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Posts by: Sam Riley

Genre Writing Shifts in the Industry

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The Millions has an interesting essay on why literary authors are transitioning into the world of genre-writing. Whether the cause be jumping on the most marketable bandwagon, or pressure from agents, publisher nudging or a style-change by the author, there is a plethora of explanatory theories, there is an undeniable presence of genre writing on bestseller lists.

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Canteen Magazine’s Hot Authors Project

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Writers are reclaiming their rightful hotness with Canteen Magazine’s new project, Hot Authors—because we are all immune to the deluge of celebrity sex symbols. Thus, this is hotness at its most literary. They’ve gone through sixteen authors, all paired with an art photographer and asked the question, “What’s the hottest thing you’ve ever read?”

And look who is one of those noted authors.

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To Teach Or Not to Teach?

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The ever-contentious subject of teaching creative writing is up for discussion. You can teach the elements, but there are always the “intangibles that cannot be taught.”  Roxane Gay is inciting a discussion on HTMLGiant, laying some foundation for all of the student/teacher ideas into one mega-blog dialogue delineating the building blocks of creative writing.

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A Success for Public Access to Information!

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Remember when Aaron Swartz challenged the US Government by illegally downloading over 4 million articles from JSTOR, in hopes of breaking down the barriers that prevent public access to information?

He was facing some major charges including a million dollar fine and major prison time, but JSTOR just announced the optimistic news that “all its out-of-copyright journal articles have been made freely available worldwide.” Though JSTOR doesn’t credit Swartz directly or fully for this change, they did mention in the FAQs that “recent events did have an impact on our planning.” Awesome!

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You Are What You Read

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You know when psychology and reading enthusiasts join forces and deliver good news about the merits of leading a literary life?

This is one of those moments! In a recent study, some researchers at the University of Buffalo found that reading fiction is positively correlated with empathy, using the official Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation Scale, which quantified how much undergrads internalized these narratives.

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The Commercialization of Literature

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Jack Kerouac’s literary imprint has made its way into some surprising mediums–a t-shirt sold at Urban Outfitters, a lyric of a Katy Perry single. Though the commercialization of literature isn’t exactly breaking news, it is interesting to track the ways in which art is being commodified or stripped from its original literary roots and regurgitated into product-form.

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The Importance of Bulgarian Fiction

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Bulgarian fiction is making waves. Miroslav Penkov moved to the US for college, whereupon he became further interested in illuminating the stories of his country, which was the impetus for writing East of the West.

Stories of the homeland are essential to historical preservation, especially in contemporary Bulgaria where one in eight people live abroad.

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