May 16th, 2013
I love audiobooks. Something about listening to a story really appeals to me. Maybe it’s because it feels like a treat, being read to. Maybe it’s because it frees your hands to ride a bike or make a soufflé. Back in the days of the Sony Walkman (actually, mine was an Aiwa from Boots), my coat pockets rattled with cassettes of audiobooks, which would unspool and have to be meticulously re-twiddled with a pencil. I still have them all in a drawer, just in case (of what? I dunno).
Since the Aiwa days, I’ve been lucky enough to join Comma Press, an independent publisher specialising in short stories. We’ve published thousands of stories over the years, by multi-award winning authors and unknown authors alike. About half of our output is from overseas, translated into English; in many countries, short stories aren’t viewed as the poor cousin of the novel, but rightly valued as a potent and pointed form in their own right. Short stories translate well: the situations they depict are often more universal than the novel, and yet they cling to their original language less tenaciously than the poem. This makes them perfect vehicles for imaginary journeys into unfamiliar locations and cultures, and to date we’ve published ten ‘Reading the City’ anthologies (of stories from Europe, the Middle East and China), with more planned. … Read more »
May 14th, 2013
The creators of new ‘automated proofreader’ Scholarly believe their system could transform the way we write – beginning with academia. For co-founder and CEO Daniel Duma, the idea arose out of necessity…
Academic writing is painful. I discovered this the first time I had to face writing an essay as a 4th year undergrad on exchange in London. Outside of the English speaking world, the academic essay is mostly an esoteric art form that is the domain of researchers and academic hipsters. I had never seen anything like it.
There was all this hassle of keeping your paragraphs as tight conceptual units within the greater scope of your argument, with their own internal structure, then having to back up anything you said with what other people had said before and this absolute obsession with not using someone else’s words without attribution. Pile up on top of this dealing with the formatting, keeping to the strict word length, and writing in “the language of science” and you can see it was not an easy year. But I learned the system, and became a better writer and a better communicator because of it. … Read more »