They Say It Only Takes One: My Year of Trying to Get an Agent, and Get Pregnant
lithub.com – Wednesday June 22, 2022
For as long as I’ve been a writer, the comparison that I’ve heard the most frequently used by artists of my ilk is that writing a book is like having a baby. As someone who has never had a baby, I imagine the truth of this likeness is that both take time and that both, once completed, are sent out into the world with little control over what happens next.
But what the comparison between writing a book and having a baby gets wrong is the assumption that the person writing the book or birthing that baby is in a position to both publish a book and procreate. Maybe this is why I’ve spent the last few months feeling unconvinced by the truth of this likeness. Is writing a book like having a baby? Sure, if you can get an agent and can get pregnant.
I, unfortunately, haven’t been able to do either.
New Publishing Imprint Listing: Schiffer Military
firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 22, 2022
Dedicated to publishing definitive books on military and aviation history by the world’s leading historians.
My journey to getting a book deal
dailykos.com – Tuesday June 21, 2022
So much about making a career as a writer is opaque and exclusionary. There’s also a lot that, frankly, simply depends on your specific situation. It’s hard to give advice that will work for everyone, much less most people. All of that said, I shared a bit about my experience finding a literary agent for my novel (you can check that out here if you’d like) and now that I’ve sold my first book, I figured I would return and share a bit more for anyone who might be considering a similar path.
The biggest caveat here is that this is all what my experience was like. So many other writers have had wildly different journeys. No one’s path is better than anyone else’s and it is (truly) never a reflection of your worth or merit as a writer. It can be oddly tempting to think about folks who get major house auctions within a few days of going on submission, but really, don’t torture yourself.
Good God, I can’t publish this…
thecritic.co.uk – Monday June 20, 2022
The literary rejection is almost a genre in itself. It has shaken the confidence of every writer in history. The best examples are to be found wherever there is a publisher armed with a power complex, a sense of literary inferiority and a ready wit. In recent years, the soft thud of the manuscript on the hall floor has been gradually replaced by the pernicious ping of the inbox. It does seem that the email is a paler version of the quintessential letter of the past.
Back in the 60s, Sylvia Plath boldly claimed, “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try”. This was in spite of being told by a publisher that she didn’t have “enough genuine talent for us to take notice”.
Stephen King kept his rejection letters on a spike while Hemingway mutilated his — and no wonder. Mrs Moberley Luger of Peacock & Peacock (surely a parody of a publisher if ever there was one) sent Hemingway an intensely personal missive on the shortcomings of The Sun Also Rises: “I may be frank, Mr Hemingway — you certainly are in your prose — I found your efforts to be both tedious and offensive. You really are a man’s man, aren’t you? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you had penned this entire story locked up at the club, ink in one hand, brandy in the other.” She went on to berate his writing style with “I daresay my young son could do better!” and of the novel’s hero she unleashed this zinger, “I doubt he’d have the energy to turn the page to find out what happened to himself”.
Literary agents share the magic ingredients they’re looking for in a novel
metro.co.uk – Monday June 20, 2022
What keeps you hooked when you’re reading a novel?
Twists and turns? Great characters? Writing that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?
Identifying the things that make a good book can be key when it comes to writing your own fiction. But what are experts in the industry looking for in new fiction writing?
We asked Lizzy Kremer, Jemima Forrester and Maddalena Cavaciuti, all literary agents at David Higham Associates, to share their magic ingredients for fiction.
Here are the 7 tools that will make you a better writer
fastcompany.com – Saturday June 18, 2022
I spend a couple hours each day typing out emails, documents and journal entries. In this post I’m sharing some useful little writing aids I like, following up an earlier post spotlighting useful writing resources.
GET A NUDGE TO WRITE 750 WORDS A DAY WITH 750WORDS.COM
Writing requires motivation. If you like setting targets, you might appreciate 750 Words. The site encourages you to type out 750 words a day as often as you can. It tracks your daily and monthly progress, like a fitness tracker marking your walks or runs. Its tagline: “private, unfiltered, spontaneous, daily.” You can copy and paste whatever you write here into an email, a Google Doc, a newsletter, blog or wherever else you want. To benefit from a cohort/peer pressure, you can join the monthly challenge for December to write 750 words per day. 750 Words is free to try — then costs $5 per month.
Darley Anderson sheds light on publishing world with virtual open week
thebookseller.com – Saturday June 18, 2022
The Darley Anderson Agency will be hosting a virtual open week at the end of June with Twitter Q&As, pitch contests, Instagram Lives and helpful blog content.
Running from 27th June, the agency will welcome aspiring writers, readers and book fans to give them a glimpse of life at a commercial literary agency through a variety of online events.
The agency said it wanted to shed light on the publishing process, from submission to publication and everything in between, talking all things “entertainment fiction”.
AGNI, BU’s Elite Literary Magazine, Celebrates Its 50th Birthday
bu.edu – Friday June 17, 2022
The latest print edition of AGNI hit subscribers’ mailboxes and bookstores a month late, thanks to a ransomware attack on its Pennsylvania printer. The biannual literary magazine—crammed with essays, poetry, and reviews—battled cultural headwinds even before that delay: while pandemic isolating induced an uptick in reading, other research suggests that almost 60 percent of Americans never crack a book in a given year; pleasure reading of literary fiction especially is nosediving.
If it seems that fate has it in for AGNI as it celebrates its 50th birthday among the nation’s elite literary magazines, coeditor William Pierce makes the glass-half-full case: “I’m skeptical that there was ever a period when 40 percent or even 20 percent read literary work. In the era of Wordsworth, most in England were illiterate.” That even 40 percent of Americans read books actually “cuts against narratives of decline. To me, that’s a shockingly high number.”
The Constellation of Possibilities: An Approach to Writing Historical Fiction
crimereads.com – Wednesday June 15, 2022
The poet David Kirby once said that “only shallow people and charlatans begin with perfect knowledge of what it is they mean to say. An honest writer begins in ignorance and writes his way to the truth.”
The word “truth” is a bit controversial when it comes to historical fiction. Some authors of historical novels claim they only “stick to the facts,” while others acknowledge and celebrate their expansive creative license. When I wrote Oleander City: A Novel Based on the True Story, I did so with the understanding that our notions of “truth” are complex, and that what we accept as historical actuality is often incomplete or misguided. We all know about eye-witness testimony. Even the best efforts at recorded history, such as newspapers, letters, diaries, government records, books, etc., can be specious at best, in many cases mixed with many decades of rumor, myth, ignorance, personal bias, and deliberate manipulation. My first historical novel, The Wettest County in the World (titled Lawless in the movie tie-in edition), taught me a lot about this problem. I learned that in order to create a compelling narrative (the end goal for any fiction writer) I would need to be vigilant and unsparing while researching. I also learned to lean into my personal motivations, which was to seek out the gaps between what I call “the points of light,” or the moments that “really happened.”
But why do it as a novel at all? “If this story actually happened, then why didn’t you do it as non-fiction?”
Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury reports record sales amid reading boom
theguardian.com – Wednesday June 15, 2022
Bloomsbury has reported a record year for sales, as the Harry Potter publisher said the increase in reading during the pandemic had become “permanent” after lockdowns eased.
The company benefited substantially from Covid restrictions when homebound consumers turned to new hobbies, including reading, to pass the time.
Bloomsbury’s chief executive, Nigel Newton, said it was clear that people who picked up a reading habit during the pandemic were continuing to buy books, helping to push annual sales up 24% to record highs of £230m for the year to the end of February.