Category Archives: Roundups

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: What NYC Publishing REALLY Thinks About Self-Publishing

Last week, I had an author ask me the earliest his publisher could have his book out. I told him January 2016. Even if he turned it in this week. “And, they wonder why big publishers are dying,” he said. … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round Down: 10 Times in Life When Writers Have the Upper Hand

I’ve interviewed a lot of entry level job candidates. I’ve had plenty of recent college graduates sent to a conference room to meet me with a strong thumbs-up from Human Resources. Bright, well-dressed, great resumes, and eager. This impresses the … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-down: The Problem with Literary Doomsday Laments

We who love literature face an urgent crisis: a gruesome epidemic of articles worrying over the demise of literature, reading, English Departments, and apparently (along with them) culture, art, morality, humanity, and ALL KNOWLEDGE AND CIVILIZATION. We’re in dire need of an antidote for this … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: No, Books Aren’t a Lost Cause

Have you ever shown up at a party only to find out the keg’s already been emptied? I meet a lot of writers who feel like that’s what happened to books. They’ve chosen to write a book at a time … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Embracing Hard Truths About Writing

Okay writers. My last Round-Down was about the impact of self esteem on our creativity. Several readers asked for a followup about how to cultivate said esteem, and for a half-second I was so on it. But I can’t deny that the news around … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round Down: How To Tell People What Your Book Is About

Last week, I received a fiction pitch I knew I would reject a few lines in. It contained the phrase, “after he discovers a family secret long since buried.” (Or something like that.) I wrote back to the author and … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: The State of Poetry in the US

Early last month, PEN International publicly condemned the killing of Thai poet Mainueng K. Kunthee. The poet had been shot to death on April 23rd, presumably because of his public criticisms of the monarchy and Thailand’s lèse majesté law.  Known as a poet of the people, … Continue reading

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Book Recommendations To Bring You Closer to Inner Peace… or a Stronger Yoga Practice

A few weeks ago, when I learned that Brian Leaf had just come out with a new book, I literally squee’d. I’d loved his previous book, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, and this new one—Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi—aimed to hit two of my … Continue reading

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Book Recommendations That Indulge Your Addiction to That Feeling of Creeping Horror

I was going through a major book slump this past month, and it was driving me crazy. I scanned my way through a how-to that felt flimsy. I rushed through one memoir that felt a bit all over the place, … Continue reading

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Book Recommendations for Those Looking to Transform Their Lives

It’s late February, the time by which most New Year’s resolutions slowly fizzle out and die—assuming they didn’t already crash and burn weeks ago. What!? Me, cynical? Heck no! In fact, I used to be so addicted to the idea … Continue reading

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