Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Even Without Book Bans, Publishing Has a YA Issue – Sunday May 21, 2023

Young Adult (YA) literature has found itself under attack from an increase in book banning and censorship. Right-wing groups like Moms for Liberty have set their sights on YA literature, and have succeeded in removing countless titles from school districts and local libraries. Some of the most common targets are books that address topics like abuse, racism, and LGBTQIA issues. Right-wing groups raise outrage by wrongfully classifying YA books as “pornography” to make them inaccessible to readers of all ages. However, book banning is only part of the genre’s continued fight for survival.

Those who oppose YA literature are definitely part of the problem, but those who support it may also be unintentionally harming it. So many adults are reading, publicly reviewing, and commenting on YA literature that YA books are now tailored to adults instead of teens. There’s also the issue of adult books mislabeled as YA literature, and vice versa. The problem isn’t that kids can’t read or handle any content deemed “adult.” It’s that adults and young readers are two completely separate markets, and the needs and interests of each ought to be evaluated separately. Additionally, price hikes in books make YA literature inaccessible to their target audience.

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Another Major Publisher Caught Using AI-Generated Cover Image on Bestselling Author’s Work – Thursday May 18, 2023

If publishers will cut costs for Sarah J. Maas, no one stands a chance.

We, and many others, have already written at length about the threat AI poses to writers and artists, not because the AI-generated works make good art, but because studios and organizations will use them to undercut and get away with not paying artists. The worst part is that they’re already doing it: Tor got caught buying AI art for an upcoming novel, a U.K. Literary Festival recently used AI-Generated promotional art, and Studios are already trying to use AI to replace their striking WGA writers.

Therefore, this most recent incident isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing.

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The 'publishing less' conundrum – Thursday May 18, 2023

Yes, publishers are overstretched — but fewer books won’t really help.

Do we need to care for authors better, rethink staff workloads and pay more attention to each book? Yes. But the short answer to "can we publish less, but better?" is: not necessarily.

Most would agree we don’t want lists reduced, teams shrunk and only safe titles published. This wouldn’t be serving readers, writers, the industry or society. So what we need is a situation where authors are better communicated with, books are given more attention, and the changed nature of publishing roles is recognised.

As someone who has tried to do exactly that, from the luxury of a fresh start with a new company, it’s worth highlighting our aims and our realisations. 

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New Literary Agent Listing: Arley Sorg – Wednesday May 17, 2023

Primarily interested in adult speculative titles, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror with speculative/fantastic elements, literary speculative fiction, and climate fiction.

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How One of the Biggest Literary Agencies in Publishing Lost Almost All Credibility Overnight – Wednesday May 17, 2023

The entertainment industry is going through a reckoning. The WGA has writers banding together to advocate for themselves and their work, which has given us a peek behind the curtain of the frankly appalling treatment writers have had to put up with from studios.

But that’s not the only struggle writers have been dealing with. 

In the past week, dozens of authors have reported that a major literary agency, New Leaf Literary Agency, has dropped them from representation. Some of these authors were in the middle of contract negotiations with publishers and will now be left without agents representing them. Some authors were notified of this loss in representation via a 10PM email on Friday evening.

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New Publisher Listing: 404 Ink – Wednesday May 17, 2023

Publishes fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. No children's books. Particularly likes humour, gritty women-led fiction, anti-heroes, parodies, the weird and wonderful, hard-hitting social issue non-fiction, inspirational stories and accessible political engagement. Would quite like to publish a crime book that’s an unusual take on the genre.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Catherine Clarke – Wednesday May 17, 2023

I have been building a list of adult non-fiction and children’s fiction writers since 2001. In non-fiction, I particularly love history and philosophy and biography, especially from authors who have the academic credentials or expertise but also have the ambition and vision and writerly skill to make us see their subjects in a new light, or to overturn received wisdom. I also love outstanding nature writing with a dash of compelling memoir.

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New Magazine Listing: Under the Radar – Tuesday May 16, 2023

A magazine of new contemporary poetry and fiction. Submit up to six poems, or short fiction up to 2,500 words. Submit only previously unpublished work.

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How to get published in a literary magazine: ‘Whatever excites you will excite us’ – Sunday May 14, 2023

Gemma Tipton offers a beginner’s guide to taking up a new cultural pursuit

If there was an Olympics for philosophical musings, Ireland’s Chat Team would surely win gold. Some get their deep thoughts down on paper, but how do you take the next step and get it in print? Lisa McInerney is editor of the Stinging Fly.

Aren’t literary magazines for people who write stuff that’s hard to read?

Absolutely not. Danielle McLaughlin says she credits the Stinging Fly with enabling her to be a writer today, “something that would once have seemed as remote a possibility as becoming an astronaut”, while Anne Enright says, when people ask her how to break into publishing, she tells them “try there first”.

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Scots poet 'hounded' by Scotland's snobby literary elite for her views on toxic trans debate – Saturday May 13, 2023

Jenny Lindsay says Scotland's proud literary culture is in danger of being destroyed because too many well-paid authors are afraid to speak out – or even join in with the trans bullies

One of Scotland's leading writers has warned the country's literary culture is being "destroyed" by the failure to stand up to extremist trans activists.

Ayrshire poet Jenny Lindsay weighed into the debate following the high-profile row over SNP MP Joanna Cherry's cancellation by The Stand comedy club.

The venue – owned by fellow Nat Tommy Sheppard – was forced into a humiliating climbdown on Friday after she threatened legal action.

But Lindsay, who was abused by a "seemingly endless army of misogynists" after being labelled a "terf" by trans activists in 2019, said the "damage has already been done".

Writing in the Daily Mail, she said: "This is a systemic issue, affecting hundreds. As the knock-on effects of the Cherry episode show, 'cancel culture' affects more than just the person targeted. This is not a healthy atmosphere for any literary culture in a democracy."

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