William Safire

William Safire’s Rules for Writers

Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Verbs have to agree with their subjects. Proofread carefully…

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Census spies (part 2)

Following on from my surprise finding that New Zealand’s 2018 online census website is infested with third-party spies, I decided to look at it from the perspective of another browser…

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Census spies

March 6 is census night here in New Zealand, and this morning Radio NZ reported that 1.7 million people have already completed their forms online. Time to do the same,…

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Four publishing lessons in four minutes

Four publishing lessons in four minutes

In 1995, my first novel, Telling Stories, won the Reed Fiction Award for the best unpublished novel. The prize was $5,000, a flight to the Dunedin Writers Festival to receive…

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Ian Rankin, Writer

5 Quotes from Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is author of 21 Inspector Rebus novels along with 20 others. He’s also written plays, graphic novels, short stories and an opera(!).           Photo…

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Still time to enter the Mogford Short Story Prize

There’s still a few weeks left to enter the Sixth Annual Mogford Food & Drink Short Story Prize. The prize is worth £10,000, the contest is open to anyone of…

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Bad Sex Day Tomorrow

The winner of the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award will be announced tomorrow (30 November). The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written,…

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Annie Proulx’s National Book Award speech

Annie Proulx (pronounced “proo”) was born in 1935, but her first novel wasn’t published until 1992. That novel, Postcards, won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and her second, and best-known,…

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Famous Razors

Razors aren’t just for shaving. In philosophy, a razor is a rule of thumb that allows for the elimination (the “shaving off”) of unlikely explanations. The most famous is Occam’s…

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NZ Elections: The Coalition Options

After 21 years of MMP elections, I’m surprised at the number of people who don’t really understand the options available for a coalition government. So here they are, in less…

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