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Fun Writing Facts

Updated: May 7, 2023

  • The longest novel ever written is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, which contains more than 1.5 million words. It was originally published in seven volumes between 1913 and 1927. (Source: "10 Longest Novels in the English Language," Publishers Weekly)

  • In 2013, a team of researchers at Stony Brook University found that reading literary fiction can improve a person's ability to understand and empathize with others. The study found that readers of literary fiction scored higher on tests of empathy than readers of popular fiction or nonfiction. (Source: "Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind," Science)

  • The first book ever printed using movable type was the Gutenberg Bible, which was printed in Mainz, Germany, in the 1450s. The printing press revolutionized the way books were produced and distributed, making them more affordable and widely available. (Source: "Johannes Gutenberg," Encyclopedia Britannica)

  • The term "deadline" originally referred to a line drawn around a military prison camp during the American Civil War. Any prisoner who crossed this line was subject to being shot by guards. The term later came to refer to a time limit for completing a task. (Source: "The Origin of the Word 'Deadline'," Merriam-Webster)

  • Mark Twain once said, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." This quote reflects the difficulty of writing concisely and effectively, and the importance of editing and revising one's work. (Source: "Mark Twain Quotes," BrainyQuote)

  • The pen name "George Orwell" was chosen by the author Eric Blair as a tribute to the River Orwell in Suffolk, England, where he spent time as a child. The name has become synonymous with political writing and social commentary. (Source: "The Orwell Society")

  • The first known book written by an Englishwoman was The Book of Margery Kempe, which was composed in the 15th century. The book is an autobiographical account of Kempe's religious experiences and travels and is notable for its vivid and emotional language. (Source: "Margery Kempe," Encyclopedia Britannica)

- Laura Overbo

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