Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?
Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied.
Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
Hemingway: Getting the words right.
– Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Review Interview, 1956. Just one of the writers in our slideshow, 20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision.
Christopher King’s designs for a Derek Raymond series, part of Peter Mendelsund’s 16 Favorite Book Covers of 2012.
1. Don’t worry about decor. “Real” literary parties are not generally glamorous affairs. I have now attended a few, and can vouch for this! In general people just wander about undecorated rooms and bookstores. They wear ratty cardigans and plastic-framed glasses, and drink out of clear plastic cups. Writers cannot afford glassware, let alonecoordinated glassware, and in general do not believe in clothing beyond its purely functional value. They will react the same way to a properly tended bar as they will to a table littered with bottles of Maker’s Mark and store-brand cola. So no need to stress about aesthetics.
5 Essential Tips on Hosting a Successful Literary Holiday Party