Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

You’ll want to vomit, cry, die or sleep forever: what happens when you finish writing your book – Friday May 13, 2022

One of my main fears before submitting a book is that I will die in the hours before the deadline, and all the work I will have done will be for nothing because the publisher will only have an outline and the completed book itself will remain on a password-protected hard drive and ultimately buried in landfill.

I have long associated handing in a book and dying because the two seemed connected on some subterranean, unconscious level. Finishing a major project is a form of death – something has ended. But finishing is not something you hear much about in all the short courses, podcasts, MFAs, online articles and books on the creative process.

It’s all about starting, developing characters, a writing routine, pitching to agents and marketing. But you never get told about the end, about the toll on body and brain cells of the work, and those strange weeks that follow the handing in of a manuscript where you gradually try and re-enter the world, often with the awkward gait of a newborn foal, but the aching back, neck, shoulders and arms of a pit labourer.

After I handed in my manuscript, the following 24 hours were fraught. I left my phone at Southern Cross Station and my laptop in a restaurant, and then once my phone had been retrieved, I lost it again. Two weeks on and I still feel like I’m in some sort of twilight zone, not quite reintegrated with the world.

So what happens when you finish a book?

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A Brutal—and True—Piece of Writing Advice from Toni Morrison – Friday May 13, 2022

The very first time I saw Toni Morrison in person was at an event in Boston, at a church, along with hundreds of people. The Beloved tour. I attended as a reader, as a Morrison fan. I’d had plenty of reader-only experience with books, but I knew next to nothing formal about writing then. Reading as a writer is a higher calling, and a whole different world. I had no writing tools at the time, though I did have some facility; I loved words—but the tools you need to write stack up and can be complicated. I could identify and define imagination, but I did not know the concepts of setting or drama or scene. I knew that language was critical, but how few words I knew then! I was hungry, eager, reaching—but I was ignorant of exactly what writers needed to know and do.

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Is there a secret to writing a bestselling book? – Friday May 13, 2022

How do I write thee? Let me count the ways … no, there are too many to count. Every writer has made their own journey, and no two are quite alike. So how can you possibly teach anyone how to write, say, a novel?

Despite the difficulties, there have probably never been so many writing courses and guides on offer, and people eager to take them up. Two of the latest books by Australian writers are perfect illustrations of how different writing advice can be. Both are eminently absorbing, encouraging and inspiring for the novice. In other ways, they are poles apart.

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Writer’s essay on why she plagiarized her book removed for … plagiarism – Wednesday May 11, 2022

An author’s online essay on why she used plagiarized material in a novel pulled earlier this year has itself been removed after editors found she had again lifted material.

Jumi Bello’s essay, I Plagiarized Parts of My Debut Novel. Here’s Why appeared just briefly on Monday on the website Literary Hub. Bello’s debut novel, The Leaving had been scheduled to come out in July, but was cancelled in February by Riverhead Books.

“Earlier this morning Lit Hub published a very personal essay by Jumi Bello about her experience writing a debut novel, her struggles with severe mental illness, the self-imposed pressures a young writer can feel to publish, and her own acts of plagiarism,” the publication announced. “Because of inconsistencies in the story and, crucially, a further incident of plagiarism in the published piece, we decided to pull the essay.”

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Inaugural SF Debuts Writing Prize – Wednesday May 11, 2022

Science Museum in London and UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton have announced the inaugural Science Fiction Debuts Writing Prize. To qualify, “writers must be unpublished and not represented by a literary agent, and residents of the United Kingdom.” The author of the winning entry will receive £4,000, a six-month mentorship with Hodderscape editorial director Molly Powell, introduction to three literary agents, and a full critique. The runner-up will receive £2,000 and a critique, and shortlisted authors will get £800.

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New Publishing Imprint Listing: ChristLight Books – Tuesday May 10, 2022

Publishes Christian fiction and nonfiction books.

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18 Literary Agents Reveal “How to Land a Book Deal” Read more: – Sunday May 8, 2022

“Literary agents can change an author’s life,” says book publicist Scott Lorenz, president of Westwind Book Marketing. “A high-quality agent will review your manuscript, coach you along the way and pitch the book to the right publisher who would be interested in your work. In the end, they can help you land a lucrative book deal.”

Why does the agency model still exist? In the words of literary agent Jeff Herman, book publishers do not want to deal with unpublished writers. Agents will screen, vet, and qualify authors so publishers know if it came through the agent process it’s worthy of their review.

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Hodder and the Science Museum launch Science Fiction Debuts Prize – Wednesday May 4, 2022

Hodder & Stoughton and the Science Museum have partnered to launch a new award, the Science Fiction Debuts Prize, in celebration of the museum’s upcoming exhibition “Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination”.

From 4th June, unpublished and unagented writers from the UK will be invited to submit the first 10,000 words of a novel within the science fiction genre and a 500-word synopsis. 

The open submissions period will run for several months, closing at midnight on 30th September. The winner will receive £4,000, alongside a full critique of their work, a six-month-long mentoring programme with Hodderscape editorial director Molly Powell and an introduction to three literary agents. 

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Webnovel Kicks Off Global Writing Contest to Highlight Emerging Voices in Different Languages – Saturday April 30, 2022

Webnovel, a global-facing project founded by China Literature (China Literature Limited 0772.HK),launched the 2022 Webnovel Spirity Awards (WSA) on April 29th . In addition to English works, the writing competition also accepts entries in Indonesian and Thai for the first time. Winners will be given a chance to have their works adapted into TV or film by WeTV, the global video streaming platform launched by Tencent Video.

Leading on from last year, English will remain the main category with nine themes for entrants to choose from, including werewolf, CEO or billionaire, and fantasy. Additionally, English writers with ideas for other subjects are also encouraged to submit them. As the majority of online literature readership in Indonesia are female, the Indonesian category primarily attracts themes of drama and romance, including contract marriage, CEO or billionaire, revenge, and high school, . In Thai, subjects that appear more popular include boy's love, drama, as well as global hits such as fantasy and system. The writing competitions in English and Indonesian have started, and that in Thai is expected to begin in mid-May.

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Just Reject Me – Saturday April 30, 2022

The first piece of fiction I ever wrote was in middle school, though I’d say I “started writing” with the first glimmer of public-facing intention in high school. There’s a couple slapdash short story collections of mine floating around Amazon somewhere and, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I did once do thing where I printed out copies of these books and then intentionally left them places, like the New York City subway, for strangers to find so they could be utterly transformed by my prose. I was a teenager, so I didn’t know any better and have long-since stopped.

The problem for me, when I was first starting out, was that I didn’t know any published writers and so didn’t know I had to submit my work anywhere. This is a problem for a lot of young writers — the publishing industry is opaque, confusing, and frequently demoralizing. Eventually I sort of figured it out. I sent my first piece of fiction via the ubiquitous literary submission manager Submittable in January of 2017; I have since been rejected 185 times. My latest was back in January of this year.

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