The ASJA Weekly
Aug. 15, 2014

Freelancers: ASJA Fall Conferences Now Open
ASJA
ASJA offers two Fall 2014 events for freelance writers who want to kick their careers up into higher gear. New Avenues in Journalism, featuring keynote speaker Kara Swisher and slated for Oct. 10-11 in San Francisco, brings writers and experts together to explore the new directions journalism is heading. Custom content, self-publishing, brand journalism and more are on the agenda. The following month in Chicago, ASJA's Content Connections is back for a second year. Keynote speaker Jay Heinrichs will get things started with his keynote, "Crossing the Great Content Divide: Actionable Steps to Creating a New Content Career." More

Commitment or Obsession? When It's Time to Let Go
Randi Minetor, ASJA
Where is the line between commitment to your pet project and manic obsession? It took me six years of fencing with the fates before I found my answer — long after the project of a lifetime had been royally skewered.

I'm a road warrior with a passion for America's national parks, and I dreamed of a book on the Passport To Your National Parks® program, telling readers where to find more than 1,700 Passport cancellation stamps throughout the national park system. In 2006, I gained permission from Eastern National Bookstores, owners of the Passport program, to pitch my book idea to a commercial publisher.More

How to Harness Creativity to Empower Your Writing
Writer's Digest
Whether writing about past trauma, significant life events or empty-nest syndrome, we as writers feel compelled to put our experiences eloquently into words and share our stories with the world. And creativity is our wellspring, the spark that ignites our writing. Although creativity can be defined, we can’t tangibly point to it or locate it within ourselves.More

Study; Reading Print Versus Digital Increases Comprehension
GalleyCat
Reading a print book is better for comprehension than reading on a computer, according to a new report out of Norway. Researchers from at the Reading Centre of the The University of Stavanger conducted a study on a group of 10th graders and formed this conclusion. More

In a Novelist's World, You Choose Your Race
The New York Times
A fan of James Baldwin's work, Jess Row said he set out to have "Your Face in Mine" explore the ways people try to escape their racial identities, as well as investigate their desire for racial reconciliation and deeply unconscious fears and discomforts around race.More

Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon
The New York Times
Out here in the woods, at the end of not one but two dirt roads, in a shack equipped with a picture of the Dalai Lama, a high-speed data line and a copy of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," Amazon's dream of dominating the publishing world has run into some trouble. Douglas Preston, who summers in this coastal hamlet, is a best-selling writer — or was, until Amazon decided to discourage readers from buying books from his publisher, Hachette, as a way of pressuring it into giving Amazon a better deal on e-books. More

How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of 'Middleman' Services
Writer Beware
Victoria Strauss, a writer for Writer Beware, says: "I know I've written about this before. But I'm seeing an increasing number of these kinds of 'services,' and they are all worthless. What am I talking about? Agent middleman services--services that, for a fee, purport to contact agents on your behalf with the aim of snagging representation and, hopefully, a publishing contract."More

Writer's Digest, BookBaby Partner on Self-Publishing Imprint
Publishers Weekly
Writer's Digest, a division of F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, has partnered with self-publishing service provider BookBaby to launch a new self-publishing division. Blue Ash Publishing will give authors the "education resources" of the Writer's Digest community, alongside the distribution power of BookBaby's sales network. More

Beyond Braille: 3-D Printed Books For The Blind
NPR
Now here's something Helen Keller couldn't have dreamed up: the, but with all the pictures — the mittens and the kittens, the socks and clock, the mouse and little house — come to life in sculptural 3-D. Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder already have imagined it. And they, along with others in the Tactile Picture Books Project, — as well as 3-D printed versions of and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.More