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Lit GIFs: A Christmas Carol

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Christmas Eve finds mean old Ebenezer Scrooge counting coins in his counting-house.

Round Down: When Books Are As Essential As Bread And Water

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Whenever I drive to my real local library or the Barnes & Noble near my house, I’m always disappointed I can find a parking space so easily. Trust me, I love convenience. But where is everyone? What are they doing that’s more fun than browsing the shelves? Every man

Round-Down: The High Sales vs. High Quality Debate

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One of my truly terrible habits is a reflexive desire to pour salt on a wound. Tell me your troubles, and I’m likely to say, “Oh, this is so much worse than you think.” For example, many editors and agents have said to me over the years, “I loved

Lit GIFs: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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It’s winter here in Iowa, which makes my Floridian self wish for seasonal time travel. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to realizing this dream is watching Back to the Future and reading H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine.

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The Right Way to Write

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As the year wraps up, I’ve been collecting articles that encourage writers to trust ourselves: To find our own practices for creativity, or shun the idea of practices altogether. To choose between quick first drafts or taking more time, based on what works in the moment. To define success case-by-case rather than comparing our work to someone else’s. These articles ask, “Is

Literary Boroughs #57: Riverside, CA

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive. The series originally ran on our blog from May 2012 until April 2013.

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Publishing Isn’t Dead

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There’s an old joke in publishing about consultants, though it’s probably rooted in truth. A new executive hires a prestigious firm to spend months on an expensive deep dive, and they come back, excited, with one key insight: “You should publish more bestsellers, and fewer books that aren’t bestsellers.”

Writers and Their Pets: Melissa Scholes Young

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The “Writers and Their Pets” series began with my own desire to celebrate my dog Sally, and since then I have also invited other writers to share with the rest of us the details of their lives with beloved pets. Today, please enjoy this essay by Melissa Scholes Young. —Ladette Randolph, Editor-in-Chief I blame

The Ploughshares Round-Down: “Not Everything We Need Is In Ourselves”

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Creation is often imagined as inherently isolated and intimate: a Walden Pond-esque activity improved by seclusion and destroyed by wifi, phone calls, and . . . well, friends. So I’ve been thrilled this month to see a few books being celebrated for challenging the Lone Genius Myth: Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Powers

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The Ebook is Dead. Long Live the Ebook.

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One of the best parts of being a book editor is that it gives you a magic power. You take a Microsoft Word file, wave your hand over it and say, “Now it’s a book.” And it’s a book. Up until that moment, it’s just words and ideas, and