New Literary Agency Listing: Mushens Entertainment
firstwriter.com – Thursday April 23, 2020
London literary agency with a boutique feel. Represents a diverse range of Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers, authors, actors, brands, and more.
thebookseller.com – Thursday April 23, 2020
Writing doesn’t pay. According to a report released last year by the Royal Society for Literature and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, most writers earn below the minimum wage. The numbers are stark: two thirds of writers earn between £100 and £10,000. Only 5% of writers can expect to earn over £30,000 a year. The average income from writing has shrunk from an equivalent of £18,013 in 2006 to £10,497, and on average it’s lower for disabled and BAME writers. Only 10% of authors now derive their income solely from writing.
Talking about finances for writers remains taboo, despite a literary landscape that pays lip service to being savvier in examining its role in systems of exclusivity and privilege. Publishing remains one of the few industries where salaries are not routinely disclosed on job adverts; it’s a sector where unpaid internships and minimum wage starting roles are still viewed as acceptable, if not essential. It’s no wonder that this culture of exclusivity bleeds into all areas of the literary environment. Despite the supposedly democratising effect of social media, the agents, editors and writers on these platforms still sell the myth that writing is a leisure activity reserved for the upper middle classes, an affectation that Nathalie Olah typifies as a “twee picture [...] a lifestyle choice” in her book Steal As Much As You Can.
New writing awards to honour leading poet Mairtin Crawford
belfasttelegraph.co.uk – Thursday April 23, 2020
The life and work of the man described by award-winning poet Michael Longley as "a saint of poetry" will be celebrated with the launch of the Mairtin Crawford Awards.
The Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2020 are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel.
Both published and unpublished writers from all over the world are invited to submit poems or a short story. The only stipulations are that entrants must not yet have published a full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel, and entries must be in the English language.
New Literary Agency Listing: Robert Caskie Ltd
firstwriter.com – Tuesday April 21, 2020
Keen to receive fiction and nonfiction writing that stimulates debate, comments on the world around us, and invokes an emotional response.
Duffy and Manchester Writing School launch coronavirus poetry project
thebookseller.com – Tuesday April 21, 2020
Poet Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School have launched an international poetry project in response to the coronavirus.
WRITE Where We Are NOW will see writers including Duffy, Gillian Allnutt, Raymond Antrobus, Roger McGough and Ian McMillan share new work inspired by the pandemic.
Pembrokeshire's Penfro Book Festival poetry and writing competitions launched
tivysideadvertiser.co.uk – Tuesday April 21, 2020
THE search is launched this week by PENfro Book Festival to find some of the country’s best ‘eco’ poets and short story writers.
Two competitions run by the Festival are linked to the Loving the Earth Green Fair weekend, due to be held at Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran, at the end of August. Results will be revealed at the fair, and if the event is postponed the winners and shortlisted writers in both contests will be announced on the venue’s website.
Poetry competition organiser, Jackie Biggs said: “PENfro Book Festival had planned to run a series of literature related events at Rhosygilwen throughout this year, but while all live events are postponed we can at least continue with our popular competitions.
Opportunity knocks: how lockdown is opening doors for new creative talent
theguardian.com – Sunday April 19, 2020
Cameras have stopped rolling, book launches are postponed and actors are all “resting”. It looks as if nothing is moving in the world of entertainment and storytelling, yet from Hollywood to the major the publishing houses of London and New York, the talent scouts and production companies are working overtime to complete unfinished projects and find new tales to tell.
The frenzy of backroom activity is creating unusual opportunities for novice stars of the future. For once, aspiring writers and wannabe directors are in demand.
A Rainbow Short Story Prize to Beat the Blues
bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk – Sunday April 19, 2020
Everyone is having to make sacrifices in these dystopian times, but few more so than the over 70s. Not only is this group more vulnerable to coronavirus, but self-isolation is already proving a high price to pay. For some time now, 70 has been the new 50. Fitter than ever before, more socially active and playing a vital part in the lives of children and grandchildren, this generation of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, has transformed the process of ageing. Not so surprising then that enforced isolation is taking its toll.
Fortunately, technology is proving a life-saver with emails, Skype and Zoom keeping us connected. Newspapers can be downloaded, food delivered by supermarkets. There's even theatre and church service streaming along with virtual poetry meetings and poetry exchange schemes.
The Bedford Competition, a not-for-profit organisation, is also doing its bit by promoting a special Rainbow Prize for the best short stories submitted by anyone 70 years and over, all proceeds going to charities helping victims of Covid-19. Writing a winning story is yet another great way to beat the isolation blues. Bestselling, internationally acclaimed author, Leigh Russell, who is judging the Rainbow Prize, says, "In the current crisis we need stories more than ever, to offer us an escape from the loneliness we are all experiencing. So I am thrilled to be invited to judge the Rainbow Short Story Prize, and look forward to reading your entries."
The Bedford Competition opens 1 May. Entry fee for one short story is £6 or you can enter 3 for £12. First prize is £500 with additional prizes for second and third places. In addition the winning stories will be published in BWC's anthology. And, even if you don't win, there's the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to a worthy cause. The bigger the number of entries, the bigger the donation we can make.
At the other end of the spectrum, we're offering prizes for the best short story or poem submitted by 17 - 25 year olds.
The spirit of pulling together, as in the war days, has sprung to life again. We may be keeping our distance but we're still reaching out. How long the crisis will last, no one knows. But, as HM, The Queen , movingly reminded us, We Will Meet Again. It will end, and there will be a return to normality, One Sunny Day.
Please Don’t Criticize Me For Writing Pandemic Stories
medium.com – Sunday April 19, 2020
Like many of you, I’ve been writing a lot of COVID-19 related stories over the past several weeks. It’s really hard to think about anything else right now, so given that we generally write about what’s on our minds, it’s not unusual that this is the topic of a good percentage of the stories being written these days.
At the same time, I’ve seen a number of complaints by writers who feel that there is far too much emphasis on this topic, especially on Medium. A common criticism is that there isn’t a balance in terms of topic variety. I do agree that stories that are just rehashed or spun content reporting the same facts that are everywhere you look are a bit annoying. I think we can leave news stories to those who actually report the news.
Sentimentality in Poetry: Emotional Imbalance and How to Avoid it
By Maria Foster
Poet and Writer
firstwriter.com – Saturday April 18, 2020
Nothing is going to turn readers off your writing quicker than that sickly, disingenuous whiff of sentimentality that emanates from aggressively emotional wording. That cliched, pandering thing that so many writers fall into the trap of.
All of my mean adjectives aside, it’s usually not something that happens deliberately. It’s not like people are just padding out their writing with sentimentality, knowing that it sounds awful but doing it anyway just because they want to.
What’s going on is probably more of a misguided attempt at something that is actually sincere. When we’re writing something creative and artistic, it’s almost always going to be an expression of emotion.
Get the free newsletter | Submit a news item or article | Get Writers' News for your website