NovelTM @ MLA 2017

Don’t miss the NovelTM team at the 2017 MLA Convention in Philadelphia, PA, from January 5-8, 2017. Andrew Piper will present “Tempos: Computation and the Time of Reading,” co-authored by Jonathan Sachs (Concordia University), during Session 404, “Reading against Noise,” on Friday, 6 January, from 5:15–6:30 PM. Mark Algee-Hewitt will present “Networks of Response: Citation and Sequence in Nineteenth-Century Periodical…

Is Data Good for Creative Writing?

This past spring Andrew Piper conducted an interview with Gabriela Pereira, host of @DIYMFA Radio. These are a fantastic series of podcasts for aspiring writers to learn more about the craft without paying enormous sums of money to attend an MFA program. Below is an introduction to the interview as well as link to listen…

How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel?

We wrote a program to analyze hundreds of works by authors with and without creative-writing degrees. The results were disappointing. Published in the Atlantic by Richard Jean So and Andrew Piper This year, about 20,000 people applied to study creative writing at MFA programs in the U.S. It’s a funny fact to consider, given that the…

The Devoir Challenge. How to write like an American Bestseller

by ANDREW PIPER When the books editor of Le Devoir, Catherine Lalonde, called to ask if my lab would supply a data-driven guide on how to write like a bestseller, I enthusiastically said yes. But I expected everyone else would say no. Surely writers will be allergic to data. And surely Quebecois and Canadian writers won’t want to…

Send Us Your Rejected Manuscripts!

Donate your ideas to science not Facebook! Every day we post valuable information to social media sites. These platforms use that information to learn all sorts of things about us. But they never share that learning back with us. We want to start a new culture of idea donation in which the knowledge gained is…

NovelTM at MLA 2016

Several members of the NovelTM team will be presenting at the upcoming MLA 2016 conference in Austin, Texas. On Saturday, January 9th, from 1:45-3:00 in 5C, ACC, Mark Algee-Hewitt is presenting “Literary Sociality: Networks of Enlightenment on Stage and in Print”. On Sunday, January 10th, from 10:15-11:30, in 5A, ACC, he is part of a…

Quantifying the Weepy Bestseller

Are commercial novels really more sentimental than literary fiction? NovelTM members Andrew Piper and Richard Jean So consider this question in a recently published article in the New Republic: If you want to be a great writer, should you withhold your sentimental tendencies? The answer for most critics and writers seems to be yes. Sentimentality…

Ecologies of Publishing Futures

Andrew Piper recently gave the keynote address at the Ecologies of Publishing Futures Symposium at the Royal College of Art, London. Entitled “The Distributed Book,” the lecture addressed issues around publishing past and future, such as analogue and digital forms of publishing and the influences of technology. Ecologies of Publishing Futures was a one-day international…

Can a computer predict a literary prize?

This evening the Giller Prize winner will be announced. For those not in the know, the Giller Prize is Canada’s most prestigious literary award. Like the Man Booker in the UK or National Book Award in the US, the Giller Prize serves as a way of signalling to Canadian readers important new fiction. It relies…