Myfanwy McDonald

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Got a Pen Name? You're in Great Company – Now Here's How to Market Your Books by Frances Caballo

I’ll never forget the divorce court scene in the Tina Turner movie, <i>What’s Love Got to Do with It</i>, when Tina battles for her name.<p>She didn’t care …

Social Media

Six Ways To Think Like a Publicist and Sell More Books! | Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

<i>Being a publicist is more than knowing how to craft a snazzy email, it’s a dedicated, ongoing effort. If you do it right, you can accumulate great</i> …

Public Relations

5 Negative Voices and How to Shush Them

<b>1. “Did you just write that? That’s pretty terrible. Kind of the worst, actually. Wait, do you even have an MFA?”</b><p>Variations of this sentence will …

Writing Your First Book: 5 Tasks to Focus on Besides Writing

Writing a book has always been at the top of my bucket list. On more than one occasion I’ve been known to say the words aloud: “I’m going to write a …

Beyond Happily Ever After: What Story Offers

<i>Before we jump into Kathryn’s wisdom, I wanted to let you know – the winner of Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s</i> <i>class is….Olderwriter! We’ll be in touch,</i> …

Don’t Let Reviewers Hold You Hostage

Unpublished authors imagine that once they are published, life will be glorious. That’s because they haven’t thought much about bad reviews. Every …

Michelangelo on Struggle and Creative Integrity

“I do not know which is better, the ill that helps or the good that harms.”<p>Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, poet, architect, and engineer <b>Michelangelo</b> (March 6, 1475–February 18, 1564) is celebrated as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time. In 1505, thirty-year-old …

Bukowski on Writing, True Art, and the Courage to Create Outside Society’s Forms of Approval

“Art is its own excuse, and it’s either Art or it’s something else. It’s either a poem or a piece of cheese.”<p><i>“There are contradictory impulses in everything,”</i> Susan Sontag observed in lamenting how our inability to sit with duality makes us fall into perilous polarities. Few creators exorcised …

Literature

Anam Cara and the Essence of True Friendship: Poet and Philosopher John O’Donohue on the Beautiful Ancient Celtic Notion of Soul-Friend

“A friend … awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”<p>Aristotle laid out the philosophical foundation of friendship as the art of holding up a mirror to each other’s souls. Two millennia later, Emerson contemplated its two pillars of truth and tenderness. Another century …

Ireland

The Backstory to ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt on the personal experiences behind their September cover story for The Atlantic<p><b>Greg Lukianoff’s Story</b><p>In the winter of 2007–08, I slipped into a deep depression. I had struggled with bouts of depression my entire life, many of them quite severe, but this was in a …

Students

Paris Review - Pablo Neruda, The Art of Poetry No. 14

Interviewed by Rita Guibert<p>Issue 51, Spring 1971<p>Pablo Neruda, ca. 1956<p>“I have never thought of my life as divided between poetry and politics,” Pablo Neruda said in his September 30, 1969, acceptance speech as the Chilean Communist Party candidate for the presidency. “I am a Chilean who for decades …

3 Copywriting Tricks To Elevate Your Content (And Make You Stand Out)

Are you missing the mark when it comes to producing content that sells?<p>Sure, you may have hundreds or thousands of daily visitors to your site, but …

Art as a Form of Active Prayer and What Writers Really Labor For

“Immerse yourself in the common ground of the universe so that your true voice — not the egoistic voice that clamors vainly for power (for it will ruin you if you listen to it) — your authentic voice … may be heard.”<p>Why do we humans create — why do artists make art, why do writers write? Pablo …

Reasons to be cheerful: How to net that elusive book deal

There are myriad outlets, but how does a novice author get signed after the final draft?<p>Tue, Aug 11, 2015, 06:00 Updated: Tue, Aug 11, 2015, …

The Shrinking Violet’s 6-point Guide to Promoting Your Novel

<i>When Anne Goodwin rode up to Carrot Ranch with her first flash fiction challenge, I knew she was competent in the saddle — Anne knows her craft. With</i> …

5 Things To Do If An Agent Has Your Manuscript For Months

<b>Writers always ask: What does it mean if an agent has my manuscript for awhile?</b><p><b>Answer: Nothing.</b><p>It means nothing if we’ve had it for a long time.<p>It …

On “Beauty”: Marilynne Robinson on Writing, What Storytelling Can Learn from Science, and the Splendors of Uncertainty

Since 1984, Portland-based nonprofit Literary Arts has been inviting some of the world’s most celebrated authors to share their ideas on the craft — ideas like Ursula K. Le Guin’s spectacular meditation on where creativity comes from and the “secret” to great writing. To mark the 30th anniversary …

Top Summer Creative Writing Programs for High Schoolers

Summer is a terrific time to focus on your creative writing. A summer program gives you the opportunity to develop your writing skills, meet …

Toni Morrison on How to Be Your Own Story and Reap the Rewards of Adulthood in a Culture That Fetishizes Youth

“True adulthood… is a difficult beauty, an intensely hard won glory, which commercial forces and cultural vapidity should not be permitted to deprive you of.”<p>In May of 2004, a decade after receiving the Nobel Prize for her “visionary force and poetic import” and shortly after collaborating with her …

Flannery O’Connor on Art, Integrity, and the Writer’s Responsibility to His or Her Talent

“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”<p>Four years before E.B. White counseled in his advice on how to write for children that “you have to write up, not down” — a reflection …

17 Facts About Time That Will Hurt Your Brain

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."<p><b>1.</b> Time passes faster for your face than for your feet (assuming you're standing up). Einstein's theory of relativity dictates that the closer you are to the centre of the Earth, the slower time goes – and this has been measured. At the top of Mount …

Why Writers Write: George Orwell on the Four Universal Motives for Creative Work

Literary legend Eric Arthur Blair, better known as <b>George Orwell</b> (June 25, 1903–January 21, 1950), remains best remembered for authoring the cult-classics <i>Animal Farm</i> and <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, but he was also a formidable, masterful essayist. Among his finest short-form feats is the 1946 essay <b>Why I</b> …

Saul Bellow’s Spectacular Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech on How Art and Literature Ennoble the Human Spirit

“Only art penetrates … the seeming realities of this world. There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. This other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we can’t receive.”<p>In a 1966 interview, <b>Saul Bellow</b> (June 10, 1915–April 5, 2005) articulated the seed of …

Hear Toni Morrison’s Poetic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech on the Radical Power of Language (1993)

Since her first novel, 1970’s <i>The Bluest Eye</i>, Toni Morrison has dazzled readers with her commanding language—colloquial, magical, magisterial, even …

25 Twitter Accounts Every Freelancer Should Follow

Social media is a huge distraction for anyone who works on a computer. That’s especially true for freelancers, who often use sites like Twitter to …

Albert Einstein Tells His Son The Key to Learning & Happiness is Losing Yourself in Creativity (or “Finding Flow”)

As one particularly astute observer of human emotions might put it, it is a truth universally acknowledged that we can’t all be Albert Einstein. In …

Nine Podcasts for a Fuller Life

A short playlist of intellectual, creative, and spiritual invigoration.<p>We are storytelling animals and the actual telling of stories — that ancient aural mesmerism of the human voice — continues to bewitch us somehow more thoroughly than any other medium of tale-transmission. This, perhaps, is why …

Arts of the Possible: Adrienne Rich on Writing, Capitalism, Freedom, and How Silence Fertilizes the Human Imagination

“The impulse to create begins — often terribly and fearfully — in a tunnel of silence. Every real poem is the breaking of an existing silence.”<p><i>“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses,”</i> John F. Kennedy proclaimed in his piercing eulogy to Robert Frost, contemplating the artist’s role in society and …

Anne Sexton’s Sensual Love Poem “Song for a Lady,” in an Animation Inspired by Oliver Sacks

“So many doors open when you are present with an angle.”<p><i>“It is through [the] invisible holes in reality that poetry makes its way,”</i> Adrienne Rich wrote in her sublime meditation on the art of the possible. Nothing gashes through reality more invisibly yet powerfully than love and nothing fills that …

Literature

Not a Real Writer: How Self-Doubt Holds Me Back

When I was in high school back in the late 90’s, I had so much confidence and ambition that I got myself a copy of <i>Writer’s Market</i>, studied it from …

Writing