Taking poetry off the page
thebookseller.com – Tuesday June 20, 2023
Are you a lover of visual poetry and just don’t know it yet? From childhood encounters with Lewis Carroll’s "The Mouse’s Tale" through to the influence of the concrete poetry movement on design (would the Yves Saint-Laurent logo have been invented without the inventions of the Brazilian concrete poets of the 1950s? – I doubt it), visual poetry is in the air all around us. More than that, it’s also increasingly incorporated into architecture and printed on buildings, and with a new exhibition called "Poetry & Architecture" just opened at Hay Castle, there’s no better time for publishers to embrace this genre-shattering form.
Soviet-style groupthink means only one thing: terrible books
telegraph.co.uk – Tuesday June 20, 2023
In 1957, the manuscript of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and handed to the Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. The book was hailed as a masterpiece, and in 1958, Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, an honour that he initially accepted, but then, under pressure from the Soviet literary establishment, renounced.
Is Doctor Zhivago still a masterpiece? If excellence in art is the ability to channel brilliance of imagination into equally brilliant language, then Pasternak stands as one of the indisputable pillars of Russian literature.
But the definition of excellence is changing. Julie Finch, the chief executive of the Hay literary festival, observed that, “Youth audiences don’t really care for something that was published 20 years ago, they care about what’s popular now.”
Alongside popularity, a host of other qualities are now required. The self-appointed cultural commissars of our own time are just as vigilant as the state apparatchiks of the former Soviet Writers’ Union, and their verdict can be equally fatal to a writer’s work.
I was sacked for writing about trans censorship
unherd.com – Tuesday June 20, 2023
For a quarter of a century, on and off, Melbourne’s “quality” daily newspaper The Age not only published my words — it was my intellectual home.
I had joined the paper’s staff around the turn of the century as a trainee journalist, progressing to social affairs reporter, senior writer, leader writer and, most recently, weekly columnist. For the most part, my views aligned with the paper’s superego, which fluctuates between soft Left and small “l” liberal. And there was always space for dissent, even when my opinions sharply diverged from The Age consensus — more on that soon.
About two years ago, my harmonious relationship with the paper began to deteriorate. The tension reached its climax last week when the editor, Patrick Elligett, sacked me as a columnist. The breakdown in trust was down to one issue: gender-identity politics, the trans debate — or severe lack thereof.
My dismissal was linked to a feature I wrote on youth gender transition that had been commissioned by a previous editor, Gay Alcorn, and which Elligett had refused to run. In response, I told Elligett that I intended to publish the piece on my new Substack and would disclose that he rejected it. He looked uncomfortable, but said The Age would take it on the chin.
And so, early this month I published the feature, announcing to the world that if they wanted to know why the piece was rejected, they would have to ask Elligett himself. A standing army of gender sceptics on Twitter did just that, under the hashtag “gutless” . This can’t have been pleasant for Elligett. But he attributed the sacking to another remark in my launch statement where I flagged that in future posts I’d be writing on gender-identity politics more broadly, “without the copy being rendered unreadable by a committee of woke journalists redacting words they deem incendiary, such as ‘male’”. Elligett responded: “Obviously we can’t have our columnists publicly disparaging the publication like that so we won’t be commissioning further columns from you.”
Cormac McCarthy Had a Remarkable Literary Career. It Could Never Happen Now.
nytimes.com – Tuesday June 20, 2023
Cormac McCarthy, who died last week at 89, had a famously unusual career. His first five novels, published over two decades, earned him considerable critical respect but were commercial failures. At one time, all of his books, including his 1985 masterpiece, “Blood Meridian,” fell out of print.
Then something remarkable happened. In 1992, after a career spent eking out a living, Mr. McCarthy had a hit. “All the Pretty Horses,” which won the National Book Award and was adapted by Hollywood, set him squarely on a path to literary stardom and an outsize reputation as one of the greatest novelists of his time.
This improbable trajectory — writer toils for decades in obscurity before finding international renown — is the stuff of legend. But it did not occur by accident or happenstance. Mr. McCarthy’s career was made possible by a tectonic shift that was happening in the publishing industry as it moved from the boutique model of the early 20th century to an era of conglomeration. If the first part of his career was illustrative of publishing’s old model, the second half was made possible by a new approach. With his famed reclusiveness and idiosyncratic prose style, Mr. McCarthy might seem like an obdurate anachronism. But his career arc reveals that he was serendipitously of his time.
New Magazine Listing: Funeral Business Solutions
firstwriter.com – Friday June 16, 2023
Different from traditional association magazines or trade journals because it is specially-crafted to bring you the best industry specific business news and solutions that will help you to make effective business decisions for your staff, company, and client families.
Our magazine design and layout is purposefully easy to read and digest in short segments. We know that the average funeral professional has an unpredictable schedule and an effective business magazine gives the reader shorter editorials that get to the point without fluff.
Our writers provide actionable ideas and effective strategies that will help you, the industry professional, run a more profitable business. Issues are published every two months, giving you ample time to digest 8-12 articles, latest industry headlines, the included Funeral Home Success Stories, Vendor Company Spotlights, Industry Book Overviews and more.
Our goal is to never bore you or waste your precious time, so our editors consider each article, press release, and spotlight carefully to make sure it can in some way benefit a funeral director running a business.
At the end of each day, we are primarily a magazine of business solutions for an industry that our publisher, editors, and writers love.
Books with neurodivergent characters mark new chapter for publishers
theguardian.com – Thursday June 15, 2023
Children’s books that feature neurodiverse main characters are the latest publishing trend, experts have said.
Publishers, which were previously reluctant to approach the subject, are increasingly seeking out realistic and explicitly neurodiverse protagonists, often by authors who are themselves neurodivergent.
Elle McNicoll, who until now has been published only by the small independent Knights Of, was recently at the centre of a five-publisher bidding auction for the world rights to her next two Young Adult books, of which MacMillan Children’s Books was the eventual victor. The first book is due next autumn.
UTA opens new London Office at 1 Newman Street
thebookseller.com – Thursday June 15, 2023
United Talent Agency (UTA) opened its new London Office today (Thursday 15th June), at the intersection of Fitzrovia and Soho.
The company will mark the occasion with a gala opening event this evening attended by clients and industry leaders.
The 28,000 sq ft space occupies two floors at 1 Newman Street W1, and is designed by award-winning architectural firms Gensler and Modus Workspace. The offices house members of the company’s music practice, as well as agents who run the range of representation services, from production arts and podcasting, to endorsements and voiceovers, entertainment marketing as well as advisory services through UTA-owned MediaLink.
New Magazine Listing: The Conversation (UK)
firstwriter.com – Thursday June 15, 2023
Online magazine describing itself as "the world's leading publisher of research-based news and analysis... a unique collaboration between academics and journalists." Publishes news and articles researchers and academics currently employed by a university or research institution. This includes PhD students under supervision, but nor Masters students.
New Magazine Listing: Cocoa Girl
firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 14, 2023
Magazine for Black girls. This magazine gives Black children a voice whilst educating the community about the Black culture. Filled with inspiring and empowering content for children aged 7-11 years old. Particularly looking for children aged 7-11 to contribute as writers, poets, artists, and young journalists.
New Literary Agent Listing: Carrie Plitt
firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 14, 2023
I am actively building a list of non-fiction and fiction. In non-fiction, I love to represent expert authors who are passionate about their subject, who have something new to say, and who can convey their argument in a clear and invigorating manner. I have a particular interest in books about the issues our society faces today, narrative non-fiction, investigative journalism, popular science, popular psychology, big ideas, nature writing, history and travel. I also love book-length essays or cohesive essay collections, and memoirs that explore wider themes like freedom or education. In fiction, the books I represent range from the very literary to those you might read in a book club. Besides excellent writing, I am often drawn to emotionally complex novels; coming of age stories; sprawling narratives about love, friendship or families; and stories that capture the zeitgeist in some way – even when they are set in the past. I love a good short story collection, especially if the stories are linked together.