The Bucks County Writers Workshop
Article Archives #1 2001-02
HERE'S THE BOOK! Now Philadelphia can start reading. ETYMOLOGY: Why George W. Bush can't pronounce "nuclear." By Jesse Sheidlower REQUIRED READING. The Best American Short Stories 2002 (Edited by Katrina Kenison & Sue Miller) and The O. Henry Award Prize Stories 2002 (Edited by Larry Dark) are now out. Everyone in a writers workshop should read these books as basic texts to understand what's being written today, how it's being written, and who's writing it. BUY HERE AND THE BCWW's FEATURED AUTHOR IS... click on image THE EIGHT-POINT CHECKLIST. At last -- a coherent approach to critiquing the work of writers in a workshop. It's a start, at least. HERBERT GOLD. The hazards of authorship. AMIRI BARAKA TOUGHS IT OUT. New Jersey's poet laureate refuses to resign after reading an anti-Semitic poem containing an out-and-out lie regarding 9/11. Read the story at North Jersey.com. And listen to Don Swaim's interview with Baraka at Wired for Books. JONATHAN FRANZEN. In the New Yorker of 9/30/02, Franzen wonders why it's worth it to read novels that are too difficult to enjoy. HAROLD BLOOM. America's greatest literary critic or a literary con man? In the New Yorker of 9/30/02. A READER'S RHAPSODY. A life measured by books. By Katie Roiphe. HOW ROBERT LOWELL INFLUENCED ROBERT STONE. A literary mystery solved. By Ron Rosenbaum. EYE OF THE REPORTER, HEART OF THE NOVELIST. By Anna Quindlen. Terrific stuff -- but if Quindlen thinks daily journalism is tough, maybe she ought to try hourly journalism, like broadcasters. HARRY POTTER WINS! A Pennsylvania woman who tried to cash in on the success of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is ruled a fraud. Nancy Stouffer of Camp Hill was fined $50,000 for her deceit and ordered to pay Rawling's legal costs. SODA OR POP? A lesson on getting the regional language right. By Michael Vitez in the Inquirer. CUBA UNLOCKS HEMINGWAY PAPERS. By Kate Zernike in The New York Times. ROBERT CARO. The pre-eminent biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson takes his time. In The New York Times. ISAAC ASIMOV: Did his sci-fi inspire Osama Ben Ladin? Read about the theory in The Guardian, UK. LIKE, WOW. A linguist says maybe it's not so bad when kids interrupt their sentences with "like." In the Washington Post. 9/11 REVISITED. Stories, poems, essays by BCWW members -- originally published online a month after last year's terror attack. OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD. B.R. Myers diabolically attacks the "pretentious" prose of current fiction, whacking in detail Don Delillo, Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx, Paul Auster, and David Guterson in A Reader's Manifesto. A must read! And read the waggish rebuttal by Adam Begley, who calls Myers "mean-spirited" in The New York Observer. BLOGS. The Art of Keeping a Journal and Making it Public -- by Don Swaim. 100 WORDS. Similar to Blogs, the idea behind this site is to write 100 words a day, no more no less, every day for a calendar month, after which the batch will be posted. Nice approach at discipline, but you really don't need a website to do it. JET'S JOTTINGS. Meditations and ideas on the writing craft -- by Jeanette de Richemond. PROJECT GUTENBERG. Since 1971 this project has been archiving classic texts -- from Tolstoy to Twain, Boswell to Bierce, Carroll to Cather, Sophocles to Shakespeare -- and posting them online for free download! Thousands of authors and their books and stories are represented -- perfect for when you're searching for just the right author's quote or excerpt. MERCHANDISING THE EVENTS OF 9/11. With more than 150 books written about the terrorist attack, Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times tells us how the information age processes a tragedy. STEINBECK'S MYTH OF THE OAKIES. Attempts to discredit John Steinbeck and "The Grapes of Wrath" resurface in this New Criterion article by Keith Windschuttle. PLAGIARISM. Doris Kearns Goodwin. Witch Hunt? In the LA Times. BUCKS COUNTY LIBRARY SCANDAL. The reason for all that heightened library security over the past few months. WHY WON'T JOHNNY READ? 'Cause books are for girls -- by Jon Sciesska in the Washington Post. RARE SCREEN TEST FOR PHILIP ROTH. by Barbara Kantrowitz in the New York Times. TH NCRDIBL SHRNKING LNGWGE. A truncated hybrid of speech and writing -- by Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer. THE CLICHE. A crime against language? -- by Robert Fulford. THE BEST STEALER LIST. The authors whose books are most likely to be filched -- by Martin Arnold. THE COPYRIGHT MYTH. Nothing is sillier than seeing novice writers slap copyright notices all over their manuscripts (as if someone's going to steal a manuscript that will more than likely never be published in any event). To find out why go to Brad Templeton's 10 Big Myths About Copyright. And for good measure, here are copyright facts from the horse's mouth, The U.S. Copyright Office. GUSH, BLOOD, GUSH. Deconstructing The Dick and Jane Hamlet to Examine Narrative Pull -- by Jeanette de Richemond. HOW MUCH IS A BOOK EDITOR WORTH? -- by Martin Arnold. FORGET IDEAS, MR. AUTHOR. What Kind of Pen Do You Use? -- by Stephen Fry. WHAT'S YOUR TYPE? Traits and Temperaments of Writers -- by Jeanette de Richemond. A NOVELIST FINDS HIS TIME AND PLACE -- by Alan Furst. WRITERS' TOOL BOX. Online sources to help the hapless writer -- by Jeanette de Richemond. Note: This page will be a fixture in the index and we'll be adding to it regularly. WIRED FOR BOOKS. Don Swaim interviews the late CHAIM POTOK in RealAudio. And go to the CHAIM POTOK HOME PAGE, a site dedicated to the life and work of the late author. AMBROSE BIERCE TO BE HONORED IN OCTOBER 2003. Plans for a marker dedicated to Ambrose Bierce were almost stymied by a flap over his birthplace. But now a marker is to go up on the grounds of a high school in rural Meigs County, Ohio. By Don Swaim. THE LAST STAND OF AMBROSE BIERCE. Here is the entire script of Rob Foster's play -- staged in Carmel, California, in 2001 -- about the night Bierce disappeared. MERVIN BLOCK TIPS. Scroll down to the very bottom the page to "Block on Writing" and note the tips that'll help all of us to become better writers, one of which is: "The more you know about writing, the harder it is to write." TIPS ON HEALTH WRITING. Again, from the inimitable Merv Block, avoiding the traps when it comes to writing about health. LETTERS TO J.D. SALINGER. If you were to write the reclusive author what would you say to him? Read what others have witten and/or post a message yourself. THE CASE FOR RAYMOND CHANDLER. The creator of Philip Marlowe has been called an imitator and a hack, but Allen Barra in Salon says he deserves his lonely, disillusioned corner in the American literary canon. WRITERS ROOM OF BUCKS COUNTY. (not affiliated with the BCWW) A valuable resource for all writers -- and its quarterly magazine is re-printing, in two parts, Don Swaim's article about John Steinbeck's 1937 odyssey to Bucks County.
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