Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Post + Giveaway - Roy Peter Clark

I am pleased to welcome Roy Peter Clark to One Book Shy.  He is currently on tour with his new book Help! for Writers. You can read my review and thoughts here.

Roy is joining us to share his thoughts on the things writers have to deal with and overcome in the modern world.  

The most difficult challenges writers face today

1. More than ever, writers have to be versatile, able to write long or short, fast or slow, reports or stories, independently or with others, online and on paper, in multiple genres and platforms for a wide variety of audiences.

2.  Writers must seize control of their careers.  In a bad economy, with newspapers and magazines shrinking in staff size and resources, the writer must always be planning for the next move. The key is to keep learning: reading, writing, talking about the craft.

3.  The panhandler says “Can you spare some change?”  I want to say, “Can you spare me the change?”  Change is no longer something that happens, that injects itself into normal patterns of life and work.  Change has become the normal pattern.  With change, especially technological change, comes gain and loss.  Writers must ask:  “What new opportunities can I embrace?” But also, “How can I compensate for what’s been lost.”

4. Back in the day, our job was just to write.  If the writing was good, it could attract an audience.  If not, we deserved to be ignored.  Now there is a new paradigm.  The writer must be willing to promote the work and to develop that work into a brand.  Stephen King is many things, one of them is a brand. With so many choices on the Internet, readers do turn to reliable names, sources, and brands.

5. The institutions that used to support writers are shaky. Newspapers and magazines are in decline, as are publishing companies, which seem more risk averse than ever. Old economic models seem beyond repair.  The good news is that with new technologies, old borders and barriers have crumbled.  At very little cost, the writer can publish his or her own work through websites, blogs, social media, and on-demand publishing.

6. While some of these new realities may seem dispiriting, more comforting is the news that good stories have not become obsolete, that curiosity and critical thinking remain in demand, that those of us who live inside the language have special creative powers that attracts others to us, including potential employers.  Keep the faith.  Hold the torch up high. Get your hands moving on that keyboard.    

Thank you Roy, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and answer my question.

Roy Peter Clark, a Ph.D. in medieval literature, is Vice President and Senior Scholar of the world-renowned Poynter Institute. The author or editor of 14 professional books, he is founding director of the National Writer's Workshops, regional conferences that attract 5,000 writers annually. His 50 tools, published in abbreviated form on the Poynter Website (, have already gained foothold worldwide.

You can find out more about Roy and Help! for Writers  at TwitterFacebookGoodreads and at Poynter.  

Now for those of you sharp-eyed readers who noticed the word GIVEAWAY and the little GIVEAWAY logo above...we're having a GIVEAWAY!   Thanks to the author and Anna at Little, Brown and Company we have a copy of Roy's book for one you lucky ducks..

  • Must be US or Canadian resident, at least 13 years old
  • No PO Boxes
  • Leave a comment WITH your email address on this post
  • Drawing ends midnight PST September 30th, 2011
  • Winner will have 72 hours to respond to winning notice
If you don't want to wait for your own copy:  

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. Please enter me in contest. I have been wanting to write a book for sometime now. I just don't know where to begin.

  2. I find it kinda difficult to describe my idea on paper.
    I think I need to improve myself.
    Thanks for sharing this great giveaway!!!

    ckaylie777 at hotmail dot com

  3. Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to share with us today and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.


  4. I put this in my wish list at amazon and will def be checking it out. I am also trying to write a story, and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed...I think this book can help put some of my fears to rest. Thanks for the giveaway!! Artesia at comcast dot net

  5. I would love to write my own book but am afraid to get started. I would love to win!

    mary_reiss @

  6. This sounds like a very useful book. I'd love to win ---

    patricia dot mariani dot esq at gmail dot com

  7. I would love to read this. Thanks so much! :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Feel free to tell us what you think. (Please note that we have comment moderation turned on so we'll never miss a message from one of our readers.)