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Around the Web: Eat Your Words, Canada Reads, Media Bias, and Bookstagram

Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a busy week and I, for one, am looking forward to relaxing this weekend. So, let’s get right into this week’s collection on links. Eat Your Words Where are the bookish cooks out there? Have you checked out Paris Review’s Eat Your Words series yet? In it New York based writer Valerie Stivers uses books to inspire culinary creations. Most recently, she took on French author Colette and made some French food. Canada Reads This year’s Canada Reads has come to a close and the winner of the battle of the books is By Chance Alone by Max Eisen. The last round of debates was emotionally packed as defenders discussed refugees, the rise of hate crimes, and the importanc

Ask the Publisher: Writing a Winning Query Letter

What gets a query letter into the hands of the decision maker? Better yet, what makes the acquisitions editor say, "Yes!"? There are a number of key elements that we look for at Common Deer Press, whether from an agent or an unsolicited submission (yes, Common Deer Press still looks at unsolicited submissions) and they tend to a) follow a concise logical order and b) be succinct (under 400 words). After the professional greeting (Hiya!’ is usually not the best start ☺), the letter should include the following information. 1. Title Information This includes the title of the work, the age group, the genre, and the word count. For example: My Book Title is middle grade science fiction and stand

Around the Web: Excel, Twitter, the Bookish Identity, and TWUC Resources

Hello all! The week has gone by in a blur, but I snuck in some time to peruse the corners of the internet for some interesting and helpful links to share with you. Excel for Authors First up, I’ve got a Twitter thread that I thought might be interesting to you plotters out there. Author Amy Spalding shared how she uses Microsoft Excel to write and revise novels. While spreadsheets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of writing, Spalding shows that they can be pretty useful. Maybe they’re worth giving a try. Twitter and the Writing Life Speaking of Twitter, A.H. Reaume’s latest column for Open Book discusses how the social media platform has improved her life. Writers

Ask the Publisher: Anatomy of a Publishing Contract

Happy Monday, everyone. I was recently asked, “What goes into a publishing agreement and how negotiable up front are they by the author?” So, let’s go through the standard sections of the agreement and I’ll note, at the end of each one, just how negotiable it really is in our experience at Common Deer Press. Hint: All of that negotiation happens with me. I apologize in advance⎯these agreements, like all legal agreements, can be…tedious. If you are only interested in a couple of sections like, say…royalties, then skip ahead (Sections 15, 16 & 17), my feelings won’t be hurt! Sections 1: Granting of Publishing Rights, 2: Copyright and 3: Author’s Warranties and Indemnity These are standard lega

Around the Web: Money and Writing, The Left Hand of Darkness, and First Paragraphs

Hello again everyone! I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and that you’re heading into an even more fantastic weekend. I’ve got some excellent articles to share this week. I hope you like them. Money and A Room of One’s Own In 1929, Virginia Woolf wrote that a woman must have “a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” But what if you can’t afford one? Sandra Newman asks this question and discusses her own experience with writing and poverty in a recent essay for Electric Literature. Top Earning Authors Speaking of money, Lit Hub recently gathered some financial data that shows who the top earning authors were in the last decade. The findings seem to suggest that series, children’s lit, a

Around the Web: Literary Tattoos, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Louisa May Alcott's Wr

Happy Friday and welcome back to Around the Web, our weekly collection of book news and literary links. This week I’ve got some book-inspired tattoos Lit Ink Electric Literature recently asked followers to share their literary tattoos. They’ve gathered some of the responses in a list and some of these tattoos are incredible! If you’re thinking about permanently honouring your fave books, this might convince you to go for it. Dolly Parton and the Imagination Library Most people know Dolly Parton for being a country music superstar, but for a number of kids she’s also “The Book Lady.” Back in 1995, Parton started the Imagination Library, a literacy program that provides children with books. Sh

Ask The Publisher: How Do You Choose Your Children's Books

Hello, everyone and happy March! I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a writer’s group. As usual there were lots of questions, but many centred around a single theme⎯how do we make our children’s literature acquisition decisions? In brief, these are our key criteria: 1. Writing Is the writing style simple and straightforward? Does it follow basic rules of grammar and punctuation? Does the writer use engaging language? The vocabulary in the book should be relatable but somewhat challenging at times to the intended age group of readers. Learning a few new words from a book makes reading it a more valuable learning experience. 2. Plot The plots are interesting, straightforward and focus o

Around the Web: Plagiarism, Problematic Faces, Freedom to Read, Libraries, and Literary Cameos

Hello all! I hope you’ve been having a fantastic week. I’ve got lots of internet goodies for you today, so sit back, relax, and get your scroll on. Plagiarism The romance community recently went through some major drama over plagiarism. An author was accused of copying passages from several other books nearly verbatim and when called out, she blamed it on a Fiverr ghostwriter. For more on this and other cases of plagiarism, check out this article from the Guardian. On Problematic Faves If you’re a fan of literary analysis and cultural critique, look no further than Amanda Leduc’s latest column for Open Book. She discusses the original version of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and finding out

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