Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘literary trends’

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HuffPo, $315 mil, and when to write for free

At 9 a.m. on the Saturday of AWP, I rallied for “When Should We Write for Free?” – a panel that, just like it sounds, featured writers discussing their own guidelines to answer that question. The panel gave insight into a marketplace that has rapidly grown accustomed to free content. There was much discussion during the audience Q&A about providing free content – mostly in the form of blogging – and folks mentioned the Huffington Post several times, since their bloggers are not paid. Fast forward to last week, when the Huffington Post announced that AOL would acquire it for […]


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What's the most literate city in the U.S.?

According to the latest study by Central Connecticut State University, Washington, D.C., is the nation’s most literate city. USA Today reports: The study examines not whether people can read, but whether they actually do. […] The study, based on 2010, looks at measures for six items — newspapers, bookstores, magazines, education, libraries and the Internet — to determine what resources are available in each city and the extent to which its inhabitants take advantage of them. Seattle fell from #1 last year to #2, while Minneapolis—another perennial contender for the top spot—took the bronze. Interestingly, some smaller cities like Cleveland, […]


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Don't just Bitch, join the conversation

Recently Bitch Magazine published a list, “100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader,” and it includes a lot of great titles I was happy to be reminded of, including classics like A Wrinkle in Time, Harriet the Spy, and The Golden Compass, as well as novels by Ursula LeGuin, Judy Blume, Cynthia Voigt, and other very contemporary selections like The Hunger Games and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies. I was surprised by the number of books on the list I hadn’t read, including three titles (Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, and Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth […]


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A Million Little Writers (perhaps just a dozen)

Lots of digital ink has been spilled this week about James Frey’s Full Fathom Five endeavor. In simple terms, the company has enlisted bright young writers (most from MFA programs) to try to write the next big Young Adult series, a la Twilight or Harry Potter. Hillary Busis on MEDIAite has an article looking at two competing pieces (both published 11/12/10) – one in the Wall Street Journal, one in New York Magazine – and their very different takes. The blogosphere has picked up the story and run with it. Busis writes: The articles’ tones vary drastically. The WSJ’s Katherine […]


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Fiction Meets Baby Names

The Social Security Administration recently released its annual list of most popular baby names, and surprise! The influence of one particular novel—or rather, series of novels—was quite clear. Reports the New York Times: [F]lying up the list was an ancient name with modern fame: Cullen, the surname of one handsome bloodsucker, Edward, in the frighteningly popular vampire films “Twilight,” based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. Cullen materialized at 485, leaping almost 300 spots from 2008 for the biggest increase of any boy’s name; it wedged firmly between Braiden and Kason. Other names from the Twilight series also showed […]



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