It’s Time To Save Literature From The Woke Publishing Industry
thefederalist.com – Tuesday October 25, 2022
Joyce Carol Oates is a fixture in American letters — she’s won the National Book Award, two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, the Jerusalem Prize, and she’s been nominated for the Pulitzer five times. She taught at Princeton for 36 years, and is, of course, an outspoken Trump critic. A Google search for “Joyce Carol Oates” and “feminist” yields more than half a million results.
And even she thinks the publishing industry has become intolerably politically correct. On Twitter, she recently observed, the “category of straight white males is the only category remaining for villains & awful people in fiction & film & popular culture.” Oates isn’t alone in observing the problem — in June, ubiquitous author James Patterson, whose potboilers have sold more than 400 million copies, said white male writers now face “another form of racism” in the woke publishing industry, before he was bullied into backtracking on his comments.
Of course, if you’ve set foot in a large bookstore recently, what Patterson is saying has obvious merit. On a recent trip to Barnes & Noble, a friend actually took photos and counted up the books on the six new fiction shelves displayed up front. Male authors made up less than 25 percent of the nearly 200 books displayed in the front of the store, and obviously, the percentage of men who were white and/or heterosexual was notably smaller than that.
Oates and Patterson are only now saying what many men with literary ambitions have long known. Iowa Writers Workshop graduate Alex Perez recently gave a scorched-earth interview to the Hobart Literary Journal where he discussed how male-centric literature was being deliberately shut out of publishing. During the interview, he had some choice words for the woke and disproportionately female gatekeepers of the industry:
New Literary Agent Listing: Sidney Boker
firstwriter.com – Tuesday October 25, 2022
Loves to read young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, and graphic novels, and almost anything with a strong female lead.
Andrew Wylie, ‘The Jackal’ of books: ‘Amazon is like ISIS; it takes no prisoners’
english.elpais.com – Sunday October 23, 2022
The world’s leading literary agent speaks about Salman Rushdie, Stephen King, Donald Trump and the e-commerce giant
Among the literary giants included under the letter B on Andrew Wylie’s endless client list are Giorgio Bassani, Jorge Luis Borges, Saul Bellow, Paul and Jane Bowles, Joseph Brodsky, William Burroughs and Roberto Bolaño, eight of the twentieth century’s most important writers. Under C, one finds Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Italo Calvino and Albert Camus. Andrew Wylie, 74, is the world’s most powerful literary agent. His agency has offices in New York and London, and they employ 50 people. His reputation for ruthlessness in managing his clients’ rights has earned him a nickname in the publishing industry: the Jackal. However, he maintains that his goal is to defend authors whose books are of high literary quality but don’t often sell many copies. He asks the new agents he hires to prioritize the emotions that a book arouses in them, not how well they think it might sell.
Nobody, living or dead, has a list of clients as impressive as Wylie’s, which includes Milan Kundera, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Salman Rushdie, Art Spiegelman, Yasmina Reza, Shakespeare, Orhan Pamuk, Susan Sontag and Louise Glück. The agency represents so many luminaries that Wylie is unable to recall off the top of his head how many Nobel Prize-winning authors he counts as clients.
‘Terror’ stopping great work from being published in the UK, Pike warns
thebookseller.com – Sunday October 23, 2022
Arabella Pike, publishing director at HarperCollins’ William Collins, has warned that UK publishers’ “terror” is preventing “some very great work” from being published.
Speaking alongside the founder of Silkworm Books, Trasvin Jittidecharak, and Niko Pfund, president and academic publisher of Oxford University Press USA on a panel entitled “Non-fiction Publishing in the Age of Misinformation” at the Frankfurt Book Fair yesterday (20th October), Pike described the fear of being targeted as a result of a publication as “the chill factor” and argued greater safeguards were needed to prevent abuses of the British legal system such as she experienced.
“The chill factor and the fear that people have is stopping some very great work emerging,” she said. “It varies depending on which part of the world you’re in, but this is something that’s very much happening in the UK. It’s happening in newsrooms and in publishers; people are too terrified to tackle these responsibly published books.”
New Book Publisher Listing: Dogberry Books
firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 19, 2022
International publisher of memoir, other narrative non-fiction and literary fiction in English, particularly with an element of humour.
New Magazine Listing: Pride Quarterly Magazine
firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 19, 2022
A genre fiction magazine for QTBIPOC creators. Open to original and reprinted genre fiction year-round with periodic, unannounced closures. Particularly interested in romance, historical fiction, mystery and crime, thriller and suspense, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. All submissions should be aimed at a general adult audience. Aims for a story a month, published behind a paywall on the 15th. Each quarter, these stories are bundled into an issue. Each year, they’re collected into an anthology.
Amberley Publishing acquires Icon Books
thebookseller.com – Tuesday October 18, 2022
Icon Books has been acquired by Amberley Publishing for an undisclosed sum.
Amberley said the acquisition would “provide a strong addition to Amberley’s existing non-fiction catalogue” and follows its acquisition of Quiller Publishing for £1.4m in June 2021.
Icon Books was bought by Jonathan Ball Publishers in April 2020 and Amberley said this acquisition follows detailed discussions on working closely together.
New Literary Agency Listing: Alex Adsett Literary
firstwriter.com – Tuesday October 18, 2022
Only represents authors in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific or SE Asia, not USA or Europe. Only accepts submissions from by invitation or referral, or from authors from an under-represented background – First Nations, authors of colour, authors from marginalised cultures, neuroatypical authors, authors with disability, or authors from varied socio-economic circumstances.
Why querying is hell for neurodivergents
thebookseller.com – Monday October 17, 2022
Literary agencies have taken steps to make their submissions policies more inclusive—and some simple adjustments can throw the doors wide open.
Querying: the word itself makes it seem straightforward. You query an agent—“Hey, would you like to represent my novel?”—and they say yes or no. It’s actually incredibly complicated, consisting of learning unique skills and new acronyms like R&R, FR and CNR. If you don’t know the terminology either, R&R is revise and resubmit, FR can be a full request or a full rejection and CNR is could not reply. Querying can make you consider: is my love for this book worth the challenges of pursuing publication?
Querying being difficult is not an experience unique to neurodivergent people and may not be everyone’s experience, since every neurodivergent person is fundamentally different—it’s in the name. But this article offers an insight into how agents can make the process more accessible and inclusive. The problems start early because there isn’t a set “guide” and no clear benchmark to measure how you are progressing. The percentage of partial or full requests a querying author may receive might be good for YA fantasy but not for adult cosmic horror, and it can change month on month. Add to this varied, long and intense wait times and it can cause serious issues for neurodivergent writers.
Writers' Handbook 2023 now available to buy
firstwriter.com – Sunday October 16, 2022
The 2023 edition of firstwriter.com’s bestselling directory for writers has just been released, and is now available to buy both as a paperbook and an ebook.
The directory is the perfect book for anyone searching for literary agents, book publishers, or magazines. It contains over 2,000 listings, including revised and updated listings from the 2022 edition, and over 350 brand new entries.
Get the free newsletter | Submit a news item or article | Get Writers' News for your website