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Writers' News

The End of a Book World Mystery: A Suspect in Manuscript Thefts to Plead Guilty

nytimes.com – Wednesday January 4, 2023

Filippo Bernardini was arrested by the F.B.I. last year. He is expected to enter his plea on Friday, ending a yearslong saga that captivated the industry.

The mystery captivated the book world: For years, someone impersonated authors and agents, editors and publishers, trying to steal unpublished book manuscripts from high profile authors like Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Ethan Hawke, but also from debut novelists and writers of more obscure works.

Now, a resolution to the yearslong scheme is near. On Friday, Filippo Bernardini is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud in front of a magistrate court judge in Manhattan, according to an email from the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York that was sent to victims on Tuesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Bernardini early last year, saying he had “impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, hundreds of individuals” over five or more years, gaining access to hundreds of unpublished manuscripts in the process.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing: CGI (Chartered Governance Institute) Publishing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 4, 2023

Practical governance books and media on business skills; boards; risk and compliance; company secretarial practice; governance; and study texts.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing: Story Unlikely

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 4, 2023

Seeks short stories of all genres and styles - as long as it's a story, we'll consider it. We prefer shorter fiction, but will accept up to 10,000 word pieces. We are concerned only with the quality of the story (both by the author's ability to write clean prose and their ability to in how to tell a story), and not by their pedigree (or lack there of).

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Kara Grajkowski

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 4, 2023

Looking for contemporary middle grade fiction; contemporary young adult fiction; and own voices.

[See the full listing]

Female-only Welsh publisher invites submissions from trans authors

telegraph.co.uk – Tuesday January 3, 2023

As part of a call for new writers, Honno says that the criteria for ‘women’ means ‘women or those who identify as women’

Trans and non-binary authors can submit work to a state-funded publisher intended for female writers, prompting concerns that it has “caved to ideology”.

Honno was established as an independent press in 1986 to promote writing by female authors in Wales, and receives government grant funding to continue its mission of exclusively putting out women’s literature.

However, the publisher has now issued a call for new writers that has invited those who “identify as women” to submit their work, stating that what it takes as the criteria for a woman will include people who are “non-binary and transgender”.

The open invitation has caused concern among authors who have worked with Honno, who fear the organisation has “caved to ideology” and removed a valued female-only service.

[Read the full article]

How to navigate the closed world of publishing

heraldscotland.com – Sunday January 1, 2023

Three hundred million self-published books are sold each year and as with any new booming industry there are people willing to help you navigate the once closed-off world of publishing.

The market is growing, $1.25 billion worth of self-published books are sold each year and the number of self-published books has increased 264% in the last five years.

I began my book writing process 17 months ago. I had no plan or concept of how my memoir would look, let alone the publishing process. I had an inkling that the world of publishing is complex and daunting – only slightly less arduous than the book editing process.

[Read the full article]

Are you bored yet? Maybe it is time to write that great novel – here are some tips to get going

theguardian.com – Sunday January 1, 2023

Creative writing is generally an activity best conducted alone. So, if the festivities are getting on top of you, this could be the ideal time to squirrel yourself away with a notebook. Tell your partner, guests or children that this really is the ideal moment for you to kick off the novel or short story you have been planning in your head for years. Arm yourself with a cup of tea or a mug of mulled wine. Find a quiet room. Close the door. Breathe.

Now, open your notebook or turn on your computer. Do not stare too long at the blank page or screen in front of your or it will become a vortex that threatens to swallow you whole. You are not going to allow this to happen. Instead, you are going to forget about whatever it is you might think you are going to write – a series of beautifully pared-back, emotionally raw stories reminiscent of Raymond Carver, perhaps; or a historical magnum opus to fill the gap left by the much-missed Hilary Mantel – and you are going to do one of the following:

[Read the full article]

Four myths about writing

irishtimes.com – Saturday December 31, 2022

Rosemary Jenkinson challenges four preconceptions about the writing life

Writing is a serious job. Susan Sontag wrote, ‘I always begin with a great sense of dread and trepidation,’ and Nietzsche compared the decision to start writing to ‘leaping into a cold lake,’ but for me it’s like diving into a hot tub with champagne and a bevy of hot studs. I understand that some authors can be crippled by self-expectation, but writing is such a joy I sometimes wake up like a child on Christmas morning longing to unwrap my toys. While I take writing seriously, I can’t, however, take the writing world seriously. Nor should you. Byron hilariously punctured Wordsworth’s pomposity by calling him Turdsworth. Being tongue-in-cheek and laughing at the litterati is great for your mental health. It was Oscar Wilde who recognized the paradox by claiming that, ‘Some things are too important to be taken seriously.’ It’s all to the better if people don’t know whether you’re being serious or not. To quote Wilde again, ‘I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes one so liable to be misunderstood.’

[Read the full article]

The best way to polish your writing? Read it aloud.

smileypete.com – Friday December 30, 2022

In 2009, the internet was blessed with a comment on 4chan’s video games board that can only be described as a monument to the importance of reading aloud: “Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?” Users shared their confusion across various platforms and eventually made it into a meme.

The advice that one should read their work aloud before sharing it with an audience borders on cliché, but it remains a crucial part of the writing process. Some prefer the authorial voice that echoes in their heads as they silently review their work in dulcet tones to the potentially awkward experience of hearing their voice fill the room and finding it unpracticed and less self-assured. While you may feel a little silly, the wealth of information gleaned from the physical act of reading aloud is worth the embarrassment.

[Read the full article]

How Self-Published Writers Can Become A Bestseller

forbes.com – Friday December 30, 2022

Landing on a bestseller list from media giants like The Wall Street Journal or USA Today can alter the course of a writer’s life. It’s an “I’ve arrived” moment—the same sort of head-turning community recognition a young athlete gets when they have their first big game. It will, of course, help your book gain momentum and spark even more sales. But it can also potentially open doors for you, such as more press, more speaking engagements and higher-paying clients and gigs.

Hitting either of these bestseller lists is a lot to attempt for the self-published writer, but it’s possible. Here’s my road map to making it happen.

[Read the full article]

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