Nancy's Books

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Habits of Famous Writers/Contest

Writers often fall into habits when writing. The habits take many forms, such time-based, writing in the morning, or page-based, a minimum of four pages per day. A writing habit is an incentive to keep working on a story or piece. I recently saw on Flavorwire and The Guardian some interesting writing habits of famous authors.

Flannery O’Connor [Wise Blood and numerous short stories] Spent two hours a day writing.
Albert Camus, [The Stranger] Wrote some of his books standing at a lectern due to back pain.
Victor Hugo [The Hunchback of Notre Dame] Handed over his clothes to a butler. That way, he had to remain in the room where he wrote.
Isaac Asimov [Prelude to Foundation] Sat at his desk, which faced a bare wall, void of districtions.
John Steinbeck [The Grapes of Wrath] and Ernest Hemmingway [A Farewell to Arms] Wrote a specific number of pages each day.
Truman Capote [In Cold Blood] Wrote reclined on a sofa, with pencil in one hand and sherry in the other.
Eudora Welty [The Optimist’s Daughter] Held her manuscripts pages together with straight pens.
Neil Gaiman [The Graveyard Book] Finished one story before beginning another.
C. S. Lewis [The Chronicles of Narnia] Maintained a daily writing schedule.

Writers do whatever it takes to keep them at the task of beginning and completing literary works. Do you keep a schedule, set deadlines, or work in a quiet room? What interesting habit do you have that motivates you to keep writing?

Contest for Adult Writers:

Iowa Short Fiction Award
For a collection of short stories (minimum 150 pages). “Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible.” Award confers publication under the University of Iowa Press standard contract.
Deadline: Submissions: August 1-September 30, 2011 (postmarked)
Details at

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