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MediaMonday: Getting Personal–How Much is Too Much? July 8, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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JoyceCarolOates-TweetThe internet and social media has fulfilled Marshall McLuhan’s promise of a global village, but it’s also created a reverse Big Brother culture where people stand on virtual street corners broadcasting the minutiae of their lives.

Author blogs and chat sessions such as #LitChat connect authors with readers. #LitChat provides a platform for authors to talk about their books, about the process of writing, about the journey to becoming a published author. Yet readers often want to know the story behind the story. Sometimes they even believe the author’s own story is buried amid the fiction.

Some authors are open books—their online personas reveal where they live, the names of their children, where they are vacationing, what they ate for dinner last night, and how many cavities they did nor did not have at their last dental check-up. You know their political opinions, their religious beliefs, their favorite brand of whiskey.

Last week author Joyce Carol Oates, a literary stateswoman of critical and commercial renown, drew fire for her tweeted opinions about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. Was she unfairly singled out because her opinions called out religion—specifically Islam as anti-feminist and permissive of a rape culture?

Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff photo by Dominic Episcopo

Novelist Pam Jenoff writes in a July 5, 2013 Publisher’s Weekly essay how editors increasingly ask authors for personal stories.

“It seems that for the article to actually place well, it typically has to give insight into not just the writer’s work or views, but her life as well,” says Jenoff in the essay.

In addition to this reverse Big Brother mentality, we have the NSA spying on private citizens. Which leads to this week’s #LitChat MediaMonday topic, “How much personal information shared over social media is too much?”

Wall Street Journal, Speakeasy: July 5, 2013
Joyce Carol Oates Tweets on Egypt, Rape and Religion Draw Furor

Follow Joyce Carol Oates on Twitter: @JoyceCarolOates.

Publisher’s Weekly, Soapbox, July 5, 2013

That’s Personal! A Writer Ponders the High Cost of Publicity

Follow Pam Jenoff on Twitter: @PamJenoff.

Catch the conversation beginning at 4 p.m. E.T. in our dedicated #LitChat channel: www.nurph.com/litchat.

Literary Agent Week July 1, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in guest host, literary agents, MediaMonday, Uncategorized, weekly topics, WritingWednesday.
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It’s literary agent week in #litchat. This week we’ll discuss the down and dirty of getting an agent. Here’s a sample of what we’ll discuss throughout the week:

  • When to know when an agent isn’t right for you.
  • What you can expect from an agent.
  • How much do agent’s likes and dislikes affect their choices of manuscripts?
  • How much does the market sway their choices of manuscripts?
  • What grabs them in a query letter?
  • Do the first five pages of a manuscript really matter that much?

#Litchat runs through Twitter at 4 p.m. E.T. on the dates noted. Follow the chat through our dedicated chat application at www.nurph.com/litchat.

Here’s the how the week will unfold:

Monday, July 1, 2013: Discuss the recent #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) feed from last week.

GalleyCat’s #MSWL curation of the feed in Storify is here.

A Tumbler with #MSWL feed is here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013: The Query Go Round

Today we’ll discuss everything about writing the perfect query, to making sure your manuscript is agent-ready, to finding the right agents to query, to record-keeping, to success.

How to Write a Query Letter

The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter
Brian A. Klem, Writer’s Digest

Anatomy of a Query Letter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Writer’s Relief Staff, The Huffington Post

Successful Query Letters for Literary Agents
Jason Boog, GalleyCat

9 Frequently Asked Questions About Writing A Query Letter
10 More Questions Answered
Chuck Sambuchino, Writer Unboxed

Query Shark [ed: The best damn query letter blog on the web]
Janet Reid, Literary Agent

Friday, July 5, 2013: Agent on Record

Lucy Carson, literary agent with The Friedrich Agency, will take your questions between 4-5 p.m. E.T. Read more about Carson from this interview in Writer’s Digest.

Follow Lucy Carson on Twitter: @LucyACarson.

MediaMonday: Age and the Debut Author June 24, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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Chatscript for Age and the Debut Author can be read here.

Is there a sell-by date for not-yet-published authors? What is the polite age limit for an author’s debut? Is so, what is it? Forty? Forty-five? Why would some people think that publishing a first book is only for the young? At what age is an author “washed up”?  How does age inform story? What authors have debuted or contributed some of their best work in later years? We’ll discuss these questions and more in #litchat MediaMonday.

Resource for this #litchat MediaMonday by Edward Kelsey Moore, New York Times, June 23, 2013.

Join the chat live from our dedicated chatroom at www.nurph.com/litchat.

Follow Edward Kelsey Moore on Twitter: @edkmoore.

Later This Week in LitChat

WritingWednesday, June 26, 2013

Symbolism in Fiction. Resource links to come.

Guest Host for Friday, June 28, 2013

Elizabeth Kelly, author of The Last Summer of the Camperdowns and Apologize! Apologize!

MediaMonday: Reading Fiction Opens the Mind June 17, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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According to this Pacific-Standard piece by Tom Jacobs, new research suggests that reading fiction—literary fiction in particular—may lead to more sophisticated thinking and creativity. We’ll discuss this idea in today’s #litchat MediaMonday.

“…while reading, the reader can simulate the thinking styles even of people he or she might personally dislike. One can think along and even feel along with Humbert Humbert in Lolita, no matter how offensive one finds this character. This double release—of thinking through events without concerns for urgency and permanence, and thinking in ways that are different than one’s own—may produce effects of opening the mind.”–Tom Jacobs

Also this week in #litchat:

WritingWednesday for June 19, 2013

Necessary Conflict in Fiction

Guest Host for June 21, 2013

Josh Hanagarne, author of The World’s Strongest Librarian

MediaMonday: Female Authors and the Great American Novel June 10, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in literary fiction, MediaMonday.
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This piece in Salon, Rachel Kushner’s Ambitious New Novel Scares Male Critics, by Laura Miller in Salon, is just too good not to discuss in #litchat. Here’s an excerpt:

The deliberate pursuit of the Great American Novel has always been a peculiarly masculine endeavor. It is a book, in Mailer’s words, designed to “seize the temper of the time and turn it.” To attempt to write the Great American Novel is to surmise that you can speak on behalf of an entire, fractious nation.~Laura Miller, Salon

Join us today at 4 p.m. E.T. to discuss the Salon piece and the mystique of the Great American Novel.

Later This Week in #litchat

Writing Wednesday for June 12, 2013

Transitions: Moving Your Fiction from One Scene to Another

Guest Host on Friday, June 14, 2013

Brian Sweany, author of Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer.

Summer Reading Round-Up June 3, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in guest host, MediaMonday, WritingWednesday.
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June is here and summer is just a few paragraphs away. This week in #litchat we’re celebrating the books of summer with our annual Summer Reading Round-up. Check out what’s going on this week and then pop into our chats to share news about your summer releases or discuss the books you’re looking forward to reading.

MediaMonday for June 3, 2013: Summer Reading

Today we’re discussing this piece in the New York Times“What I Read That Summer,” by Louise Erdrich, a compilation of 12 authors recalling their favorite summer reading experiences. Read the piece, then join the conversation with your own summer reading memories.

GoldWritingWednesday for June 5, 2013: What’s New This Summer

We’ll have authors, editors, agents and others chatting about their summer books.

Guest Host for Friday, June 7, 2013: Chris Cleve

Novelist Chris Cleve, author of the critically acclaimed Little Bee joins us from the U.K. to discuss his newest novel, Gold.

MediaMonday: By the Book Interview with Hilary Mantel May 20, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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Hilary Mantel has won two Booker prizes for her Henry VIII-era historical novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. The New York Times featured her in its May 16, 2013 By the Book interview. We’ll discuss that interview and Mandel’s work in today’s MediaMonday. Here’s a excerpt:

[NY Times] What’s the best thing about writing a book?

[Hilary Mantel] The moment, at about the three-quarter point, where you see your way right through to the end: as if lights had flooded an unlit road. But the pleasure is double-edged, because from this point you’re going to work inhuman hours, not caring about your health or your human relationships; you’re just going to head down that road like a charging bull.

Later This Week in #LitChat

  • WritingWednesday: Exposition
  • Guest Host Friday: Suzanne Palmieri discusses her debut novel, The Witch of Little Italy.

MediaMonday: Books to Film May 13, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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As the twenty-first century rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s twentieth century classic, The Great Gatsby, opened to full houses on May 10, the interwebs exploded with commentary. This week in MediaMonday we’re discussing the adaptation of books to film, using Baz Luhrmann’s take on what many readers consider the Great American Novel. Resource links follow.

Baz Luhrmann, ‘Great Gatsby’ Director, Explains The 3D, The Hip Hop, The Sanitarium And More
By Michael Hogan, The Huffington Post

Shimmying Off the Literary Mantle
By A. O. Scott, The New York Times Movie Review

An Orgiastic Gatsby? Of Course
By Charles McGrath, The New York Times, Summer Movies

The Great Gatsby From Book to Movie: My Top 20 Faithful Things, Part One
By Anne Margaret Daniel, The Huffington Post

A grandiose, colorful, pleasure-drenched night at the movies
By Dana Stevens, Slate

Later this week in #litchat:

10 Things I Learned as a Writer From Fitzgerald’s Gatsby
By Andromeda Romano-Lax, The Huffington Post

Guest Host Friday: 
Priscille Sibley, author of The Promise of Stardust

MediaMonday: May 6, 2013 May 6, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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MediaMonday for May 6, 2013: Between Editor and Author. Source media from Slate interview between author Claire Messud and editor Robin Dresser, May 3, 2013. An excerpt follows:

Desser: Mostly I think as an editor you have to listen, to water the soil, and simply not get in the way. Sometimes you do say something completely idiotic, and there’s an explosion. Well, but maybe that might not be so terrible—if something great gets produced as a result. What do you think about that? How do you deal with the things I say that get stuck in your craw, maybe especially with this new book?

Chatscript from this MediaMonday is here.

Later this week in #litchat:

WritingWednesday for May 8, 2013

What is Theme? Resource links here.

Guest Host on Friday, May 10, 2013

Tara Staley discusses her new novel Conditions Are Favorable.

MediaMonday: Book Prizes April 15, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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MediaMonday for April 15, 2013

The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes will be announced today at 3 p.m., reminding us that last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was not awarded for the first time in 35 years. Today in MediaMonday we’ll discuss book prizes and their importance to readers, writers, educators, publishers and booksellers. Leading source media from April 14, 2013 New York Times, Booksellers Hope for a Pulitzer in Fiction, by Julie Bosman.

Additional links to major book prizes:

Pulitzer Prize (US)

Man Booker Prize 2012 (UK)

Man Booker International 2013 Prize

Nobel Prize for Literature

Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize, UK)

PEN/Faulkner Award

National Book Critics Circle 2013 Award

National Book Award (US)

Commonwealth Prize

WednesdayWriting for April 17, 2013: Narrative Tenses

Resource links to follow.

Guest Host for April 19, 2013: Dana Sachs

Dana Sachs is author of the novels, THE SECRET OF THE NIGHTINGALE PALACE and IF YOU LIVED HERE.