Reviews of Writing Books

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The Screenwriting Life, by Rich Whiteside

Boulevard, Mar., 1998.
Trade Paperback, 278 pages.
ISBN: 0425164969
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Cover of The Screenwriting Life
by Rich Whiteside Rich Whiteside edits and produces the UCLA newsletter, Fade In. He has interviewed numerous people in the screenwriting business, including screenwriters, agents and producers such as Stephen J. Cannell and Joe Gunn. In The Screenwriting Life, he has collected the best of these interviews to provide the reader with an inside look at the screenwriting world. The book is divided into sections including writing for a dramatic series, writing for a sitcom series, writing for television, developing and producing low budget features, interviews with writers, interviews with agents, a section on why film school is important and an appendix on screenwriting software programs.

The Screenwriting Life contains a wealth of information about what it takes to make it in the television and movie business. Through questions and answers from selected interviews, Rich Whiteside paints a picture of the lifestyle, struggles and successes of Hollywood screenwriting. A invaluable resource and learning tool for aspiring screenwriters.

1998 Songwriter's Market, edited by Cindy Laufenberg

Writer's Digest Books, Sep., 1997.
Trade Paperback, 519 pages.
ISBN: 0898797950
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Cover of 1998 Songwriter's Market
edited by Cindy Laufenberg Songwriters will be pleased with this great reference which offers practical advice and sources for selling your songs. The Songwriter's Market includes detailed information on music publishers, record companies, record producers, managers, booking agents, audiovisual firms, theatre companies and classical performing acts. Each listing contains contact information (names, addresses, email, website, etc.), how to submit your songs or demos, tips and the type(s) of music being sought. The book also provides articles on the music business and interviews with professionals.

In addition to providing the contact information and submission details on how to get your work published, The Songwriter's Market also acts as an introduction to the business for beginners. The book provides information on how to get started, a breakdown of how a songwriter can generate income in the music business, interviews and tips from experts. A necessary tool for songwriters who are serious about their careers.

Writing Poetry, by David Kirby

The Writer, Aug., 1997.
Trade Paperback, 106 pages.
ISBN: 0871161818
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Cover of Writing Poetry
by  David Kirby Writing Poetry explains what the different types of poetry are and how to write your own poems. Using examples of some of his own poetry and selected poetry of other well-known masters of the craft including Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, David Kirby presents a positive picture on how to improve your poetry by providing ideas, inspiration and suggestions. The book includes Kirby's basic rules which include the rules "be a sponge," "employ standard usage" and "work on several poems at once." The book also contains sections on different types of poetry with examples and explanations, a section on getting your poetry published and a list of books poets should read.

Writing Poetry is a great teaching tool for novices, offering sound advice and encouraging suggestions. Using a teaching by example approach, Kirby leaves the reader inspired to practice writing poetry and with a solid grasp of the basic skills needed to do so.

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