Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life


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Literary Fiction vs. Everything Else

I love literary fiction. Some of my favorite novels are The Grapes of Wrath, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird, all of which would be classified as literary fiction. These are the kind of books that people study and analyze. They’re taught in schools.

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Practical Advice for Writing Dialect

Please welcome guest author Alyssa Hollingsworth with tips on writing dialect. I’ll be honest: I’ve always been terrified of dialect because it’s easy to get wrong. But when done well, it can make a story shine.

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If I choose to write a literary novel should I follow the same steps ? What about theme as opposed to Story goal? I am confused.

Question: I chose to write a literary novel as opposed to genre. How about theme as opposed to story goal? Should I use both theme and story goal? You

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com

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Commercial vs. Literary Fiction

What is commercial fiction? The term gets thrown around a lot. Do you write “literary” fiction, or “commercial” fiction? As a writer, I hate this question. La…

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How to submit your writing to literary magazines

Would you like to start publishing your short stories or poems but don’t quite know how to even begin? This article from the editor’s at Neon on how to submit your writing literary magazines is a great step-by-step guide.

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Writers: graduating by the bushel, but can they find readers?

As the audience for literary fiction continues to shrink, university-level writing programs are going gangbusters. John Barber plots the odd logic of a pedagogical success story

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Jane Austen’s Emma at 200

Jane Austen’s Emma at 200

By Camilla Nelson

“So how did this, Austen’s fifth novel, make the epic 200-year journey from the dusty bin-ends of John Murray’s publishing house to endow its author with the mantle of extraordinary and apparently inexhaustible celebrity?”


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Is Self-Publishing a Viable Option for Literary Fiction Writers?

Should literary writers consider self-publishing? How it might affect their long-term careers? Two agents weigh in.

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Genre Snobbery Is a ‘Bizarre Act of Self-Mutilation’

In the latest episode of ‘Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ author David Mitchell discusses how ridiculous it is for people to write off fantasy and sci-fi.

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When Women’s Literary Tastes Are Deemed Less Worthy

 

Mass-market success often leads critics to dismiss even high-minded novels as overly sentimental.

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When Popular Fiction Isn’t Popular: Genre, Literary, and the Myths of Popularity

 

Genre Vs. Literary Has Nothing to Do with Popularity Is the novel dead? Are MFA programs worth it? Can characters be unlikable? Genre or literary fiction? Is the novel dead because MFA programs are…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: electricliterature.com

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Literature vs genre is a battle where both sides lose

“ Literary fiction is an artificial luxury brand but it doesn’t sell. So nobody benefits by fencing it off from more popular writing”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theguardian.com

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If you enjoyed a good book and you’re a woman, the critics think you’re wrong

If you enjoyed a good book and you’re a woman, the critics think you’re wrong

“Unlike critics who write about film or food or music, book critics are rarely required to engage with popular material. Critics ignore the books that people are actually reading; readers ignore the critics and the books they tout; everyone goes home happy.

But, every once in a while, a literary novel becomes tremendously popular, transcending the typical sales for literary fiction and making its way onto bestseller lists. About 15 years ago, books might have gotten a boost from Oprah’s endorsement; these days, it’s word of mouth that propels lucky titles – a magical synchronicity that publicists try to plot and editors pray for that gets not only devoted readers but casual ones to give a long, literary novel a try…”


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Separating literary and genre fiction is act of ‘self-mutilation’

Separating literary and genre fiction is act of ‘self-mutilation’

By David Barnett

“Author David Mitchell has let loose the latest salvo in the perennial “literary vs genre” war by saying that those who dismiss fantasy and science fiction are committing a “bizarre act of self-mutilation”.

Mitchell is one of the handful of authors with a foot in both camps. He’s beloved of the literary establishment, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize twice, and longlisted on a further three occasions. On the other hand, on Sunday he lifted the best novel trophy in the World Fantasy awards for his 2014 novel Bone Clocks, and his latest book, The Slade House, is an unabashed haunted house story.

Interviewed by Wired for a podcast put online just ahead of the World Fantasy convention where the awards were announced, Mitchell spoke about his fantasy and SF reading roots…”

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The Ultimate Guide To Getting Published In A Literary Magazine

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Published In A Literary Magazine

By Dan Metho

“Here’s everything you need to know before submitting your work to the literary publication of your dreams:

PART I: How Lit Mags Work 

The Ecology of the Slush Pile (or What Are You Competing Against?)

Let’s start with how lit mags submissions actually work, because the process can be somewhat — and probably intentionally — opaque.

When you submit to a literary magazine, your work gets thrown (either literally if submitted through the mail or figuratively if submitted electronically) into the “slush pile.” This isn’t the most inspiring name, and conjures an image of gigantic piles of dirty, half-melted snow flung carelessly out of the road by shovels and ploughs. This actually may be an accurate metaphor. The slush pile is a mess. Great stories absolutely come out of the slush pile, but they are hidden among the typo-ridden rants, third-rate Raymond Carver imitations, and haikus handwritten on hotel napkins. A good portion of the slush is filled with work that doesn’t fit even the basic parameters of the journal: fantasy novellas sent to Postmodern Poetry Review and LOTR fan fiction sent to Quiet Realism Monthly.

Most editors would probably consider at least 60% of the slush pile to be unpublishable, period. (Many have told me 80–90%, but I’ll be generous here.) Twenty percent shows promise but needs some work, and 10% is publishable but not in the journal being submitted to. That leaves 10% of work that might deserve real consideration.

Writers, this is actually good news!

Most good magazines accept around 1% of the work they get. But if you know you are writing work that is coherent, proofread, and in the vein of what the magazine publishes, then you’ve vaulted into the top 10% off the bat…and 1/10 is a lot better odds than 1/100…”

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‘Highbrow’ and ‘middlebrow’ are irrelevant when it comes to which writing survives

Highbrow’ and ‘middlebrow’ are irrelevant when it comes to which writing survives

By John Dale

“Clearing out my office in preparation for a faculty move, I am faced with the dilemma of what books to retain and what to discard. With non-fiction it is easy: keep any reference books that might prove useful in later life, such as the Oxford Guide to Philosophy or Primates of the World. But with fiction, particularly Australian fiction, it is harder to decide.

What lasts, I ask myself, what writing survives?…”

­

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