Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Around the Word

Memoir mishaps: With the Three Cups of Tea controversy still percolating heavily, NPR talked to New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus about why it is so challenging for publishers to vet memoirs. From the aesthetic argument that writers have the license to shape their narrative to a cynical view that jazzed-up stories can sometimes sell more, Tanenhaus points out that there are many reasons for publishers to look the other way when it comes to memoirs.

Memoirs, think fast: Literary speed demons take note -- GalleyCat is hosting a six-word memoir contest for aspiring mini-memoir writers. Held in conjunction with Smith Magazine's Six-Word Memoir Story Slam, winning entries will get a chance to perform in the New York City reading. The subject of your memoir should be mothers and daughters or fathers and sons. For example, "Dad wore leather pants in Reno."

Murray's speak easy: For most speechwriters, giving a talk themselves  comes much less naturally than writing -- and can often be a source of dread. Vital Speeches editor David Murray comes to the rescue today with five easily applicable tips for keyboard jockies who are forced to get behind the podium. As Murray says, practicing a speech might be a pain, "but no more a pain than writing a long feature story would be for a certified electrician."

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