Posts Tagged: the awl

How to Write (for Actual Legal Tender)

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Over at The Awl, Heather Havrilesky, a writer without an MFA, has some humorous and candid freelancing tips for her MFA students and us readers. Havrilesky knows we’ll appreciate this advice, since she’s “one of the only writers [her] students know who earns actual legal tender from her writing—instead of say, free copies of Ploughshares”:

It’s annoying, to have to take time out of my incredibly busy writing schedule in order to spell it all out for young people, just because they spend most of their daylight hours being urged by hoary old theorists in threadbare sweaters to write experimental fiction that will never sell.

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Taking a Break from the Internet

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We at the Rumpus love the Internet. We are, after all, a place to read, on the Internet (just check our Twitter bio).

But sometimes it’s good to contemplate how exactly you’re using the Internet and why, as Matthew Gallaway does in this piece for the Awl:

I had gradually become incapacitated by the endless sales pitch of my online persona, the implicit dissonance as I compared it to my offline self, the constant cycle of posturing and affirmation.

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Existence of Typewriter Confuses and Angers Internet

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Shortly after moving to New York, writer C. D. Hermelin decided to try a cool busking experiment: he’d sit out in parks with an old typewriter and compose on-the-fly stories for passersby, asking them to donate what they could.

It was a lot of fun—until someone posted a picture of him online and the Internet exploded into vitriolic rage at the existence of a “hipster.”

Read his bizarre and kind of terrifying story about becoming a meme at The Awl.

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What’s The Deal With Massive Open Online Courses?

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MOOC’s are a word for forgetting that universities have never grown without being planted, for trusting that just as students can teach themselves, universities will magically grow themselves, too.

In the 21st century, many universities have been changing their game and debilitating higher education by turning it into a corporate ordeal.

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The Less You Tell

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“For the shy and passive aggressive, blackmail might be the perfect means of control. Hone your blackmailing chops and you can utilize them in a range of scenarios: betrayal, revenge, moral castigation (theirs, not yours).”

The Awl is in the midst of a two-week series on “the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.” Jane Hu shares a history of blackmail.

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The Death (and Rebirth?) of the Book Review

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Why review books? At The Awl, Jane Hu takes a historical approach to answering that question.

Quoting writers from Alexander Pope to Jonathan Franzen, Hu argues that the apparently ever-progressing “death” of the book review is perhaps a more nuanced process than it first appears:

“Perhaps a large problem in the decline of good criticism is that readers no longer know how, or where, to find critics, and, more importantly, how to define what makes it Good.”

Hu’s essay is in some aspects a continuation of the narrative established in Elizabeth Gumport’s 2011 essay “Against Reviews” for N+1, an impassioned argument for a complete rethinking of the form and its uses.

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On The ASME Imbalance

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At The Awl, Lucy Madison breaks down the many numbers, ratios, and biases behind the absence of women nominees in the National Magazine Awards’ major “brass-ring” categories.

“As far as the ASME awards go, women are unlikely to see a huge jump in nominations unless editors either start changing the process through which they assign out pieces, or more outlets exist for general interest long-form journalism targeted at women.”

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Skulls, Stories

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The Awl interviews Jeanne Kelly, “a visual artist with a background in forensic art,” about her Kickstarter proposal that went unfunded. The project was inspired by Victorian human skulls from the Mutter Museum. After selecting eight people (one of whom died of self-inflicted castration), Kelly researched their lives and spun them into possible narratives.

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Looking Ahead

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The Awl has charted 2012 with far-reaching predictions that range from politics and media to cuisine. Check it out to discover which state will be sold to China, what bird will become America’s new superfood, and meet the “serial killer with a social media problem.”

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The Unblinking Eye

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At The Awl, Blake Butler reflects on attachment to the Internet world (and the machines with which we enter) as well as the meaning of obsession.

“It seems too late for any of this to be stopped. Even making aimed attempts to avoid these machinations and the silent spread seems bent against a thing that continues with or without you to be growing in no glow.

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Exploring in a Mapped World

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The first in a series on exploration and technology, this essay uncovers the discoveries made and archived by the 107-year-old Explorer’s Club, and ponders the ways that exploration has evolved.

“And if the age of the explorer as just “man hiking somewhere hard” is over, then the age of field exploration backed by explorers who are also engineers, programmers, roboticists, data analysts and videographers is amidst us.”

(Via The Awl)

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