Around The Web: Invisible Words, Diversity in Publishing, Personal Canons and Pencil Art

Welcome back once again to Around the Web, our weekly list of bookish and literary content from across the wide reaches of the internet.

This week, I’ve got a study on “invisible” words, a look at diversity in publishing, an essay on personal canon, and some fun pencil art.

“Invisible” Words and Story Structure

There are a lot of words that the average reader doesn’t pay much attention to (at least when they’re used in familiar ways)—pronouns, articles, prepositions, and plenty of other short words. Yet these words play an important role, as further shown by a recent study from the University of Austin. Researchers found that tracking use of such words unveils a consistent “narrative curve.” Check out Science Daily for a full explanation.

Personal Canons

Author Sarah Gailey has launched Personal Canons, an essay series that explores “the works of genre fiction that have shaped us as readers, writers, and people.” There are a couple of essays in the series already that look at particular books, but this piece by Alex Acks that describes fighting to unlearn old canon and examining the weight and power we give to books.

Diversity in Publishing in the Age of Black Lives Matter

Publishing has been called out many times for its lack of diversity, and in the last couple of months, as we’ve seen ongoing protests against systemic racism and anti-racism books hit bestseller lists, publishers are reacting. Publishers Weekly has looked at some of the efforts being made to address and improve the barriers that minorities face getting into and staying in the industry.

Pencil Art

To end on a light note, take a look at these cool images from Canadian-Afghan artist Bashir Sultani, which were recently featured by Laughing Squid. Sultani makes use of pencils not as drawing tools but as image components, lining them up perfectly to create images.

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