Writers are sometimes advised to write about what they know. This might include places they have visited or characters that they have met. For the last few months many of us have had a limited opportunity to acquire new knowledge, due to isolation restrictions. There are now options to write about these experiences. Submittable currently lists 26 markets which are open for submissions of personal responses to the coronavirus pandemic. These include opportunities to contribute poetry, short fiction, essays, photography, and film.
This trend will probably continue into film, television, and novels, once those industries return to normal. There is a historical precedent in the many movies about World War II, some of which were made during the conflict. The Oscar in 1946 went to The Best Years of Our Lives, a picture about three servicemen returning to normal life. From crisis comes opportunity, but this may not last.
Harold Russell who lost both his hands in the war, won Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Best Years of our Lives. He is one of two non-professional actors to take this accolade and the only performer to sell his Oscar award at an auction. His stated reason was that he needed money to pay his wife’s medical bills.
Paul Williams is a writer of fiction and non-fiction best known for his book on 333 Jack the Ripper suspects.