Can You Trademark a Common Word? Court Says No

Can You Trademark a Common Word? Court Says No

A romance writer cocky enough to trademark the word “cocky” lost her bid to stop other writers from using the word in book titles.  The U.S. District Court for Southern New York has ruled in favor of the Authors Guild and the Romance Writers of America (RWA) in asserting the principle that nobody should own exclusive rights to use a common word in book and series titles.

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Newly Launched Staunch Book Prize Reflects #MeToo Movement

Newly Launched Staunch Book Prize Reflects #MeToo Movement

In the wake of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment, a new book prize is seeking thrillers in which “no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped, or murdered.” Submit your manuscript to the Staunch Book Prize, the writing contest for our times. 

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In Praise of the Lowly Comma

In Praise of the Lowly Comma

One tiny comma can sometimes make all the difference when it comes to the meaning of a sentence or a contract for that matter. Strunk and White advocated for the Oxford comma in their classic book, “The Elements of Style,” while the AP Stylebook doesn’t require series comma. If you’re an Oxford-comma proponent like me, a recent federal court ruling will reinforce your position. The following articles will help make my case on the importance of the lowly comma.

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Did You Know? How “Red Herring” Originated

Did You Know? How “Red Herring” Originated

Dashiell Hammett’s seminal detective novel, “The Maltese Falcon,” opens with the mysterious Miss Wonderly hiring private eye Sam Spade and his partner, Miles Archer, to follow a man who eloped with her sister. It’s a classic red herring. Readers of mysteries, crime fiction, and suspense novels love red herrings, but where did the term originate?

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The Giving Season: 7 Gifts the Writer in Your Life Actually Needs

The Giving Season: 7 Gifts the Writer in Your Life Actually Needs

Need a gift idea this holiday season for the writer in your life? The spiffy journals and coffee mugs with literary quotes are nice, but skip them this year. If your writer is anything like me, he or she needs certain things many people don’t think about. This year, consider giving one of the following gifts.

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