paper trail

Killing your darlings, Donna Tartt in conversation with her editor

Donna Tartt

At the Guardian, Jim Crace digests Morrissey’s sweeping new biography into a much more manageable six hundred words: “At school, I am the futile pupil brutalised by neo-fascist inquisitors who do not understand the subtleties of sublime rhyme. My only valent talent is for athletics, my event the 20-kilometre walk on water. Blood laced with disgrace flows from my hands, feet and side. 'Oh, Steven,' says my Mother Mary. ‘What have you done to yourself now?’”

The notion that in order to write you must “kill all your darlings” has been attributed to Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, Anton Chekov, Stephen King, and, of course, William Faulkner. But as Slate reports, the earliest purveyor of the phrase may have been one Arthur Quiller-Couch.

Carol Burnett was awarded the 2013 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

Literary magazines are often thought to exist in an insular universe of writers and publishing-types, but occasionally, they do make cameo appearances in mainstream culture. At The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone chronicles the appearances of “small magazines” everywhere from episodes of Cheers and Mad Men to films like Wonder Boys and The Squid and the Whale.

In a conversation between Donna Tartt and her editor, Michael Pietsch, the two discuss the delicacies of editing, developing a writer’s voice, and Tartt’s aversion to “the ever-growing tendency to standardized and prescriptive usage... to say nothing of automatic computer functions like Spellcheck and AutoCorrect.”

How will the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act (AKA Obamacare) affect freelance writers? Here's a quick primer.