Category Archives: Writing

How literary awards impact book-buying in Canada

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Congratulations to newly minted Giller Prize laureate Sean Michaels, and to all of the authors and publishers of this year’s excellent shortlist!

We asked Canadians whether books they recently purchased had won or been nominated for a literary award, and how much that affected their decision to buy.
See what we found out in the latest free report from BookNet Research: Canadians Reading Winners: Are Book Buyers Influenced by Literary Awards?

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Filed under Books, CONTESTS & COMPETITIONS, Publishing, Writing

Kate Mosse: my skill is storytelling, not literary fiction

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Kate Mosse pictured in the Covent Garden Hotel, London. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

Kate Mosse pictured in the Covent Garden Hotel, London. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

The bestselling author explains how, through creativity and connecting with readers, novelists can still thrive in a digital age.

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How Many Spaces After a Period?

The “two spaces after period” rule was instituted during the days of typewriters. Typewriters had only one font, so all the letters were monospaced, or took up the same amount of space. That means that the skinny “l” and wider “w” occupied the same amount of space on paper. To make reading easier, the two-space rule was born to give the eyes a break between sentences.

With the dawn of computers, word processing programs not only began offering an absurd number of fonts, but each font was programmed to space characters proportionally (“l” takes up about a third of the space “w” does). In turn, most computer fonts will automatically give you enough room between sentences with one space. So, as a rule of thumb, use just one space when typing up your manuscript on a computer.

There are a couple of exceptions—the fonts Courier and Monaco are still monospaced—but it’s better to stick with one space and switch fonts to Times New Roman or Arial rather than use two spaces.

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J.R.R. Tolkien’s 10 Tips For Writers

J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien

Aspiring writers learn a lot from the Greats. The forefather of modern fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien has influenced many authors with his Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other works. You can also learn a lot from Tolkien’s life, from studying his habits and techniques that enabled him to write brilliantly.

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QUOTES FOR WRITERS FROM ERNEST HEMINGWAY

578_original-243x300Today marks the 115th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth. In his lifetime, Papa had quite a lot to say about writing. Here are 18 of our favorite quotes, in no particular order.

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5 Research Steps Before You Write Your Book Proposal

Writing a nonfiction book proposal—a good one—requires not only sharp clarity about your idea, but also how that idea, in book form, is relevant and unique in today’s market. Some authors have a very deep knowledge of the community surrounding their topic, and understand the needs of their audience. Others do not. Either way, you’ll have a much easier time writing your proposal if you take time to conduct market research beforehand, as well as an analysis of your existing reach to your readership.

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What makes a book a classic

Do Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace qualify, and if not, why not?

What makes a book a classic? That’s one of the most acrimonious, endless and irresolvable discussions in the literary world. Like debates over which books are “great” (and why), it’s also a mostly pointless question, fodder for overcaffeinated undergraduate bull sessions, feral comments threads and other milieus suffering under the delusion that we can arrive at an ironclad consensus on what constitutes literary merit.

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