Tag Archives: Forbes

Internet Literary News, July 2014

Nadine Gordimer

In July, I found myself looking back at some literary masters, publishers looking at new ways to sell books, writers thriving on social media, and a few lessons, bad and good, in our ongoing efforts to live the writing life. Please enjoy.

Martin Ott

The Loss of Nadine Gordimer

I was saddened to hear the news of the loss of one of my favorite writers Nadine Gordimer. In a year of saying goodbye to some of our best writers, this one hurts.

Issues of Re-Issues

Writers have a hard enough time finding readership — do we really have to worry about deceased literary heavyweights vying for a share of the marketplace? Last month, I highlighted new poems from Neruda. In July, Grove announced that it is issuing a lost story from Samuel Beckett. Scribner is also reissuing Hemingway’s classic novel The Sun Also Rises with a previously discarded first chapter. It seems as though publishers are starting to mimic movie studios in the way they mine old material to obtain a new audience.

Don’t Go Into Poetry for the Money, Honey

Kate Angus penned a great article at The Millions about how, even with the proliferation of MFA graduates and the hard work of small press and mainstream publishers, Americans seems to love poetry just not poetry books.

Writers Who Run the Literary Internet?

Flavorwire published a spotlight on 35 writers who run the literary internet. While it looks as though a few on the list purchased followers and  reach on Twitter, most of the writers highlighted here are worth following.

Let Amazon Run the Library System (It Runs Everything Else in Literature)

No Forbes isn’t the Onion, but it saw fit to publish Tim Worstall’s article “Close the Libraries and Buy Everyone an Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription. We all know the public library system is no engine of efficiency, but it provides more than just books to our communities (such as computer and internet access). Digitization is part of the future, obviously, but we need to find a way to support those of us who can’t afford the internet fast lane.

Odds and Ends

Here’s a few other links I found entertaining:

The First Asian American Superhero: The Green Turtle

What Writers Can Learn from Goodnight Moon

Computer Engineering: a Fine Day Job for a Poet

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Creative Writing – a Career for the Wealthy?

After reading a recent article in Forbes magazine on whether creative careers (journalism, designer, publishing) are now reserved exclusively for the privileged, I can’t help but wonder about creative writers, and the advantages afforded those who have the means to pursue their craft full time.

This is nothing new, of course. Throughout history, many of our well-known artists have had the means and time to help support them in their process of development.

As someone who joined the Army at 17 to pay college, went in massive debt for an MFA and who has always worked 8 -12 hours a day to make ends meet, this is a subject I’ve thought about quite a bit over the years.

First of all, this isn’t about sour grapes. I judge writing and writers only by what I read. I do believe, however, that our American literature and point of view is diminished by the lack of diversity from those with working class means.

Feel free to join in the debate – would love to hear your thoughts.

Martin Ott


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