Amtrak to Offer “Riders” Residencies

Writers across the blogosphere are all atwitter (pardon the pun) about this new development: Amtrak is seriously considering offering writers long round-trip rides for the sole purpose of writing. Jessica Gross, a writer for the Paris Review, was given the honor of taking this program for a test run in exchange for tweeting about it. […]

James Patterson Giving $1 Million to Indie Bookstores

After Monday’s depressing post, I figured I needed to post something more cheerful today: 2011’s most well-paid author, James Patterson, has pledged to donate $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores across the nation. According to his statement, he “feels that bookstores are vital to communities and that they leave a lasting love […]

Copy Editors Getting Thrown Under the Bus

Bad news: another media job appears to be getting cut in the name of “efficiency,” (i.e., maximizing profits while slashing costs). It’s the one position that many of us felt was safe: copy editor. While more and more publications (both online and print) have found the golden ticket to cost-cutting by simply refusing to pay […]

News Flash: Outlook Dismal for New Authors

Sorry to be Capt. Bringdown today, but I found a few articles that shed light on some ugly truths about the publishing industry. First, and not exactly breaking news: it is extremely hard for new writers to find agents and publishers. However, when celebrities like Rush Limbaugh can get their children’s books published, it’s a […]

Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome Spreading Among Famous Authors

Even people who get paid – a lot – for their words can say the wrong thing. Lately a couple of high-profile cases of this “foot-in-mouth syndrome” have appeared, both of which involved writers I greatly admire. First, the infamous “bitchery” tweet from Stephen King: in response to the recent Dylan Farrow/Woody Allen controversy (which, […]

Print is Dead; Long Live Print!

“Print is dead; if they want to stay alive, magazines must go digital.” So goes the conventional wisdom. Indeed, printing and mailing full-color, glossy magazines is an expensive proposition, and ad revenues (which fund the printing and mailing) have been dropping like stones for years now. So, harkened by the rise in tablet and e-reader […]

“Snark” vs. “Smarm”

This piece on Politico delighted me to no end. To summarize: BuzzFeed’s new book editor, Isaac Fitzgerald, said that he wouldn’t post any negative reviews on the site. This sparked a controversy among several prominent writers and intellectuals over the merits of only-positive writing vs. critical writing, with the former being labeled “smarm” and the […]

What’s Up With Friday the 13th?

I’ve always been curious about why Friday the 13th has gotten such a bad rap. According to The Telegraph, the U.S. loses some $800 – $900 mil. every Friday the 13th because so many people won’t fly or do business on that day. There is even a real mental disorder – paraskavidekatriaphobia – caused by […]

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, On Schedule

Tim Goessling on The Good Men Project recently posted about his experiences trying to live and work on the schedule Benjamin Franklin laid out in his 1791 autobiography. I’ve always admired Ben Franklin, the writer, publisher, inventor, philosopher, revolutionary, and, especially, the humorist. Therefore, I feel I could learn something from livingĀ  and working as […]