Mad Men creator accused of harassing writer

The creator of US drama Mad Men has been accused of sexual harassment by a former writer on the show.
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Nonfiction: Amid African Extremism, a Writer Finds an ‘Ordinary and Rare Kind of Bravery’

Alexis Okeowo’s book “A Moonless, Starless Sky” profiles regular people living in defiance of extremist movements across the African continent.
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Sean Hughes: Comedian, actor and writer dies aged 51

Tributes are paid to the former Never Mind the Buzzcocks captain.
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Books of The Times: Sylvia Plath’s Letters Reveal a Writer Split in Two

The massive first volume of Plath’s letters dispels the notion that Plath wasn’t aware of her contradictions or in (some) control of them.
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British writer wins Nobel Prize for Literature

British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature by the Swedish academy.
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Expendables Writer Joins Wonder Woman 2

The Expendables co-writer Dave Callaham has joined the Wonder Woman 2 writing team.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Callaham joins Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns, who’ve been “working on a treatment for several months.” Callaham’s other writing credits include work on 2014’s Godzilla and the 2005 big screen adaptation of Doom.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is returning to direct, co-write, and produce the DC superhero sequel. Gal Gadot will also return to reprise her titular role.

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BBC Commissions New Drama Series From ‘Wolf Hall’ Writer, ‘Victoria’ Producer

The BBC has commissioned two new eight-part drama series for its flagship channel BBC One, the pubcaster announced Friday. “The Three,” based on a trilogy of novels by Sarah Lotz and described as an international conspiracy thriller with a supernatural edge, has been adapted by Peter Straughan. Straughan won a BAFTA and was Oscar-nominated for… Read more »

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The Sweet Spot: How to Become a Writer? Start Writing

The creative impulse is driven not by personal or professional history, but uninhibited curiosity: the capacity to play around without judgment.
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‘SNL’ Writer Replies To Donald Trump’s Tweets As If They Were Personal Texts

And it’s hilarious.
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Muslim Writer Schools Troll Who Told Him To Take Off His ‘Stupid Hijab’

Author and lawyer Qasim Rashid frequently finds himself playing the part of teacher for Islamophobes on Twitter. Backed by more than 70,000 followers, he tries to demystify common misconceptions about Islam.

This week, Rashid joined a vocal chorus of Muslim influencers expressing their horror over Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, England, and explaining once again that such incidents are not representative of their faith.

But his words once again fell on some deaf ears. One particularly confused troll tweeted at Rashid to take off his “stupid hijab”:

Rashid recently posted a long and informative series of tweets explaining that the Quran commands men, as well as women, to observe hijab rules ― that is, principles of modesty. The word “hijab” also refers specifically to a head covering that some Muslim women choose to wear.

In all likelihood, the Twitter user was actually referring to the songkok ― an Indonesian cap worn by some Muslim men ― which Rashid is seen wearing in his profile photo.

Rashid responded in the best way:

Nearly 16,000 Twitter users agreed.

But he didn’t stop there. Rashid turned the interaction into a teachable moment, as he is wont to do, and made a larger statement about head coverings. Using the hashtag #MyAwesomeHat, he showed off some of the religious and secular “hats” he’s worn over the years:

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Profile: ‘A Writer Writes’: Penelope Lively’s Fiction Defies the Test of Time

Lively’s new collection of stories, “Purple Swamp Hen,” marks her 21st work of fiction. At 84, this chronicler of the English middle class shows no signs of stopping.
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‘Juno’ Writer Says It’s Definitely Not An ‘Anti-Choice Movie’

In the 2007 film “Juno,” it isn’t long after Ellen Page’s character discovers the one doodle that can’t be undid ― her surprise pregnancy ― that she decides to put her baby up for adoption.

But the idea that “Juno” might be perceived as an anti-choice film has been “haunting” screenwriter Diablo Cody “for years,” Vanity Fair reported. Cody appeared at a Planned Parenthood benefit Sunday alongside cast members Page and Jennifer Garner, who participated in a live, all-female “Juno” script reading.

Abortion may have been a logical step for the teenage high school student, as it is for many facing unplanned pregnancies. Yet, although Juno walks into an abortion clinic, having talked over the option with her boyfriend Paulie (Michael Cera), she appears to be swayed by an anti-abortion classmate protesting outside, after learning her fetus might have already developed fingernails. Juno leaves the clinic. 

Historically, abortion has been a rare plot point in Hollywood films. When it does appear in a storyline, the decision might provide a moment of melodrama as the pregnant character wrestles with “wrong” and “right,” which is implied to be carrying the baby to term no matter the circumstances of the mother.

But Cody, who banged out the “Juno” script from a Minnesota Target Starbucks in about one month, stressed that the character’s decision wasn’t the result of any “moral conundrum.”

Rather, the writer, with all her own “personal peccadillos,” put herself in Juno’s shoes and pictured how she might react, explaining, “I’m afraid to give blood, so I could see myself freaking out in the waiting room of an abortion clinic,” Vanity Fair reported.

“In a way, I feel like I had a responsibility to maybe be more explicitly pro-choice, and I wasn’t,” Cody told the outlet, adding that although she “never attempted to hide” her views on abortion, “I think I took the right to choose for granted at the time.”

Planned Parenthood provides information about and referrals to adoption agencies in addition to its abortion services. Since President Donald Trump’s election, the women’s health organization been under threat of defunding by his administration, inspiring a surge in donations. While Vice President Mike Pence stated that he would like to send a woman’s right to abortion “to the ash heap of history, where it belongs,” Trump also voiced anti-choice views on the campaign trail. His Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a 49-year-old conservative judge who was confirmed Friday, may help decide the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

For Cody, who went on to write the female-fronted film “Young Adult” and series “United States of Tara,” the Planned Parenthood benefit helped assuage her fears.

“It was very healing for me tonight to have a representative from Planned Parenthood stand up there and say that she supported the narrative,” she said

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‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Samira Wiley And Writer Lauren Morelli Get Married

The confetti was surely flying during this particular wedding day!

Orange Is the New Black” star Samira Wiley on Saturday married her longtime girlfriend, Lauren Morelli, in a special ceremony celebrating their mutual love for Pillsbury Funfetti cake, Martha Stewart Weddings reports. The nontraditional, confetti-themed nuptials took place in Palm Springs, California.

Wiley’s parents officiated the ceremony, which began with a procession up the aisle to Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.” The actress and Morelli, who is a writer on the Netflix series, wore custom Christian Siriano ensembles, with Wiley changing her look before hitting the dance floor to Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

Martha Stewart Weddings shared a photo from the event on Instagram and will feature the wedding in an upcoming issue. 

Wiley and Morelli met while on the set of “OITNB.” Morelli divorced her husband of two years in 2014 after realizing she was gay while shooting the show. She came out in a Mic essay that same year, and subsequently began dating Wiley. 

“Samira became my outlet,” Morelli told Out magazine in December, “and through that process I fell in love with her. But I thought, This will be the one that got away. Being with her felt too good to be true.”

Congrats to the happy couple!

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017 

Don’t go yet! Try out our Entertainment newsletter. You’ll get celeb tidbits, late-night highlights, and the latest on TV and movies in your inbox, six days a week.

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US man held for sending flashing tweet to epileptic writer

“Let’s see if he dies,” the suspect wrote in a Twitter message to another user, investigators say.
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‘Moonlight’ Writer Dedicates Film To All POC And Gender-Nonconforming

The 89th Academy Awards on Sunday weren’t lacking in high-key socio-political statements, one of which came from “Moonlight” playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.

After receiving the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, which “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and McCraney shared, they both gave some poignant words about the movie ― which also won Best Picture ― in their acceptance speeches. 

The original play ― titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” and written over a decade ago ― was inspired by McCraney’s own life experiences. 

His speech perfectly attested to the social significance of the film.

“Black and brown boys and girls and gender non-conforming…who don’t see themselves…we’re trying show you, you and us…this is for you,” McCraney said.

We ‘preciate you McCraney. 

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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American Beauties: The Pleasures of a Writer Who Was ‘Richard Pryor on Paper’

Charles Wright’s three autobiographical novels about a young black intellectual trying to make it in New York City are ripe for rediscovery.
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Encounters: Even the Teen Vogue Writer Who Took On Trump Gets Stage Fright

Lauren Duca was a little-known writer before last month. Her essay accusing the newly elected president of “gaslighting” changed all that.
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Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss answers critic in verse

Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss responds in verse to a critic who claimed the show has turned the character into “Sherlock Bond”.
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Tweet with flashing images sent to epileptic writer

Vanity Fair writer Kurt Eichenwald suffered a seizure after receiving a flashing image tweet
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Writer AA Gill diagnosed with ‘the full English’ of cancer

The Sunday Times critic reveals he has cancer which prompted him to propose to his partner of 23 years.
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BBC America Greenlights ‘Killing Eve’ Series from ‘Fleabag’ Writer

BBC America has ordered eight episodes of drama “Killing Eve” from Phoebe Waller-Bridge for a 2018 debut. The thriller will revolve around a psychopathic assassin and the woman tasked with hunting her down. Waller-Bridge, who also writes and stars in Amazon/BBC Three’s “Fleabag,” will serve as showrunner and executive producer, alongside executive producer Sally Woodward… Read more »

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Criminal Minds Writer Opens Up About Physical Altercation with Thomas Gibson: ‘I Hope the Best for the Guy’

Virgil Williams, a writer for the CBS drama Criminal Minds who was recently involved in a physical altercation with actor Thomas Gibson, is encouraging high school teens to take a stand for what they believe in.

During a recent visit to Ghetto Film School Los Angeles, where he hosted an interactive workshop for students aspiring to work in the entertainment industry, the writer-producer spoke candidly about the importance of telling your story.

“There’s a certain cycle that needs to be broken,” Williams tells PEOPLE. “One of these kids came up and asked me, ‘I’m doing a full report on the diversity problem in Hollywood and how do you think you fix that?’ The first thing that came to my mind was ‘You guys. You guys are the way that we fix that. You guys are here right now. You’re fixing it right now because you’re spending time and you’re studying and you’re working on your craft and you’re trying to tell your stories. You have to be the change that you want to see.’ ”

After being asked by a student how difficult it is to write off a major character on a TV show, Williams immediately referred to Gibson’s departure — and admitted it was not easy.

“It hasn’t been smooth,” Williams tells PEOPLE about writing off Gibson’s character, who only appeared on the first two episodes of the current season. “It was very abrupt. But we tried to do it seamlessly and move on. We’re going to keep moving forward and we’re going to keep telling great stories.”

As for the altercation that ultimately resulted in Gibson’s departure from the hit show in August, Williams says it stemmed from a professional disagreement.

“He came to me with a line change that he wanted,” Williams said. “I felt that change would have hurt the story, but I offered him fix. He didn’t accept the fix and walked off.”

Shortly after a second heated conversation between him and Gibson, the writer — who was in search of the showrunner to explain the situation at hand — said that Gibson kicked him in the shin as he walked by him.

“He came to me with a line change that he wanted. Because of this particular episode, the change that he wanted hurt the story,” Williams said. “I offered him a fix. He didn’t accept the fix. He said, ‘Fix it so I’m happy’ and then walked off.”

Shortly after a second heated conversation between him and Gibson, the writer — who was in search of the showrunner to explain the situation at hand — said that Gibson kicked him in the shin as he walked by him.

However, according to Gibson, the situation unfolded a little differently.

“He came into that room and started coming towards me,” Gibson, 54, previously told PEOPLE. “As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back.”

After what was supposed to be a two-week suspension, Gibson was informed that he was “dismissed” from the show. Since his departure, the CBS drama has seen a decrease in ratings and a twitter campaign using the hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch has been launched in attempt to get his character, special agent Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, back on the show.

Williams — who admits he himself was once suspended from set for raising his voice — believes Gibson created a “hostile work environment,” but reveals he will, in fact, miss his character.

“ got to watch him, but I got to write him,” says Williams.

Though he doesn’t foresee working with Gibson in the future, Williams wishes him the best.

“I pray for him,” he says. “I hope that he’s getting time with his family. I hope the best for the guy.”


PEOPLE.com

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West Wing writer pens angry anti-Trump letter

Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has written a letter to his teenage daughter, urging her to “fight the Trumpsters”.
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A Writer’s Writer and Teacher Is Gone

2015-05-15-1431706527-9942360-ZinsserobitNYTmaster6755.12.2015.jpg

New York Times 5.12.2015

On May 11, 2015, at the age of 92, Bill Zinnser died in his home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Many will wonder, who was he? A sports star? A celebrity? An inventor? A diplomat? Well, while he was a bit of all of these he was none. He was a writer and one of the greatest teachers of non-fiction writing and memoir we have had the honor to grace the Western world.

A former WW II correspondent and journalist, whose scope ranged from combat to culture (he wrote over 600 movie and theatre reviews), it was not until he was in his 50s that he took up the cudgel of helping others write well. He remarked that he was complaining to his wife about how poorly was the writing he encountered in so many authors that she exhorted him to do something about it.

The result is a shelf full of books on writing well – as well as studies on American pop music and baseball (two of his passions); 19 books in all. Bill Zinsser’s signature book, “On Writing Well“, has become a treasure and bible for non-fiction writers, and has sold over 1.5 million copies.

I met Bill Zinsser late in his life, and not at the beginning of mine. In 2011, I joined some 20 others for an evening writing workshop he taught at The New School in NYC (Ink-Stained for Life: What Makes for a Great Teacher). I stayed in contact with him after that, as his physical life became more compromised but not his wit or wisdom. My Zinsser experience fueled my passion for writing, as well as an appreciation that writing is a craft — but one that must be infused with the writer’s authenticity and humanity.

Writing, as Zinsser liked to say, is a craft no less and no more worthy than plumbing or carpentry. All take the same determination to get the job done well: that means waking each day and getting to work. There is no mood for writing, as there is no mood for plumbing. Sit down and write, he used to proclaim. Make no bones about it, writing well must be learned, word by word, day after day. But if you do try, I can hear Zinsser’s dictums. Begin with simplicity and clarity. Achieve brevity and make clutter the enemy. Don’t weary your reader with dense language because we are rich with alternatives. A reader shouldn’t have to labor to understand; a writer owes the reader the pleasure of reading, which should not be a chore. His crowning principle, I think, is humanity. The writer must be a person, someone the reader can trust. Otherwise, it’s just words.

Eight semesters ago, with my colleague Dr. Deborah Cabaniss, I began teaching medical writing for the lay public to doctors and neuroscientists at the Columbia University Medical School Department of Psychiatry. More recently, this teaching expanded to the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meetings, and to young writers associated with Commonweal Magazine. I am amazed at the hunger so many professionals (young and older, early and advanced career) have to speak (write) their mind, outside the confines of professional journals and scientific venues. And goodness knows, we need their educated ideas to counter the avalanche of uninformed opinion written by anyone with a keyboard that appears throughout social media sites.

I owe Bill Zinsser, as do so many others, a big thank you for giving me the prescription for what it takes to be a good writer and teacher. It all may sound simple, since in fact it is when well done, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to achieve. Whenever I write, even today with this piece, I hear his slightly cranky, ever kind, Yankee voice urging me on and telling me to be sure to get it right.

======
The views expressed here are entirely my own. I take no support from any pharmaceutical, device or treatment industry company.

Dr. Sederer’s book for families who have a member with a mental illness is The Family Guide to Mental Health Care (Foreword by Glenn Close) — is now available in paperback.

Follow Lloyd I. Sederer, MD on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/askdrlloyd

Visit my website at http://www.askdrlloyd.com

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The Wedding Writer

The Wedding Writer


Four talented women, one glossy wedding magazine: life should be as perfect as a bridal catwalk… right?Lucky Quinn writes up weddings for one of the hottest bridal magazines. And it wasn’t easy to get there. From humble beginnings, she outsmarted her way into the center of New York’s glamorous magazine industry – making up for her background with a sharp mind, whip-thin physique, and ceaseless ambition. Then, in one day, her life is utterly transformed; two of the magazine’s major competitors fold, and Lucky is named Editor-in-Chief, replacing the formidable, but aging Grace Ralston, who had been at the magazine’s helm from day one. Grace taught Lucky everything she knows, but now it seems that she taught her too well… As the ripples of Lucky’s promotion spread, the intricate lives of four women begin to unfold. Felice, Your Wedding’s elegant and unshakeable Art Director is now being shaken for the first time by troubles at home. Sara, the Fashion Director, is famed for her eagle eye for fashion trends and exquisite hair. But, for all her know-how, “the Angel of Bridal” has never come close to starring in a wedding herself – she’s picked the dress, but where’s the groom? Grace, recovering in the wake of her sudden, humiliating fall from power, must learn to accept herself – and love – after a life dedicated to fulfilling other women’s dreams. And, through it all, Lucky begins to discover just how lonely the top really is.
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Laverne Cox Weighs In On ‘OITNB’/’Transparent’ Trans Writer Debate

The creators behind two of today’s hottest queer-championing shows, “Orange Is The New Black” and “Transparent,” recently got into a little tiff at the New Yorker Festival over whether trans people should be writing and acting out trans stories.

“Transparent” showrunner Jill Soloway argued hiring trans writers is “absolutely necessary” when telling an authentic trans story, while “OITNB’s” Jenji Kohan said a truly great writer can write for any character.

Another voice joined the conversation when one of the biggest faces of the trans movement, “OITNB” actress Laverne Cox, spoke with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill about the MTV documentary on transgender youth, “The T Word.” Asked about Kohan and Soloway’s difference of opinion, Cox explained:

I think that it is really important that trans folks are in positions of power in terms of creating our stories. I think that’s crucial. I think it’s vital. I don’t think you necessarily need to be trans to bring humanity to trans characters. I think you have to be human and understand that we are human beings too, beyond our bodies and beyond anything sort of salacious.

Watch the full segment with Laverne Cox and stars from “The T Word” here.

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