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Pitching an Open Writing Assignment

22 hours agoArts / Writing :

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essent...

How To Use Audio as an Author For Book Sales and Marketing

People connect with people, and humans have used their voices to connect for millennia. It’s hard for authors who favor text, but you can stand out if you use audio for book sales and marketing. In the intro, I talk about the launch of Destroyer of Worlds and the importance of remembering it’s about long-term […]

The Joy Of Going Small. Hawkesbury Upton LitFest And Why Local Writing Events Matter

Last weekend, I attended Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival in the Cotswolds. I was there as J.F.Penn for a crime fiction panel and also to support my Dad, Arthur J.Penn, appearing as an artist-in-residence with his linocut prints. You can watch a little video below or here on YouTube. I actually enjoyed it more than London […]

Race Riot at East St. Louis July 2, 1917

Notes for national corpse month, continued: I keep returning to this moment during the one-year memorial of Michael Brown’s death, August 9, 2015, in Ferguson, Missouri, when Marcellus Buckley was reading a poem he had written the night before. I stayed up all night, he said. I was standing beneath an oak tree with Dot […]

How To Self-Publish In India With Rasana Atreya

India is an exciting market for indie authors and today, Rasana Atreya gives an overview of the publishing landscape and outlines tips for self-publishing in India. In the introduction, I talk about the death of Prince and the need to reflect on our mortality and what will make up our creative body of work. I […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 246: The One with the Idiot Teamster — Transcript

The original post for this episode can be found here. John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August. Craig Mazin: My name is Craig Mazin. John: And this is Episode 246 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Today, we welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria, whose new movie […]

The One with the Idiot Teamster

2 weeks agoArts / Writing :

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

Language Is Migrant

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Cecilia Vicuña, at the age of 24, and without even meaning to be, was way ahead of her time as a maker of conceptual art in Chile. It is also not an exaggeration to emphasize that as a performance artist, feminist artist, visual artist, and literary artist, she […]

How To Build An Author Business With Helen Sedwick

Most authors start off self-publishing as a purely creative endeavor, with little expectation around writing more books or earning a great deal. But if you get the bug of writing, you may find yourself with a lot of intellectual property assets that earn you a decent income every month. At that point, you might well […]

Printmaker Arthur J. Penn Explains His Creative Process

My Dad, Arthur J. Penn, is a visual artist currently focusing on printmaking. Today, I’m sharing a short video [1 min 15] that we made of him going through the printmaking process. It’s interesting to learn from other creatives about how they work and, of course, visual art is far more physical than writing. The […]

What “Let It Go” Really Means

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

There’s a meme I always see out there on Facebook (and that’s the whole world, right?) that makes me crazy. It’s the often lotus-adorned command to “let it go.” Something’s happened to you, something’s bothering you, and you’re told to just let it go. As if the fact that it’s bothering you is somehow your […]

Poetry Betrays Whiteness

Among the many pointed questions that Lucas de Lima raises in “Poetry Betrays Whiteness” is that of how positions of unitedstatesian privilege can be used “to fight structural inequality and global anti-blackness.” This far-reaching essay touches upon, among other things, conceptions of race in the U.S. Show More Summary

A Playlist for Poetry’s April 2016 Issue

For our April 2016 playlist, we asked Polly Faust, the Poetry Foundation’s media assistant, to read through the issue and curate a selection of music for us. You can read about her approach to creating the playlist below. Click here to open the playlist in your Spotify app.  When Assistant Editor Lindsay Garbutt asked me […]

Video Marketing And YouTube Tips For Authors With Michael La Ronn

Video can be a great way to stand out in a crowded book market. In today’s show, Michael La Ronn explains how to use YouTube effectively. I’ve been posting YouTube videos since 2009, but I learned a lot from this interview and am switching up my channel in the coming month. You can check out […]

Extroverting for Introverts

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

The writing life can be the strangest swing from hyper-solitary to hyper-social. I’ve touched on this before in a guest post on Writer Unboxed, but it seems like a shock to the system every time I come up for air from a draft. I spent November through the end of February knee deep in my […]

How To Write Faster And Never Get Writer’s Block With Michaelbrent Collings

To make a living with your writing, you need to write quality books on a regular schedule. You need to learn to write faster, be more confident about your craft and get over writer’s block. In today’s show, Bram Stoker award nominee, Michaelbrent Collings shares his tips. In the intro, I mention that I am […]

Electric Lit’s Guide to AWP’s Can’t-Miss Events

If you’re in Los Angeles for AWP, chances are you’re currently chilling in your shared hotel room, pondering how IRL it all is–or maybe you’re at brunch with your “fam”! Or maybe you’re wandering through the flourescents ISO the best tote. But if you’re like, what do I do where shall I go there are […]

Global Self-Publishing And How To Sell More Books On Kobo With Mark Lefebvre

As faster internet speeds and cheaper cellphone devices bring digital books to the rest of the world, I believe authors should be considering global markets for sales growth in the coming years. I’m super pleased to have sold books via Kobo in 74 countries (in English) and in today’s show, I get excited with Mark […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 242: No More Milk Money — Transcript

The original post for this episode can be found here. John August: Hello and welcome. May name is John August. Craig Mazin: My name is Craig Mazin. John: And this is Episode 242 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting, and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Today on the podcast, we’ll be talking about the […]

The Matter of Talent

  I’ve been thinking about talent a lot lately, and also about the whatever it is that drives us to follow certain paths. Why does one person dance, another preach, another write novels? Is talent a thing? Where does it come from? How do we know if we have it—or don’t? It is a snowy […]

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