Lauren Mead

Lauren Mead

I write short fiction and middle-grade novels. When I am not writing, I am reading voraciously and teaching English lit.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

1

The Evolution of the TV Sitcom

From I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched to Seinfeld and FRIENDS to How I Met Your Mother (among many, many others), the sitcom has its own history in television. It would be interesting to do a study on sitcoms, focusing on how sitcoms over the decades have also been shaped by the sociocultural underpinnings of that era.

  • You could compare sitcoms all the way back from the 50's to now. – asd5261 4 months ago
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  • It would be great to see if you compared the messages that were implied through sitcoms such as The Golden Girls, The Little House on the Prairie, and etc. – hwm5211 4 months ago
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  • You should also include old ones, such as the nanny and fresh prince of bel-air that had comedic as well as meaningful episodes in relation the real-life situations at the time. – cjeacat 2 months ago
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6

Published and Incomplete

Explore the trend of famous authors’ first drafts and unfinished novels being published. Should authors publish these unfinished works? Or does it take away from the canon of their own literature?

  • Lauren Mead, looks good. I think you have to mark it fixed. It doesn't look like I have the option. – Tigey 4 months ago
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  • Cool idea! Off the top of my head I know that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has two different drafts published that make distinctions in the representation of the monster. – Kevin 4 months ago
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  • Did they do this with any works by Tolkein? I know there was a lot of talk about it once upon a time. Now people are constantly talking about whether George R.R. Martin will live to see the completion of his books (which I find very rude) and "who will finish them in his place?" I feel like it's all about what the authors wishes are, but maybe showing some examples of it going wrong or right in the past would make a good article to drive an opinion towards the future of unfinished famous authors' works. – Slaidey 4 months ago
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  • This is an interesting topic. I think it would be worthwhile to include in the discussion authors like J.K. Rowling who are supplementing their published works with online snippets while they are still living. – C8lin 3 months ago
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4

Blogging: Help or Hinderance in Building a Writing Career?

Many writing help sites suggest that starting a blog can launch your writing career. Others suggest that spending too much time tending a blog can stunt your literary growth in terms of productivity. So where do you draw the line? Is there a way to manage both or should a fledgling writer focus solely on writing the stories they want to write?

  • A big part of the question might come down to a matter of "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" For those who attempt to make their living as a writer, is it in their best interest to put time and effort into writing free online content with the hopes that it may prompt readers to buy their professionally published works? In the past, if professional [let's say, fiction] writers wanted to supplement their bodies of work with additional nonfiction, polemical, or personal writings, their only outlets to share them with the world were the same kinds of standard publishing channels - such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or to compile essays and articles into whole new books - to which they were still promised monetary compensation. Nowadays, with the internet acting as a Wild West of free content bombarding us from all directions, blogging has become a way for authors to share their nonfiction/polemical/personal content without any expectation of payment (at least when starting out). The consequences to this are two-fold: 1) the writer is no longer able to sustain herself financially from the total sum of her literary output, and 2) the free work produced may be somewhat de-legitimized in contrast to that which has entered the book market, possibly taking the author's good name down with it. At the end of the day, I think it's beneficial for writers to work on their craft beyond the occasional book she is able to produce, but incentivizing this work financially should be a priority if we wish to cultivate a future in which writers can devote themselves fully to their art without fearing that they may not be able to pay this month's rent. – ProtoCanon 6 months ago
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  • Everything is helpful... until it's not. There are myriad number of reasons for writing and the choices of mediums ever expanding. Digital literacies have brought about their own challenges. Let the suit be cut according to the cloth, as my dad always said. – Munjeera 6 months ago
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  • I agree with ProtoCanon that the internet has a Wild West atmosphere for fledgling writers and authors. There is potential for writers to share their work and connect with like-minded individuals. It might have the potential for fame like all the people who have found fame through YouTube and social media. At the same time, traditional means of publication through journals, online and print, shouldn't be discounted. You can build up a resume of sorts through these publications if you're ever looking for an agent. The internet is definitely changing the way things are done, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. – S.A. Takacs 6 months ago
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  • An interesting topic, yet one that needs to be considered on an individual basis. There are those who blog to get "discovered." Some sites encourage you to use their platform as a means to "launch your career as a writer." While others blog because they promised themselves that they would write, for at least a said amount of time, every day. Those looking for success or discovery will likely be disappointed. As for the disciplined writer who seeks to fine tune his or her craft, this act with be a help, not a hindrance to their art of writing. – danielle577 6 months ago
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5

How We Read: Various Ways of Engaging With and Interpreting Texts

As a teacher, I often hear about the diverse ways that people learn. I.e. some people are better at learning by listening, while others need to see the lesson in writing or experience it on a more kinetic level. In what ways do we engage with a story differently when it is in audiobook form vs. paper format?

  • I like this topic. It would be nice to add other formats like Kindle or reading from your laptop. For me it is better when I am reading straight from the pages, and it is tough when I have to read in my computer. – Andrestrada 8 months ago
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  • On a physical level, reading requires work, so it makes people more tired whereas its easier to just listen to someone recounting a story. Although for audiobooks, there is the issue of a person's voice being too high or too low, making the story hard for someone to listen to. I once did a presentation in college where I read some of my stories to the class and their feedback was that the experience brought them back to when they were young children listening to their teacher reading stories and how much they missed that magical feeling. – JennyCardinal 8 months ago
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  • This is a difficult topic due to the excellent points you bring up regarding the different learning styles of individuals. A story is such a fascinating example due to the use of the imagination in deriving the appearances of the characters, as well as the setting, and even body language. Though many of these facets are provided to the reader, we, as readers, tend to reconstruct--or, at times, deconstruct--what is written or heard. This is the reason why so many people become upset with film adaptations and the casting of certain characters; a level of disappointment arises when the character does not meet the reader's expectations. While teaching a television series in a literature course, I had students turn on the subtitles, even though the series was spoken in English. By doing so, students were subjected to the actual interactions, spoken words, and character evolutions, as well as "reading," the series as if it were a story (which, it is). I think this is a fascinating topic and I would be quite intrigued to see someone write on this, as I personally do not have a definitive answer for this topic. – danielle577 8 months ago
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  • Fantastic topic! I think it's important to also consider the ways we can judge others for their choices, ie. seeing someone reading a paper book versus seeing someone read on their phone. – LilyaRider 8 months ago
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  • This is something that I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about as well. I think, in a broad sense, we can get the same story from multiple sources (I firmly believe that you can get as much out of the film Romeo + Juliet as you can from reading the play). However, like LilyaRider said, we make value judgements based on the ways in which people engage with texts of all types. – Derek 7 months ago
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  • And there's a misguided assumption in education that after elementary school, lecture is somehow the best method of lesson delivery. When grades become indicators of success, only the auditory are valued. Our world is run by the auditory, and they don't listen to us. – Tigey 4 months ago
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