Marcus Ong Kah Ho

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Rethinking Revision: The Real Work of Writing

Teaching students to eagerly revise their first drafts is "the Mt. Everest of writing instruction," says renowned author Ruth Culham. The originator …

Creative Writing

Can Leslie Jamison Top The Empathy Exams With Her Mega-Memoir of Addiction?

Four years ago, a 30-year-old writer named Leslie Jamison published an essay in <i>The Believer</i> titled “The Empathy Exams.” In it, she described her life …

Jean-Paul Sartre’s Concepts of Freedom & “Existential Choice” Explained in an Animated Video Narrated by Stephen Fry

The non-existence, or non-importance, of the self has for millennia been an uncontroversial proposition in Eastern thought. But Western thinkers have …

Elena Ferrante: ‘The experience of writing a diary transformed me into a fiction writer’

I thought that when one writes, it makes no sense to be contained, to censor oneself<p>I kept a diary for several years as a girl. I was a timid adolescent; all I said was yes, and mostly I was silent. In my diary, on the other hand, I let go: I recounted in detail what happened to me every day, very …

The Short Story Collections Everyone Should Read

Great literature in small portions<p>Last December, a short story by Kristen Roupenian called 'Cat Person' went viral. It was a reminder of the power the form can wield, and a great advert for literature in an era dominated by other mediums.<p>Short stories, of course, have the added advantage of being …

Story structure examples: Repetition and variation

A well-structured story is satisfying to read, as independent parts feel cohesive and related. Read a definition of story structure, followed by …

Why I’m Still Trying to Get a Book Deal After 10 Years

A writer explains her dedication to becoming a published author—and how her approach has changed over the last decade.<p>Ten years ago, while sitting at my computer in my sparsely furnished office, I sent my first email to a literary agent. The message included a query letter—a brief synopsis …

25 Must-Read Books About Writing

September is here, and back to school season is officially upon us. Even though you may not be heading back to the classroom this fall, as a writer, …

Why Self-Publishing Is A Terrible Idea (Here's What You Should Do Instead)

It has become all the rage for entrepreneurs to put out their business books on their own. Here's why it will make you less successful.<p>James Altucher thinks that working with a traditional publisher is an awful idea.<p>In his own wildly successful self-published books, Altucher talks about all the …

The Book He Wasn't Supposed to Write

A best-selling author submits a draft to his editor. Hijinks ensue.<p>I had written five books for Scott Moyers, following him as he moved from editing jobs at Scribner’s to Random House and then to Penguin Press. We worked well together, and in part thanks to his strong editing hand, my last three …

Why George Guidall Is the Undisputed King of Audiobooks

Early in his career as a narrator of audiobooks, George Guidall received a note from a truck driver in Montana. The man had been so absorbed in listening to Mr. Guidall’s eloquent recording of “Crime and Punishment” that he drove off the road. He was writing from his hospital bed to thank Mr. …

My fellow authors are too busy chasing prizes to write about what matters | Amit Chaudhuri

What we read is now defined by the market, as the views of Booker prize judges carry more weight than the need for originality and innovation<p>There are at least two reasons why almost every anglophone novelist feels compelled to get as near the Booker prize as they can. The first is because it looms …

Writer's Block and Depression: Why Writers Need to "Fill the Well" - Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris

<i>Writer’s block can be a sign of incipient depression.</i><p><b>by Anne R. Allen</b><p>Writer’s block is probably the most popular topic in the writing posts on …

Is Cultural Appropriation Ever Appropriate?

SOME YEARS AGO, I wrote a screenplay about a freed American slave who turned up in London in 1809 and quickly proved himself a boxer capable of …

John Steinbeck Has a Crisis in Confidence While Writing The Grapes of Wrath: “I am Not a Writer. I’ve Been Fooling Myself and Other People”

In a 1904 letter, Franz Kafka famously wrote, “a book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us,” a line immortalized in pop culture by David …

Editorial Services

<b>Freelance Editorial Services</b><p>…currently closed for anything more than fifty pages.<p>All editing services are for Adult, YA, and MG Fiction only.<p>When my …

We Mean Business: Twelve Agents Who Want to Read Your Work

To say there are a lot of literary agents out there is an understatement—almost like saying there are a lot of writers looking for an agent (but not …

Writing

79 Websites To Get Freelance Jobs Fast

If you’re a freelancer, or if you want to become one, chances are your services are in demand. Freelancers now make up 35% of the U.S. workforce and companies are always looking to outsource and work with them to meet their business goals. All you have to do is get out there and find these …

Employment

Buying houses in cash and selling millions: meet self-publishing's 'hidden' authors

They sell millions of books, but you rarely see them in bookshops – three successful novelists on working under the radar of the book charts<p>When Keith Houghton bought his four-bedroom detached house earlier this year, he did a rare thing for an author: he paid cash, with earnings from his …

10 Writing Career Mistakes I Made So You Don't Have To

<i>Writing career mistakes will happen, but these are some you can avoid.</i><p><b>by Anne R. Allen</b><p>Ruth and I like to say we made all the writing career mistakes …

Talking Books #BUYSINGLIT SPECIAL

How Being Married To A Novelist Has Made Me A Better Entrepreneur

One startup founder on learning from his wife’s career that “creative people are ruthless, incisive entrepreneurs” by necessity.<p>I’m the founder of a video marketing platform, but my wife grew up without a TV.<p>As a kid, Donna spent her days scanning <i>Reader’s Digest</i> with her grandmother, reading …

‘We find our writers through unsolicited submissions. We read every manuscript’: Jayanta Kumar Bose

Meet the publisher responsible for today’s stream of successful commercial fiction in English.<p><i>The man who gave Indian publishing some of its</i> …

5 Quotes on Editing That Will Always Be Relevant

<i>During January of our “Now What?” Months, we’re here to give you some inspiration and resources as you dive into those daunting edits on your novel.</i> …

The ST Guide to...Singapore writing

SINGAPORE - Ask a random person on the streets for the first Singaporean writer that comes to their mind, and they will probably name Catherine Lim …

Books

I was a self-help guru. Here’s why you shouldn’t listen to people like me.

I learned the hard way that the people trying to solve your problems often need help the most.<p><i>Deepak Chopra is a fraud.</i> This is what I was thinking as I lingered 20 rows back, waiting for Bree, my boss, to finish huddling with Deepak onstage about the presentation he would give that evening.<p>Bree …

What Writers Talk About When They Talk About Money

Few topics of conversation are more taboo than money. Okay, maybe politics, but still, money is a particularly fraught topic of discourse. And this is particularly the case when it comes to the money earned by those in creative fields. There's myriad reasons as to why that is, but perhaps none is …

Creative Work

A new book shows the true financial cost of leading a creative life

In August 2014, Roxane Gay released a series of essays called <i>Bad Feminist</i>. It debuted as a New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller and spent another seven weeks in total on the list. When Gay had negotiated her advance, Harper Perennial paid her only $15,000. That’s about a third of what a …