Hiya writer friends,
It’s hard to believe, but this is the 50th issue of The Wordling! I’m so excited to still be here, incredibly grateful that you’re still reading, and super excited about all that comes next.
Thank you so much for all the lovely emails, comments, and encouragement you continue to send my way. To 50 more!
NEWS & VIEWS
Sparking Queer Joy
Here’s a trend we’re totally here for: “Authors releasing uplifting queer literature that casts its characters as the heroes of their lives—not the victims.”
In 2021, LGBTQ fiction titles doubled the previous year’s sales, according to market research firm The NPD Group. So far in 2022, their sales have continued to increase by 39%. The New York Times also reported that in the US, around 850,000 LGBTQ romance books sold at traditional retail outlets in 2021—a 740 percent increase over a five-year period, and more than double the number sold in 2020.
Author Laura Kay told the Guardian that while she’d read some fantastic fiction about queer women, she often felt that it leaned towards the slightly gloomier side. While most queer authors interviewed by the Guardian stressed the importance of having books that addressed the traumas that many in the LGBTQ+ community still faced, they also wanted more positive stories to co-exist in the space.
“When I read ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ for the first time, I was a junior in high school,” student columnist Emilio Cabral writes. “I’d recently come out as queer, and all I wanted was my own love story—something that wasn’t available to me at the time. Seeing Alex Claremont-Diaz—a queer, Latine character—get the happy ending usually reserved for his white, heterosexual counterparts nearly moved me to tears. It didn’t matter that the plot of the book was unrealistic, or that it featured cringy Taylor Swift references, because it gave me hope that I would get everything I wanted, too.”
The romance genre is a billion dollar industry, second only to crime fiction in volume of book sales. Sales of romance novels have soared by 49% since the pandemic as more people turned to escapism and predictability.
And LGBTQ+ romance novels with happy characters and endings are sparking a lot of joy.
What debut authors need to know: “The author comes first. It is their book, it’s going to have their name on it, they are going to take questions about it and hand it to people as this object which has their heart and spirit in it. The author’s opinions and feelings about the packaging, how we are describing the book, how we are pitching it to others—all of that is integral to protecting the content and integrity of the book,” says Megha Majumdar, author of the New York Times bestseller A Burning and former editor-in-chief of Catapult Books.
Why failure is necessary for creative growth: “A common form of failure is not making time for the things that are best for you,” writes Brandon Stosuy. “I don’t mean the best for you in the sense of eating a healthy diet (though that’s essential) or exercise (ditto), but the things that make you happiest. We tend to get jammed up with our day jobs, or our daily activities, and we squash the stuff that matters. We all do this, I think. It’s an easy trap to fall into.”
Have travel or adventure pitches you’re eager to get out into the world? Send them here:
Afar (Pay starts at $0.50 a word)
Caribbean Beat (Pay rate unspecified)
Ensemble Vacations Canada (Pay competitive with national magazines)
Escapees (Pay unspecified)
Explore, Canada (Pay rate unspecified)
France Revisited (Pays $50)
Fodor’s Travel (Reported pay $250-$300)
GoNOMAD (Pays $25)
Pathfinders Travel (Pays $150)
Ride Texas (Pay unspecified)
Road & Travel (Pays up to $100)
Trailer Life (Pays up to $700 with photos)
Transitions Abroad (Pays up to $150)
Verge (Pay rate unspecified)
Wanderlust, UK (Pays £220 per 1,000 words)
Your mother does not think you’ve made the right career choice, your father wonders when you’ll make enough money, your husband is getting tired of being your cheerleader when it’s clear you’re not getting anywhere, and your friends are upset that you turn down every invitation to go out with them.
No one believes in you and what you’re doing.
It bothers you. But does it stop you?
Because if it does, then you don’t believe in you either and that, in the end, is the real problem.
UK: “The most talked-about article in the British newspapers last weekend was one that featured juicy allegations of love, ambition and thwarted corruption at the pinnacle of the British government. Then it vanished abruptly from the pages of The Times of London in the early hours of Saturday.”
ETHIOPIA: “In the grips of civil war, an already brutal authoritarian regime was taking a darker turn. Anyone could become the enemy. Including me,” writes journalist Tom Gardner for the Economist.
INDIA: “Delhi police on Monday arrested the Muslim co-founder of a fact-checking website, accusing him of insulting religious beliefs on Twitter, a network of digital media organisations said, condemning it as an attempt to harass him for his journalism. Mohammed Zubair, who co-founded Alt News and regularly tweets on rising marginalisation of the Muslim minority in the country, was arrested under two sections of a law related to maintaining religious harmony, said the DIGIPUB association.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
– Erica Jong
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