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Writers' News

New Literary Agent Listing: Saskia Leach

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 15, 2022

Enjoys reading a wide range of genres and is fascinated by stories written from multiple perspectives. She also loves books which feature complex and dynamic characters.

[See the full listing]

UTA Acquires U.K. Literary and Talent Agency Curtis Brown

yahoo.com – Monday June 13, 2022

United Talent Agency (UTA) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire U.K. literary and talent agency Curtis Brown Group.

Under the terms of the deal, London-based Curtis Brown Group, founded in 1899, will continue to operate under its current name and management, including CEO Jonny Geller. The structure will allow both parries to continue their longstanding relationships with other agency partners in the U.K. and U.S.

[Read the full article]

Out with the 'chick lit' and in with the 'menopause thriller'? Leading British publisher says it wants more fiction books to reflect experiences of menopausal women after complaints about an over-focus on 'edgy' twentysomethings

dailymail.co.uk – Saturday June 11, 2022

  •  HarperCollins are creating a new genre they are calling the menopause thriller
  • They want stories that ‘change the conversation surrounding menopause’ 
  •  It would portray peri-menopausal and menopausal women...who fight back’
  • The new genre could spell the end of ‘chick lit’, which targeted  younger women

A leading British publisher is ‘actively looking’ for fiction which reflects women’s experiences of the menopause.

HarperCollins wants to print stories that ‘change the conversation surrounding menopause’ following years of young female protagonists taking centre stage.

It comes as the subject is increasingly raised on TV, from Davina McCall’s Channel 4 documentary Sex, Mind and the Menopause to the Netflix political drama Borgen, in which the protagonist grapples with menopausal symptoms.

[Read the full article]

When Writing a Novel, Forget the How and Focus on the What

lithub.com – Saturday June 11, 2022

Back when we were running How I Met Your Mother together, my writing partner Craig Thomas and I had a sign hanging on the wall of our shared office, one of those little needlepoint samplers you can order on Etsy and personalize to say anything. Ours said, “WRITING’S HARD.”

Because it is. Writing is so hard. And there’s a peculiar amnesia attached to it—the mere fact that it’s hard always, always comes as a surprise. You sit down at your computer expecting a good time, and whammo, it’s work. Why is this so hard? you ask the blinking cursor. It should be fun! After all, every novel, movie, or show you love is, in some way or another, fun.

When you watch or read something great, the fun radiates from within, like heat from a furnace, so much that you assume there must be someone behind the scenes feeding it fun in great shovelfuls. And in a sense you’re right. Fun is one ingredient in the recipe of writing. Unfortunately, the other ingredient is writing. And writing’s hard.

[Read the full article]

Baldwin and McCalmont launch new scouting agency Zephyr

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 9, 2022

Literary scouts Naja Baldwin and Katie McCalmont have joined forces to launch a new international consulting and scouting agency called Zephyr. 

The new agency is based in Soho, central London. It scouts UK and international books for publishers and film and TV companies, and has already signed up its first clients, including Hanser Verlag in Germany, Nieuw Amsterdam, Podium and Fontaine (Park Publishers) in the Netherlands, Polaris in Sweden, Kagge in Norway and Todavia Livros in Brazil.

Baldwin said: “Zephyr is named after the west wind, bringing change, warmth and fresh ideas. This captures the energy we want to bring to our new venture. I can’t think of a better partner than Katie to launch this agency with — she’s an innovative and creative thinker, bold in her ambitions and an absolute joy to work with."  

[Read the full article]

Audiobook publishers record ten straight years of double digit growth

goodereader.com – Wednesday June 8, 2022

The audiobook segment is on a roll with publishers reporting the tenth straight year of continuous double-digit growth. As per data revealed in an Audio Publishers Association’s Sales Survey conducted by InterQ, the segment grew by a healthy 25 percent in 2021 to record revenues of $1.6 billion. There have also been about 76,000 audiobooks published in 2021, which marks a 6 percent rise compared to the preceding year.

The survey also revealed science fiction and fantasy titles were among the most sought after, followed closely by mystery, thrillers, and suspense stories. Romance and fiction made up a close third while revenue from audiobooks for children and young adults too witnessed growth in revenue.

[Read the full article]

Publish and be cancelled

thecritic.co.uk – Wednesday June 8, 2022

Unreadable and insufferable woke academics are boycotting the publishers that grudgingly print their inane work

Why do publishers publish the books they do? The answer seems obvious: they publish what they think will sell because they have to make money, unless they have the luxury of being some heavily subsidised university press, or a publisher of poetry (“the invisible link that connects literature and poverty”, to adapt Hazlitt). Most will, to some degree, specialise in certain areas — be it in terms of subject matter, type of book or both — because one needs to know a market well and establish one’s presence in that market before one can realistically expect to make money, or at least keep afloat.

Ultimately, however, that is really no answer. Inevitably, the personal interests, contacts, judgement and worldview of the editors and publishers involved will be the most fundamental factors that shape the output of a publisher, even if commercial considerations always remain a limiting factor.

Any press needs its share of bestsellers, but it’s far from unknown for publishers to take on individual books that they calculate are likely to lose them money, or at least are unlikely to be very profitable, for a whole number of reasons: perceived prestige or reputational enhancement, personal commitment to a cause, whimsy — and so on. Certainly, a pure, abstract desire to make money is not the major factor (if riches beyond the dreams of avarice are one’s aim, then publishing will be a life-long disappointment).

[Read the full article]

Why I Make Rules for My Writing Students—And Why I Break Them

lithub.com – Wednesday June 8, 2022

The legendary golfer Jack Niklaus has an unorthodox philosophy when it comes to teaching kids how to play the game. Most instructors want to build a young golfer’s swing from the bottom up, drilling them on the fundamentals, but Niklaus recommends letting kids swing as hard as they can. Don’t clutter their minds with rules. Don’t tell them how to grip the club or how to stand. Don’t demand that they keep their front arm straight, their head down. There will be time for all that.

When they’re just starting out, what’s important is that they have fun. Let it rip. They might miss the ball, top it, slice it, hook it, but who cares—they’re learning what works for them. Their muscles are figuring out their own way to swing. They’re developing their own style.

When I started teaching high school English ten years ago, my plan was to be the Jack Niklaus of writing instructors. I’d let my students let it rip. I’d give them the freedom to write what they wanted, in whatever genre they wanted, in whatever form they wanted. Which I did. And which I still do, more or less. I teach an advanced Creative Writing class to seniors, and they can submit prose, poetry, drama—whatever they’re into, we’ll workshop it.

But here’s what happened over the years: my students kept making the same mistakes, using the same broken tools. It was like watching a seven-year-old golfer shank the ball into a pond again and again, scaring all the frogs. The golfer gets frustrated. You get frustrated. The frogs get frustrated.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agency Listing: Spring Literary

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 8, 2022

Specialises in children’s and YA writing and illustration. Works with all the major publishing houses, plus entertainment companies, to ensure the best match for each book, author and illustrator.

[See the full listing]

Words Without Borders Reboots

publishersweekly.com – Tuesday June 7, 2022

The nonprofit organization Words Without Borders launched in 2003 to aid in publishing works from countries and cultures underrepresented in English-first language regions. WWB now has an archive of 12,000 published pieces across 140 countries and 130 languages. Though their mission has not changed, there are several new developments planned to expand the literary conversation.

“I think it’s easy to forget just how much has changed for both the publication and the landscape of international literature since we started in 2003,” said Eric M. B. Becker, digital director and senior editor.

The publication was among the first online-only literary magazines, has evolved to become a platform for writers and translators alike, with programs like its Poems in Translation contest, the Indigenous Writing Project, and the Words Without Borders Campus program. Throughout, the mission has remained the same: to offer free access to international literature through translation online to anybody with an internet connection.

[Read the full article]

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