Finds for Writers

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Most Fridays the Practicing Writing blog shares writing and publishing resources, news, and reflections to peruse over the weekend. But it’s been an excruciating week for so many of us. And frankly, I’ve paid next-to-no attention to garden-variety news from the writing and publishing spheres.

On Wednesday, however, I received an email from Facing History and Ourselves, a Boston-based global nonprofit organization that I’ve admired for many years. The email introduced a “mini-lesson” titled “Processing Attacks in Israel and the Outbreak of War in the Region.”

The resource isn’t perfect. (What resource is?) But one of its segments impressed me as something that, though intended for educators and students, could be clarifying for writers as well, in our work and in the rest of our lives. It’s a section titled “Avoiding Antisemitic and Islamophobic Tropes in Discussing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

Screenshot of text published beneath "Avoiding Antisemitic and Islamophobic Tropes in Discussing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Text taken from the website linked within the post.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

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2 thoughts on “Finds for Writers

  1. Ronald Wetherington says:

    Thanks so much for reprinting the Alter and Harris NYT article. They illustrate so well how angst can lead to misdirection in the confusion of fiction with non-fiction. For example, Hanna Gomez makes an absurd comparison in justifying altering offensive language in fiction when she claims, “I think it’s a good practice, the same way you update textbooks.”
    Since I’ve published both textbooks and fiction, I think I can rightly claim that the two genres are as comparable as a scientific journal is to a literary journal: not at all! Here is where pecuniary interests often trump poetic sensibilities.
    Furthermore, changing a book’s title (re: Agatha Christie) in no way changes its content or meaning in the same way as removing words and descriptions.
    Finally, removing blatantly racist language and removing words like “lame” and “dumb” are so incomparable that editorial motivation itself comes under question!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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