Monday, April 23, 2012

MMWUC: The Writing World Needs Changing

Ann Pachette's response to this year's lack of a winner of a Fiction Pulitzer Prize got me thinking about changes needed in the writing world that might make writing, writers, and writerly activities get as much press as the latest Kim Kardashian fingernail chip or Lindsay Lohan denial about running someone over. Some might be more doable than others, but we've got to keep the pressure on, especially for the indie (self-pub) writers emerging from the slush piles of the world.

1. Stephen King should lock "the committee" in a room sans bathroom and not allow them out without a selection in all categories. With 50-80K new books a year, it is a crime not to select one.

2. The writing power brokers (Amazon, B&N, Big 7 Publishing Houses) need to demand that an Oscar is given to the Best-Adapted Screenplay to the screenplay writer AND the original author, without whom there would have been nothing to adapt.

3. If the writing power brokers  want to save the writing/reading/publishing business, demand several categories on the People's Choice Awards. Hell, "Best TV Obsession"!? WTF? Surely we can have a category for best novel of the year, and, maybe best mystery of the year. This is an entertainment award.

4. Though I imagine a scene similar to the one from Finding Nemo with all the seagulls yelling, "Me, me, me, me, me, me," but we need to resurrect the Needle Award for the best of the best self-published books of each year.

5. Demand your representative re-institute the National Day of Writing. It was October 20th for 2009, 2010, and 2011. What happened to 2012? Well, we could WRITE our representatives or give the National Council on Teaching Education a firmer push. Hey! It's every year people. Don't drop this pencil

6. I need to resurrect my treatment for a writing reality show where 30 writers must go through grueling critique sessions from a panel of experts (PEOPLE THAT ARE KNOWN) based on continuingly longer pieces of fiction (flash fiction - under 100 words; flash fiction - under 500 words; short-short - under 1,000; short story - 1,001 to 3,000 words long) being eliminated over the 5-week period. Need a hot, ditzy blonde who writes incredible as a ringer, some criminal element. The prize: $1M advance for a novel.

7. Yo! Screenwriters. Write more movies starring hot muse babes who get into wet t-shirt fights deciding who gets to inspire Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Hugh Jackman to write the next great movie staring another hot babe who rejects Justin Bieber ("Baby, baby, baby, ooh) for a bowling alley pin boy who writes lyrical poetry like Shakespeare.

8. We have a National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame , but no Hall of Fame for Writers! There are some in several states, but not all, but you'd think we'd want to recognize certain writers eternally. Yeah, writers can do it up write, er, right, in the Lincoln-Kennedy Center and be on Public TV getting their overdue accolades.

9. Create a merit badge for the Boy/Girl Scouts. "Write a short story of no less than 1,000 words on why you need to help writers cross the street." Hook 'em young, my wife says, and they'll follow forever.

Okay tell me what else (#10) we need to do to give writers their do like we do other segments of our society.


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Brian Pittman said...

I think one of the biggest things writers can do for each other, particularly self published writers, is to talk about each other and promote each other's work. I think one of the most critical parts of what we do, after creating the work, is getting the word out. You can self-publicize all day long but imagine what can be accomplished when a group works together to promote each other!

Rick Bylina said...

I shout from the top of my desk almost every day. A few people shout with me. But I think writing has lost some of stature it may have had. Our awards are writers for writers acknowledging writers. Somehow, we need to step up to the mainstream and fight for our time on the stage with the other arts as peers. Outside of writer recognition is needed, but first we need to make sure we recognize ourselves and shame on the Pulitzer Committee for dropping the ball on that.