Writers, be Wary of Throat-Clearers and Wan Intensifiers

From a Washington Post column by Benjamin Dreyer headlined “Writers, be wary of Throat-Clearers and Wan Intensifiers. Very, very wary.”:

Benjamin Dreyer is Random House’s executive managing editor and copy chief and the author of “Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style.”

I suppose, as a child, I learned the art of padding a school composition from the 1967 musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” specifically from the songThe Book Report,” in which the “Peanuts” characters are tasked with providing 100 words on “Peter Rabbit.” Lucy, bless her, painfully counts her way word by word, eventually crawling to the finish line by noting that, after their adventures, Peter and his siblings were “very, very, very, very, very, very happy to be home … 94, 95. The very, very, very end.”

National Book Foundation Honors Five Under 35 Writers

The National Book Foundation is proud to honor five debut fiction writers whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.Each honoree was selected by past National Book Award Winners, Finalists, and Longlisted authors, or writers previously recognized by the 5 Under 35 program. This year’s honorees join a list of acclaimed past 5 Under 35 authors like Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Naima Coster, Akwaeke Emezi, Yaa Gyasi, Phil Klay, Valeria Luiselli, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Bryan Washington, Charles Yu, and many more.

For the first time, the 5 Under 35 Ceremony will take place in the spring. Both the 2022 and 2021 5 Under 35 honorees will be celebrated at an invitation-only ceremony in New York City this June. You can read the full announcement on Vulture today and learn more about 5 Under 35 and the National Book Foundation on our website.

Sven Birkerts: Discovering the Story You Need to Write

From a story on lithub.com headlined “Sven Birkerts on Discovering the Story You Need to Write”:

Just over a year ago, my wife and I moved from the house we had lived in for over thirty years, the house our children grew up in, the house we both associate with our beginnings. The change of starting up in a new house in a new town was enormous, not only in all the obvious ways, but in its psychological impact. I knew almost right away that I would try to write about it.

About Writing: What Elevates Certain Sentences Above the Others?

From a story on 3quarksdaily.com by Nicola Sayers headlined “On The Celebrity Sentence”:

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. 

I don’t know where I first came across this sentence. I was in my early twenties, so it can’t have been on Instagram, although I’ve since seen it there so many times that this is now how it appears in my mind’s eye: boxy black print, hovering in mid-square….