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Basic Introduction to the Stratemeyer Syndicate 

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Ghostwriting in the Mega-Books era 3

The Stratemeyer Syndicate was working to produce books that would sell for many years.  This meant that there was an avoidance of brand names and slang and popular culture items which would tend to date the stories.  Even World War II was largely unmentioned directly for the titles produced during the war.  Uncle Ned of […]

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Ghostwriting in the Mega-Books Era 2

A 2015 post collected some information about Mega-Books, the book packager that succeeded the Stratemeyer Syndicate when the earlier firm was purchased by Simon & Schuster. The Stratemeyer Syndicate supplied outlines, often very detailed, to its ghostwriters.  However, Mega-Books (and Simon & Schuster afterward when they took the work in house) required writers to supply […]

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Write your NaNoWriMo Novel Like a Classic Nancy Drew Volume — Part 3: Cliffhangers

In the first part of this exploration of the Stratemeyer Syndicate’s “Formula for Outlines,” comparisons are made with the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) goals of 50,000 words in 30 days. The second part described the evolution of Syndicate outlines provided to its ghostwriters. Here we can consider the details of the outlines, including ways […]

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Write your NaNoWriMo Novel Like a Classic Nancy Drew Volume — Part 2: Outlines

In the first part of this exploration of the Stratemeyer Syndicate’s “Formula for Outlines,” comparisons are made with the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) goals of 50,000 words in 30 days.   Here we will examine the evolution of the outlines supplied to ghostwriters for the seven decades in which the Stratemeyer Syndicate existed as […]

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Write your NaNoWriMo Novel Like a Classic Nancy Drew Volume — Part 1: How many words?

November is a time when many people participate in a group activity to write a novel (or other long work) organized as NaNoWriMo — the National Novel Writing Month.  Those who sign up (free) can give a name, brief description, cover thumbnail image, and report on their progress to write a rough draft of 50,000 […]

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Artwork — Ken Barr illustrates Tom Swift

After 33 successful hardcover titles were published in the Tom Swift Jr. series by Grosset & Dunlap between 1954 and 1971, there were two paperback editions offered.  The first group of four from 1974 were large digest-size paperbacks.  New cover art was made but the original printing plates were used, complete with the Graham Kaye illustrations […]

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Ghostwriting in the Mega-Books era

A recent article in The Atlantic gives some interesting perspectives on the role of ghostwriting the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew in the era immediately after the Stratemeyer Syndicate was sold to Simon & Schuster in 1984.   When the Stratemeyer Syndicate was a separate entity, they supplied the outlines to ghostwriters, edited the stories, and submitted […]

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Nancy Drew Myth Busting

There is an unfortunate amount of false information about Edward Stratemeyer, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, and Nancy Drew, both in print and online.  As these legends are repeated, they take on a semblance of truth that is undeserved. This piece, called “The Nancy Drew Mythtery Stories,” was made at the 2007 Nancy Drew Conference at Wilson […]

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