March 10, 2009 |
In Hollywood, lives are shortened all the time by envy and jealousy, but only screenwriters die of encouragement. People are happy to tell writers how much they adore their scripts, but actually getting them made is a whole other story. You can win an Oscar and still put in years of struggle trying to get your next project going. But here's one exception: Robert Mark Kamen.
February 28, 2013 |
All across America, a panic is spreading. But you won't hear the terrified multitudes and their pleas for help, their expletives shouted at the sky. Why? Because these suffering people are mostly fiction writers. And fiction writers almost always suffer alone. The application deadline for the fiction-writing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts is just hours away. (To be precise, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST, or 8:59 p.m. PST.) Fill out a few forms, submit a sample of your work, and you have a shot at winning $25,000 to write your next book.
February 3, 2009 |
Americans have Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler. Britons have Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle. And Italians have Salvo Montalbano and Andrea Camilleri. Camilleri, a bespectacled, gravel-voiced 83-year-old, has become a national character as beloved as his Montalbano, a shrewd, resolutely Sicilian police commander who solves crimes in the fictional town of Vigata. Remarkably, Camilleri's career didn't take off until he was nearly 70, when he retired as a playwright and screenwriter.
September 21, 2003 |
Early in his career, an aspiring novelist faces a moment when he must decide to take his vocation seriously or else remain a dreamer, unpublished and unconsidered. Michael Mewshaw's occurred in the office of legendary Random House editor Albert Erskine. In "Do I Owe You Something?" he explains that he sent his first novel, "Man in Motion," to Erskine before learning who Erskine was: "I heard Peter [Taylor] bought Faulkner's house in Charlottesville," Erskine tells Mewshaw, who had studied with Taylor at the University of Virginia.
December 1, 1991
T imes staff writer Nina J. Easton's article on ageism and writers in film and television ("Hey, Babes! How Old Is Too Old for Hollywood?," Nov. 17) has produced an usually large response from readers. A sampling of their views appears here and on the facing page: Bloated arrogance led the way through your article. Producers and agents alike were quoted espousing the doxy of Hollywood: If you're too old, you can't get it up. But the imagination is not a muscle. Most of the writers I know keep adding to their vision, not subtracting from it. Maybe producers and agents are so used to counting numbers that they've forgotten how to count on talent.
February 21, 2010 |
Editor's note: David Scott Milton taught writing in the prison where Kenneth Hartman, the author of "Mother California," is incarcerated. In this Sunday's book section, Carolyn Kellogg reviews "Mother California." When I first came into the system, I had no ax to grind over prison reform. I was not an activist, nor was I passionately pro-convict. My house in Tehachapi is on a mountain top overlooking the prison. From Max Yard 4B, the lights on my house were all the life the men could see at night.