For years, I’ve been an avid reader of literary blogs (“litblogs”). I guess you could say I “collect” them. Starting with bookmarks, then moving on through a series of RSS feed readers, I’ve collected a list of hundreds, perhaps even a thousand different litblogs: popular blogs, obscure ones, blogs that update daily, or almost never and I read through them whenever I get the chance. I rarely comment on any of what I read, though. Maybe I should start, but how? For starters, let’s try a round-up.
Here are some recent posts that I found interesting.
8 Signs You Are Overdoing Simultaneous Submissions
Nathaniel Tower’s Blog, Write, Juggle, Run posts about those three little words that writers see so very often in the submission requirements, when sending work to be published: “NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS”. I am often tempted to think that life’s too short to wait the weeks or months it takes for editors to review my work, one at a time, but there are some pitfalls to avoid, when blasting your work out to everyone all at once. Life is still short, but I agree with Tower’s fifth point of caution: “Unless you are sending a piece out to 25 publications of equal caliber, you will inevitably have this happen: your story will be accepted by a second or third tier publication while a top tier (and paying) venue is still considering it. Now what do you do?”
On Rejection and Renewal: A Note to Aspiring Novelists
It can take years to get a novel published, even after the time it takes to write it. Along the way, rejection is very likely, if not inevitable. It can be daunting. Take heart, writers, and carry on.
Have You Been Wasting Precious Writing Time?
I’m tempted to file this one under “changing definitions of ‘literacy.’” It’s a post on Blogalicious: Notes on Poetry, Poets, and Books about what happens to reading and writing time after you buy a shiny new tablet. Have You Been Wasting Precious Writing Time? contains some good advice for readers and writers: “Don’t prejudge your stimuli. Just trust where your attention goes.”
In the News…
In the news, if literary culture can be said to be in the news: the establishment in Boston of a literary culture district and Amtrack’s writer’s residency. Both are exciting developments.
The Future of Poetry
Speaking of Boston, it was the scene of an interesting panel discussion this week entitled What’s Next in Poetry? a discussion about the future of poetry at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop. I would have attended that if I still lived in Boston, so I was happy to read an overview of it.
The MFA Debate
What maybe isn’t news, but always topical is the eternally burning conversation about the Master of Fine Arts Degrees in writing: “The MFA Debate.” It’s an important debate, I think, and it pops up in litblogs all the time. It’s nice to see a post that adds some balance to the MFA Debate, and if you’re new to the debate, this one might make a good introduction.
An Aesthetic Inquiry
Alexandra Naughton had an interesting question: “What Makes Poetry Boring?” The question isn’t intended to suggest poetry is inherently boring, but certainly anybody who has read a lot of poems has read a few boring ones. What makes them boring? Naughton posted the question to Facebook and then wrote an overview of the conversation for HTMLGIANT. I was glad to see that she discussed the effect that a boring reading can have on a work.
Ok so that about does it for my round-up today. If there’s enough interest in this sort of thing then I guess I’ll keep posting highlights from the litblogs. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think, in the comments.