothing Thursday morning either. Such are the vagaries of local news. Anyway, they did post a brief story on their website, so in case you’re interested, here it is.
Classes start on Monday the 15th and there are still spaces. Download the registration form and drop it off over the weekend during open hours (Saturday & Sunday 2-5 pm) OR email writers (@) writerhouse.org to reserve a space and bring the registration and payment to the first class session.
See the programs page for more information and class descriptions.