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Creative Control in the Age of Kickstarter

How much creative control do we cede when other people’s money is involved? Before I get to Kickstarter, let me throw in a historical anecdote. Galilee Galileo was not only the Father of Modern Science, he also earned a decent income from book sales. He was driven enough by profit maximization to eschew writing his […]

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How One Author Combined Personal Essays Into a Coherent Memoir

It is the height of hubris to edit an award-winning creative nonfiction author who also happens to be your mentor. But I decided the brilliant proposed title of Sue William Silverman’s guest post–”E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many (essays) One (book)”–wouldn’t translate well in a tweet. So I’ve imposed a more utilitarian title on this […]

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Envy, Narcissism, Depression and Creativity

Two weeks ago Facebook celebrated 10 years of making us depressed and envious by creating for each user a personalized video not unlike what you see in an Oscars “in memoriam” telecast. It was a wise move by Facebook’s corporate brass to create a video starring ourselves, because academic studies show Facebook encourages narcissism; feeding the […]

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The Linguistic Legacies of Technological Change

It is an annual obsession of ours: What new technological words have been added to the dictionary? When did “email” make it in? How about “tweet”? Of course, making the dictionary may insure a word immortality, but it doesn’t guarantee continued cultural dominance. I use the word “fax” nowadays about as much as I say “defenestration.” (Saying […]

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A Passionate Defense of Journalists

Have you ever, in your line of work, had someone threaten to throw you off a balcony? That happened to a New York City television reporter the other night, and the one doing the threatening was a U.S. congressman. The episode itself–and the congressman’s first attempt at an “apology”–demonstrates a phenomenal misunderstanding of the critical role […]

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Why I Left my Literary Agent

It was the hardest professional decision I ever made. Harder than leaving a stable think-tank job to join a start-up as its CEO. Harder than walking away from that successful start-up four years later to answer the call of an art-committed life. After three years of labor, with the finished memoir in hand, I chose […]

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What is Your Ten-Year Plan?

My read on today’s society is that it is no longer “cool” to set New Year’s resolutions. Not helping the resolutions’ case is that we rarely keep them; there’s a reason gyms require you to buy a year-long membership rather than pay month-to-month. For me, I’ve never felt moved by the random change of an […]

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How I Failed to Avoid the Post-MFA Slump

I have a confession to make. It has been six weeks since my last serious effort at creative writing. One thing I’ve learned from interviewing artists is that even the best of them sometimes find themselves in a slump. And we can be very supportive of each other in these times, as I discovered when […]

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Rebecca Skloot on Producing Creative Nonfiction

Readers are embracing creative nonfiction like never before, even if they may not know that what they are reading is defined as such. That is forgivable, as writers, editors and instructors in the creative nonfiction space are still struggling with defining creative nonfiction, or CNF. Perhaps more accurately, they are struggling to define its boundaries […]

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What the Heck is “Indie” Publishing?

I’ve been involved in varies capacities in the publishing industry for twenty-five years now, as a writer and editor and policy advocate. I never could have imagined the transformations that have occurred in both technology and business models. And yet I repeatedly find myself confused by the use of the term “indie” in the context […]

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