Writer's Blog

Ed Roberson Wins 2016 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Ed Roberson has been named the winner of the 2016 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The annual prize honors a U.S. poet for outstanding lifetime achievement. It carries a $100,000 cash prize. It was established in 1986 by Ruth Lilly. Read more... May 23, 2016

Jonathan Franzen Blows Two Shakespeare Questions on Jeopardy!

It's been Power Players Week on Jeopardy! this week and the best episode was on Monday when novelist Jonathan Franzen competed against journalist Chuck Todd of Meet the Press and conservative commentator S. E. Cupp. They all played for charity: Franzen's charity was The American Bird Conservancy. We won't leave you in suspense: S.E. Cupp won and Franzen came in second because he totally blew two questions about Shakespeare. Read more... May 20, 2016

Google's AI Writes Poetry After Reading Thousands of Romance Novels

Google has been developing an artificial intelligence with researchers at Stanford and the University of Massachusetts. The researchers have been feeding this neural network romance novels in an attempt to make it more conversational. Read more... May 19, 2016

Hamilton Author Lin-Manuel Miranda's Inspiring Commencement Speech at University of Pennsylvania

Lin-Manuel Miranda gave a fascinating commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania on May 16th, where he was also awarded a Doctor of Arts. The writer and star of the Broadway smash Hamilton talked to the graduates about how important stories are and how you approach your own story is crucial for creativity. Hamilton, the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton set to rap music, just picked up an unheard of 16 nominations for Tony Awards and was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Read more... May 18, 2016

Han Kang and Deborah Smith Win 2016 Man Booker International Prize

Han Kang's novel The Vegetarian is the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. The novel was translated by Deborah Smith. Read more... May 16, 2016

Dead Writers Perfume Smells Like Old Books

Sweet Tea Apothecary has created a fragrance called Dead Writers Perfume. The fragrance has the scent of old books. The company says the fragrance "invokes the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more." Read more... May 14, 2016

George R.R. Martin Releases New Chapter From The Winds of Winter

George R.R. Martin has released a new chapter from the sixth book in A Song of Fire and Ice, The Winds of Winter. The chapter is entitled "Arianne" and is told from the point of view of Dornish Princess Arianne Martell. Arianne is the daughter of Prince Doran Martell, and is next in line to the throne. The HBO series based on the books diverges quite a bit from the books in its treatment of Dorn and its inhabitants. Read more... May 12, 2016

Moist, Crevice and Slacks: Study Reveals the Most Repulsive English Words

Writers pay a great deal of attention to what words they use, whether they are writing fiction, nonfiction or poetry. But even the most skilled writer can alienate a reader if he uses a word that disgusts that reader just because of the way it sounds. A recent study on word aversion among Americans was published in the journal PLOS One. The study was conducted to discover why so many people have an aversion to words such as "moist." Read more... May 7, 2016

Walt Whitman's Manly Health Tips

Walt Whitman was one of the best known American poets. In addition to his famous poetry, he also contributed articles and stories to newspapers and other publications. His writing include articles published under the pseudonym Mose Velsor for the New York Atlas. A health guide published by Whitman was recently rediscovered. Read more... May 4, 2016

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