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Writers' News

High points and pitfalls of writing in different genres, by Gail Aldwin

femalefirst.co.uk – Wednesday August 11, 2021

It’s considered good advice for authors to aim for success in one genre of writing and stick to it. There are few literary agents who seek to represent authors working across genres and publishers prefer to nurture writers in one area. This supports the development of a brand that makes it easier to promote and market a succession of publications and helps to generate a substantial readership. For many emerging writers there’s satisfaction in finding a niche but this approach doesn’t suit everyone. To invest all my creative energy into one area is a huge commitment, and it might mean overlooking other projects that bring their own rewards.

When I started as a writer, my ambition was to have The String Games published – a novel about the legacy of a missing child. It took five years to reach my goal and during that time, I enjoyed success with short fiction when Paisley Shirt a collection of flash fiction was published and thanks to a competition win, adversaries/comrades a poetry pamphlet found a home. As it took such a long time to develop my novel, it seemed sensible to work on short-term projects alongside it. This helped to build the creative stamina to bring my novel to completion. It’s great to have enjoyed success in other areas of writing but there are challenges in writing across genres which I’ll share:

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The future of trade magazine publishers

themediaonline.co.za – Wednesday August 11, 2021

For over 20 years, Mike Leahy, founder and MD of Media Manager, has tracked trade publications.

“There has been a drop in the number of titles from a high of 775 in 2008 to 395 in 2020, and numbers continue to plummet. Covid-19 on its own did not change the landscape, it’s a case of compressing the events of the past five years into one,” he says.

Consistent increases in print costs, the collapse of the post office, declining ad spend, technology plus constantly shifting reader behaviour, all played their role.

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How Have Publishers Survived the Pandemic? ‘It’s Kind of a Miracle’

thetyee.ca – Tuesday August 10, 2021

When the pandemic arrived, it hit the book business hard, closing stores, tying up titles in backed-up warehouses and threatening the survival of publishers — including British Columbia’s vibrant sector of smaller presses.

A year and half later, the virus that altered every corner of the economy has spurred changes for publishing. One effect: More of us are reading and in different ways. Another: More of us are writing books, which has produced a surge in self-publishing.

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The Hurdles of Finding an Agent

publishersweekly.com – Sunday August 8, 2021

As a first-time author lacking the platform I knew agents wanted, I decided to self-publish my first book—and it was a success. For my second book, I wanted to go the traditional route and find an agent. However, there was one thing I wasn’t sure about: Could I frame the success of my first book as an element of my platform? Or should I refrain from telling agents that there’d been a first book at all?

I started writing For Those About to Rock, a middle grade rock ‘n’ roll book, four years ago. My nine-year-old son and I shared a love of music, and I tried to find him a children’s book about musicians, but came up short. I decided I’d write my own: it would be like Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls—which features profiles of groundbreaking women written in a kid-friendly style—but about rock musicians. I made a list of 50 seminal bands and musicians across several decades and genres, including Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, BjÖrk, Jimi Hendrix, Beyoncé, the Cure, and Run DMC.

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My editor says I have a compelling story, it’s just badly served by my writing

irishtimes.com – Saturday August 7, 2021

For the past six weeks or so I haven’t written a word. Not one. No sweet lines of inspiration have hovered delightfully above my head, beckoning. In short, the creative part of my brain shut down. Why? Because I’ve recently discovered my novel-writing skills are practically nonexistent. I’m rubbish at grammar and punctuation, my dialogue skills are defunct, and I tell too much without showing enough.

I just assumed after reading and writing a lot over the past 10 years that my novel-writing skills would undoubtedly improve. But having recently received feedback from a retired editor who worked for several big publishers, I discovered that although I do have a compelling story, it’s being badly served by the writing. If I can improve my grammar, punctuation and the other aspects mentioned above, I should, in the words of the editor, “lift the story to a higher level”.

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Personal Rejections for Famous Short Stories

bookriot.com – Wednesday August 4, 2021

Every (traditionally) published author has had their work rejected along the way. A common piece of advice most writers come across is to break in with short stories, as many well-known authors have done. Once upon a time, magazines were also the way many novels were published — one chapter at a time — and they’re still popular for shorter fiction. Over the years many enterprising writers have, by choice or by necessity, founded their own magazines, such as the many literary magazines of the Harlem Renaissance. Many famous authors have published short fiction either before they publish novels, or concurrently. Shirley Jackson’s first novel was fairly well-received, but her story “The Lottery” made a big splash when it was published in The New Yorker, and likely found many readers who had been unaware of her book; perhaps they were quicker to buy her next novel.

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New Publisher Listing: Mango Publishing Group

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 4, 2021

An innovative independent publisher based in Miami. Publishes books from the freshest, most distinctive voices of our time, and seeks to stretch the boundaries of our online culture, social media and ideas.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Camilla Bolton

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 4, 2021

Looking for accessible and commercial crime, thrillers, mysteries, suspense and women’s fiction.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Laura Rennert

firstwriter.com – Tuesday August 3, 2021

Specializes in all categories of children's books, from picture books to young adult. On the adult side, she represents literary-commercial fiction, thrillers, horror, sci-fi/fantasy, speculative fiction, and select historical fiction. Her sweet spot in the market is literary voice and commercial conception.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: The Innovation Press

firstwriter.com – Monday August 2, 2021

Publishes memorable children's books that inspire learning, enliven creative thinking, and spark imaginations. From innovative activity books to clever fiction.

[See the full listing]

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