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[Writer Post] Topsy-Turvy Writing World

Posted by reudaly on April 25, 2012 in Life, Writing |

It’s Wednesday, and the writing world is both the same and different. There is definitely a Good News/Bad News balance trying to work itself out, but in odd ways.

Personal news: Though I had a fiction piece rejected this week, I’m very pleased to announce that I have a NON-FICTION essay/article accepted for publication in PEN WORLD magazine. This is a “holy grail” kind of publication for me, and I’m very excited by this. I will post more details closer to publication.

We lost KD Wentworth last week. She was a talented writer and a lovely person. Most of us didn’t even know she was ill, so her passing was a shock to most of us in the SF Community. She was part of the Writers of the Future program, and the reason I continued to submit long after I realized no matter what wrote would never get past “Quarter Finals” or “Honorable Mention”. Her loss will be felt deeply in the community.

We also lost Denny Riordan – though not a writer himself, he was vital to the SF Community. He was Lee Killough’s husband, reader, fan, and all around good guy. His illness struck suddenly and without mercy. We share a little in Lee’s grief for this loss because he was a sweet man with a wicked sense of humor – and writers need their support system, and he was that, too.

The tectonic plates of publishing continue to shift and grind. Amazon is being both praised and buried for their part of the DOJ case against Apple and the Big Traditional Publishers. As much as I would love to boycott their predatory practices, I cannot afford to do so. None of us can. They are still a major player in this game and a significant (possible) source of income. We can only watch and see how the case plays out. That Apple and some of the publishers are choosing to fight in court rather than settle gives me a glimmer of hope.

HOWEVER…there is a possible light of positive change in publishing. TOR/FORGE (part of Macmillan) announced yesterday that they are dropping their DRM (Digital Rights Management) from all their e-books as of July. This is HUGE. HUGE. And it’s a bold and brilliant move that I hope other publishers will pick up. This could allow for all kinds of new avenues for publishers, authors, and retailers to compete on a more even economic playing field. John Scalzi, Charlie Stross, and Tobias Buckell all have much more detailed and technically more intelligent blogs on this topic. I suggest you read them for WHY this makes me so very happy. I really hope the other publishing houses take note and move in the same direction. NO ONE wants to HAVE to use a single device and/or rebuy their books/movies/music if they don’t have to. Removing DRM is just a smart move.

Here’s hoping the next week will have a more even keel. It’s hard to focus on getting words on a page when everything is topsy-turvy, but that’s what we have to do.

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