Tagged writing

Simpsons Fans, Rejoice! “Embiggen” Is Now in the Dictionary

It’s official: Merriam-Webster has added embiggen to its dictionary. If you’re not familiar with this highly cromulent word, it comes from The Simpsons, where it’s part of the town’s motto, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” Like so many Simpsons references, it’s seeped its way into the real world over the (oh god) 22 years since the original episode aired—and, notably, into Ms. Marvel. (In the interest of being thorough, Mental Floss notes that C. A. Ward once...

Minnesota-Born Writer Marisa Tam on Creating Stories for The Blacklist

Marisa Tam was born and raised in the Twin Cities and graduated from the University of Minnesota before heading out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in TV writing. She completed UCLA’s inaugural Professional Program in TV Writing and was later selected for the 2015 CAPE New Writers Fellowship and the 2015–2016 class of NBC’s Writers on the Verge. She is now in her second season as a writer for The Blacklist, starring James Spader and Megan Boone....

5 Tips for Getting a Job in Book Publishing

You’ve always loved books. Maybe you’re the word nerd of your friend group, or maybe you’re an evangelist for your favorite sci-fi series—whatever the angle, you’ve decided you want to turn that love into a career, but you’re not sure know how to get your foot in the door. The usual career advice like setting up informational interviews and finding local networking groups is just as applicable to publishing as it is to most other industries, but here are...

The Sci-Fi Poetry Books of the Year Feature Whales and Robots and the Apocalypse, Oh My!

Last month, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association announced the winners of the 2017 Elgin Awards for best collections of speculative poetry from the previous year. For those new to the term, speculative poetry has become a relatively common catch-all for poetry that embraces the imagination, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and other similar genres. Some might be surprised at the excitement for these types of poetry, but the current US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith, won a...

Embracing the Special Creativity of Being a Solitary Geek

In my most recent article, I talked about how I developed an all-or-nothing attitude when it came to geekdom because of the way I was raised by my Cambodian parents. The downside to diving deep into my interests, though, is that I end up spending a lot of time alone—but even that has its perks. What kind of perks? The kind that lead to creativity. I mentioned in my previous article that my parents’ well-meaning, though misguided, overemphasis on...

I Want to Get My Book Published—Do I Really Need an Editor?

“Do I have to hire an editor?” is one of the most common questions I hear from unpublished authors, and as with so many questions, the answer is . . . it depends. Useful, I know, but authors come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and what you’re planning to do with your manuscript makes all the difference in the world. The biggest determining factor is whether you’re planning to publish your book yourself or go the...

Persistence Is the Key to Success for Minnesota Author Lynn Garthwaite

Success can come in many forms, and everyone has a different key to reaching it. For some, it means getting out of bed before hitting snooze. Others don’t feel they’ve achieved success until they have changed the world. I recently had the opportunity to talk with local author and publisher Lynn Garthwaite about this topic, and she provided some great insight into her personal key to success: tenacity. Her story is a prime example of staying the course until...

Minnesota Conventions for Writers and Book Lovers in 2017

With all of the great bookstores, publishers, authors, and writing programs in the Twin Cities, most of us aren’t surprised that Minneapolis and St. Paul are repeatedly ranked as some of the most literate cities in the country. As part of the literary culture, there are plenty of conventions and conferences in Minnesota where you can learn about writing and publishing, see authors speak, and more—and here’s your list for 2017! Some of these events are specifically aimed at...

MN Writer T. Aaron Cisco on Bringing Ideas to Life the Long Way Around

T. Aaron Cisco in a local writer, filmmaker and geek trivia maven. His latest novella, Teleportality, was brought to my attention, and given our mutual experiences with both prose and film I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some digging into life as a multimedia indie author. Teleportality packs a lot into its thin covers, much more so than many novels three times its size. Unsurprisingly, this short interview also has much to unpack, and I...

Deep in the Shadows of the Dark Crystal: J. M. Lee on Writing New Canon for a Cult Favorite

The Dark Crystal, like many fan favorites and cult films, has a fairly rough history. Not appreciated all that much in the wake of Star Wars, the film was either too original or too derivative (depending on which critic you asked). Despite this, love for it has lived on in the people who did see the film in its original release or have discovered it on DVD or through revival screenings. However, over the last couple years, Penguin Random...
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