June 2019: Story rules, plot drools
Our most popular post last month taught readers why story always trumps plot and shared the three crucial storytelling elements every novel needs to succeed. “It might best to say that story is essential and elemental, while plot is constructed and can be somewhat artificial,” Philip Martin wrote. “Both are good and enjoyable when done well. But story is closer to the heart – closer to why we value stories and storytellers.”
June 2018: Augusten Burroughs
This time last year, our interview with bestselling memoirist Augusten Burroughs was the biggest hit among readers. “You can’t lie to yourself if you’re going to be a memoirist,” Burroughs told us. “Our personal failures and limitations and weak or fragile spots are the most interesting things to read about.”
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June 2017: Inside the minds of book editors
In this popular article from two years ago, six editors shared what they’re looking for, what they’re publishing, and what authors should know about the industry. “If I hear from an author we’ve published, whose opinion I respect and trust, and they say, ‘Hey, you need to check out so and so’s manuscript’, I do,” editor Ibrahim Ahmad told so. “Personal recommendations are really meaningful. Put yourself in a position where you have advocates and allies in the literary world. Make your own luck.”
June 2016: Essay is the new black
Keysha Whitaker went to a star-studded panel on essays in 2016 – and shared all the wisdom she learned with readers. “From these literary heroes, I gained new perspective on the form and, surprisingly, myself,” Whitaker shared with us.
June 2015: 13 rules to maximize writing productivity
Productivity requires discipline – and discipline requires a set of rules. Here are our favorite self-imposed rules for ensuring the writing comes first.
June 2014: Sarah Treem
Five years ago, readers flocked to our interview with playwright, screenwriter, and producer Sarah Treem. “TV has its own brand of sexism,” Treem told us. “I’ve been in writers’ rooms where I’m the only woman, where there’s a tremendous amount of outright chauvinism – like ‘you can’t come to work in a skirt because I can’t concentrate,’ or ‘tell us about your all sexual partners because we need it for the show.’ The stories you hear about writers’ rooms and women in TV writers’ rooms are real.”