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Writers' News

New Literary Agency Listing: The North Literary Agency

firstwriter.com – Tuesday June 30, 2020

Looking for all types of fiction and narrative nonfiction. No academic writing, poetry, self-help, picture books or screenplays. No submissions by post.

[See the full listing]

Naomi Alderman Was Writing a Pandemic Novel Before the Pandemic Hit

nytimes.com – Tuesday June 23, 2020

For two years, Naomi Alderman, the author of the 2017 dystopian novel “The Power,” had been working on her next book.

Then in February, with 40,000 words already written, she decided she had to stop. The story she had devised, about tech billionaires fleeing a pandemic, now seemed a little too close to reality.

“I just thought, ‘Bollocks! I am not going to be able to write this book,’” Alderman said in a phone interview. “It just felt incredibly disrespectful to the many people who had lost loved ones. And I thought, ‘God knows where this pandemic is going to land, and what is possibly going to be the world that comes after it.’”

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Sara O’ Keeffe

firstwriter.com – Tuesday June 23, 2020

Has worked with major brand names in crime, science fiction and has a passion for Irish writing.

[See the full listing]

Indie Publishers Cope with Covid

publishersweekly.com – Sunday June 21, 2020

Though many independent publishers interviewed by PW last week reported a drop in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, several said sales are—surprisingly—up for the year, buoyed by strong interest in backlist titles, direct sales to consumers, and enhanced digital initiatives. Most also said their staffs are working remotely and will continue to do so until at least the end of August. Some are allowing limited staff to go to their offices irregularly to fulfill orders and do necessary administrative tasks.

[Read the full article]

Effective Writing Advice That Is 100 Years Old

news.clearancejobs.com – Friday June 19, 2020

Regardless of your job, writing is an important communication skill that when fostered, improves over time. If you want to become a writer or improve your craft, I would highly recommend studying the techniques of a few of the American masters. While these men mostly wrote fictional books, they were strongly based on real events. Hemingway was also a correspondent over the years for many newspapers and magazines; his coverage of current events is worth a study as well. Below are some of the useful tips I took from a few of my favorite authors, and one editor who knew them all.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Simon Targett

firstwriter.com – Friday June 19, 2020

Interested in a wide range of nonfiction, including business and leadership, history, journalism, current affairs, biography, sport, music, popular science, nature, travel, genealogy. Will also consider historical fiction. The common factor is an emphasis on big ideas, great stories, and fine writing.

[See the full listing]

A deliciously cautionary tale about writing groups

ocregister.com – Tuesday June 16, 2020

Ask any writer how it’s going during quarantine, and they will respond, “Not much different than my regular life.” That’s how creativity works for writers. You hole yourself up in your house, plant your butt in your chair, stare at the computer screen, get up, pace the floors aimlessly trying to figure out the next scene, check the fridge for snacks, walk the dog 18 times a day waiting for ideas to come.

Or, if the writing is going well, you sit at your desk clattering away at the keyboard, telling your dog, “In a minute Mommy can take you for a walk. In a minute. Be a good dog.” When the writing is going well, a blessed day is when no delivery person rings the doorbell, no meetings have to be showered and dressed for, and no friend is suggesting you meet for happy hour because they have to tell you about their day. Not all writers love quarantine, but almost all self-quarantine to get the work done.

Writing is work and requires a time commitment and showing up – all the things that any job requires, even meetings. Meetings with agents and editors and psychotherapists. But even before publication, there are writing group meetings.

[Read the full article]

BBC local radio to boost new comedy writing

2020 – Tuesday June 16, 2020

The BBC is showcasing new comedy writing across its network of local radio stations this weekend. 

Sketches, stand-up, comedy songs and more will be included in a series of Upload Festival programmes running on 39 stations across the UK.

There will also be a live video stream on the BBC website, which will also be available on iPlayer.

And as part of the event, the BBC is running free online workshops on writing both sketches and comedy in general.

[Read the full article]

Independent Publishing in a Post-Covid World

publishersweekly.com – Sunday June 14, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has already had a big impact on independent publishing. Some changes—working at home, employee furloughs, curbside shopping—were thrust upon the industry suddenly. And though they weren’t part of a concerted effort to change old and inefficient business practices, they may indeed have that effect. Here are several new realities that are likely to survive the disease itself and lead to evolutionary leaps in book publishing.

[Read the full article]

National Writing Day launches 24-word challenge

entertainment-focus.com – Sunday June 14, 2020

First Story, the charity behind National Writing Day, has launched a 24-word story challenge to mark the annual nationwide celebration of the pleasure and power of writing and words. This year it will take place on 24th June. Together with its National Writing Day partners, a coalition of leading literacy organisations and publishers and a host of the nation’s much loved children’s authors including Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman and Frank Cottrell Boyce, First Story is challenging everyone – especially young people – to come together to share their experiences.

With a nation in lockdown, and the extreme experiences of the past few months keenly felt, the power of words to give voice to our stories is timely. Many pupils and students are still home-learning; and schools are closed to most of their cohorts.

National Writing Day is leading the charge with a simple writing call to action: a challenge to everyone to write just 24 words, in 7 minutes, starting with the prompt ‘One day…’ and to share their work on social media using the hashtag #247challenge. The challenge involves everyone, and participants can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.

[Read the full article]

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