Performance anxiety

Advances for first novels have skyrocketed; “since the late nineties, half a million dollars is de rigueur for a first novelist who’s perceived to have hot prospects.” The catch? If the debut is not widely read, it can ruin the author’s chances of publishing again. (Via Moby Lives.)

Isabel Woolf, a “chick lit” author, takes issue with the notion that “because these books are easy to read, they’re easy to write.” (Via Arts Journal.)

Another Arts Journal link: Andrew Motion, U.K. poet laureate, has worked with a funeral director to compile tips on delivering funeral speeches.


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