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Writers' News

Rebecca Netley on the difficulties of writing ghost stories

culturefly.co.uk – Thursday October 12, 2023

As a long-time lover of supernatural and ghost stories it had always been my burning ambition to write one. My first book had been a thriller and I hadn’t anticipated the particular difficulties that might confront me when moving to this particular genre.

I am in complete agreement with Susan Hill who famously said of writing ghosts stories: ‘Less is more.’ Greater fear is generated by suggestion and ambiguity than by a fully-formed apparition – the shadow behind the door, the singing tones of a ghostly child, a rocking-chair moving on its rockers with no apparent cause and footsteps in an empty room. Once you present the ghost, although the moment should be fear-inducing, it is actually the instant when some fear is dispelled.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Ericka T. Phillips

firstwriter.com – Thursday October 12, 2023

Interested in non-fiction authors working in the Buddhist and mindfulness arena with a focus on health and spiritual well-being. She has a passion for developing projects and building platforms that help amplify the voices of women of color and black women writers in particular. She is experienced in platform development, marketing, and publicity and helps authors translate their message into brand strategy.

[See the full listing]

What Was Literary Fiction?

thenation.com – Tuesday October 10, 2023

As an English professor, I’m often asked, “What do you like to read?” Sometimes I answer, “Literary fiction.” By that phrase, I mean fiction that privileges art over entertainment. I did not know until recently that literary fiction—the phrase, not what it stands for—grew up with me. We’re about the same age. And while I hope I’m only midway through my life, literary fiction might be dead. More precisely, what might have died is literary fiction as a meaningful category in publishing and bookselling. 

The term “literary fiction” began its rise about 40 years ago. In the summer of 1980, John Dessauer, a book industry analyst, raged against those who were bemoaning the state of publishing. A wave of mergers and acquisitions had consolidated the industry in recent years, as once-independent publishers were absorbed by conglomerates. Gulf + Western owned Simon & Schuster. Pearson owned Penguin, which had merged with Viking to form Viking Penguin. S.I. Newhouse had just acquired Ballantine, Knopf, Pantheon, and Random House from RCA. Eventually, just five multinational conglomerates—the Big Five—would control most of trade publishing. 

[Read the full article]

New Publishing Imprint Listing: Scarlet

firstwriter.com – Tuesday October 10, 2023

Aims to bring audiences fresh voices in psychological suspense and domestic thrillers.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Camille Kantor

firstwriter.com – Tuesday October 10, 2023

Looking for titles, whether fiction or non-fiction, that will inspire the public to engage with nature while imparting fascinating knowledge about our planet and its inhabitants. She is particularly interested in popular science non-fiction work. Her fiction tastes include books that immerse the reader in descriptive but clear imagery and that have themes of nature-human interactions. She especially loves interesting, well-developed characters and high concept literary fiction that approaches philosophical topics about our relationship with our planet.

[See the full listing]

AnyBook is aiming to be “the Netflix or Spotify” of publishing

calcalistech.com – Monday October 9, 2023

The company has raised a total of $2 million to help revolutionize the publishing industry

“The book industry is lagging behind while other content-based industries are flourishing and revolutionizing themselves,” explained AnyBook co-founder and CEO Eliran Navon. “While other industries have been completely disrupted and changed by digitization, like Netflix and Spotify in the entertainment and music industries, 80% of book sales are still physical books.”

AnyBook was founded to tackle this. Alongside his partners, he decided to create a model that would provide a new experience that would expand usage and encourage consumers to read more. “Thanks to AnyBook’s technology, workplaces can provide employees with a continuous supply of books they’ll find compelling and enjoyable,” he said.

[Read the full article]

13 Best Writing Tips From Stephen King

timesnownews.com – Saturday October 7, 2023

Stephen King is one of the contemporary era's most successful authors. In this article, we'll take a look at 13 of his best writing techniques, drawn from his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft as well as interviews and lectures. These suggestions will help you enhance your writing abilities, whether you are a novice or an experienced writer.

[Read the full article]

How to Fix Wordy Writing

nytimes.com – Thursday October 5, 2023

A writer and teacher shares a lesson for helping students understand the importance of clear, concise writing, and spotting needless words.

Of all the commandments contained in “The Elements of Style,” the ubiquitous writing guide by Cornell professor William Strunk Jr. and his former student, and author, E.B. White, Rule 17, “Omit needless words,” has proved to be the most pertinent in my writing classrooms.

When I was new to teaching writing to young adults and teenagers, I theorized that social media, texting and even our shortened attention spans meant that I should be ready for terse correspondences, malnourished prose and final assignments that just barely made the required word count.

I was way off.

Indeed, my experience teaching nonfiction writing to undergraduates and high school students has taught me that today’s nascent writers hand in assignments just as full of redundancies, unnecessary prepositions and fluff as those Cornell students presented to Strunk over a century ago.

In this lesson, students will learn the importance of concise, clear writing as well as techniques for spotting and omitting those pesky “needless” words.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: Forty20

firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 4, 2023

The alternative voice of rugby league. Intelligent, thought-provoking, informative and fun, it covers rugby league at every level. Features thought-provoking articles by the game’s most respected writers and best-known personalities, and face-to-face interviews with rugby league’s most engaging characters, be they in the European Super League, Australasian NRL or anywhere else in the world.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd

firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 4, 2023

Primary aim is to produce high-quality books inspired by aspects of northern English culture, though in recent years that brief has widened considerably to include several national and international titles and a monthly rugby league magazine.

[See the full listing]

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