Literary Kicks Style Guide

While LitKicks is devoted to free expression, we also like to suggest a few stylistic guidelines that will help your article “fit in” at LitKicks:

  • Keep your articles short and interesting, and avoid dull academic language. Don’t hesitate to write something personal, or funny, or deeply unusual. Just don’t be boring.
  • Readers like facts. If you are writing an author biography, it is a good idea to start with birth and end with death (or with the author’s latest novels, which is sometimes not much different). Whether you are are covering a person, a book, a place, or a concept, try to allow hard facts to form the structure of your piece as much as possible, so that your own personal opinions or ideas will emerge naturally and subtly from the bedrock of information. With that said, please *do* let your writing express your own personality as much as possible. It is by writing about something other than yourself or your opinions that you can most effectively tell us about yourself and your opinions.
  • LitKicks does not believe in cluttering up texts with endless footnotes, citations, bibliographies, etc. We’re here to have fun; the people who work at the Library of Congress get paid and have to be fastidious, but we don’t. NOTE: if footnotes are absolutely essential to your postmodern Nicholson-Baker/Dave Eggers-like style, fine — but no bibliographies, still.
  • We hate pompous, pseudo-authoritative statements like “Thomas Pynchon is one of the five most important writers of the second half of the twentieth century”. Or “Robert Pirsig is the greatest prose stylist since John Dos Passos”. How can we believe any statements like these to be valid? We all like making lists, and we all have our own lists, none more valid than any other. And why is it necessary to put down Tom Robbins in order to praise Robert Pirsig? There’s plenty of room on the pantheon — just tell us which writers you do like, and why, instead of obsessing over who gets to stand in which order.

With all that said, the truth is that any of the above rules can be broken, if the results justify this. Just try not to break all of them at once.

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What We're Up To ...

Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!