Tag Archives: General nonsense

12 fun, quirky gifts for writers and readers

Confession: I’ve barely started my Christmas shopping, but I have started collecting ideas for gifts. While making my list and checking it twice, I’ve found some terrific ideas — for Christmas, birthdays or other occasions — for the reader or writer in your life. (Of course, you can always buy books or contribute on their […]

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Truly awful writing to inspire you

(Updated in June 2017) As my friend Sue once said, “Every time I start to lose a little faith in my fellow human beings, along come the Bulwer-Lytton awards.” This annual celebration of the best of the worst is the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Writers apply their talents to evil purpose, creating the worst opening sentence […]

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Another odd book title wins cheeky contest

At a time when attention spans are shorter than ever, a long-running quirky contest fits right in. Yes, I’m talking about The Bookseller’s Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title. “We don’t judge books on the contents within or even by their covers, but by their purest, quickest and shallowest way possible: from the title,” says […]

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Grammar nerds, this day’s for you

It’s National Grammar Day! I know, exciting, isn’t it? The big day goes back to 2008, when Martha Brockenbrough and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) founded it. SPOGG is “for people appalled by bad grammar in public spaces.” Yup, that’s me. One of my pet peeves is the mishandling of apostrophes. […]

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12 gifts for readers and writers

Are you still Christmas shopping? As the big day hurtles closer, those ads warning of “last minute” are starting to hit home. If you have avid readers/writers/word-and-punctuation nerds on your list, you might be interested in these dozen ideas, inspired by a UK site I found with 25 book-related gift ideas: 1.  “Reading is Sexy” […]

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Niche reads and odd titles in quirky contest

The clever folks at The Bookseller, a British trade magazine, have a way with words and a good sense of humour. Exhibit A: The Oddest Book Title contest. I’ve written before about this funny contest, conceived in 1978 by The Diagram Group’s Bruce Robertson as a way to avoid boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair. […]

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Take a break for some Christmas fun

Here it is, almost Christmas, and you’re trying to get work done? Take a minute for a laugh or two: Five days of Christmas sweaters, with Jimmy Fallon. In the original video I linked to (no longer available), he gives away one with a roaring fire scene he calls “unbelievable.” The perfect thing to wear […]

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Bravo to a prize that discourages bad writing

Author Helen Fielding didn’t get the prize because her Mad About the Boy wasn’t deemed “cringeworthy” enough. The Fifty Shades books didn’t qualify either, because the prize doesn’t go to porn or erotic literature. The prize in question is the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award, sometimes called “Britain’s most dreaded literary prize.” It’s […]

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Leave it to the Brits to celebrate bad writing about sex

In absolutely shocking news, E.L. James and her Fifty Shades books did not even make the shortlist for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award. Nor did J.K. Rowling for her adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. According to the Guardian‘s Maev Kennedy, the Fifty Shades trilogy didn’t qualify because the prize doesn’t go to porn […]

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More flattering, garbled spam

Oh, if only those spammers would just apply their endless energy to good!  But no, they are spending time posting spam. At least it is often flattering and cheery, if many times incoherent: This is definitely the thing I’ve been looking for! Wonderful and cheers! We truly dearly loved examining this blog. Regards. Sweet website, […]

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