Sunday, September 23, 2012

Writers on Writing - Stout, Jones, Gutkind, Boo, Streitfeld

There’s been quite a few solid pieces I've come across lately that deal in the subject of writers and their writing.

A profile of someone knee deep in the writing industry was "Glenn Stout Lives Way Up There" for The Classical. Really interesting piece on a guy who’s taken a fairly meandering path in his writing (including his now 20 plus years as series editor of the excellent Best American Sports Writing books).

In terms of some of the nuts and bolts around producing great narrative non-fiction were three different pieces. For Guernica Magazine, there was “Reporting Poverty:Emily Brennan interviews Katherine Boo”. Really interesting content from the journalist who wrote her first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, out of time spent with people in the slums of Mumbai. Additionally, posted to the site Gangry is a Q&A with Esquire and ESPN writer Chris Jones on both his own writing and journalism in general. It was solid stuff from Jones that brings to mind some of his past dishing on writing. Third piece around producing narrative non-fiction was by Lee Gutkind, author of the recently published You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction--from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between”. Posted to the New York Times website was Gutkind’s interesting piece “The Yellow Test” about the importance of writing scenes when producing compelling non-fiction.

Finally, a couple of other interesting things I came across lately were mention of a writing conference and another New York Times piece. The conference is East Meets West: A Gathering of Literary Journalists in mid-November at Cal Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and New York Times piece was written by David Streitfeld. Titled “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy”, it’s on the practice of writers paying for reviews (not surprising that these purchased reviews tend to be positive) to sites like Amazon.