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Write for your people

read + write
welcome back.
This week in read + write, we have reading recommendations, inspiration, and writing advice from Ivie Ani and Lex Pryor. We’ll also hear from Twitter’s own Marc Burrows, who writes The Glom of Nit Newsletter. Finally, we’ll explain how Twitter is thinking of new business models to help fund journalism. 
read + recommendations
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions about what they like to read.
Our first guest is a critic, essayist, writer of profiles, and an on-air host. This is Ivie Ani, Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director of AMAKA Studio. She’s written for Okayplayer, Paper Magazine, GQ, LEVEL, The FADER, and others. 
📸: @ElliottAshby
📸: @ElliottAshby
What’s the thing you’ve bookmarked, you know you need to read, and are excited to read?
Bookmarked: Writings for a Liberation Psychology by Ignacio Martín-Baró.
Need to read: Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot.
Excited to read: The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women by Catherine E. McKinley and Jacqueline Woodson.
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write? 
I go back to this quote from author Jodi Picoult: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” 
 I also rewatch clips from this educational video program the late Cicely Tyson appeared on in 1988 called “Basic Writing Skills.” It reminds me that most times, the root of good writing is just clear and effective communication. 
You’re at the newsstand and have decided you’re leaving with four magazines. What are you picking up? (from any era, be as oddly specific as possible).  
Early-mid ‘90s era Village Voice, ‘90s-early 2000’s Vibe, 60’s,‘70s and ’80s era Jet, and the early 2000s Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. 
What’s the thing you read when you need to feel something?
DMX lyrics.
There’s also a book called Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc that was published in 2003. It’s about two women connected to the infamous drug kingpin Boy George, and their families navigating poverty and trying to survive in the Bronx. It’s relatable because of where I grew up, but I read this book when studying journalism at NYU. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spent 10 years reporting on this. It’s a masterclass on non-fiction storytelling.
newsletter time
Every other week, we’ll include a new Revue newsletter (new = under 60 days or five or fewer issues). 
The Glom of Nit Newsletter
The newsletter has been running since 2020, but Marc only recently started publishing on Revue. We asked him: In 280 characters or less, why did you move your newsletter to Twitter?
Twitter is my home! My newsletter is just an extension of my Twitter account really, a chance for people who like my writing, books, music, and stupid jokes to get a concentrated dose. Revue’s integration with Twitter pulled it all closer. It’s satisfyingly neat.
write + inspiration
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions and give their perspective on writing.
Our second guest this week is Lex Pryor. He’s a staff writer at The Ringer, writing pieces that touch on race, pop culture, and sports. 
What’s a piece of writing advice that’s held true for you?
Write for your people, whoever they are. 
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. It made me rethink everything I thought I knew about what a sentence could be. James Baldwin’s “Going To Meet The Man” — no matter how often I come back to it, that thing always cuts like a hot blade. Brian Phillips wrote this amazing essay for Grantland in 2014 called “The Sea Of Crises.” I find myself re-reading that whenever I’m writing something long and reported. And when it comes to criticism, anything Doreen St. Félix has written. 
What’s a writing strategy you’ve developed that’s worked for you?
It’s corny but always outlining my work. One of my infinite writer-neuroses is that I cannot focus on crafting sentences if I don’t know where I’m ultimately going. 
Who do you think really knows how to do a newsletter?
Hunter Harris’s Hung Up is amazing. It’s so hard to write funny consistently but she never misses. Victor Luckerson has this newsletter called Run It Back. It’s about Black Wall Street in Tulsa and manages to thread the line between really scrupulous historical research and active reporting in the present day. Those are probably my two favorites. 
What do you do with all the writing ideas that pop into your head? Where do they go?
I’m always dropping ideas in my notes app. I try to follow my own curiosities whenever I can, especially with topics that seem different from some of the things I’ve covered in the past. Once I know I want to dive in more I usually scour the internet for anything I can find on the idea. Then I go to JSTOR or Project MUSE and try to download whatever I see that connects to it. By then I generally have a sense of whether I’ll pitch it to my editor or not. 
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed enough) for a writer trying to improve in 2022?
Turn your phone off on occasion. Sometimes an hour or two (or if you’re tryna live dangerously, a weekend) unplugged can feel like coming up to breathe. Nobody can live offline completely, but finding a balance between accessing all the things that make my little corner of the internet great and also going, you know, outside is a necessity for me.  
Each week, in addition to hearing from writers, we’ll also give an update about what we’re doing for readers and writers at Twitter.
If you’ve been on the internet recently, you might have heard of Twitter Blue, Twitter’s first premium feature subscription — currently available in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It comes with a variety of features, but there’s one in particular we want to talk about today.
That feature is Ad-free Articles. People using Twitter Blue on iOS and web (soon, Android) can read articles without ads on sites that Twitter partners with (Twitter Blue does not get readers past paywalls). And a portion of their Twitter Blue subscription fee goes directly to the sites they spend their time reading.
Twitter partners with premium publishers such as The Washington Post, LA Times, Atlantic, BuzzFeed, USA Today, and hundreds more. Readers can enjoy a beautifully clean, ad-free experience, and publishers make more money per reader than they would have done from advertising. It’s a win-win. 
Find out how to sign up here
wrap up
Thanks for joining us this week — we’d love to hear what you thought of this issue. As always, you can reach us at @revue, or by using the hashtag #readpluswrite.
 See you next time,
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Anna from Twitter
Anna from Twitter @revue

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