Tag Archives: journalism

Tin House to Close; Sunspot to Open

books-2158737_1920June of 2019 will see the last Tin House literary magazine roll off the presses. After twenty years publishing original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Tin House is saying goodbye.

The move was done in the face of mounting costs associated with print publishing. Rob Spillman, the co-founder and editor, is moving on to other areas. The closing brings an end to a very long stretch of quality contributions to the literary arena.

While some new works will still be published on Tin House’s website, the loss of yet another print publication is difficult for writers. Much of the industry still gives more weight to credits in print publications, so the loss of even one magazine can be bad news.

There is a bright spot, however. Sunspot Literary Magazine is launching in January of 2019. For the first year, one print edition will be published. The magazine hopes to add additional print editions in subsequent years.

Meanwhile, digital editions are scheduled for every quarter. The founder is also considering adding frequent special editions that focus on a single author or a single category.

The magazine’s mission is to “change the world through words,” and is open to new and established authors and artists. Submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, essays, art, interviews, and reviews of books, movies and galleries are being accepted through Sunspot’s Submittable portal.

This is an excellent opportunity to be heard and to enact the change you want to see.

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The Washington Post Sale to Amazon’s Bezos

The past weeks have seen so much chatter about Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s top dog, buying the Washington Post newspaper. On the shrill side, folks are claiming he’ll use the paper to cement Amazon’s position in the halls of the White House. The warm-and-fuzzy side points out that since Bezos (not Amazon) bought the paper, perhaps he’s interested in shoring up a venerable institution that serves the public good.

Of course it’s far too early to tell. But this purchase is part of a trend. Over the past months, many independently wealthy individuals have purchased some of the country’s top newspapers. Many of these purchases turn the newspapers private.

That’s a critical element. Whenever a company goes private, it is no longer chained by law to focus on shareholder profit. Newspapers have always been a true community service. Yes, they need to make money and yes, they carry advertisements. But the content has always been based on a specific set of interests. Even papers that put out national editions provide content that has a particular flavor for a particular subscriber base.

Considering this recent shift, newspapers might actually be on the mend.

5 for the Writer’s Bucket List

Here’s a list from Writer’s Digest listing 5 things for your bucket list.

When I posted this to Facebook (find Writer’s Resource under CreationToContract), I noted that I liked the “Do something bizarre” tip best.

Also of interest is the “Self-publish something” tip. They’re not necessarily talking about a book, either. Blog posts, ezine submissions, and other short bits can be great for the author’s soul. And enhance your platform. And provide potential readers of your books with another way to find out about you.

An unbeatable combination!

Ebook Trends

Here’s a literary magazine that has become a publisher of ebooks.

In the past few years, I’ve noticed several kinds of organizations entering the ebook arena. Most notable are the handful of book agents who have opened publishing companies.

This is one of those indicators of how large the shift is in traditional publishing these days. When agents, and some of the nation’s top agents at that, are shifting where they spend their time, nearly anything can happen.

Keep this in mind as you consider whether to approach traditional publishers, self-publish through print and/or ebooks, or do both at once. These days, it pays to play your cards across a wide spectrum.

Brainstorming

Writers know that they have to help readers suspend their disbelief. It’s also critical that viewers watching a film do the same. This interview comes from the corporate world but if you read it with your author’s eye, you’ll find some great advice.

–Present your story in their context. That is, connect with readers where they are, not from your lofty position as all-seeing author. Use concrete details to evoke emotions, paint images and usher  readers into the fictional world.

–Be curious. Ask questions. What if the plot twists here? Why does this character act that way? Where does this one plot point happen? When in his life does the major turning point come? How can the character grow, change, develop?

–Weaknesses are irrelevant. Focus more on your strengths. That doesn’t mean ignore the weaknesses; just don’t get so hung up on them you forget your strengths.