Still haven’t bought that special something for the special, impoverished writer in your life? Here are some last-minute gift suggestions — you don’t even need to leave your house to buy them.    1. Offer to pay their library fines Help your writer friend avoid shame and angry librarians. $ or $$, depending on the [...]

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Electric Literature is scheduled to automatically publish a set of remarkably bad stories at midnight on December 31, 2012 unless we avert the FICTION CLIFF. These terrible stories, with their transparent plot devices, one-dimensional characters, remedial grammatical errors, adverbs galore, lazy writing, and smug hipster irony, are expected to weigh heavily on readers desperate for [...]

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DON’T EVEN THINK about buying your writer-friend that moleskine notebook and unwieldy fountain pen. They already have a gazillion. This is quite possibly the best holiday gift for an aspiring writer, ever: a critique (and follow-up phone call!) with an editor at Simon & Schuster. Or maybe a manuscript assessment, with line edits, from a literary [...]

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OK, this is hilarious. It’s the first page of the EIGHT PAGE style-sheet for George Saunders‘ new book, Tenth of December (out Jan 8), and it could easily double as a style-sheet for Nicki Minaj’s liner notes. To wit: “Hyphenate compounds made up of nouns of equal value: ‘elf-baby’ (97)” and “Prefixes: hyphens OK with coinages (‘pre-boner’) and unfamiliar [...]

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In the beginning there was Rick Moody. And then Twitter gave us @horse_ebooks, and Jennifer Egan, and the recent Twitter Fiction Festival. Now the latest arrival in the world of Twitter Fiction is @SugarSerials. On the 47th minute of every hour, a piece of literary code is automatically tweeting one sentence from American Psycho. The [...]

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Reimagining a famous patient as the subject of her own story Lidia Yuknavitch’s coming-of-age novel doubles as a feminist rewriting of Freud’s psychoanalysis, dropping his most famous case study into current-day Seattle. For all of its familiar elements—a quick-tongued teen narrator, youthful angst, drugs, sex, and shitty parents—the story frees itself from the pretty little [...]

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Google “Mark Twain” and traipse a bit around the internet. You will stub your toe repeatedly on the marriage of “quintessential” and “American.” You will find epigrams transcribed from telegrams, mustaches and homespun maxims, posthumous paeans galore. Twain’s scorn, in all its tartness, will blazon from prominent places. You will find websites wallpapered in ochre, [...]

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Want to work for the wonderful Dalkey Archive Press? You’re in luck. Or maybe not. In a recent call for interns, Dalkey detailed what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Here are some highlights, arranged in order of normal to absurd: – know how to act and behave in a professional office environment with [...]

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–Photos by Naomi Lore, who can be found on the internet

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Welcome back to the Critical Hit Awards for book reviews. This is a round-up, a recommended reading list, and—why not?—a terribly prestigious and coveted prize. Nominate your favorite review of the month by tweeting it at @electriclit with the hashtag #criticalhit, or cast your vote in the comments section below. Our guest judge this month is M. Rebekah Otto, [...]

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