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Notes From Elsewhere: Comics Suggestions, The Business Side of Writing + More | Word Riot

October 28, 2015      

Notes From Elsewhere: Comics Suggestions, The Business Side of Writing + More

Hello, Rioters! Happy Halloween Week to you all. (‘Halloween Week’ is totally a thing. Just go with it.) Are any of you doing literary-themed costumes this year? I am, if one counts comic book characters (and I do).

Speaking of comics…

These are comics! I draw them! (cover)

I’m also enjoying These are Comics! I Draw Them! by Michael Patrick McMullen. You can get his first collection for a mere 99 cents here.

If you like your comics heavy on the sex, Gina Nicoll at Panels has some suggestions for you. I keep meaning to read Sex Criminals, but have yet to get to it.

Also at Panels, Nikki Steele interviews Arigon Starr, author of the comic Super Indian and Artistic Director at Native Realities Press.

I really like The Rumpus’ ongoing series Small Stories, “journalistic comics about the lives of everyday people in Israel and Palestine in the summer of 2014.” Small Stories #3 by Madeleine Witt is lovely.

Have you all seen Women Write About Comics? Expect me to share articles from them in the future.

Priscilla Frank has a good roundup of queer comic creators, over at HuffPo. And no, it’s not all about Alison Bechdel (who is great, but these 18 people are more unknown).

And at Electric Lit, MariNaomi has an illustrated account of the tense conversation between Roxane Gay and Erica Jong on the subject of intersectional feminism. (Cristen Conger at Refinery 29 also has some good analysis of the event, albeit not in illustrated form.)

Speaking of intersectionality…

At Lit Hub, Matthew Salesses reminds us that we need diverse diverse books:

Sometimes it seems that what publishing is looking for, when they look to the Market to sell books by marginalized writers, is a single story. It is: this writer is the Dominican writer, or the Japanese writer, or the Sudanese writer that you should read right now. After all, we live in a culture that sells books with the tagline, if you read only one book this year. The Market threatens to create a sort of cultural bingo card, where readers are meant to tick off ethnicities until they can raise a hand and shout, “Diversity!”

The “We Need Diverse Books” campaign is awarding mentorships to children’s authors and illustrators. The deadline for application is October 31so get on it, if you’re interested.

Shannon Barber has a great essay on “The Joy of Being a Flailing, Flappy-Handed Black Nerd,” over at the newly launched women-run site The Establishment.

NPR has an interview with Megan Mayhew Bergan, author of Almost Famous Women. I should see if my library has the book. Not that I don’t have 200 unread books already sitting here at home. Shhh…. That’s besides the point.

Take the word “should” as prescriptive as you’d like, but Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire has rounded up “20 Female Harlem Renaissance Writers You Should Know.”

Also at NPR, Anya Kamenetz takes a look at “The Writing Assignment That Changes Lives:”

Overall, the “self-authoring” students greatly improved the number of credits earned and their likelihood of staying in school. And after two years, ethnic and gender-group differences in performance among the students had all but disappeared.

The ethnic minorities in question made up about one-fifth of the students. They are first- and second-generation immigrants from non-Western backgrounds — Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

While the history and legacy of racial oppression are different from that in the United States, the Netherlands still struggles with large differences in wealth and educational attainment among majority and minority groups.

The Business of Writing

Andrew Scott has shared an interesting interview he did with Rachel Riederer about the troubles that come with being an adjunct professor, especially in the English department. On a related note, Andrew has also written about the trouble with getting a good academic job, period.

I liked this post from Myfanwy Collins about book promotion, both as an author herself and as a former bookseller.

And speaking of book promotion, Maureen Johnson answers a reader’s question about how to approach an author during an in-store event, especially if it’s one of those “writer sadly sits at a table alone” type deals.

Stephanie Feldman has laid waste to the idea that books are writers’ babies. Babies and books are both work, of course, but they’re not the same work.

John Scalzi, recent recipient of quite a major book deal, has a good reminder to all creative types: make sure your will and estate are in order.

A little bit of hope: this year’s Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James’ first novel was rejected 78 times before it was published in 2005. Keep at it!

And finally, here’s a great account of the time Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde met. Advice on self-promotion ensues.

Until next time, friends!


Notes From Elsewhere is brought to you by Sara Habein, who doesn’t pretend to be the first to know anything. 

Currently reading:

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

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