Daily Archives for: March 20th, 2017

The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’ Connor (1960)

Excerpted from review of The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O’Connor in The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), March, 1960: Flannery O’Connor, a comparatively young Southern woman, writes with such skill and control that to praise her novel to excess would come easily and willingly.

Suffice it to say that The Violent Bear It Away is the best of her three books and that a comparison between this neo-Gothic tale and the novels written by William Faulkner at the height of his literary powers, could in no way harm Miss O’Connor. Read More→


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Is it better to be a modest success than to risk failure?

Dear Literary Ladies,
I’m plugging away at a modest but steady writing career, but sometimes I think about aiming higher. I admit that I’m afraid to fail— and then look foolish to myself and others. What about you? Do you think it’s better to stick with what you do best, rather than stick your neck out and possibly fail?

Is it better to be extremely ambitious, or rather modest? Probably the latter is safer; but I hate safety, and would rather fail gloriously than dingily succeed.

Vita Sackville-West, from a letter to Virginia Woolf, August, 1928 Read More→


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The Literary Traditions of Self-Publishing

As a way to avoid or recover from rejection or after having given up on finding a publisher or agent, writers have increasingly turned to self-publishing. User-friendly print-on-demand or e-book services allow writers to create books on an as-needed basis, avoiding the pitfalls of overprinting.

Gone are the days of having to store copious numbers of cartons of unsold books in the garage or under the bed. Whether the product ends up only in the hands of the author’s mom and cousins or becomes one of the rare successes that sells like wildfire, it’s good to have options. The ultimate stroke of luck for a self-published book is to be picked up by a trade publisher, and then continue to sell like crazy. Read More→


Categories: Writing Advice from Classic Authors Comments: (2)