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Who are all these editors?

Help me understand the editor hierarchy at the magazine I write for. Every article I do for them seems to take a different path, with different editors contacting me about different things, but it's never consistnet. I can never figure out if I'm communicating with the right person. [more inside]
posted by Ookseer on Apr 25, 2013 - 9 answers

The perils of listening to your readers

A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Where did my brain go?

Help me rescue my analytical faculties so I can survive the last months of grad school with my dignity intact. [more inside]
posted by avocet on Apr 21, 2013 - 16 answers

Insert Obligatory Joke About Seamen

In older times, ships used to have sailors. These sailors had actual job functions, like adjusting the sails, checking on the rigging, etc. Later on, when ships were steam-powered, there were jobs like "putting coal in the engine" or "maintaining the boiler." However, in modern times, with all the technology in a cargo vessel, it seems to me that sailing it is something that could be done by a single person. So what do all the other sailors do? To put it another way, what are the actual "job functions" and titles of sailors about a modern cargo ship?
posted by wolfdreams01 on Apr 20, 2013 - 15 answers

Reeeeelax. (But I am!)

I am not casual. My job requires me to write casually. I keep getting told to be less "direct" in my intercommunication style with people. Oh yeah, and I'm an Aspie woman. [more inside]
posted by Phalene on Apr 19, 2013 - 22 answers

How to format a writing portfolio for an online job application

I'm job hunting for the first time in a few years, and I just saw a perfectly delicious looking Content Editor gig at a women's apparel website. They want me to include my writing portfolio, for obvious reasons. What's the most current best practice for how this should be formatted and attached to my application email? I have a variety of blog, website, and social media content from my current and former jobs. Should I just pick my favorite clips, toss them in a word doc, and attach it? Something fancier? Any formatting specifics? Should I also include a link to my personal website with more samples? Thanks, writerly Mefites!
posted by anonymous on Apr 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me to better express expressive expressions.

I read a lot, and my receptive vocabulary is excellent. However, no so much on the expressive side. I tend to repeat the same word over and over in my writing, and sometimes have difficulty picking appropriate word to succinctly capture a concept. So, what's a good and specific exercise(s) for increasing one's expressive vocabulary?
posted by pakoothefakoo on Apr 10, 2013 - 6 answers

Can you identify this from Carl Sagan?

Years ago (years!) I recall a TV show with Carl Sagan wherein he was standing in a library and made the point that if he read x books per week for x number of years then he would have read a small fraction of the books that have ever been written. His point was that even a well-read person can only ingest a fraction of what is out there. I've always like that quote and would like to find this scene on YouTube or another site... Anyone?
posted by gilast on Apr 7, 2013 - 3 answers

What does this note say? Possibly arabic?

A friend of a friend posted a picture of a note to facebook. Can any of you identify the language and offer a translation of what it says? [more inside]
posted by knapah on Apr 3, 2013 - 8 answers

Writing spot in Lower Manhattan or upper Brooklyn

When I lived in Chicago, there was a great late-night coffee shop called New Wave Cafe in Logan Square that was perfect for after-work writing. I've been having a hard time finding a similar spot since moving to NYC. It doesn't need to be a coffee shop, but it does need to be well-lit enough that I can read, and calm enough that I won't be seen as preventing the establishment from doing business. Bonus points if the place has a neighborhood-y feel with a friendly staff. I live in Greenpoint, work in SoHo, and usually commute via bicycle over the Williamsburg Bridge. Any suggestions, Metafilter?
posted by eustacescrubb on Mar 31, 2013 - 12 answers

The visual equivalent of 'Prisencolinensinainciusol'

There are Latin fonts designed to mimic Cyrillic, Asian characters, and many other scripts. What are some examples of foreign-script fonts which mimic Latin characters?
posted by Gordafarin on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Self-promotion during self-doubt - the writing edition

I started freelance writing recently and have met a couple of people who are dream contacts -- a literary agent who's reached out to me for book ideas, and an editor who offered to have lunch with me to see what else I might contribute to their publication. The problem is, I'm very new to this and, though thrilled to be able to write for an audience, am really struggling between courageous ambition and compulsive self-effacement. I know creative producers go through this all the time. However, my question is: how do I take advantage of these opportunities ASAP in spite of it? [more inside]
posted by taramosalata on Mar 29, 2013 - 5 answers

Managing difficult stakeholders: Bad writer edition

Professional communicators of Metafilter: Please give me your tips for handling subject matter experts who write poorly, but don't know it. When a colleague is adamant that their disorganised writing and grammatical errors Must Not Be Changed, how do you respond? [more inside]
posted by embrangled on Mar 28, 2013 - 31 answers

Need help finding websites similar to Thought Catalog

Are there any blog/writing websites out there that are like Thought Catalog, but slightly more... mature I guess? Without the high-school/college drama or pop culture nonsense. Sometimes I feel just slightly too old for TC's target demographic. :/ But I do enjoy reading short blog posts from a variety of authors. Thanks in advance
posted by The Biggest Dreamer on Mar 22, 2013 - 4 answers

How to stop trunking my short fiction before it's even submitted?

I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc. My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 21, 2013 - 11 answers

How do I check my feminism as a writer?

Are there other simple-to-express checks like the Bechdel Test for measuring gender bias and feminism in fiction? I try hard to make sure I'm being a decent feminist as a writer -- I'm a guy, I tend to write with male protagonists but with a lot of female characters involved, and I worry about my blind spots. [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Mar 19, 2013 - 18 answers

I have opinions, where should I put them?

For the last few years, I have reviewed every book I read on Goodreads, just for my own edification. I read a lot. I have written a lot. Is there a better use to put this content to? [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad on Mar 16, 2013 - 25 answers

Writing class in LA - NOT looking to be next big screen writer

I'm looking for something in Los Angeles that is similar to the Loft in Minneapolis - writing classes for all abilities and ambitions. I am not looking to write the next Pulp Fiction, only to have fun and actually write. I've found one potential place so far - this is a big city!! I must be missing something... right? [more inside]
posted by munichmaiden on Mar 14, 2013 - 8 answers

Help me discover some work that matches my interests!

I'm 31 years old and looking for a career change. I've come to love research and I've always loved reading nonfiction and true crime as well as the exposé articles often published by alternative weeklies. What are some careers that would fit these interests, and how do I work my way towards those careers? [more inside]
posted by averageamateur on Mar 11, 2013 - 9 answers

I am looking for an Internet-free laptop to use for writing.

I can't think properly while online. Nor can I think properly if the Internet is a few clicks away. So I am looking for a laptop that can run Open Office, Adobe, and MS Word, has a USB port for swapping files on and off. It must not be capable of connecting to the Internet, at least not wirelessly. Alternately, I'd be interested in ways to permanently disable the wireless on my old unibody MacBook Pro, model 1.1. Then I could buy a second laptop for Internet purposes. The goal is two laptops--one that's capable of online work and one that is not.
posted by thecolor12 on Mar 11, 2013 - 11 answers

Online Work Tracking Solutions for PhD student writing buddies?

There seems to be huge number of online work/project tracking/logging programs out there, but they are mostly designed for small businesses and freelancers (e.g. focussed on invoicing) and charge by the month. I've seen a few that look OK like Toggl and Slimtimer but none that seems ideal for my needs yet. Can anyone recommend ones (ideally free and with the ability to track different tasks & share that tracking/logging) that are easy to use, have decent functionality, and would be good for 2 friends working on writing their PhD theses and would like to try and help each other keep track of how much work they're doing? [more inside]
posted by zresearch on Mar 10, 2013 - 6 answers

first fiction contest

I'm submitting a story to a fiction contest, attaching it to an email. Other than the contest guidelines, is there anything else I need to do to the document or be aware of?
posted by larry_darrell on Mar 9, 2013 - 2 answers

The perfect App-set

I've got a brand new (refurb) Retina MacBook Pro, fresh out of the cellophane wrapper. I've been eking out a slow and cluttered existence on a combination of my iPad mini, my oldish Mac Mini, my iPhone, and a desktop Windows machine (for gaming) for a couple of years. I haven't had a laptop in... I can't even remember if I have ever had a laptop. Help me find the perfect set of apps for it? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by kythuen on Mar 7, 2013 - 9 answers

Mythology about books and writing

I'm looking for myths/stories about books and writing. Not - and this is where I'm running into trouble with google - top ten lists about cafe productivity and self-publishing; I mean more like a hero whittling a pen from the boughs of Yggdrasil and then stealing ink from the Kraken, with the goal of writing down the secrets of Enki in order to embarrass him and get him to pay the 5 goats owed. Or whatever. Any location/time is fine! Can be short, can be long.
posted by curious nu on Mar 5, 2013 - 20 answers

Need To Find A Freelance Editor

I need an editor (copy and content) for an edgy, non-traditional chapbook of poems. Word count is light -- around 4,000. Budget is nearly non-existent (this is an art project) but there would be some kind of honorarium attached. Can someone help me find a good, trusty editor?
posted by nowhere man on Mar 3, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me find a no-nonsense writing group.

I've tried several different writing groups and classes. Each ended up being 10% writing and 90% sitting around in a circle giving "three positives and three negatives!" about other writers' submissions. I don't want to do that. [more inside]
posted by apparently on Mar 2, 2013 - 4 answers

is Writer's Market dot com worth the subscription cost?

I'm a freelance writer in the second year of my career, as well as a lifelong creative writer with several published works. I've done a lot of performing arts blogging and local news writing and I'd like to build on that and get into more paying work as well as increase my publication credits. I've been recommended to join Writer's Market. Have others had worthwhile experiences with the service? Also happy to hear about other options. Thanks!
posted by letstrythis on Feb 28, 2013 - 5 answers

How can I find consistent freelance copywriting work for 5 cents a word?

I'd like to get more into freelance copywriting. It's something I can do from home, and I'm pretty good at it. I have a money and time goal for it. Money: 5 cents a word Time: 15 hours a week Total: About $1,500 a month. I'm on Textbroker, but they rarely pay more than 1.5 cents a word. I'm open to pay-by-project too, if they're consistent. How would I go about finding regular clients/websites that could help me reach my goal?
posted by tuberose on Feb 27, 2013 - 3 answers

How can I achieve a state of creative flow as a writer?

When I'm racing to meet a writing deadline, I feel a sense of exhilaration, momentum, and flow. How can achieve that state on a regular basis so I can make steady progress on my writing? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman on Feb 27, 2013 - 17 answers

Where can I find this awesome notebook?

I have a perfect notebook, left over from college, and would love to find more just like it. But it has no branding -- I have no idea who manufactured the darn thing. My school doesn't seem to sell them anymore. It's 7" by 10", double-wire bound, cloth hardcover, with nice lined pages. Each page has a little recycling triangle symbol on it (indicating 100 percent recycled). Pics inside. Anyone know who could've made it, or where to find the same? Many thanks! [more inside]
posted by dgrobinson on Feb 25, 2013 - 13 answers

Recommendations for a resume writing/editing service?

It's been almost 10 years since I last changed jobs and it's also been that long since I've written a resume. I'd like to get some (hopefully) expert opinion and editing to bring my resume up to date, both to reflect the skills/experience I've gained and ensure that it is in a format that will be acceptable to recruiters/companies. Has anyone used a resume service recently that you've been pleased with? (I'm located in the NYC metro area if that makes a difference).
posted by de void on Feb 12, 2013 - 2 answers

How to transition from commenting on blogs to "real" writing

In the last 9 years, I've written a Russian novel's worth of blog comments. Can you help me channel this energy into personal writing projects? NOTE : I am NOT interested in blogging. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 12, 2013 - 10 answers

Pitching Help! (Journalism)

I work as a journalist. However, I only get articles in publications due to my personal relationships with the editor(s). I've never been able to send in an unsolicited pitch and have it accepted. [more inside]
posted by GiveUpNed on Feb 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Resources on Polynesian myth.

For a friend: I’m writing about a fictional, Polynesian-inspired trickster god for a game. What are some resources I can consult so my storylines are respectful and grounded in authentic myth? Ideally, these sources will be fun to read as well.
posted by cthuljew on Feb 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Style for addressing a formal letter to multiple people

When addressing a formal or business letter to multiple parties, say, A, B, and C, is there a rule for the order, e.g. by how important people are? I.e. if A is more important than B is more important than C, is it: Dear Mr. A, Ms. B and Dr. C: or Dear Dr. C., Ms. B and Mr. A: and are there style guides that I can reference for this? [more inside]
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron on Feb 9, 2013 - 5 answers

How Do I Write My First Book?

How Do I Write My First Book? I'm a bit shy and uncertain about the whole process and need some help in understanding how to just let the words and story gel into something readable. [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Feb 8, 2013 - 13 answers

What techniques should be used to find the already written future of me?

Let's say that certain phases of my life were already written in a book 70 - 100 years ago by someone, who was either a futurist of a scifi-writer. Let's also say that there are people, who want to make sure - for some yet unknown reason - that I live through those phases and that my personality gets developed similarly to some character's personality in that book. The book would have been written a long time before I was born. Now, what kind of search engines and what kind of search strategies I should use to become sure that there actually is such a book? There might exists traces of revitalizing of the book, if the original writer didn't make good enough guesses about the future.
posted by spctrm on Feb 5, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me, and my team, strengthen our non-fiction writing skills

I lead a team of podcasters. They're all great people--intelligent, articulate, and very good speakers. We now wish to translate our spoken success to the page, and our early attempts have shown that despite the successes we have as speakers we're finding our writing skill (specifically in regards to concise, clear, engaging, and personable communication through the written word) is in need of honing. I need suggestions how to do that. [more inside]
posted by arniec on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Tell me about an essay that flows really well.

Hello! I am teaching a writing class, and am now teaching students about flow. I would like to do an exercise where I take an essay (preferably, somewhat academic) and cut it up and give it to them to rearrange to show how well the author transitions between paragraphs. The problem is, I can't find one that works in particular! If anyone has a good example, I'd be grateful.
posted by caoimhe on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Where are all the writers hiding?

The writing workshop I attend might end up dissipating soon. How can I find a replacement group? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Feb 3, 2013 - 3 answers

Fun, writing games?

So I'm having some friends over tonight. We're all writers and we're going to play some writing games. Do you have any that you might suggest? [more inside]
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? on Feb 1, 2013 - 17 answers

Writing catchy, fun, simple Facebook updates for a company. How?!

I have just become the person In Charge of Facebook for my small company. Last week I sat down and wrote some Facebook posts that my boss thought were "too cheesy." I agreed with him. They totally were. I am a social media lover- I have a tumblr, a Facebook, etc. I know when people try too hard and used to work for a government official who Did Not Get Facebook and so I know what definitely doesn't work. I've just never been in charge of writing one. [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Jan 30, 2013 - 12 answers

What are you best and worst experiences with a Director?

I'm a writer who has two one-act plays on in a theatre. I am also directing them but this will be my first time working as a director. What do you think makes a good director? What positive and negative experiences have you have and what could I do to make this go brilliantly? [more inside]
posted by Nufkin on Jan 27, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me write beautiful letters.

Rather than rely on our usual email correspondence, I would like to write some letters by hand to someone very important to me who lives very far away. [more inside]
posted by Callicvol on Jan 26, 2013 - 5 answers

Why isn't my husband interested in what I do?

I'm a writer married to a jazz musician. I always hoped I'd end up in this sort of arty, creative marriage. But there's a problem that is becoming overwhelming. In spite of fully expecting me to experience and support his art, my husband never, ever, reads anything I write. Not a two-page story or a blog post much less anything longer. He says he feels awful about never getting around to it (and I've made it clear it's fine if he hates it—I just want him to be willing to check it out) and he seems to be sincere... But he still doesn't read it. It really hurts me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 26, 2013 - 91 answers

OMG, storytelling in journalism is changing. What to read abot this?

Here's an European writing a book/thesis about storytelling in journalism. What texts (linguistics, literary theory etc – preferably *not* mass communication theory) might help in analysing contemporary changes in that field? [more inside]
posted by earthwormsleg on Jan 24, 2013 - 2 answers

Rom coms where the love interest is introduced later?

The standard format for a romantic comedy has both key characters introduced very early in the script/movie -- say, in the first ten pages/minutes. I'm looking for examples of romantic comedies where one of the romantic leads is introduced later in the movie. [more inside]
posted by allnamesaretaken on Jan 22, 2013 - 38 answers

CMS for book project

I'm considering writing a technical book, mostly a labour of love. I want to do the writing process online, like Bruce Eckel did for his excellent Thinking in Java years ago. In order to facilitate user feedback, Eckel had a very fine-grained commenting system, which he developed himself and called TalkBack. At the end of each paragraph there was a "comment" link that let users comment on that particular paragraph. Are there any other CMS that offers fine-grained feedback like that? I'm aware of an older (2003-2004?) Zope TalkBack implementation, but would like something more current. And if you think I'm looking for the wrong thing and should go about writing a book on the web differently, please chime in!
posted by Harald74 on Jan 22, 2013 - 8 answers

Sports metaphors for the unsporty

I came across the phrase "in his/her/my wheelhouse" last year for the first time and was shocked to learn there's an entire genre of writing with its own set of metaphors that I know nothing about. Sportswriting! [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 20, 2013 - 38 answers

Hanzi: How to increase patience?

Hello, I am currently studying Chinese. I'd be interested in any advice people could give me with regard to making my Hanzi practice more productive. [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jan 19, 2013 - 11 answers

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