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Pandemic News and Writing

Last week, LCRW had the first historic meeting of LCRW Inklings. Attendees got to hear the first-ever reading of a new novel, share experiences, and get some great ideas about their writings.


Roughly one hundred years ago, people were struggling with the last pandemic. The Spanish Flu of 1918, now known as H1N1, infected over 50 million humans. There were three waves of the H1N1, but the second bout of the disease was especially catastrophic for the US in the late summer of 1918, hitting 675,000 Americans. There was no effective treatment for the virus, so the primary precautions local and state governments took were banning public gatherings and shutting down schools, most stores (including bookstores), churches, and movie theatres. Mask-wearing was widely adopted in the US. Cities mandated the wearing of masks at all times, a requirement that lasted well after quarantines ended in some locations. San Francisco was praised for its proactive response to the virus, but city officials relaxed their restrictions following the fall of 1918. After the third wave in the spring of 1919, San Francisco ended up with some of the highest death rates of the flu in the US. Sound familiar?

Pandemic closings

Back in those days, people were talking about how the Spanish Flu was going to either change or destroy traditional book publishing, the way we publicize books, and even the way we were going to write them. Oddly enough… even without eBook sales… none of what people predicted came to pass. Chances are, this goes to show how bad we are as a species at predicting the future of writing… especially during a deadly pandemic.

Here is a list of links revolving around articles covering publishing, writing, and the current Pandemic.

First up is an interview with Jim Milliot, an editorial director at Publishers Weekly, about how the pandemic has affected the book business.

There are several opinions out there about book writing in the time of COVID-19. Bryce Covert writes about the difficulties of writing at home when everyone else is at home. Kristine Kathryn Rusch also gives her opinion on book promotion and "them"… without first identifying who she means by "them." Hint: she's talking about book publishers.

Because we're about to have our first Pandemic writing critique, here's a list of Free Writing Critiques available during the Pandemic… more than you probably thought were out there.






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