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Writers' News

Majority of authors 'hear' their characters speak, finds study

theguardian.com – Tuesday April 28, 2020

Some writers have always claimed they can hear their characters speaking, with Enid Blyton suggesting she could “watch and hear everything” and Alice Walker describing how her characters would “come for a visit ... and talk”. But a new study has shown this uncanny experience is very widespread, with almost two-thirds of authors reporting that they hear their characters’ voices while they work.

Researchers at Durham University teamed up with the Guardian and the Edinburgh international book festival to survey 181 authors appearing at the 2014 and 2018 festivals. Sixty-three per cent said they heard their characters speak while writing, with 61% reporting characters were capable of acting independently.

[Read the full article]

Publishing in a pandemic

thebookseller.com – Sunday April 26, 2020

Our society faces an unprecedented challenge from coronavirus and publishing is no exception to that. The pandemic has affected all of us in the books industry – booksellers have had to close shops, authors have had to move publication dates and cancel events, freelancers have seen their work and incomes shrink. 

Publishers are facing incredibly difficult decisions about how to respond to the significant pressures on their businesses and how best to support their employees in the coming months. 

[Read the full article]

Vigliano Buys Back His Agency

publishersweekly.com – Saturday April 25, 2020

David Vigliano has bought back the assets of his eponymous literary agency from Y Entertainment Group.

The boutique firm was sold to Y Entertainment in 2014. (That same year Y Entertainment formed a lifestyle group called AGI.) Vigliano said he was "grateful for all I have learned from AGI’s constellation of superstar agents." He added: " I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and put it to use as I return to operating independently."

[Read the full article]

Bay Path launches literary magazine, Multiplicity

masslive.com – Saturday April 25, 2020

“Borders, Boundaries, and Belonging” is the theme of the inaugural issue of Multiplicity, the literary magazine of the Master in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University.

Each of the 22 writers featured in this issue — 18 essayists and four poets — has written a brief statement about life during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on their own work in light of the new reality. These statements accompany the writer’s work.

“Millions of people are sheltering in place at home, turning to art and literature and music online for inspiration and community, myself included,” said Leanna James Blackwell, director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University and editorial director of Multiplicity magazine. “My co-editors and I felt that Multiplicity — online, free and filled with real-life stories and poems from great writers of all backgrounds — could make a genuine contribution to readers looking for connection in this deeply uncertain time.”

[Read the full article]

Competition invites aspiring young writers with time on their hands to imagine the past

firstwriter.com – Friday April 24, 2020

The prestigious Young Walter Scott Prize, a UK-wide historical writing prize for 11-19 year olds is open for entries.

Budding writers that have found themselves with more time on their hands since the Coronavirus outbreak, have a golden opportunity to explore the historical novelist within. The prize challenges young people to write a piece of short fiction set in a time before they were born.

The winners receive a £500 travel grant and a 2-day trip to the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland where they are presented with their prizes. All winning and highly commended writers see their work published in the special YWSP anthology and runners-up in each age category receive a book token.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agency Listing: Mushens Entertainment

firstwriter.com – Thursday April 23, 2020

London literary agency with a boutique feel. Represents a diverse range of Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers, authors, actors, brands, and more.

[See the full listing]

Reality writes

thebookseller.com – Thursday April 23, 2020

Writing doesn’t pay. According to a report released last year by the Royal Society for Literature and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, most writers earn below the minimum wage. The numbers are stark: two thirds of writers earn between £100 and £10,000. Only 5% of writers can expect to earn over £30,000 a year. The average income from writing has shrunk from an equivalent of £18,013 in 2006 to £10,497, and on average it’s lower for disabled and BAME writers. Only 10% of authors now derive their income solely from writing.

Talking about finances for writers remains taboo, despite a literary landscape that pays lip service to being savvier in examining its role in systems of exclusivity and privilege. Publishing remains one of the few industries where salaries are not routinely disclosed on job adverts; it’s a sector where unpaid internships and minimum wage starting roles are still viewed as acceptable, if not essential. It’s no wonder that this culture of exclusivity bleeds into all areas of the literary environment. Despite the supposedly democratising effect of social media, the agents, editors and writers on these platforms still sell the myth that writing is a leisure activity reserved for the upper middle classes, an affectation that Nathalie Olah typifies as a “twee picture [...] a lifestyle choice” in her book Steal As Much As You Can.

[Read the full article]

New writing awards to honour leading poet Mairtin Crawford

belfasttelegraph.co.uk – Thursday April 23, 2020

The life and work of the man described by award-winning poet Michael Longley as "a saint of poetry" will be celebrated with the launch of the Mairtin Crawford Awards.

The Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2020 are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel.

Both published and unpublished writers from all over the world are invited to submit poems or a short story. The only stipulations are that entrants must not yet have published a full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel, and entries must be in the English language.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agency Listing: Robert Caskie Ltd

firstwriter.com – Tuesday April 21, 2020

Keen to receive fiction and nonfiction writing that stimulates debate, comments on the world around us, and invokes an emotional response.

[See the full listing]

Duffy and Manchester Writing School launch coronavirus poetry project

thebookseller.com – Tuesday April 21, 2020

Poet Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School have launched an international poetry project in response to the coronavirus.

WRITE Where We Are NOW will see writers including Duffy, Gillian Allnutt, Raymond Antrobus, Roger McGough and Ian McMillan share new work inspired by the pandemic.

[Read the full article]

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