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Writers' News

Caimh McDonnell: too funny and too Irish

irishtimes.com – Wednesday December 21, 2016

Publishing used be a lot like a bad country disco. The publishers in this metaphor are the lovely ladies and the authors are the likely lads. I don’t mean that the ladies stand bored on one side of the hall while the lads are on the other skulling pints. No, this is another kind of bad. Imagine a GAA tournament clashed with a young farmer’s convention and the AGM of the Association of People Called Sean. The ladies are so out-numbered, it’s like the film 300 remade as a romcom.

Good news, though, the publishers found a solution. The ladies hired some bouncers to do their rejecting for them – literary agents. As a lonely author looking for love, you’ve now got to convince one of them to dance with you long before any of the girls will consider it.

[Read the full article]

Channel 4 begins hunt for new northern writing talent

prolificnorth.co.uk – Wednesday December 21, 2016

Channel 4 has launched its search for new northern writing talent – giving the chance for three writers to win £3,000 bursaries and the opportunity to work on shows including Hollyoaks.

The scheme is open to writers who are new to television and three winners will be placed with independent production companies Lime Pictures and Bonafide Films.

[Read the full article]

Brisbane author John Birmingham takes leap from trade publishing to go indie

abc.net.au – Saturday December 17, 2016

Brisbane author John Birmingham likens the break with his trade publishers to jumping out a window, but insists the leap was not suicidal and that he has landed firmly on his feet.

The successful author, renowned for his iconic 1994 autobiographical novel He Died With A Felafel In His Hand, has garnered worldwide acclaim in more recent years for mystery thrillers and alternate history novels including The Disappearance trilogy and the Axis of Time series.

All were released with big-name publishers. But in 2015 Birmingham found to his chagrin how quickly those ties could unwind.

[Read the full article]

My writing day: Maggie O’Farrell

theguardian.com – Saturday December 17, 2016

Most writers’ work happens when they are away from their desks, when they are looking the other way, when they are engaged with some other mundane task. The washing up, the folding of laundry, the school run, the debate with a small child over the merits and demerits of wearing of a coat in December.

This is, at least, what I try to tell myself. The idea that there is a typical “writing day” makes me laugh, with a slight edge of hysteria. Life with children precludes such planning, such routine, such predictability. Last week, for example, my writing mornings were disrupted and erased by, in no particular order: the cat being copiously indisposed on sofa and carpet; my daughter drawing a seascape of swimming lions on top of some notes I had made; one child sent home ill from school; and another requiring lifts to and from concert rehearsals.

[Read the full article]

A primer on writing from a gifted novelist

usatoday.com – Friday December 16, 2016

Charles Johnson, one of America’s finest novelists (Middle Passage) and foremost thinkers pondering the cosmos of literature, has published a road map to that cosmos as complex, daunting and rewarding as the destination itself. Titled The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling (Scribner, 256 pp., *** out of four stars), this dense little book could just as cogently be called The Rigors of Writing Seriously.

[Read the full article]

Jill Corcoran Expands into Adult Market

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday December 14, 2016

Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, in an effort to both extend its reach in the children's book market and expand into the adult market, has announced the addition of four new agents.

[Read the full article]

Lance Person’s literary grail is Austin’s Belle Lutte Press

mystatesman.com – Monday December 12, 2016

Why would a successful attorney quit his job to start a small literary publishing house?

Why would he then scan more than 1,000 submissions before picking a first novel to edit and publish through his newly minted Belle Lutte Press?

Austin’s Lance Person can explain. He’s the attorney who did it.

[Read the full article]

WME Names 18 New Partners

variety.com – Saturday December 10, 2016

WME has promoted 18 people to partner, across film, television, music, non-scripted television, endorsements, and books.

In New York, Claudia Ballard from the books department, Josh Bider in non-scripted television, and Strand Conover in endorsements were named partners. Shari Lewin, an agent who focuses on endorsement deals for the agency’s country music artists, was also part of the group.

[Read the full article]

Are small publishers doing all the hard work for the big ones?

theguardian.com – Thursday December 8, 2016

Paul McVeigh and Kirsty Logan are authors you may have heard of. Both of their debuts were published by Salt, an independent publisher. Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son was shortlisted for a bunch of awards, and won the Polari first book prize this year. Kirsty Logan’s The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales won three awards — including the Polari in 2015— and Logan had her next book published with Harvill Secker, a division of Penguin Random House. The same trajectory is likely for Paul McVeigh. It’s a familiar story.

Independent publishers have existed since the 19th century; it wasn’t until the 20th and the 21st that we saw the industry dominated by a few corporations. “The Big Four” publishers – Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette and HarperCollins – have grown big by buying up small publishers. Hogarth, for example, was founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1917; now it is an imprint at the Crown Publishing Group, which is in turn a part of Penguin Random House – which itself used to be Penguin and Random House before their merger in 2013. Phew.

[Read the full article]

How I Got Here

mastheadonline.com – Wednesday December 7, 2016

It’s hard really to know where to start, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Twenty years ago I was a failed photocopier salesperson who stumbled into the world of publishing strictly by chance. By any stretch of the imagination, I am not supposed to be here. The fact that I am even writing something about magazines for a website is pure fluke.

[Read the full article]

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