The Art of Memoir: How to Make Your Life Story Sing

What distinguishes memoir from other forms of nonfiction? What makes a memoir, well, memorable? How much does an author writing this kind of book need to adhere to the facts? For answers we turn to resident expert, and NY Book Editor, Daniel Burgess who, at Simon & Schuster, acquired memoirs from New York Times contributor… Read more »

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MOSCOT Exec Discusses Her DIY Debut

Wendy Simmons, president of New York City eyewear company MOSCOT, has been all over the globe. But it was a 10-day trip in North Korea that inspired her to take pen to paper—or, rather, fingertips to keyboard—and write a book. Simmons, who worked with one of our editors, talked to us about getting the writing… Read more »

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Inside an Edit: Line Editing

NY Book Editors Writer Quote

When editors talk about polishing sentences, making them smoother, what do they mean? Have sentences become planes or aerodynamic cars? How do you ‘streamline’ prose with a line edit? Let’s examine a passage in Lucy Reevely’s manuscript, Alone With All of You. Lucy “knew the prose needed some reworking”, but she didn’t know what her editor,… Read more »

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Inside an Edit: Non-Fiction Structural Changes

Paul Engle’s decision to write Conciatore has a weird history. He became interested in a seventeenth century priest, Antonio Neri, who is often credited as the author of an ancient text called L’Arte Vetraria—one of the first and best texts about the art of glassblowing. Engle believed Neri had written the book, and set out to… Read more »

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Literary Devices Part II (Rhythm)

In the previous post, I discussed how the sounds of the words you choose can affect the way a reader experiences your prose. This second installment of our mini-series on literary devices is about devices that use rhythm. “Rhythm,” in this context, is basically the way that we break linguistic information down into digestible units… Read more »

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Literary Devices Part I (Sound)

Recently, we published a post on how studying poetry can make you a better prose writer. In it, I discussed a number of literary devices that I first encountered during my undergraduate studies in poetry writing. Learning about techniques commonly used in poetry has a great influence on my creative life in the years since,… Read more »

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How Studying Poetry Made Me a Better Writer

I consider myself a prose writer, which makes sense given that I write exclusively in prose these days. But this wasn’t always the case — for a long time I wrote poetry, and was considered a poet. About half the lit classes I took in college focused on poetry, I graduated from my school’s creative… Read more »

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What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?

Many authors don’t fully grasp the difference between a line edit and a copyedit. There are some similarities between the two: both pay detailed attention to your use of language, and involve mark-up on the pages of your manuscript. But make no mistake, these are two completely different processes, handled by professionals with different skill sets,… Read more »

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