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Writers' News

Odds and Ends: The false romance of writing

thepostathens.com – Monday March 19, 2018

A great book was written way back in 1918, then expanded on in 1959 and in other editions. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White is essentially the Swiss army knife of writing – small and bland, but wildly useful when you need it. The book aside, the foreword written by Roger Angell, White's stepson, resounds with all writers: “Writing is hard, even for authors who do it all the time.” 

There is a pretty big misconception about writing, and that is that it’s this romantic affair between the author and a blank piece of paper or an empty Word document. Media outlets make writing out to be some odd thing in which you go on a date with your words; in reality, it’s a long-term relationship in which you sit at opposite ends of the couch and argue over what to watch on TV. 

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Romance so white? Publishers grapple with race issues amid author protests

theguardian.com – Monday March 19, 2018

Readers, writers and editors of romance books are grappling with the genre’s record on diversity, after a week where a report found that books by authors of colour were on the decline, an imprint specialising in diverse romances closed, and another publisher was forced to apologise for telling a writer they avoided putting people of colour on book covers because they didn’t sell.

Queer romance writer Cole McCade came forward last week to reveal conversations with editor Sarah Lyons of the New Jersey-based publisher Riptide. McCade, who also writes as Xen Sanders, described Riptide as “at all levels hostile to me as a person of colour”. He published an email from Lyons in which she told him: “We don’t mind POC But I will warn you – and you have NO idea how much I hate having to say this – we won’t put them on the cover, because we like the book to, you know, sell :-(.”

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday March 19, 2018

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Poetry
Areas include: Short Stories
Markets: Adult
Preferred styles: Experimental; Literary; Progressive

An online multimedia literary magazine where we celebrate stories in all their forms, no matter how bizarre or unconventional those forms may be. We want to create a platform that embraces diverse, exciting, and inventive narratives. Whether it's a poem, a short story, a photo set, a performance piece, or something even weirder, if it's quality and has a narrative we can sink our teeth into, it's for us. We help tell the stories that would otherwise be lost, and yours could be next. Send us something that helps us see the world in a new way.

[See the full listing]

This Berlin Startup Is on the Hunt for the Next Harry Potter

bloomberg.com – Thursday March 15, 2018

Publishers are notorious for making knuckleheaded decisions on new titles -- the first Harry Potter book, for instance, was rejected a dozen times -- so Ali Albazaz has come up with an alternative: Ask readers what they think.

The 28-year-old software coder and aspiring author in 2015 launched Inkitt GmbH, which gives users access to the works of about 60,000 indie authors. That gives Inkitt a wealth of data: whether readers stay up all night devouring a vampire story, how often they put down a mystery and flip over to Facebook, and the number of friends they recommend a title to.

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New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday March 15, 2018

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Areas: Cookery; Lifestyle; Self-Help
Markets: Adult
Treatments: Commercial

For fiction, send complete ms by email with 250-word pitch. For nonfiction, send pitch with proposal and details of your platform. No fantasy, space-operas, horror or gothic fiction, historical nonfiction, YA or children's fiction, or poetry or short stories. See website for full details.

[See the full listing]

Literary Agency Assistant/Associate

publishersmarketplace.com – Tuesday March 13, 2018

DeFiore and Company, a mid-sized, high-profile literary agency based in Flatiron/Union Square, seeks assistant/associate. At least one year prior related experience in mainstream book publishing essential-and a background in foreign rights particularly helpful. The right person will have a mix of qualities not often found in one person: an ability to track multiple details, an ease with a calculator and computer, and a creative spirit and discerning editorial eye.

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I thought having a baby would hurt my career. I was wrong.

washingtonpost.com – Monday March 12, 2018

I almost didn’t have a child because of my career as a writer. Everything I read about motherhood and creativity said that a baby would sap my energy, divide my attention, give me something called mommy brain and make it almost impossible to continue working. As an ambitious person, this scared me. Having a child is a big enough mystery, and the idea that it could stop me from doing what I most desired felt like a huge risk — one I wasn’t sure I wanted to take.

For years, I waffled. I read myriad essays by other women complaining that since having a baby, they couldn’t find the time or energy to make art. I saw no reason I would be different. I could easily think of actors, musicians and other artists who seemed to lose their edge after having kids, or who produced far less work. Many female writers I admire, including Virginia Woolf, the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, were childless. Those who did have children seemed to struggle with the issue. Margaret Atwood, for example,told The Paris Review, “For a while, I thought I had to choose between the two things I wanted: children and to be a writer. I took a chance.”

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday March 12, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Short Stories; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Submit via online system available at the website.

[See the full listing]

What is your writing goal? Digging into the real reason to write

montclairlocal.news – Saturday March 10, 2018

“So,” the literary magazine editor said, peering around the classroom at us over his wire-rimmed glasses. “As a writer, what’s the goal?”

We all glanced at each other and laughed nervously. This was the last formal class of a week-long writer’s retreat at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, and so far, it had been a dream.

For five whole days, I had done nothing but write, talk about writing and take classes about writing with 20 other people who also wanted to do nothing but write, talk about writing and take classes about writing. At night, we would sit around the kitchen of the seminar house, discussing our projects while the ocean breeze flowed through the open screens.

It was like the best summer camp ever. With wine.

But by Thursday morning we were starting to wilt.

[Read the full article]

Writing a novel is hard but the story shouldn’t be. It should be your favourite thing

irishtimes.com – Friday March 9, 2018

It took me a long time to find the story I was able to tell. For years I carried around the seeds of something different – I had the characters, the setting, the incident that would kick the story off, but I could do nothing with it. I gave it time, poked it and prodded it but it was stale. A dead thing. It was only when I gave that up, turned away from it entirely and wrote something new, something closer to home, that I found my rhythm. I’ll never make that mistake again, try to create something that my head tells me I should write but for which I feel very little.

Writing a novel is hard, but it shouldn’t be hard in that way. What is hard is finding the time, fitting it around a day job and children. It’s hard too to build your confidence in your work when the first 20,000 words are, inevitably, rubbish. But the story itself shouldn’t be hard. The story should be your favourite thing. It should call to you in between making the lunches, doing the school drop, between the pages of other novels.

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