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Cork book publisher Oak Tree acquired by international firm

irishexaminer.com – Thursday January 26, 2023

Cork-based business book publisher, Oak Tree Press has been acquired by international publisher.

Active in both Belgium and Switzerland, Oak Tree's parent company, Cork Publishing Ltd has joined the Corporate Group, which now operates across three countries and five languages. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed. 

The international publisher's catalogue extends to over 500 titles, the majority of which cover entrepreneurial domains including economics tax, law, contracts and business, while also offering accountancy and investment management software. 

[Read the full article]

Pan Macmillans’s Cole to join Northbank Talent Management as literary agent

thebookseller.com – Thursday January 26, 2023

Matthew Cole, senior commissioning editor at Pan Macmillan, will join Northbank Talent Management on 20th March as literary agent.

In his new role Cole will assume responsibility for the agency’s non-fiction representation across current affairs, popular science, popular history, memoir and lifestyle books, working in close collaboration with the agency’s broadcast, corporate and brand partnerships agents.

Northbank c.e.o. Diane Banks said: “Matt has an impeccable track record commissioning titles which align perfectly with Northbank’s areas of expertise. He is a natural deal-maker and we are impressed with his entrepreneurial attitude, which makes him the ideal person to take our non-fiction business forward as the agency continues to grow.” 

[Read the full article]

Bournemouth Writing Festival dates and what's on revealed

bournemouthecho.co.uk – Wednesday January 25, 2023

TICKETS are on sale for more than 60 events and activities which will make up Bournemouth’s first Writing Festival.

The mix of free and paid-for sessions will involve more than 70 experienced writers and professionals.

The events have been designed to foster inspiration, networking and creativity, with topics ranging from creating credible characters to publishing contracts, and from writing compelling dialogue to landing an agent.

TV and film screenwriters, best-selling authors, poets, journalists, publicists, writing coaches, editors and publishers will be giving their advice in talks and workshops.

[Read the full article]

Save the children's

thebookseller.com – Wednesday January 25, 2023

Children’s publishing is in crisis and we need to take a stand for more thoughtful, challenging books.

I felt a jolt of righteous gratitude for the "Today" programme’s coverage last month of the declining attention paid by the media to children’s books and of the effects of the publishing industry’s focus on celebrity authors. How reassuring to hear the BBC acknowledge what many of my colleagues and I consider to be a genuine cultural crisis.

I represent authors who write for children and teenagers. And I think British children’s literature is under threat.

It’s already hard to make money as a writer (the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Authors’ Earnings report makes this plain); it’s even harder for children’s writers. The recommended retail price of a children’s novel is rarely higher than £7.99; publishers sell the majority of children’s books to retailers at high retail discounts, earning authors decreased royalties. For most authors, advances have been stagnant for years; very few break the £20,000 ceiling, and most don’t get nearly that much. It is nearly impossible for writing children’s books to be a full-time career, particularly for authors who don’t already have the support of socioeconomic privilege.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: Norfolk & Suffolk Bride

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 25, 2023

For engaged couples in the region. Filled with inspiration, information and advice, this annual publication is geared towards planning your wedding the local way. From fashion features and expert articles, to real weddings and venue listings,it makes easy work of your wedmin by providing everything you need to plan the perfect day. Glean ideas for your wedding in every aspect and connect with the local suppliers who can bring your vision to life.

[See the full listing]

Jack Kerouac’s Guide To Writing Spontaneous Prose

flashbak.com – Sunday January 22, 2023

You too can be a writer. In 1962, Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922–October 21, 1969) , the Beat Generation writer who tamed his fears by writing, assured subscribers to Writer’s Digest that “Writers are made, for anybody who isn’t illiterate can write”. He continued with a word to the wise that “geniuses of the writing art like Melville, Whitman or Thoreau are born.”

If Walter Pater (The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Literature, 1870) is right and “all art  constantly aspires towards the condition of music”, you might be interested in what composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky thought of it.  In a letter to his benefactress, Nadezhda von Meck on  March 17th, 1878 (from The Life & Letters of Pete Ilich Tchaikovsky), he wrote:

There is no doubt that even the greatest musical geniuses have sometimes worked without inspiration. This guest does not always respond to the first invitation. We must always work…

I have learnt to master myself, and I am glad I have not followed in the steps of some of my Russian colleagues, who have no self-confidence and are so impatient that at the least difficulty they are ready to throw up the sponge. This is why, in spite of great gifts, they accomplish so little, and that in an amateur way.

Discipline matters. You can adhere to Kerouac’s 39 Rules for Writing Prose – and this from the writer with the musical ear whose rhythmic and spontaneous stories and poems had “no form” because everything comes at you “in piecemeal bombardments, continuously, rat tat tatting the pure pictureless liquid of Mind essence.” Putting the fleeting and universal into a book is hard work. So, you can also study Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Writing Modern Prose In 30 Bullet Points.

[Read the full article]

Diversity ‘box-ticking’ could cost us the next John Grisham, says top publisher

telegraph.co.uk – Saturday January 21, 2023

Diversity “box-ticking” could mean the next John Grisham or Dan Brown is lost, a leading publisher has warned.

Stephen Rubin, who has published more than 4,000 books, including 23 of Grisham’s novels and Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, told The Telegraph that  an “almost bizarre reliance on diversity and inclusion” threatens the future of books.

Mr Rubin, a consulting publisher for Simon & Schuster, who has been in the industry for four decades, said that writers are having “potentially wonderful books” rejected because of a preoccupation with being politically correct.

“The almost knee-jerk response to diversity and inclusion has ultimately – and ironically – made publishers less diverse,” he said.

“If you’re publishing mostly books by people of colour and people who are gay, then where’s the diversity?

[Read the full article]

New Writing North launches online writing courses led by Benson, Riches and more

thebookseller.com – Friday January 20, 2023

New Writing North has launched a series of online courses for writers in partnership with the Professional Writing Academy.

New Writing North Academy courses start in March 2023 and enrolment is now open for courses including life writing with Richard Benson, crime fiction with Marnie Riches and short stories with Susmita Bhattacharya, as well as CPD-accredited courses in screenwriting with John Yorke and writing for work with Piers Alder. More details can be found here.

The courses will be taught in small tutor-led groups over four to 16 weeks. Through a mixture of independent work and workshop learning, New Writing North said students would explore the techniques used by leading contemporary writers, learn to feed back on work in progress, develop their own voice and hone their writing craft.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Caroline Trussell

firstwriter.com – Friday January 20, 2023

Passionate about finding writers with unique voices and points of view and is looking for steamy romances, out of this world fantasies, and YA and MG that touch on vital topics that can’t be ignored.

[See the full listing]

This 22-year-old is trying to save us from ChatGPT before it changes writing forever

npr.org – Wednesday January 18, 2023

While many Americans were nursing hangovers on New Year's Day, 22-year-old Edward Tian was working feverishly on a new app to combat misuse of a powerful, new artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT.

Given the buzz it's created, there's a good chance you've heard about ChatGPT. It's an interactive chatbot powered by machine learning. The technology has basically devoured the entire Internet, reading the collective works of humanity and learning patterns in language that it can recreate. All you have to do is give it a prompt, and ChatGPT can do an endless array of things: write a story in a particular style, answer a question, explain a concept, compose an email — write a college essay — and it will spit out coherent, seemingly human-written text in seconds.

The technology is both awesome — and terrifying.

"I think we're absolutely at an inflection point," Tian says. "This technology is incredible. I do believe it's the future. But, at the same time, it's like we're opening Pandora's Box. And we need safeguards to adopt it responsibly."

[Read the full article]

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