Traditional Publishing

Yasmin McDonald moves to CAA after 11 years with United Agents – Wednesday February 21, 2024

Yasmin McDonald has joined entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) as an agent in its books department after more than a decade with United Agents. 

Based in the agency’s London office, McDonald will focus on identifying books and other literary International Property (IP) suitable for adaptation to screen and stage both from within CAA’s books department, and from external sources across the UK and Europe.

McDonald will also continue to represent authors, illustrators, screenwriters and directors such as as Booker-shortlisted Paul Murray, John O’Farrell, JP Delaney and Lisa Mulcahy, director of “The Tourist”, among others. 

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New Literary Agency Listing: Frog Literary Agency – Wednesday February 21, 2024

LGBTQIA+ writers only. No submissions from heterosexuals. Writing need not have a queer focus, so heterosexual content may be accepted if it is written by someone who says they are gay. However, the same content would be rejected if the person who wrote it says they are straight. Also offers editorial services to writers, which may be considered a conflict of interest. Always exercise caution when contacting agencies that offer paid-for services that claim to improve your chances of being accepted by agencies, as the agency may merely be a front for generating business for the editorial service.

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David Nobbs Memorial Trust 2024 writing competition opens – Saturday February 17, 2024

The annual comedy writing competition run by the David Nobbs Memorial Trust is now open for entries, with the deadline set as 17th March.

The competition, which seeks out 10 pages from a sitcom script or four 3-minute sketches, is now in its seventh year. The trust, which was established in 2017 after the death of the beloved Reggie Perrin author, runs the competition to encourage and champion emerging talent with one-off financial aid for winners and events for long-listed entrants.

The competition offers cash prizes to up-and-coming comedy writers, helping them 'buy time' for writing. Prizes for the 2024 competition will see the overall winner will take home £1000. Any runners-up will receive £250 per entry. The winner will also be offered one-to-one consultation with an established comedy producer or commissioner from the Trust board.

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New Literary Agent Listing: Grace Milusich – Thursday February 15, 2024

Interested in pursuing both YA and adult pieces (with a particular interest in pieces that narrow the gap between YA and adult). She is passionate about twisty fantasy, thrillers, and contemporary fiction featuring powerful/challenging themes. She would also like to see stories exploring religious trauma, unputdownable pacing, gothic or mysterious narratives, and complex characters. She is also a lover of the found family trope in all its forms. She is hoping to work on romantasy projects that feature BIPOC protagonists, and she is a sucker for morally grey or unlikeable characters too!

[See the full listing]

Eli Keren to join the Curious Minds Agency as non-fiction agent – Thursday February 15, 2024

Eli Keren is joining the Curious Minds Agency as a non-fiction agent, working mostly with experts, academics and researchers on "ideas-led" books in the fields of smart science and current affairs.

Keren was previously an associate agent at United Agents, where he represented clients for both fiction and non-fiction. “I learned a vast amount from my colleagues at United Agents over these last eight years, and I’m looking forward to focusing on my core interests going forwards," he said. "As a former research scientist, Curious Minds feels like a natural home for me, and I’m excited to join a team I hugely admire."

He will remain in his role as treasurer of the Association of Authors’ Agents.

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Hold That Train! Writing a Sliding-Doors Thriller – Thursday February 15, 2024

I first saw Sliding Doors on VHS in 1999, the year after it released in theaters. I was eighteen and seeking my way back from my first real heartbreak. Mere days after an amicable split with my boyfriend, a slow drifting apart that was more bittersweet than painfully acute, he had called me up to say he was seeing someone new—my best friend. Then the pain rushed in. I slid the tape into my VCR expecting the kind of romantic comedy that would feel bad and good at the same time, like pressing on a bruise. (As it turned out, Sliding Doors was not a typical rom-com, something I’ll return to in a moment.) But it did resonate in unexpected ways.

In the opening sequence of the dual-timeline film, Gwyneth Paltrow’s character Helen gets fired from her job, and in one reality, catches the train and comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. Helen’s experience didn’t precisely mirror my own, but heartbreak has a way of shimmying from a TV screen or leeching from the pages of a novel, finding its way into your soft spots. (In the other reality, Helen misses the train and her boyfriend’s mistress has left by the time she makes it home, a sequence of events that only seems to launch her down a brighter path.) 

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Bloomsbury boss hails ‘publishing phenomenon’ Sarah J Maas as shares hit record high – Wednesday February 14, 2024

The boss of Bloomsbury Publishing hailed author Sarah J. Maas as a “publishing phenomenon” as it revealed its revenue and profits are set to be “significantly ahead” of expectations.

Fantasy writer Maas’s popularity on Tik Tok is set to push Bloomsbury’s profits beyond £40 million, and has helped send shares in the Harry Potter publisher to an all-time high. More than half a million videos featuring the hashtag #SarahJMaas have been posted on Tik Tok, attracting a combined 3.3 billion views.

Bloomsbury said it would invest more in fantasy following the success of her books, with the most recent release - House of Flame and Shadow in January - being an especially big hit. 

Boss Nigel Newton, said: "I am overjoyed to report an exceptionally strong period of trading, principally driven by the increasing demand for fantasy fiction.

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Curtis Brown Creative launches new short story writing course on Zoom, taught by Naomi Wood – Monday February 12, 2024

Curtis Brown Creative (CBC) is expanding its Zoom courses, with Writing Short Stories – Advanced, taught by 2023 BBC Short Story Award winner Naomi Wood.  

It will take 15 students and last for nine weeks. Students will also attend two exclusive Zoom masterclasses: one with Deborah Treisman, fiction editor for the New Yorker, and one with Kevin Barry, short story writer and Booker Prize-longlisted author, and his literary agent, C&W’s Lucy Luck. At the end of the course, the CBC team will help students submit their stories formally to the agents at Curtis Brown and C&W.   

The new course is the latest in CBC’s range of online courses with interactive Zoom teaching sessions. CBC said it has increased its online offering four-fold in the past three years and now runs over 40 online courses for writers of all levels of experience, supported by its bespoke learning platform, which was updated and relaunched in 2023.  

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New Literary Agency Listing: CAA (London) – Friday February 9, 2024

Represents award-winning and bestselling storytellers across a wide range of disciplines. Our authors include media personalities, musicians, actors, political figures, trendsetters, and more. We take an active role in every step of the book process, from developing the concept to amplifying author platforms and launching industry-leading book tours.

[See the full listing]

Call for entries: 2024 next gen indie book awards – Thursday February 8, 2024

If you would like to receive greater recognition, monetary prizes, awards and exposure for your books, here is an opportunity not to miss. Enter the 2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Calling all indie book authors and publishers – including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors who have a book written in English released in 2022, 2023 or 2024 or with a 2022, 2023 or 2024 copyright date to enter the most rewarding book awards program.

Offering 80+ Categories – More than 80 Awards – with over 80 monetary prizes totaling over $10,000 in cash, including $1,500 cash prizes plus trophies for best fiction book and best non-fiction book, $750 cash prizes plus trophies for second best fiction book and non-fiction book and $500 cash prizes plus trophies for third best fiction book and non-fiction book!

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