including essays and academic (scholarly) publishing. See also Narrative Nonfiction (a/k/a creative or literary nonfiction) and Memoir, Biography, and Corporate History.
• University presses and academic writing
• Authors Guild vs. Authors Alliance
• The art of nonfiction: Paris Review interviews
• Books on the craft of nonfiction writing
• Personal essays
• Essays on modern love (the wonderful Times series)
• Essay markets
• Food writing
~The part of academic written output that is not formally published but merely printed up or posted on the Internet is often called the “grey literature." Most scientific and scholarly journals, and many academic and scholarly books, though not all, are based on some form of peer review or editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication. Peer review quality and selectivity standards vary greatly from journal to journal, publisher to publisher, and field to field."
~"Currently, an important trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access via the Internet. There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which a whole journal (or book) or individual articles are made available free for all on the web by the publisher at the time of publication (sometimes, but not always, for an extra publication fee paid by the author or the author’s institution or funder); and open access self-archiving, in which authors themselves make a copy of their published articles available free for all on the web.
• Why Academic Writing Stinks (Steven Pinker, The Chronicle Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9-26-14)
• Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
• Beall’s List: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers (maintained by academic librarian Jeffrey Beall. On Facebook: Beall's List of Predatory Open-Access Publishers
• What Editors Want: An Author's Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing by Philippa J. Benson and Susan C. Silver (University of Chicago Press)
• Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books by William Germano. One of the Amazon reader reviews gives a fairly thorough summary of the book, if you aren't sure if it's right for you.
• University Presses Under Fire (Scott Sherman, The Nation, 5-26-14) How the Internet and slashed budgets have endangered one of higher education’s most important institutions.
• University Presses: “Under Fire” or Just Under the Gun (Like the Rest of Us)? (Rick Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen blog, "What's hot and cooking in scholarly publishing" 5-19-14)
• Can the University Press Be Saved From Itself? (Aden Nichols, The Digital Warrior-Poet, 5-26-14). The "publish or perish" principle in academia creates pressure to write and publish books nobody will read in a setting with few tenure track positions. Why not publish books people want to read? "Demoting and digitizing the monograph, turning scholars into masterful storytellers, and aggressively marketing those stories to a general audience may not single-handedly rescue the university press from oblivion, but it sure can’t hurt."
• Steps Down the Evolutionary Road | Periodicals Price Survey 2014 (Stephen Bosch and Kittie Henderson, Library Journal, 4-11-14). "Budget compression, price inflation, and questions of value will collide with open access trends, government mandates, new evaluation tools such as altmetrics, and the increased distribution of information offered by research platforms and social networks."
• University Presses: Homes for Tomes (The Economist, 10-29-13) An often ignored part of the publishing industry faces unique challenges. Many university presses are under financial pressure—after all, “academic monographs are considered a splash today if they sell just 800 copies in their first year”—but they are not-for-profit arms of their universities whose job is to publish works of scholarly importance. This forces them to balance intellectual impact with commercial interest." They face the same problems as commercial publishers, such as digitization and the decline of bookstores, plus some of their own: the rising cost of scientific journals (competing for library $$), increasing scrutiny of press subsidies. "Most will survive thanks to the machinations of the university system. To win tenure, academics need to publish their research, and university presses are hungry outlets. However, no press wants to be mistaken for a vanity publisher, so most of them try to publish academics from other institutions."
The magazine argues that “the machinations of the university system” will keep many presses afloat. This is because “to win tenure, academics need to publish their research, and university presses are hungry outlets. However, no press wants to be mistaken for a vanity publisher, so most of them try to publish academics from other institutions.”'
• MFA literary fiction vs. NYC (links to many interesting stories about the two cultures of American fiction)
• Why the British Library archived 40,000 emails from poet Wendy Cope (Mic Wright, Wired UK 5-11-14). (on the benefits and difficulties of capturing an author's digital life, what researchers of the future will have to root through, and some of the problems of digital preservation)
• Academic and Professional Publishing , ed by Robert Campbell, Ed Pentz, and Ian Borthwick (a comprehensive look at what publishers do, how they work to add value, and what the future may bring). Read this interesting review of authors' expectations for future developments (Judy Luther, Scholarly Kitchen, 3-18-13)
• The Future of the Ph.D. (Mary Ann Mason, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5-3-12) "We need doctoral programs that take fewer years to complete, and ones that enroll fewer students if the jobs in that field are scarce. At the same time, we need an academic environment in which young adults with family responsibilities can thrive."
• Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success especially for humanities and social science journals, by Wendy Laura Belcher (University of Chicago Press)
• Guidelines for preparing journal manuscripts (Geoff-Hart.com, on his useful Resources page.
• BibMe(a free online site for searching for bibliographic information, creating a custom bibliography, and downloading it in MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian format), dependent on Amazon's database (which might limit scholarly uses)
• Editage Insights . Dr. Eddy explains the basics of publishing in English language journals, sharing knowledge he has built over years of experience as a researcher. Each week, he writes about important aspects of journal publication.
• From Academia to Amazon: Is a bestseller hiding in your academic papers? (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal,3-23-10)
• Are University Presses Missing Out on Sales? (Rich Adin, An American Editor 5-14-14) Maybe they should give ebooks a try.
• Publish and Prosper Editage blog, with tips for researchers whose first language is not English but who submit their papers to journals published in English. Touches on writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style) and everything else relevant to publishing research papers that journal editors wish their authors knew.
• The Scholarly Kitchen (blog, What's hot and cooking in scholarly publishing)
• Virtual Private Library (Marcus Zillman's annotated links to competent academic and scholarly search engines and sources)
• Writing History in the Digital Age (a born-digital, open-peer-reviewed volume edited by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, available online here and forthcoming in print and open-access digital formats from the University of Michigan Press for the Digital Humanities Series of its digitalculturebooks imprint)
• Online subject guides (AcademicInfo) A round up of the best and most useful links and resources within a specific subject area. In most cases they list both printed reference works and electronic resources.
• Get Together to Write (Jennifer I. Friend and Juan Carlos González, American Association of University Professors, Jan.-Feb 2009)
• New Faculty Writing Groups (Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9-29-09)
• What is the Authors Alliance? May 15 note from Authors Guild board member T.J. Stiles to the San Francisco Writers Grotto, criticizing the Authors Alliance. AG sent out a note later that week: "Some of our academic authors have written to make clear they don’t share the radical copyright views this organization espouses....Far too often, copyright is used to separate scholars and scientists from their intellectual property. Scientific and scholarly journals frequently insist on seizing the author’s copyright as part of the price of publication. For scientists in particular this can be galling: their work is usually publicly funded, yet privately locked up."
• Founder of Just-Launched Authors Alliance Talks to PW (Peter Brantley's interview with law professor Pamela Samuelson, Publishers Weekly 5-15-14)
• Authors Alliance launches, to the chagrin of the Authors Guild (Kirsten Reach, Melville House, 5-28-14). The problem: "the Authors Alliance—founded by Berkeley academics interested in providing support for authors interested in sharing their content for free—is causing some disruption at the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for published writers...focused on copyright and fair contract terms." Find a way to work together, writes Reach.
• Authors Guild, Authors Alliance Battle Over Speaking for Writers (Mercy Pilkington, goodEreader, 5-18-14) Open access is the slippery slope T.J. Stiles was attacking.
• Joan Didion, The Art of Nonfiction No. 1 (interviewed by Hilton Als)
• Gay Talese, The Art of Nonfiction No. 2 (interviewed by Katie Roiphe)
• John McPhee, The Art of Nonfiction No. 3 (interviewed by Peter Hessler)
• Janet Malcolm, The Art of Nonfiction No. 4 (interviewed by Katie Roiphe)
• Emmanuel Carrère, The Art of Nonfiction No. 5 (interviewed by Susannah Hunnewell)
• The Essayification of Everything (Christy Wampole, Opinionator, NY Times, 5-26-13). "I believe that the essay owes its longevity today mainly to this fact: the genre and its spirit provide an alternative to the dogmatic thinking that dominates much of social and political life in contemporary America."..."When I say 'essay,' I mean short nonfiction prose with a meditative subject at its center and a tendency away from certitude. Much of the writing encountered today that is labeled as 'essay' or 'essay-like' is anything but."
• Writing the Personal Essay (by Adair Lara)
• Craft Essays (Brevity, on the craft of writing essays)
• Essay and Memoir: writing about what changed you (by Adair Lara)
• Crafting The Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction (Dinty W. Moore)
• On Essays
• Essay Prize
• The Ten Greatest Essays, Ever (lists by various authors--a good reading list!)
• Essay Daily (a blog and a filter for and an ongoing conversation about essays and magazine of interest). Great blogrolls: Homes for the essay; Essays and Resources
• The Best Magazine Articles Ever (KK, Cooltools)
• The Wayward Essay (Parul Sehgal, NY Times, 12-28-12).
• The Greatest Nature Essay Ever (Brian Doyle, Orion Magazine Nov.-Dec. 2008)
• The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present, ed. by Phillip Lopate. Two collections of Lopate's essays: Against Joie de Vivre: Personal Essays and Bachelorhood: Tales of the Metropolis. Among notes students of his memoir classes (in this case Roger Martin) have taken: To turn yourself (your “I”) into a character, distance from yourself. To give “I” a meaning requires building the self into a character. People must be knowledgeable enough about themselves, and free-willed enough, to surprise us.
• Writing a Winning Personal Admissions Essay (by Jim Bock, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Swarthmore College), on PBS)
• What Can Sonnets Teach Us about Essays? The Benefit of Strict Form (Chelsea Biondolillo Brevity, 9-12-13)
• A Student's Guide to Writing a Scholarship Essay (StudentScholarshipSearch.com)
• Winning personal essays in 500 words or less (application help, i-studentglobal)
• The Power and Glory of Sportwriting (Nicholas Dawidoff, NY Times 7-28-12). "...for really good writers, sports offer an opportunity to express all the pleasure and passion of life."
Generally, publications want to see the whole essay -- queries don't make sense because "pulling it off" is more important than the idea for the essay.
• Paying Markets for Personal Essays (Carol Celeste's excellent links, Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow)
• Fifteen Paying Markets for Personal Essays and Life Stories (Chryselle D'Silva Dias, Writing-World.com)
• 5 Personal Essay Markets for Parents (Chantal Panozzo, Writer Abroad)
• Eight Good Markets for Writers Abroad, Part Two/a> (Chantal Panozzo, Writer Abroad)
• 20 Great Places to Publish Personal Essays (Meghan Ward, Writerland)
• Tips to Help You Publish Your Personal Essays (Sheila Bender, Writer's Digest 3-11-08)
• The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap (Eve Pell, NY Times, 1-24-13)
• Agreeing to Accept and Move On (Elizabeth Koster, 7-31-14)
• A Student of Intimacy, Step by Step (Matthew Parker, 1-23-09). An ex-con learns about love.
• My Husband's New Son: A Choice Not as Easy as It Looked (Lisa Schlesinger, 5-30-13)
• When the Words Don't Fit (Sarah Healy, 10-27-11). On the difference between fantasy love and real love
• Friends Without Benefits (Hannah Selinger, 1-10-13)
• Chubby, Skinny, Accepting (Cole Kazdin, 1-3-13)
• Three Mothers, One Bond (Jennifer Hauseman, 12-27-12)
• After the Affair (Judy Wachs, 11-23-12)
• Labels of Married Life, in a New Light (Margot Page, 1-18-13)
• A Role I Was Born to Play (Evan James, 11-14-12)
• Sleeping with the (Political) Enemy (Sheila Heen, 11-1-12)
• A Sister’s Comfort, if Not a Cure (Tara Ebrahimi, 12-13-12, on helping a brother with mental illness)
• Married, but Dancing by Myself (Teresa Link, 11-30-13, on marrying, but not for love)
• We Found Our Son in the Subway (Peter Mercurio, Townies (not Modern Love, but it belongs there too)< Opinionator, 2-28-13).
American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA), professional association of freelance/independent journalists and nonfiction book writers, who share info about markets, writing rates, contracts, editors, agents, etc. Members have access to samples of successful query letters and book proposals, among other resources. Non-members may attend the annual conference; there is also a more advanced and smaller-group day for members only.
• The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present, edited with an excellent introduction by Phillip Lopate
• The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing, by Francis Flaherty
• Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction by James Stewart
• Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, by Janet Burroway
• Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing by Peter Elbow
• Intimate Journalism: The Art and Craft of Reporting Everyday Life, ed. Walt Harrington
• The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing, ed. Alice LaPlante (how writers create -- for serious writing students and teachers)
• The Passionate, Accurate Story: Making Your Heart's Truth into Literature, by Carol Bly (excellent -- you'll have to buy used copies as it's out of print)
• Writing the Personal Essay, an excellent quick guide to structuring a narrative essay, by Adair Lara (writer, teacher, writing coach, and author of Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay)
• The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick
• Story Building: Narrative Techniques for News and Feature Writers by Ndaeyo Uko
• Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, ed. Mark Kramer, Wendy Call (an excellent guide)
• Writing a Book That Makes a Difference, by Philip Gerard
• Writing Nonfiction: Turning Thoughts into Books, by Dan Poynter (his guide to self-publishing, repackaged)
Books on the craft of narrative nonfiction.
Confessions of a ghost (from Inc. -- Anonymous tells how business bestsellers are written and paid for)
Can we figure out a ‘unified theory of writing’? (Roy Peter Clark, Poynter, 7-6-12). "In a story, it’s Robert McKee’s inciting incident colliding with the safe patterns of daily life; in news, it’s a radical variation from the norm: Man bites dog."
Creating Nonfiction (Rachel Toor, Chronicle of Higher Education, 12-3-07). For more on the subject, see Narrative Nonfiction
Creating Scenes: The Yellow Test (Lee Gutkind, The Opinionator, NY Timnes 8-22-12). "Readers remember information longer — and are more likely to be persuaded by ideas and opinions — when it’s presented to them in scenes. This is why so many TV commercials are narrative."
Dictionaries, clarity, and the Supreme Court:
• Skip The Legalese And Keep It Short, Justices Say (Nina Totenberg, NPR's Morning Edition, 6-13-11, audio and transcript). Worth reading for the concluding anecdote alone.
• Justices Turning More Frequently to Dictionary, and Not Just for Big Words by Adam Liptak (NY Times 6-13-11).
A Directory of Authors on Twitter (Jennifer Tribe). See the Guidelines.
Doing Documentary Work by Robert Coles. "A challenging exploration of documentary writing and photography, focusing on the ways in which researchers can affect, reshape, or misrepresent what they see." Read a chapter online.
18 strategies for brainstorming a title, an excellent guide to developing great titles, from Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton, posted on Scrib'd
5 Questions to ask before you start to write your non-fiction book (Paul Lima, 5-26-12)'
• Jean Patterson's FAQ about food writing
• Ruth Reichl, James Beard award winners cook up the future of food writing (Dawn Failik, Poynter, 5-25-11). Hear from Ruth Reichl, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl (“Being a restaurant critic in Minnesota is relentlessly local”), Holly Hughes (“I love the alternative weeklies; they still devote space to longform writing”), Jonathan Gold, Miriam Morgan, Craig LaBan (“You can’t underestimate how the change in technology has changed food writing”)
• Michele Anna Jordan on Food and Food Writing (interesting Q&A on Andy Ross's Ask the Agent blog: Night Thoughts About Books and Publishing)
• From Bananas to Blintzes: Writing about Diet, Nutrition and Food by Kelly James-Enger (Writing-World.com)
• Advice for Future Food Writers (Amanda Hesser, Food52, 4-10-12) "Except for a very small group of people (some of whom are clinging to jobs at magazines that pay more than the magazines' business models can actually afford), it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a food writer, and I think it’s only going to get worse."
• Haute Cuisine (Doug Brown, American Journalism Review, Feb/March 2004). Food journalism, once a throwaway compendium of recipes and “what’s hot” articles, has gone upscale. Newspapers and magazines are dedicating top talent to the food beat, and they are hungry for sophisticated stories with timely angles. (This was printed in 2004)
• Why newspaper food writing is bad (W. Blake Gray, The Gray Report, 11-1-11)
• Is Food Writing a Dismal Way to Make a Living? (Dianne Jacob, Will Write for Food, 4-17-12)
• Food critics group updates its guidelines and ethics code (Jim Romenesko, 5-14-13) See also Why One Food Writers Group Updated Its Ethics Guidelines (Katie Bascuas, Associations NOw, 5-20-13)
• The Greenbrier Food Writers Symposium (Kurt Michael Friese, HuffPost, 9-20-10)
• Organizations for food writers (elsewhere on Writers & Editors site)
• Food for Thought (and for Publishing!) (Kavitha C. Reinhold, Chicago Women in Publishing, Feb. 2009). The Food Publishing panel comprised Carol Haddix, Chicago Tribune food editor and editor of Chicago Cooks; Doug Seibold, president of Agate Publishing, whose Surrey imprint publishes books on food, dining, and entertaining; Laura Bruzas, founder and publisher of Healthy Dining Chicago, a community education and outreach effort; and guest moderator Tom O'Brien, of O'Brien Culinary Communications and Kendall College food writing faculty.'
BOOKS FOR THE FOOD WRITERS BOOKSHELF:
If you buy any books from Amazon after clicking on one of these links, we get a small commission (which helps support the site).
• Recipes Into Type: A Handbook for Cookbook Writers and Editors by Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon (who was copyeditor at Harper & Row when it first started publishing the big cookbooks)
• Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More by Dianne Jacob
• Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young
• Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling by Helene Dujardin.
Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd (also good on the author-editor relationship). See The Special Relationship by Scott Stossel (WSJ book review, 1-17-13). A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and his longtime editor offer a guide to the craft of nonfiction.
Hijacking History: SBOE Conservatives Rewrite American History Books (Brian Thevenot, The Texas Tribune, 1-12-10). A fascinating study of political influence shaping Texas social studies textbooks.
A Historian's Code by Richard W. Stewart (10-13-10)
The Historian's Gaze. Blog for the Masters Seminar in History in 2009 at Dalhousie University houses, with entries such as False Memory and Historians' Fallacies.
Interesting Nonfiction for Kids (I.N.K.). Rethinking nonfiction for kids.
Learning to Do Historical Research: A Primer for Environmental Historians and Others . William Cronon surveys essential stages of the research process and different kinds of documents that can offer information and insights about the past
Literati.net (an online community--by invitation only--of published book authors, both fiction and nonfiction)
Playing for Keeps: Intensity and Creativity in the Lyric Essay. Margaret Kimball's notes on a panel discussion at the AWP conference. Panelists: Steven Harvey, Kathryn Winograd, Robert Root (in absentia), Rebecca McClanahan (posted on Brevity's blog)
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The key elements of a sticky idea, they write, are simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. Practical strategies for creating sticky ideas.
Max Holland on Nov. 22, 1963 (Neely Tucker, Wash Post, 7-24-08 on Holland's VERY thorough research on JFK's assassination)
Menand, Louis. Excellent New Yorker essay, The Historical Romance: Edmund Wilson's Adventures with Communism ( 3-24-03), in which Menand writes: "Intuitive knowledge—the sense of what life was like when we were not there to experience it—is precisely the knowledge we seek. It is the true positive of historical work." Read full essay at http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/03/24/030324crbo_books1.
Modern Love Rejects ("All the Love That's Not Fit to Print"). Interesting to study the pieces that didn't make the cut for this popular New York Times essay slot.
Nonfiction Page Turners (transcript of Authors Guild Foundation symposium, with panelists Melissa Fay Greene, Nick Taylor, Sebastian Junger, Dava Sobel, Hampton Sides)
Top 5 Reasons Nonfiction Authors Should Be Speakers, Too (Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, 11-12-12)
Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade, 2000-2009 (NYU Journalism Institute)
Virtual Private Library (Marcus Zillman's annotated links to competent academic and scholarly search engines and sources)
When journalists become authors: a few cautionary tips (Peter Ginna for Nieman Storyboard)
When the author isn't a writer: bringing in a ghost (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 8-5-08, on getting experts published). See also section on Book collaboration and ghostwriting.
Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote? (Alexandra Horowitz, NY Times, 10-7-11)
Writing History in the Digital Age (a born-digital, open-peer-reviewed volume edited by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, available online here and forthcoming in print and open-access digital formats from the University of Michigan Press for the Digital Humanities Series of its digitalculturebooks imprint)
Your Brain on Story: Why Narratives Win Our Hearts and Minds (Michele Wheldon, Pacific-Standard, 4-22-14) "Our craving and connection to story is so much more than a haphazard preference."
“The power of anecdote is so great that it has a momentum in and of itself.” Ira Glass contends, “no matter how boring the facts are,” with a well-told story, “you feel inherently as if you are on a train that has a destination.”
Websites, organizations, and other resources
A GREAT READ
BOOK AND MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
WRITERS AND CREATORS
ETHICS, RIGHTS, AND OTHER ISSUES
EDITORS AND EDITING