Tag: writing

We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month

Thursday, 7 March, 2013 0 Comments

“Thanks for responding. Maybe by the end of the week? 1,200 words? We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month. I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.

Thanks so much again for your time. A great piece!”

So writes Olga Khazan, the Global Editor of The Atlantic, to Nate Thayer, journalist. Their exchange is documented by Thayer on his blog at A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist — 2013. Backstory: Khazan had read Thayer’s 4,300-word story for North Korea News about “basketball diplomacy”, and she was thinking of running a shorter version of the piece in The Atlantic. What makes Khazan’s offer of zero so shocking is that there was a time, and not so long ago, either, when The Atlantic was offering Thayer $125,000 to write six articles a year for the magazine.

In a damage-limitation action, James Bennet, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, wrote about the Thayer incident saying “We’re sorry we offended him,” and Alexis C. Madrigal joined the debate with A Day in the Life of a Digital Editor, 2013, which clarifies the “reality” of the situation from The Atlantic perspective. Bottom line: “Anyway, the biz ain’t what it used to be, but then again, for most people, it never really was. And, to you Mr. Thayer, all I can say is I wish I had a better answer.”

There are no satisfactory answers anymore. As The Irish Examiner has just discovered, the old media model is broken and the rough contours of the new one are only now taking shape. Felix Salmon of Reuters put it best when he noted: “Digital journalism isn’t really about writing, any more — not in the manner that freelance print journalists understand it, anyway. Instead, it’s more about reading, and aggregating, and working in teams; doing all the work that used to happen in old print-magazine offices, but doing it on a vastly compressed timescale.”


The beauty of the free market

Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 0 Comments

Bought some Faber-Castell 2½-HB pencils recently. The feel of the company’s Grip 2001 line is unique and scribbling is all the more enjoyable as a result. That the humble pencil might be a powerful expression of the free market at work may appear as a bit of a non sequitur, so listen up. Then, check out the pencil work of Kelvin Okafor.


Federico Pistono talks fact and science fiction

Tuesday, 29 January, 2013

Federico Pistono is a young Renaissance Man whose formal education has taken him from studying science and technology in the ancient Italian city of Verona to an immersion in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the ultra-modern Singularity University in California. A thinker, a social entrepreneur and an aspiring filmmaker, he is also the author […]

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Bukowski on women

Thursday, 27 December, 2012 0 Comments

Among the myriad delights that Santa Claus put in the Rainy Day Christmas stocking was Women by Charles Bukowski. In his introduction, Barry Miles says, “Women is Buwkoski’s punk novel. Written in 1977, it is fast, conversational, uses few long words, and just zips along.” In the book, we meet Henry Chinaski, a low-life writer […]

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Blue sky, blue snowstorm

Sunday, 16 December, 2012 0 Comments

“It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city. At […]

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Evan Robertson creates posters inspired by his love of literature

Thursday, 26 July, 2012

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places […]

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Keep writing, or else

Friday, 22 June, 2012

Write or Die: “How the app works: Writers begin typing in the app’s window. When the typing slows to a stop, there are consequences. The writer can set how severe those consequences will be. In “gentle” mode, a notice pops up with a kind reminder that it’s time to start writing. In “normal” mode, the […]

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The tempest

Sunday, 29 April, 2012

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami.

The Tempest


Guest post: The Pulitzohr Prize

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

The decision to not award a Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year was followed by widespread disbelief, anger and grief in the world of letters. It also spurred headlines such as “Book lovers react bitterly to no fiction Pulitzer“. Jim Martin, retired pilot, active author and founding member of a European digital publishing venture to […]

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Ain’t it the truth

Friday, 17 February, 2012

Poorly Drawn Lines is the product of Reza Farazmand, who “draws comics and writes things.”

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