Writing

jeffrey james pacres via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/62168f

Once relegated to fanzines and the occasional bookstore, “fan fiction” is quickly becoming more accessible, more mainstream, and in some cases, more of a headache for authors who inspired the fans in the first place. On today’s show, why some authors are bucking against the trend.

Then, the days of the charity 5k may be over. Despite an improving economy, many of the biggest charity races are reporting drops in participation and funds raised. We’ll find out why adventure races like Tough Mudder may be to blame.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments. 

Artwork By: Kate Adams / kck.st/1zWdSus

There are jobs, and then there are dream jobs. On today’s show we’re featuring good gigs and odd jobs.  From a DJ who lives to uncover rare soul albums and share them with the world, to a woman who studies and creates board games for Dartmouth College’s Tilt Factor game lab. Plus, a broke writer who’d much rather read Dostoyevsky than Fifty Shades of Grey tries to break into the lucrative erotic lit genre.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Governor Maggie Hassan and the New Hampshire Writers' Project announced the four inaugural inductees to the New Hampshire Literary Hall of Fame Wednesday. The Hall of Fame will be housed as a permanent exhibit and artifact collection at SNHU's Learning Library on the school's Hooksett campus.

Writers' Project Board President Rob Greene and SNHU's Dean of the Shapiro Library, Kathryn Growney, stopped by NHPR's studio to talk about the inductees and the New Hampshire Literary Hall of Fame.

We can all remember our favorite sports movies – but what about our favorite sports-based books? On today’s show, Bill Littlefield of NPR’s Only A Game talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics inspired poetry. 

Then, we tackle another competition of sorts: passing the knowledge, the notoriously difficult test that every London cabbie has to take before he or she can get behind the wheel of a black taxi.

Plus a look at how and why the basketball shot clock came to be from Roman Mars’ podcast, 99% Invisible.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Since his debut on The Daily Show, Aasif Mandvi has held such titles as “Senior Muslim Correspondent”, “Senior Middle East Correspondent” and “Senior Foreign Looking correspondent”. On today’s show, Aasif Mandvi tells us why he almost didn't take the job.

Plus, between Thanksgiving, holiday preparation, and dealing with a general lack of sunlight, the month of November can be overwhelming, but one writer is making the case that it’s a great month to finally write that novel you’ve been talking about.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Despite having 94,000 miles of coastline and millions of acres of rivers, America imports 91% of its seafood. Today we explore the case for reviving the nation’s local fisheries. And, we’ll stay local with filmmaker Jay Craven, whose film Northern Borders is now on tour in New Hampshire. He tells us about the economics of regional filmmaking. Plus, word craft for fast times: a writing teacher celebrates the beauty and efficacy of writing short. 

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Sean Hurley

When you think of summer camp, you might think of games, crafts, sing-alongs or maybe canoes. But NHPR’s Sean Hurley paid a visit to another kind of summer camp, one devoted to hiking and writing.

We've only just started up the trail to Indian Head, but already 16 year old Brandi is having trouble breathing.

"Tired.  Really tired.  I don't really like having asthma.  It weakens me.  I was down there and I almost threw up."

By London Records. (Billboard page 25 1 May 1965) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a soldier, an army officer, and then a Foreign Service officer Ron Capps experienced five wars in ten years, and came home with severe PTSD. Today on Word of Mouth, he discusses founding the Veterans Writing Project, and the power of the written word in coping with the psychic wounds of war. Then, from Scottish bag pipes in the mid-18th century to Metallica in the mid-2000s, we’ll take a brief tour through the history of music as a weapon of war. Plus, a diehard Oasis fan is forced to admit that the band’s rivalry with Blur has unfairly colored his perception for the past 20 years.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments


NHPR / Michael Brindley

    

Coming up with a great story is difficult enough.

But try telling that story in three minutes.

Christopher Hermelin via The Awl

When Christopher Hermelin moved to New York, he lived like countless other jobless 20-somethings: no prospects, no money, and rent due at the first of the month. But instead of kicking around in a café, he hit the streets with a ten dollar typewriter and a sign printed: “Stories while you wait. Sliding scale, donate what you can.” And…it worked! Passersby paid him to write one-of-a-kind stories on the spot. While he isn’t the only person to make a living like this, on the streets of New York, he might be the one person whose photograph showed up on the internet. We’ll let him pick up the story from there. Christopher Hermelin is “The Roving Typist.”

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We turn now to that exemplary literary magazine, Playboy.  Hugh Hefner’s magazine has always been about the centerfold and male fantasy and an air-brushed version of female sexuality…but it's also a great read. Really.

In 2005, writer Amy Grace Loyd was hired to revive Playboy’s traditions of stories from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and short fiction from Margaret Atwood, or that scandalous interview with Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.  Amy was Playboy’s Fiction and Literary Editor for seven years, and she recently wrote in Salon about some of the ribbing she took for a job she loved. She also recently published her first novel, called “The Affairs of Others."

ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flickr Creative Commons

When was the last time you read a book? Not for work, not a kid’s bedtime story, but a real honest to goodness book, just for the pleasure of reading?

If you sheepishly answered, "more than a year ago," you’re not alone. A recent survey puts the number of Americans who have failed to crack a spine in more than a year at one in four. While new technological distractions have certainly cut into our reading time, our next guest would also like to blame the Sisyphean task of merely trying to choose a book that’s worthy of reading. His solution? Authors should take a break from writing to give readers a chance to catch up.

Colin Robinson is a co-founder of the New York based independent publisher OR.

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Producer's note: Unfortunately, technical difficulties on Tom's end prevented him from being able to join us for this segment...but as he's one of our favorite writers, we will make every attempt to get him on the program soon! /RL

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Literary journals offer aspiring writers a window into the process of professional publishing and immersion in the community of writers. They are a mainstay of MFA programs, and as well as a number of graduate and post-grad programs in the sciences. We wanted to know more about the creative lives of America’s future practitioners after leafing through Lifelines. That’s Dartmouth Medical School’s arts journal.

(Photo by Corey Garland, Garland Photography)

If If fiction writers can learn from police reports, true crime writers have the tricky task of transforming those reports into prose. Word of Mouth Senior Producer Rebecca Lavoie is also a true crime author. She and her husband Kevin Flynn have written and published two books, in the genre.

5-0 Prose

Jun 6, 2012
Photo Credit SeattleMunicipalArchives, Via Flickr Creative Commons

However much he saw of the world, Ernest Hemingway’s economical style of writing is often referred to as the iceberg theory…meaning that only one-eighth of the story behind a narrative needs to be above water.  We were reminded of this when we found the article "The Art of the Police Report" last year in the Writer’s Chronicle. The article drew lessons for crafting powerful prose from police reports filed by members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

Ready for some creative competition? Weekends on All Things Considered is launching Round 8 of its Three-Minute Fiction contest. Here's what we look for: original, short fiction that can be read in less than three minutes — that's no more than 600 words.

If you listen to All Things Considered often enough, you’ll notice that many of the stories and conversations we share with you work out to around three minutes long.

NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered has turned that scenario on its head, through its Three Minute Fiction contest.

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 A warning to vegetarians and vegans, this segment is about meat. And fish. And foul. Take coffee-crusted elkstrap, pheasant marsala, or country-fried antelope...yup, gourmet game.

Colin Kearns is deputy editor of Field and Stream Magazine, and editor of the Wild Chef column and blog, where such recipes are shared with hunters and consumers of all things hunted. 

 

(Photo by Nicole Abalde via Flickr Creative Commons)

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.