Reviews of Writing Books

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Variety Guide to Film Festivals by Steven Gaydos

Perigee, October 1998.
Trade Paperback, 199 pages.
ISBN: 0399524428
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Variety Guide to Film Festivals
by Steven Gaydos Film festivals are crucial to those in the movie business. Film festivals provide looks at up and coming movie makers, networking with movie professionals and insight into developments in the industry. Variety has created a book that lists over 400 film festivals worldwide including all the major and minor festivals. The book contains articles on the history of film festivals, how festivals can help make a film, the success of Indie films and how to start a film festival. The film festival listings include contact information (with email and website addresses), geographical location and dates. Many of the listings also contain an in-depth summary of the festival detailing its significance, history and future plans. Filmmakers, movie fans and screenwriters will want to have this concise and comprehensive guide to film festivals handy when they start making their travel plans for next year.

The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference by the editors of Writer's Digest Books

Writer's Digest Books, September 1998.
Hardcover, 277 pages.
ISBN: 0898798663
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The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference
by the editors of Writer's Digest Books This reference for writers of fantasy short stories and novels provides a wide range of reference information on fantasy topics including fantasy creatures such as elves, dwarves and dragons, and details on medieval lifestyles, castles and weapons. The book begins with an inspirational introduction by bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks, and includes chapters on fantasy subjects including fantasy cultures, world cultures, magic, witchcraft, pagan rituals, fantasy races, mythical creatures, dress and costume, armor, weapons and the anatomy of a castle. Each section provides details on the subject, illustrations and definition of common terms. For example, the chapter entitled Arms, Armor and Armies contains detailed listings of different types of weapons such as halberds, polearms and a variety of swords; detailed looks at armor including mail, breastplate, shields and a variety of helmets with diagrams including a front and back illustration of knight which identifies the different types of armor; and a look at different fighting forces such as the crusaders, the federatti and Viking warriors.

The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference provides detailed information on elements common to fantasy novels that until now could not be found in a single source. A valuable reference for the fantasy writer which can save hours come research time.

The Writer's Handbook 1999 edited by Sylvia K. Burack

The Writer, Inc., October 1998.
Hardcover, 898 pages.
ISBN: 0871161842
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The Writer's Handbook
edited by Sylvia K. Burack The Writer's Handbook contains market listings, articles on the craft of writing and interviews with popular and successful authors such as Elmore Leonard, P.D. James and Joyce Christmas. Articles in this edition cover a wide range subjects including general fiction, genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, editing and marketing. The articles are written by experts including bestselling authors Erica Jong, Poul Anderson and Sidney Sheldon. The market listings include numerous publications and book publishers as well as other types of markets such as newspaper op-ed sections, and markets for play manuscripts. Also included are listings for writing organizations, writers' conferences, literary prize offers, state arts councils and literary agents. A glossary in the book defines writing-related terms such as slush pile, tear sheet and over-the-transom.

Editor Sylvia K. Burack, who is also Editor and Publisher of The Writer magazine, has again collected an outstanding selection of articles and interviews which will be of great interest to anyone trying to make it as a writer in today's difficult market. An indispensible resource which no writer should be without.

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