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Writers, Readers, and ReputationsLiterary Life in Britain 1870-1918$
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Philip Waller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

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Playing the Press: Entry and Exposure

Playing the Press: Entry and Exposure

Chapter:
(p.398) 10 Playing the Press: Entry and Exposure
Source:
Writers, Readers, and Reputations
Author(s):

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.003.0010

This chapter considers how people became professional writers is one subject of this chapter, looking at new schools of journalism as well help and advice given to novices by the more established. A clear refrain is writers' insecurity and impecuniousness. Relatively few lived by the pen and fewer still lived well. Yet most ordinary occupations were hazardous and ill-paid, and writing as a career continued to attract because of the romance associated with the exercise of imagination and the creation of literature of lasting significance. While the vast majority failed to become independent writers, many thousands were proud to be part-time authors and to find outlets for their poetry and stories in the expanding newspaper and periodicals market. The chapter also examines writers' mutual assistance in manipulatiing publicity media — interviewing or writing about each other, or planting items in gossip columns — as the fashion for personal journalism, another facet of the New Journalism, developed. Douglas Sladen, initiator of a remodelled Who's Who, was a key figure in this promotion of writers to celebrity status and, while satirised by Pinero and others, most were pleased to have their names in the public eye.

Keywords:   new Journalism, personal journalism, gossip columns, who's Who

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