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Writers' News

Should writers only write what they know? What I learned from my research

theconversation.com – Tuesday September 4, 2018

As an academic in creative writing, I attend a lot of literary events. One question I can always count on being asked is, “can I write characters of other backgrounds?” This has been a growing concern since Lionel Shriver at the 2016 Brisbane Writers Festival unleashed a tirade against what she called “censorship” in writing – referring to criticism of her book The Mandibles.

The recent ABC Q&A episode, Stranger Than Fiction, in conjunction with the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, showed the many sides of the “write what you know” debate. Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Sofie Laguna argued that space should be given for marginalised groups to represent themselves. Maxine Beneba Clarke pointedly discussed when appropriation can be harmful, as was the case with Shriver’s representation of Latino and African American characters. Meanwhile, Trent Dalton argued that appropriation leads to a good story, which also takes empathy and care.

[Read the full article]

Allingham Festival creative writing competitions now open

donegalnow.com – Monday September 3, 2018

Writers in Donegal and beyond are invited to enter the prestigious Allingham Festival writing competitions.

These competitions attract entries from all over the world, with writers in with a chance to win €300. The winners will be invited to read their stories and poems at an awards ceremony which will take place at the Literary Lunch during the festival in November.

The two categories in the adult competitions are Flash Fiction and Poetry. This year’s judges are Theo Dorgan (Poetry), Paul McVeigh (Flash Fiction) and Monica Corish. The closing date for entries is September 21.

[Read the full article]

West Side Publishing Will Launch Little Grasshopper Books

publishersweekly.com – Saturday September 1, 2018

Children's publisher West Side Publishing is launching a new imprint, Little Grasshopper Books, likely by the end of the year. The imprint will encompass a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction formats, from board books to books with virtual-reality components, primarily aimed for children five and under.

The new imprint marks West Side Publishing owner Lou Weber’s re-entry into the world of children’s books. As president and founder of Publications International (PIL), a publisher of automotive titles, cookbooks, inspirational formats, and brain games and puzzle books, Weber was long involved in children’s publishing—especially licensed sound books and interactive formats—until PIL sold its children’s publishing unit to Chinese-owned company Phoenix International Publications in 2014. The latter continues to operate the business under the PI Kids name.

[Read the full article]

Audiobooks Are Officially The Publishing Industry's 2018 Trend

forbes.com – Saturday September 1, 2018

Audible UK's 2017 revenues grew by 45% over the year prior and are now over £97 million. The news, out today from The Bookseller, aligns with similarly high audiobook sales and revenue numbers across the publishing industry. In 2018, digital audio is selling very well. 

In 2017, downloadable audio revenues across the rest of the publishing industry grew 28.8% over the previous year — not as impressive as Audible UK's growth, but far beyond any other format. In the first quarter of 2018, the format continued to grow: Digital audio was up 32.1% in Q1 2018. Ebook sales fell 3.2% in the same quarter.

[Read the full article]

Traditional Publishers Are Selling Way More Non-Fiction Than Fiction

forbes.com – Friday August 31, 2018

In the publishing industry, adult non-fiction revenues are soaring above fiction revenues and have been widening the gap for the past five years. Adult non-fiction revenue totalled $6.18 billion across the publishing industry in 2017, while adult fiction revenues reached $4.3 billion, according to Penguin Random House, using data from Association of American Publishers (AAP), the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Bookscan.

2013 was the last year that the adult fiction category beat non-fiction in revenue (at $5.21 billion in revenue to non-fiction's $4.82 billion). Revenues for adult non-fiction have rapidly risen every year since: $4.97 billion in 2014, $5.59 billion in 2015, $5.87 billion in 2016, and finally $6.18 billion last year. In the same five-year period, adult fiction revenues dropped from a high of $5.21 billion in 2013 to 2017's low of $4.38 billion.

[Read the full article]

Women reveal the VERY irritating mistakes male authors make in writing female characters - including describing itchy tights as 'sexy' and thinking EVERYONE can run in heels

dailymail.co.uk – Thursday August 30, 2018

Authors have the ability to immerse their readers in fictional words, but women everywhere believe they're still not getting one thing right: female characters.

Tumblr users from around the world have been penning advice to male authors about the common mistakes they make when writing female characters - and they'll strike a chord with women everywhere. 

The tips, compiled in a Bored Panda thread, include a request to describe tights as 'itchy' rather than sexy and the handy tip that almost no women can run in heels

[Read the full article]

OWN IT! founder launches literary agency

thebookseller.com – Thursday August 30, 2018

Multimedia publisher OWN IT! has launched a literary agency arm, signing author Courttia Newland as its first client.

Billed as a “storytelling lifestyle brand” spearheaded by founder Crystal Mahey-Morgan, the company already operates as a book publisher, a record label and an events arm. Mahey-Morgan will be OWN IT!’s main agent, helping to “diversify how it works with storytellers to include literary representation”. The company is currently negotiating with several sub-agents about a foreign rights partnership, according to a spokesperson for the organisation.

Mahey-Morgan's previous contract negotiation experience includes a year at PFD as well as a three-year stint in the contracts department at Penguin Random House between 2008 and 2012. She described setting up a literary agency as "an obvious next step for OWN IT!"

[Read the full article]

'Godfather of the industry' Michael Sissons dies

thebookseller.com – Wednesday August 29, 2018

Veteran literary agent and “godfather of the industry” Michael Sissons has died aged 83.

Various agents have paid tribute to Sissons who died on Saturday (August 24th), following a stellar career which saw him representing names such as Simon Schama, Margaret Drabble and William Hague, setting up the Association of Authors' Agents, and overseeing PFD for almost half a century before acting as a senior consultant for the agency for the last decade.

“I would say that he was the godfather of the industry,” said Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of PFD, who had known Sissons for 30 years, since before she entered the publishing industry.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 29, 2018

Publishes: Poetry; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Considers unpublished poems only. Submit via online submission system. See website for more details.

[See the full listing]

How to Get Your Short Story Published

influencive.com – Sunday August 26, 2018

Whatever your experience as a writer, one of the most exciting moments of your career is sending out a story for publication. If it’s your first time sending out a story or you’ve been published many times before, there’s still nothing like that feeling, of typing it out so that it looks beautiful, editing it, and sending it out to magazines you admire. Just imagine: your name could appear in the table of contents alongside other writers you love. Whether you’re writing fantasy, romance, YA, or literary fiction, the process is almost always the same. So if you’re ready to get your short story published, it’s all about working through this process as thoroughly as possible, so that you’re sending out the best possible version with a query letter editors will take seriously.

If you’ve just finished a story, and you think it’s ready for publication, here are the steps you need to take to get it published. Remember: every writer’s gone through this, even the greats, and you can get published, too.

[Read the full article]

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