Posts by: Lauren O'Neal

Go Ahead, Break Some Grammar Rules

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It’s actually the opposite. Most people break grammar rules so they can be more precise. For Full Stop, Catie Disabato writes about prescriptive vs. descriptive grammar, and why “bad” grammar can be a good thing. Her data points include Burger King ads, John Dryden’s seventeenth-century grammar campaigns, and use of the word “because” as a […]

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VONA Workshop for Writers of Color

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The Voices of Our Nation Arts foundation is now accepting submissions for its summer workshop! Founded in 1999 by, among others, Junot Díaz, VONA helps writers of color develop their work in all genres, from fiction to memoir to graphic novel and beyond. This year’s faculty include Díaz, Staceyann Chin, and Mat Johnson. Applications are […]

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Lemony Snicket Interviews Newbery Winner

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Parents, kids, and other fans of children’s literature will enjoy renowned YA author Lemony Snicket’s interview with Kate DiCamillo, who just won the Newbery Medal for her novel Flora & Ulysses. DiCamillo is also the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has lots to say working with an illustrator, her favorite stage of the writing […]

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TSA Employee Reveals Airport Security Secrets

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…one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines. “They’re shit,” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket. Rumpus […]

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How Toxic Is Online Feminism?

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There’s a heated conversation about online feminism happening—where else?—online right now. Ignited by a piece in the Nation about Internet toxicity as well as an ill-advised xoJane piece about white privilege in yoga class, the discussion is focusing on intersectionality in feminism, particularly as it regards race. Latoya Peterson has a lot of really smart stuff […]

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Pretend You’re at Our LitQuake Event with LitCast

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LitCast, the podcast arm of San Francisco’s annual LitQuake festival, has a new episode up featuring your favorite literary website: the Rumpus! Recorded live at our last LitQuake event, the episode features Lucy Corin, Saeed Jones, Mac McClelland, and more writerly goodness. Listen to it here! You’ll get to relive the night or experience it in […]

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How Has the Internet Changed Longform Journalism?

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Ideally, online longform nonfiction combines the strengths of the print world with those of the Internet, granting writers the rigorous editing and reporting resources they’d get at a magazine but freeing them from the constraints of word limits and limited audiences. So what’s with the backlash against longreads? Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith explains at Medium.

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How the Tech Industry Could Fix Gentrification

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We’ve previously written a bit about gentrification, particularly in San Francisco and usually from the perspective of the people being pushed out of their neighborhoods. TechCrunch writer Kim-Mai Cutler has a different perspective, one from inside the tech industry. And although she has no problem with the infamous Google buses, she does take issue with the way tech culture has “changed from one of […]

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Cats Haven’t Changed Much Since the 1400s

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Elegant words from a manuscript painstakingly illustrated by a fifteenth-century scribe: “Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam.” Translation: “Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night.” The blog Medieval Fragments has more on the cats that both bedeviled and entertained the monks of the Middle […]

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More Misogyny in Texas

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Last year, we covered Wendy Davis’s heroic attempt to prevent a draconian anti-abortion bill from passing in Texas with two phenomenal essays, one by Callie Collins and one by Amy Gentry. Now Davis is running for governor of Texas, and you’ll be shocked—shocked!—to learn that conservatives are treating her with as much misogyny as they […]

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RIP Pete Seeger

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Folk-music legend Pete Seeger passed away at 94 yesterday. In his memory, we’d like to highlight Nell Boeschenstein’s Rumpus essay about him, “Pete Seeger: The Voice That Belongs to the Body.” But lately it had become clear that Pete is no relic. This 90-year-old man who was straightening the piles of holiday cards in need […]

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I Can’t Believe This One Weird Trick to Make Book Titles More Clickable

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What if classic authors had been raised in the era of Upworthy headlines and titled their books accordingly? At the Millions, Janet Potter rewrites book titles as clickbait. Who wouldn’t, for example, want to read Jane Austen’s masterpiece He Didn’t Want to Dance with Her When They First Met. Now He Really, Really Does.?

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Crazy Amazing TV Show

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A seemingly unemployed wannabe poet, Stony secures the opportunity by winning the “Blast-Off Space Food” jingle contest and, despite confused protest from his mother,  is whisked away to undergo an intensive, three-month astronautic crash course. Would you believe us if we told you the above quote describes the premise of a ’60s TV show that […]

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“Black to the Future”

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Black to the future was/is a radical, dangerous, and daring dream—an impossibility. Science fiction and fantasy (sf&f) is a rehearsal of the impossible, an ideal realm for redefinition and reinvention. For Africans and their descendants in the diaspora, decolonizing our mind/body/spirits was/is an on-going sf&f project. In a stellar essay for the LA Review of Books, […]

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Ashley Farmer Release Party in SF

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If you live in the Bay Area, you owe it to yourself to make it out to this release party for Ashley Farmer’s book Beside Myself, out from our essays editor Roxane Gay‘s own Tiny Hardcore Press. THP—and its associated litmag, PANK—are celebrating the new title at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco, where they’ll be joined […]

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Trans* Litmag THEM in Print, Accepting Submissions

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Groundbreaking trans* literary magazine THEM, launched online last year, is now re-releasing its first issue in print. If you missed out on it the first time, this is the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with the multigenre journal and its commitment to building a publication where contributors can, as founding editor Jos Charles puts it, “write […]

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Successful Writers You’ve Never Heard Of

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Previously, we blogged about Jennifer Weiner’s battle to shine the spotlight of literary respect on genre fiction written by women. At Harper’s, Jesse Barron looks at Weiner’s campaigning from the angle of old media vs. new media rather than literary fiction vs. commercial fiction or male writers vs. female writers: Good romance writers can earn a living […]

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“That Pesky Racism Again”

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For Human Parts, the dazzling collection of essays curated by Stephanie Georgopulos on Medium, Djenab Conde writes about the complexities of eating at a Chinese restaurant with her Chinese mother and Guinean father. Conde writes about how frustrating it is to never be recognized as Chinese even when she speaks the language, but the really […]

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70 Years of Penguin Design

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We all have a few Penguin books on our shelves, with their characteristic splash of orange and that cute little black-and-white Antarctic avian. But how well do you really know Penguin’s cover design? On her graphic-design blog Design Context, Lizzy Gosney sifts through seventy years of the publisher’s history to find all sorts of surprisingly […]

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Prejudice Not Gone from Figure Skating

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We recently blogged about the Believer’s incredible essay about ’90s figure skating and the rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. At Racialicious, Kendra James talks about her experience figure skating as a black woman, and how her race has elicited much of the same commentary that Harding got for her working-class background: …I get […]

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Submit Stories and Songs to New Lit Podcast

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You’ve heard of audiobooks, but what about audio-litmags? Palaver Press is now accepting submissions of short fiction, songs, and sound works on the themes “piano” and “da capo” for new ninety-minute podcasts that “will feature several narrated short-stories, seamlessly woven together with music, exploring concepts derived from music and compositional theory.” Basically, it sounds like […]

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Writing When Your Day Job Is Also Writing

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The Believer‘s blog has a really splendid interview with writer, editor, and UN employee Summer Brennan. Brennan talks to Nicolle Elizabeth about what it’s like to write non-creatively for a living, and then come home to write some more but on your own terms. One of many excellent quotes: The more writing I have to do […]

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