Articles on Writing

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file ubn. Marin Dacos/VisualHunt

Understanding children’s mirror writing

Spontaneous mirror writing by both left- and right-handed children has long remained a mystery. Recent studies of brain processing and writing have led to an unexpected explanation.
Ernest Hemingway with a bull near Pamplona, Spain in 1927, two years before ‘A Farewell to Arms’ would be published. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

How a young Ernest Hemingway dealt with his first taste of fame

A newly published batch of Ernest Hemingway’s letters could change the way we think about the author's influences, relationships with other writers and views on race.
A relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing. Diego Delso/Wikimedia

Friday essay: the recovery of cuneiform, the world’s oldest known writing

Cuneiform was used for over 3,000 years in the Ancient Near East, but was only decoded in the 19th century. The writing form is still revealing amazing stories, from literature to mathematics.
In some Aboriginal communities, over 50% of adults say they do not have the literacy they need for everyday tasks. Literacy for Life Foundation/Adam Sharman

To lift literacy levels among Indigenous children, their parents’ literacy skills must be improved first

The children who are least likely to attend school regularly – and do well – grow up in households where the adults themselves have very poor literacy skills.
Writing has never been easy, but sending writers out to find new ideas and people might be one way to help. Shutterstock.com

The best way to support writers is to feed them new ideas

Writers like Frank Moorhouse and Ben Eltham have proposed new long-term fellowships to support writing. But a better way may be more smaller grants, offering opportunities for travel.
William Faulkner’s typewriter in Mississippi. The writing life may sound idyllic, but it was often a furious battle to make ends meet. Visit Mississippi/Flickr

Scrounging for money: how the world’s great writers made a living

Writers have tried pretty much anything to make ends meet: advertising, journalism, butterfly collecting, working as a janitor or a postal clerk.
An artist’s depiction of the ‘shibboleth incident.’ Detail from art by H. de Blois, from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, vol. 3, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, 1908

The long history, and short future, of the password

Going as far back as the Bible, and as widely known as the phrase 'Open, Sesame,' passwords are a textual link to our past. But they may not be around much longer.
A bust of newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer looks on as reporters look through a box containing the announcements of the 1996 Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia University. AP Photo/Wally Santana

The key to writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning story? Get emotional

U.S. journalism has long championed an allegiance to cold objectivity. But one researcher analyzed Pulitzer Prize-winning stories from the past 20 years and found that they’re suffused with emotion.

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