Good morning writer friends,
A UK study found that just six minutes of “real” reading reduced stress levels more than having a cup of tea or listening to a piece of music.
In case you were looking for a science-backed reason to finish reading that novel today.
Enjoy the issue!
NEWS & VIEWS
Spotify’s expansion into audiobooks
Spotify is aiming for a billion users by 2030. At an investor day event in New York, co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek said the ambitious goal could be achieved in part through an expansion of Spotify’s portfolio of podcasts and audiobooks, while making the platform a one-stop shop for content creators.
“As the world’s creator platform, we will provide the infrastructure and resources that will enable 50 million artists and creators to grow and manage their own businesses, monetize their work, and effectively promote it,” he said.
This is neither a new nor an unexpected development. In November 2021, Spotify acquired the audiobook platform Findaway, which boasts over 350,000 audiobook titles from large publishers and independent authors in over 80 languages. Findaway also connects independent authors to narrators to turn their books into audiobooks for worldwide distribution.
Spotify’s entry into the audiobook market can have significant impact because, as Nathaniel Mott writes in PC Mag, “Spotify wants to apply its freemium model—which allows people to choose between paying for the service or having their experience punctuated by ads of varying quality—to audiobooks.”
Some in the publishing industry are wary, the biggest concern being that the streaming model could leave authors unprotected and vulnerable to copyright infringement. However, Michele Cobb, executive director of the Audio Publishers Association in the US, told The Bookseller publishers are “optimistically waiting for more information” about the service. “With every vendor that takes notice of the growing audiobook market and puts some thought and attention into the format there is opportunity. Publishers are confident that when new consumers discover the format, they enjoy it and return for more, so the exposure to new potential listeners is always a good thing,” she notes. “What remains to be seen is how the business models and offerings will play out specifically and where the happy medium of more listeners and strong per listen revenue will meet.”
The life-changing magic of leaving your junk all over the place: Tidiness is great, but it’s stifling your creativity, writes Philip S. Naudus. “Before you start decluttering, you should know that several studies have shown how messiness increases creativity. Whether it was engaging in brainstorming exercises or solving logic puzzles, participants who sat at messy desks or in rooms filled with junk exhibited more creative behavior when compared to people in orderly or empty rooms.”
Writing honestly about mental illness: “When you have an experience that is so far out of the usual, so traumatic, you either change it or you forget it,” writes Joanne Greenberg.
We have guidelines for 34 regional US publications on our How to Pitch page. These include:
1859, 5280, Adirondack, Alaska, Albuquerque, Arizona Highways, Baltimore, Bloom, DeSoto, Down East, Ft. Myers, Georgia Magazine, Idaho Magazine, Kentributor, Lake Superior, Los Angeles Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, New Jersey Monthly, New Mexico, North Dakota Horizons, Ohio Magazine, Okanagan Life, Oklahoma Today, Oregon Coast, Portland Monthly, Salt Lake, Tahoe Quarterly, Traverse.
Also, a special mention for our friends at the newly launched Downcity Ink. If you have a Rhode Island-themed story, send it here.
Our How to Pitch page now has over 110+ pitching guidelines. Check it out here.
You can’t be a trailblazer if you’re waiting for other people to tell you what’s possible or you’re buying into the world’s definition of what is “realistic.”
Trailblazers take on the impossible. Trailblazers don’t worry about someone else’s definition of realistic. Trailblazers create a path where there wasn’t one before.
Want to create work that changes the world?
Write your own damn definitions of what’s possible and “realistic.”
ZIMBABWE: “A court in Zimbabwe on Tuesday convicted a freelance reporter for The New York Times on charges of breaching the country’s immigration laws, in another blow for the free press in the increasingly authoritarian country in southern Africa,” The New York Times reports. “The journalist, Jeffrey Moyo, has been accused of obtaining fake press credentials for two Times journalists who entered Zimbabwe last year on a reporting trip. Mr. Moyo’s lawyers said the charges were baseless, and even one lawyer for the government had acknowledged the case was dubious.”
TURKEY: “Turkish police arrested 21 Kurdish journalists and media workers in a massive operation in the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakir on terrorism charges. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Turkish affiliates strongly condemn these massive arrests of journalists on groundless charges and urges for the immediate release of all of them.”
EL SALVADOR: Two of El Salvador’s most celebrated journalists have produced a damning report exposing President Nayib Bukele’s ties to the street gangs that have long terrorized Central America, the LA Times reports. “In the three decades since peace accords ended the nation’s bloody civil war, El Salvador had become a beacon of media freedom in a region where journalists are sometimes jailed and even killed for hard-hitting work exposing the powerful and the corrupt. But everything had changed under Bukele, a young, image-obsessed autocrat who once called himself ‘the world’s coolest dictator’.” In April, Bukele approved a law that threatens any journalist who reports on gangs with up to 15 years in prison.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”
– Ernest Hemingway
SHARE THE WORDLING
The Wordlings are heading over to the lake with their laptops today. There will either be a lot of writing or a lot of procrastinating. Share The Wordling if you know it’ll be fun either way.
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