News & Updates - July 2022

Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.

 

In General

Bitcoin Prices Are Falling

What started out as a boom in the writing world seems to be coming to a crashing halt. We are sure there are numerous reasons for the plunge of bitcoins, but the vast unknown about them is the main reason we caution our readers about bitcoins and NFTs. These are unchartered waters. Use caution. To read more, go to: https://nicolelapin.bulletin.com/is-this-the-crypto-pocalypse/

Book Sales Boom – Busted?

Book sales are finally coming down, post pandemic. Some good news though – the romance genre had gains, with sales up 33%  Read more

Harper Collins Unionized Employees Set to Strike

Unionized employees plan a one-day strike on July 20. The Local 2110 represents 250 employees in editorial, sales, publicity, design, legal, and marketing. The current contract expired at the end of 2021, and no new agreement has been forthcoming. Read more

Macmillan US Begins Processing Orders

Macmillan US was shut down for more than a week due to a security incident. Back in business now, they are adding more resources to work through the backlog of orders. Read more

Congress Holds Hearings, Focuses on Censorship in Classrooms

Congressional Subcommittee investigates rise in censorship of teachers in public school classrooms. Read more 


Tech-Knowledge

Senators as Copyright Office to Conduct NFT/IP Issues Study

Despite risks, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) remain popular. Issues of IP irregularities came to the attention of senators Thom This (NC) and Patrick Leahy (Vermont) and they have requested the US Patent, Trademark Office, and Copyright Office undertake a joint study. Read more

A Regulatory View of NFTs

NFTs can sell for record breaking prices. Secondary markets can be fruitful, too. If you want to learn more about the concerns posed by NFTs, check out this series by IP Law Watch. Read more


Are You Interested?

Writers Critique Groups

Reedsyblog (Free) – Reedsy has hit a goldmine here. If you’ll sign up for their weekly short story Writing Prompt Contest, you will receive constructive criticism on your story. Read all about it on their blog.
   
Beta Readers and Critique Partners (Free) - This group started two years ago and has grown to almost 7,000.  

Critique Circle (Free membership; Premium $59; Premium Gold $95).

Absolute Write (Free membership).


Writing Tips

Power Words

What Are Power Words?


As Jon Morrow puts it: Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious. Authors, freelance writers, copywriters, and content marketers use “power words” to spice up their content and compel audiences to take action.

Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious. Authors, freelance writers, copywriters, and content marketers use “power words” to spice up their content and compel audiences to take action.

If you want to add deeper meaning to your story, consider using Power Words. Go to https://smartblogger.com/power-words/ to read more of Jon Morrow’s article on the use of power words.
 

Reference Books

There are a variety of reference books to choose from, but reference books are only as good as your use of them. Leaving a reference book on a bookshelf will do nothing to help you become a better writer.

There are three reference books I keep near me at all times: 1) Spunk & Bite by Arthur Plotnik; 2) Stein on Writing by Sol Stein; and 3) Style – Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams. Stein on Writing is by far my favorite.

To refresh my memory of our English grammar, I also keep The Little Brown Workbook, 2nd Edition, near me. It covers the basics of grammar and is a quick reference when I’m in a hurry.

No matter which reference books you prefer, use them. They really do help us as we journey through our writing endeavors.


Famous Quotes and Advice

"Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."  -- William Faulkner


Fun Facts

Pulitzer for Fiction

Who has won the Pulitzer for fiction more than once?

Four authors have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction twice: Booth Tarkington (1919 and 1922), William Faulkner (1955 and 1963), John Updike (1982 and 1991), and Colson Whitehead (2017 and 2020).

If you would like to volunteer to be part of the Policy & Advisory Committee (PAC), please contact volunteer@rwa.org.