Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

New Publisher Listing: Icehouse – Wednesday April 19, 2023

Publishes full-length poetry collections of roughly 48-100 pages, by new and established writers. Consider submissions by Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. Accepts submissions annually between April 1 and June 30.

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What the death of a literary magazine says about our cultural decay – Tuesday April 18, 2023

hristian Lorentzen, the former book critic for New York Magazine, is a longtime contributor to Bookforum, the London Review of Books and Harper’s Magazine.

I was the boy who loved magazines. At home, my parents would confiscate the copies of MadRay Gun and Spin that came in the mail, forbidding me from so much as looking at them until I finished my homework. My appetite for glossy pictures, for clever cartoons, for punning prose — for all the intelligence I couldn’t find in my small town or on television — had to be suppressed, lest I fail out of school. (So thought my mother.) Even now, the arrival of the latest issue of the Baffler or New Left Review feels like an event: a new vision of the world as seen by many minds, wedged between two covers.

But the American magazine is in a state of decay. Now known mostly as brands, once sumptuous print publications exist primarily as websites or YouTube channels, hosts for generic scribblings, the ever-ubiquitous “take.” Meanwhile, a thousand Substacks bloom, some of them very good, with writers in the emancipated state of being paid directly by their readers. Yet even in this atomized, editorless landscape, perverse incentives apply. Are you thirsty for another post about cancel culture or wokeness? Me neither. Yet culture war still largely rules the day.

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O’Grady and de Pass promoted to agents at The Soho Agency – Tuesday April 18, 2023

Niamh O’Grady and Marina de Pass have both been promoted to agents at The Soho Agency.

De Pass represents commercial, book-club and literary fiction and has just concluded a 12-way auction for her first non-fiction project One Pot, One Portion by Eleanor Wilkinson (Ebury).

Other highlights include Carole Hailey’s BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick The Silence Project (Corvus) and Joanna Miller’s debut The Bee Orchids, pre-empted by Fig Tree just ahead of the book fair and already sold in a number of international territories. 

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New Publisher Listing: F1000 – Tuesday April 18, 2023

Online open research scientific publisher.

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Staróg Prize launched for Irish writers of children’s fiction – Monday April 17, 2023

Walker Books, PaperCuts Literary Consultancy Ltd and the Sunday Independent have teamed up to create a new writing prize, open to writers of Irish nationality and those resident in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

The Staróg Prize will award an international publishing contract with Walker Books, representation with PaperCuts, and coverage in the Sunday Independent to a new voice in children’s fiction. Two runners-up will also receive a one-year mentorship from Gráinne Clear, senior commissioning editor at Walker Books, and Polly Nolan, founder and m.d. of PaperCuts Literary Consultancy, to further develop their work.  

The award will be open to submissions from 1st May 2023 via an online form, and will close on Sunday 16th July 2023, with the longlist, shortlist and winner announced in October 2023. Submissions must be completed works of fiction in English aimed at readers between seven and 13 years of age.   

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Publishers rewrite Jeeves and Wooster books to remove 'unacceptable' prose by PG Wodehouse with trigger warnings added to revised editions telling readers characters may be 'outdated' – Sunday April 16, 2023

The light-hearted escapades of Jeeves and Wooster have become the latest victims of the seemingly relentless march of literature's word police. 

PG Wodehouse's books on the pair's aristocratic misadventures have been identified as having what the publishers describe as 'unacceptable' prose. 

The comic novels have had passages cut or reworked for new editions by Penguin Random House, as well as trigger warnings added to warn readers of ‘outdated’ themes.

They are latest in a growing series of classic works which have been quietly purged by woke publishers, alongside the books of Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

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AI is no Shakespeare. Why ChatGPT, other tools are unlikely to take your writing job – Sunday April 16, 2023

“Shakespeare’s not such a great writer,” a fellow student said during an English class years ago. “His stuff is lazy! There’s one cliché after another.”

Certainly, the then-teen could be forgiven for thinking that the playwright William Shakespeare phoned it in, so to speak. His plays are peppered with phrases that are now clichés. “My own flesh and blood,” “cruel to be kind” and “method to my madness” are a few from “Hamlet” alone.

But those tidbits weren’t clichés before Shakespeare. They didn’t exist until everyone saw that his phrasing was so imaginative and poignant they couldn’t resist adopting them.

The distinction between turning a phrase and borrowing one is critical to gauging where generative AI is heading, and what threats and opportunities it may present for the future of human composition.

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3 Simple Tips on Writing the First 5 Pages of Your Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel – Thursday April 13, 2023

If you’re a first-time author, the first five pages of your novel can make or break your publishing chances.

If you’ve decided to write a science fiction or fantasy novel, then I can really only offer you two words: good luck. The publishing landscape is not for the faint of heart, especially to new writers seeking to break into the industry. If you want to publish a book one day, you have to prepare yourself for rejection. Not everyone is going to fall in love with your story on the first draft–some may not get it on the final draft. 

Don’t believe me? Check out this excerpt from an Amazon review: “Everything from its banal and totally meaningless plot to its incredibly idiotic and unimaginative characters miserably fail in masking one of the worst books of all time.”

The book in question was The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

More than 60 years of genre-defining acclaim and a billion-dollar, Oscar-winning film franchise couldn’t convince one reader that Tolkien knew what he was doing. 

How, then, are you supposed to prove your literary worth with just five pages? Because that’s all you get when pitching your book to agents: a five-page writing sample and an introductory query letter. 

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New Publisher Listing: Sinister Stoat Press – Thursday April 13, 2023

Horror publisher publishing Furry works, Queer Horror, Extreme Horror, Splatter Punk, Slashers, Paranormal Horror, Weird Horror, Vampires, Werewolves, Monsters, Cryptids (within reason), Sci-Fi horror, and Dark Fantasy. Only accepting work from Authors of Color, Authors who Identify as LGBTQ+, Authors with Disabilities, and Current and Former Sex Workers.

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Former Picador publisher Gwyn Jones joins Greyhound Literary as associate agent – Tuesday April 11, 2023

Philip Gwyn Jones, formerly publisher at Picador, has joined Greyhound Literary as an associate agent, starting today (11th April).

Gwyn Jones, who joined the literary Pan Macmillan imprint in June 2020 from Scribe UK, departed the company by mutual agreement last year to be succeeded by Mary Mount.

During his time as publisher of Picador he led commemorative activity and new publishing around two major anniversaries – Picador’s 50th and Picador Poetry’s 25th – and the imprint saw several titles top the bestseller lists and compete for literary prizes. 

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