With the recent outpouring of writers' workshops and online writing communities, anyone can be a writer. Author Steven Carter has addressed this issue in his newest book Famous Writers School: A Novel.
Carter's book follows the founder and teacher of the school, protagonist Wendell Newton — who, through his bumbling interactions with students, shows that while anyone may be able to write, not everyone should teach.
The school, a correspondence course advertised in the back of literary magazines, is made up of a few novice authors — including a crime fiction-writing John Deere sales representative whose excerpts make up a good deal of Carter's novel.
There's also some good writer's block advice, for example, pretending that you're writing to a friend or pressuring characters. However, Wendell Newton offers an even more unusual piece of advice — stealing names from obituaries.