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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Another 15 Famous Rejection Slips

Fifteen more famously rejected writers who persevered. Can you identify who, and in some cases, what book, got rejected? (You’ll find the first 15 here.) “An endless nightmare. I think…

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15 Famous Rejection Slips

Rejection slips are part of a writer’s landscape. All authors get them at one time or another, and they usually reflect the opinion of one particular reader — often an…

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Jerry Seinfeld: How to Write a Joke

“In my world, the wrong-er something feels, the right-er it is. So to waste this much time on something this stupid is .. that felt good to me.” — Jerry…

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The Lester Dent / Doc Savage Master Plot Method

Lester Dent was the real name of the author almost all of the Doc Savage novels. (They appeared under the pen name Kenneth Robeson, a creation of his publisher.) There…

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A brief anecdote (and more) from Neal Stephenson

It’s over a decade old (2004) but a Slashdot post by acclaimed sci-fi author Neal Stephenson (left) is worth repeating:   “ … a while back, I went to a…

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