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Writers' News

Stephen King testifies against publishers’ merger: ‘Consolidation is bad for competition’

marketwatch.com – Wednesday August 3, 2022

Stephen King didn’t break any legal ground on the stand Tuesday as he testified against his own publisher’s efforts to merge with Penguin Random House. But he did know how to please a crowd and even get the judge to thank him for his time.

“It was a real pleasure to hear your testimony,” the otherwise businesslike U.S. District Judge Florence J. Pan told the author after he finished speaking as a government witness in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, King’s longtime publisher.

The 74-year-old King had a haunting but gregarious presence, his gaunt features accented by his gray suit and gray sneakers, his walk tentative, as it has been since he was struck by a van and badly injured in 1999. But once sworn in, he was relaxed and happy to talk, and ever alert to how to tell a story.

[Read the full article]

What Does UTA’s Acquisition Of UK Agency Curtis Brown Mean For Talent & The Rep Business On Both Sides Of The Pond?

deadline.com – Tuesday August 2, 2022

When UTA announced its surprise acquisition of London-based Curtis Brown Group last month, it was heralded as an aggressive and strategic move into the UK talent space, causing the industry on both sides of the pond to sit up and take notice. U.S. agencies have been canvassing UK companies for a number of years, but this deal marks the splashiest effort yet and potentially draws UTA closer to major talent on Curtis Brown’s books such as Robert Pattinson, Margaret Atwood and John le Carré.

There are now question marks surrounding the sharing of talent, potential structural changes and what this might mean for UK agenting at large.

[Read the full article]

Writing Insights: Why don't agents tell you why they rejected your book?

authorlink.com – Monday August 1, 2022

Many writers ask why agents don’t give more specific reasons for rejecting a book submission. A standard answer is: “not the right fit,” though a submission is in the same genre they represent.

There can be a number of reasons why a literary agent rejects a work. When an agent says a work is not the right fit for them, it may or may not relate to the writing itself.

The agent could have more submissions than they can handle at the time, or they have just sold a similar title, or they know an editor is looking for a particular story angle, and your submission doesn’t fill that story angle. It could be that the agent doesn’t see the work slotting into a particular category they represent. There are different kinds of thrillers, for example. Maybe the agent knows they can sell psychological suspense but doesn’t know where to go to sell a medical thriller. Maybe the agent doesn’t feel the story targets a large-enough audience or the market is glutted with similar titles. It can also mean the agent simply doesn’t have time to thoroughly read your story, but a quick read tells them it doesn’t fit a need. Or, maybe they are tired and just had a bad day. Agents are human, you know. So, don’t take it personally.

[Read the full article]

5 Creative Cures for Writer's Block

psychcentral.com – Saturday July 30, 2022

It’s stressful when the words don’t come, when you’re sitting at your desk staring at the blinking cursor or the barren page. Minutes feel like hours. Hours feel like days.

Deadlines loom, and you’re still stuck and staring. A kind of dread begins building in your stomach and travels to your throat, and then peaks between your temples. It’s reminiscent of firecrackers exploding.

“Writer’s block, or any creative block, is really about fear,” according to Miranda Hersey, a writer, editor and creativity coach. The fear of not knowing where to start or we’re headed. The fear that we’re not good enough.

Blocks are tough. They can feel big and intimidating and impossible. But where there’s a block, there’s also a way out. Here are five ways to break through writer’s block.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Loren R. Grossman

firstwriter.com – Friday July 29, 2022

Send one-page query, preferably by email (though snail mail is acceptable). No query-related phone calls.

[See the full listing]

The Soho Review, A Whip-Smart New Humor Magazine, Is Giving The Downtown Literati A Laugh

guestofaguest.com – Thursday July 28, 2022

Feel like your sense of humor has been permanently warped by TikTok videos and Twitter memes? Do you look back fondly at a time when you could appreciate a punch line that wasn't delivered in 280 characters or less? Have you forgotten how to physically turn a page?

We just might have the antidote to your perpetual Social Media Brain. 

The treatment involves a hefty dose of clever comedy courtesy of The Soho Review: New York's Best and Only Humor Magazine. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.

And the buzzy new publication certainly has the smart set laughing. Launched by a trio of New York City creatives, The Soho Review is a collection of jokes, cartoons, poetry, short stories (and more) that fills the void where irreverent and intelligent humor used to be... especially in print.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: Tor.com

firstwriter.com – Thursday July 28, 2022

Most interested in pitches for essays, think pieces, list posts, reaction pieces, and reviews in the 1000-2500 word range (although also open to longer essays). If possible, please include 2-3 writing samples and/or links to your published work on other sites.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: WordCrafts Press

firstwriter.com – Wednesday July 27, 2022

We publish fiction, nonfiction, and stage plays for both the Christian market and the general market. We do not publish erotica.

[See the full listing]

New Writing North to launch skills hub in £600k project

thebookseller.com – Tuesday July 26, 2022

New Writing North, the creative writing and reading agency for the North of England, is launching a writing and publishing skills hub in autumn 2022, utilising a £600,000 programme to develop its reach. 

Funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and other local sponsors,  the hub aims to create a suite of educational and professional development opportunities for schools and teachers, students, young people and adult learners, and writers and small literary businesses in the region.

Taking place across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, with accompanying online resources, the hub aims to open up opportunities for pupils interested in pursuing a career in the creative industries, in addition to offering networking and business skills training.

[Read the full article]

Meet the People Behind Some of Today's Best Small Publishers Specializing in Crime Fiction

crimereads.com – Tuesday July 26, 2022

Bless the small press! We talk a lot about how to make the big publishers accountable and more diverse, but let’s not forget there is another level of publishing where people have the freedom to follow their taste rather than having to justify each book’s profitability. I think most people in the publishing business feel like they could put together a damned good imprint given world enough and time. I do. So I gathered the founders and publishers of some of crime and crime fiction’s best small presses: Paul Oliver of Syndicate Books, an imprint devoted to bringing forgotten authors back into print; Charles Ardai of noir publisher Hard Case Crime; Sara Gran, whose brand-new imprint is Dreamland Books; Gregory Shepard of reissue enthusiast Stark House; Jason Pinter of Polis Books; and the late but welcome addition of Michael Nava of Amble Press. We talked quality, representation, resurrecting old books and conjuring new ones.

[Read the full article]

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