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Freaky Friday: Your Recap of the Week in Weird Writing-World News

George Washington: every library’s worst nightmare. Being 221 years late on returning two tomes, the president has racked up some $4,577 in fines.

Everyone’s favorite authorial supergroup has a new talent:Jennifer Weiner has joined The Rock Bottom Remainders. The group, “one of the world’s highest ratios of noise to talent,” has featured Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King, Matt Groening, Amy Tan and others.

Apparently $200,000 for a part-time gig wasn’t enough for Danielle Steel’s former assistant: Kristy Watts, who was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison this week, embezzled nearly $800,000 from the author.

Damn those promiscuous vampires: Stephenie Meyer and others earned a place on an ALA list of “most frequently challenged books” (essentially meaning complaints were filed with libraries to have the books pulled from shelves). The author’s racy company includes the ttyl books by Lauren Myracle and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (Alice Walker—seriously?).

A great, non-absurd list on absurdity: Absurd guru Michael Foley ranks his top 10 absurd classics.

Finally, a random fact pulled from an intriguing story about a New York Public Library Voltaire exhibit: The author originally released his classic Candide—featuring such character names as Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh—using the simple pseudonym “Dr. Ralph.”

Happy weekend!

(Image: Salvatore Vuono)

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At the funeral, you fidget nervously as you wait in line to pay your respects. When you reach the casket, the face of the woman standing next to it changes.

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Also, the new Writer's Digest University—an excellent hub of writing
courses and workshops—has gone live. Check it out at writersdigestuniversity.com,
where you can take part in a
free mini course
about how to create a salable nonfiction book
concept.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters dance.

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Russell James shares how convention act as more than networking events for writers, but as an opportunity to be face-to-face with your readers, to make new friends, and more.

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

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Examples of Hooks for Books

60 Examples of Hooks for Books

This post collects 60 examples of hooks for books. Also called elevator pitches, these book hooks show real-life examples in a variety of writing genres for fiction and nonfiction books.

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

A century’s old family heirloom acted as a clue to the past for author Cornelia Maude Spelman. Here, she shares how to turn artifacts and research into a family memoir.

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Author and publisher Miriam Parker discusses her surprise at writing her new novel, Room and Board.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 622

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a story poem.

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

When to retell history, when to imagine new scenarios, and who’s safe to use as a subject—author Gill Paul shares 7 tips for fictionalizing real historical characters.

A Thief in the Market

A Thief in the Market

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, someone is stealing from small business owners.