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Writers' News

Douglas Murray criticises transphobia letter, slamming 'left-wing bubble' of publishing

thebookseller.com – Monday May 10, 2021

Author Douglas Murray has criticised an open letter published in The Bookseller, which claimed UK book publishing is transphobic.

In the article for Unherd, a digital magazine which aims “to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking”, Murray generally lamented the left-wing presence in UK publishing as well as criticising the letter urging acceptance of transgender rights published on 3rd May. 

Murray's article, entitled "Publishing is now a Left-wing bubble", cited a US study comparing professions with voting preferences which showed 100% of those in publishing were left-wing. Murray, author of The Madness of Crowds (Bloomsbury) and associate editor of the Spectator, wrote: “To those with friends in publishing, despairing at the regular struggle session-style get-together they are now subjected to in which every conceivable centre-left political orthodoxy is celebrated, this is not a revelation. Although the survey in question is from the US, it is certain that a similar pattern can be found over here, too.” 

[Read the full article]

GoodNovel hosts series of writing contests to strengthen author's creative welfare

prnewswire.com – Saturday May 8, 2021

GoodNovel, an international platform focusing on the creation of original online novels, has launched two writing contests – The Blessed Wolf and The CEO and Me – to celebrate its first anniversary. The two contests run till August and September, 2021 respectively and reach over 5 million readerships on the platform prospectively, with total prizes add up to over 40,000 dollars.

GoodNovel attracts readers from over 100 countries and authors from more than 50 countries. They are producing and consuming online stories in languages including English, French, Indonesian, Filipino, and Russian. Officially launched in April 2020, GoodNovel is featured as one of the Top3 reading Apps on Appstore and Google Play store ranked by grossing.

In the past year, GoodNovel has successfully held several writing contests on diversified topics, receiving thousands of works from online writing talents around the world, among which winning works received customized promotion and extra exposure. Correspondingly, winning stories gained great reputation for their edge over other novels and the authors also benefited greatly from their works.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: Island Online

firstwriter.com – Thursday May 6, 2021

Digital publishing platform operated in conjunction with longstanding print magazine.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Kristin Ostby

firstwriter.com – Thursday May 6, 2021

Represents authors of middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as picture book author/illustrators and select adult fiction. She is primarily seeking tightly written, tightly plotted, fast-paced commercial middle-grade and young adult fiction—adventure, mystery, and contemporary humor—as well as young adult romance.

[See the full listing]

How to write a book

cambridgenetwork.co.uk – Monday May 3, 2021

Whenever I go anywhere, meet anyone, and introduce myself, a comment authors are pretty much guaranteed to hear is:

   - I've always wanted to write a book.

If that's you, and there's a book hiding inside you, longing to come out...

This is how to go about writing it. 

One word of warning first. 

What I'm not going to talk about are the ingredients of a book, the characters, settings, plot, research, all that.

This blog specifically focuses on how to motivate yourself to write a book, and ways to deal with some of the most common concerns. 

If these help, there are plenty of resources to help you do the actual writing. I'll mention a couple later. 

[Read the full article]

The publishing industry has turned into modern-day book burners

nypost.com – Sunday May 2, 2021

Serious accusations have been made against Blake Bailey, the author of an acclaimed new biography of Philip Roth. Bailey has not been convicted of anything, or even criminally charged, yet the book’s publisher, W.W. Norton, announced it was withdrawing the book from print. That doesn’t make sense and it’s a terrible precedent.

Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist, but does that mean no one should ever be allowed to see “The English Patient,” “Clerks,” “Pulp Fiction” or “The King’s Speech” again? Roman Polanski does not deny he carried out a gruesome sex attack on a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Should we pull everything he’s ever done off the cultural shelf and throw it on the bonfire? We’d lose “Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Tenant.” The French philosopher Michel Foucault, who died in 1984, raped thousands of boys as young as 8 in Tunisia in the 1960s, according to a shocking recent claim by writer Guy Sorman, who knew him then. Should all of Foucault’s books be taken off the shelves, or can we acknowledge that we are not endorsing a man’s character when we allow his books to exist?

[Read the full article]

I dread writing any kind of romantic scene – or, even worse, anything remotely sexy

irishtimes.com – Saturday May 1, 2021

I literally dread having to write romantic scenes of any description. Of all the aspects of writing a book, for me, it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have to do. I’m not talking about the more extreme, bodice-ripping, “leave little to the imagination” type of scene – I could never even attempt that. I’m talking about a more pedestrian, everyday sort of romance.

But it doesn’t matter, I still dread writing any kind of romantic scene and even worse, if there is anything remotely sexy going on it’s absolutely mortifying!

As I sit and type, casting characters in some sort of embrace, or state of undress, I cringe inwardly as my fingers hit the keyboard, imagining people I know turning the pages and wondering if by any chance I’m describing myself or one of my previous misadventures. I will put off the inevitable for as long as physically possible, skipping over any romantic parts and leaving large gaps in the text, deferring the writing of those scenes until a later date, hoping that somehow, magically, I will be better able to rattle off those scenes without duress.

[Read the full article]

Nosy Crow, the ONLY book publisher ever to win TWO Queen's Awards for Enterprise for International Trade

prnewswire.co.uk – Thursday April 29, 2021

Nosy Crow, the UK's fastest-growing independent children's publisher, today celebrates a second consecutive Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade, the most prestigious business award in the UK.­­­

It is the only book publisher ever to win a second award and the only publisher to have won one in the last 10 years.

Nosy Crow is one of 205 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious Queen's Award this year and, within that, one of 122 recognised for its excellence in International Trade. 

Employing 56 people, Nosy Crow is a multi-award-winning publisher of child-focused, parent-friendly children's books and eBooks for ages 0–12.  It began publishing in 2011 and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. 

[Read the full article]

The 21 top tips for becoming a bestselling author

theage.com.au – Thursday April 29, 2021

Gone are the days when international fiction and non-fiction dominated our bestseller lists. As Australian authors such as Jane Harper, Liane Moriarty, Trent Dalton, Craig Silvey, Kate Grenville, Richard Flanagan, Tara June Winch and many more clock up sales, international recognition and screen deals, it’s no surprise that thousands of would-be writers are tapping away on their laptops.

There is no one-size-fits-all route to publication. Publishers choose authors based on a whole range of practical and subjective criteria, although the quality of the work is understandably crucial.

But aspiring authors can increase their chances of finding a publisher. Here are some insider tips; some dos and don’ts that can help smooth the way.

Being prepared is as important as being creative. There can be a lot to do even before you start writing. Above all, take your time so you produce your best work possible before you look for an agent or publisher. Paraphrasing Alexander Hamilton, don’t throw away your shot.

[Read the full article]

Felicity Bryan Publishing Mentorship Scheme launched

thebookseller.com – Tuesday April 27, 2021

The Felicity Bryan Publishing Mentorship Scheme has been launched, created in honour of the renowned literary agent who died in June 2020.

An annual paid three-month mentorship programme, the scheme is aimed at anyone from an underrepresented background who is interested in pursuing a career in the publishing industry.

The mentee will be paid the Oxford Living Wage for the duration of the mentorship and there will be a stipend available to cover the cost of accommodation. The scheme is supported by Bryan's family, and “reflects her own energetic nurturing of talent and potential in young people starting out on their careers”.

[Read the full article]

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