Kate Clanchy: how publishers became the book-burners
spiked-online.com – Wednesday January 26, 2022
In 2021 author, poet and teacher Kate Clanchy gained an unwelcome new accolade: the award for the most liberal target of a cancellation yet. Clanchy’s much-celebrated Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, about her experiences of teaching poetry to disadvantaged children around the UK, won the Orwell Prize in 2020. But a year later, thanks to a handful of the book’s sentences being shared out of context on social media, she found herself publicly shamed by today’s self-appointed moral guardians. She went from being applauded for bringing poetry to working-class children to being humiliated into accepting sensitivity-reader approved rewrites of her work.
It might be a new year but Clanchy’s punishment beating continues. It was announced last week that plans for a woke rewrite of Some Kids I Taught had been dropped – not because it was a God-awful idea to begin with, but because Clanchy and her publisher, Pan Macmillan, have decided to part company ‘by mutual agreement’.
The publisher’s statement notes: ‘Pan Macmillan will not publish new titles nor any updated editions from Kate Clanchy, and will revert the rights and cease distribution of Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me and her other works.’ This is an astonishing attempt by a publishing company to distance themselves from an author and her work.
Indie fears intensify as print prices rocket by up to 40%
thebookseller.com – Monday January 24, 2022
Independent publishers are becoming increasingly worried about hikes of up to 40% in printing costs, with some considering outsourcing to Europe and China to keep prices down, and others fearful smaller presses may be in danger of “going to the wall”.
Publishers are being warned by printing companies to expect a “significant” increase in prices owing to their own supplier costs surging. A combination of a hike in the price of international raw materials, Brexit-related problems and fuel and freight costs have been communicated to publishers as main reasons for the increase.
Vicky Ellis, sales director at Clays, told The Bookseller her own company was experiencing “unprecedented inflation” across all its raw material pricing. “We are keeping the situation under review,” she added.
Here are some tips to break writing ‘paralysis’
dailybulletin.com – Sunday January 23, 2022
Psychologists have observed that two years of pandemic really messed up our perceptions of time. As we were yanked in and out of plans and routines with unrelenting news of death and illness, hours and days blurred into a sludge of disappointment, anxiety and grief. Now 2022 begins with a pandemic conclusion still dreadfully elusive, and we may struggle to get started on creative work. But consider a few tried and true ways to break paralysis.
Reflect on immediate motivations: Are you a brand-new writer, testing the imaginative waters? Are you in the middle of a project requiring new attention before the next step, such as submitting for a conference, contest, publication or even an agent? Are you seeking personal invigoration, to break that frozen feeling and regain a sense of flow?
What I picked up when I joined George Saunders’ writing class
smh.com.au – Saturday January 22, 2022
I’ve been having such fun learning about writing with George. I shouldn’t be on such familiar first-name terms with a Booker prizewinner I revere from afar and have never met. But George Saunders is a friendly, avuncular kind of teacher, witty and sharp yet also humble about his own achievements. He calls himself George, and it’s hard to think of him any other way.
His best-known book, the Booker winner, is his extraordinary novel Lincoln in the Bardo, but he’s also won many awards for his surreal and funny short stories. He’s been teaching creative writing at Syracuse University for 20 years, and last year he brought out a book, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, that encapsulates his thoughts about what makes a good or a great story.
Call out to authors and publishers as plans unveiled for UCLan Publishing's Northern Young Adult Literary Festival in Preston
lep.co.uk – Thursday January 20, 2022
Authors and publishers are being invited to pitch for a place at a popular literary festival founded and organised by UCLan Publishing.
The Northern YA (Young Adult) Literary Festival, also known as the NYA festival, will take place on May 21 and 22.
This year there will be a special focus on mindfulness, mental health and humour.
New Literary Agent Listing: Paloma Hernando
firstwriter.com – Thursday January 20, 2022
Her favorite books often have a bit of magic in them, and she loves being able to dive into any world, real or invented, presented on the page. She is looking for both graphic novels and prose fiction for YA or adult, including more mature stories, particularly ones that deal with difficult emotions and nuanced characters. She loves romance, particularly queer romance, science fiction that feels fresh, high fantasy, and middle grade with a good sense of humor. She is interested in non-fiction for all ages, especially anything that digs into media analysis or an event in history. She loves a story with a strong voice and solid construction.
Substack is bringing writers closer to their readers
ft.com – Wednesday January 19, 2022
My inbox chimes with the arrival of newsletters from a few favourite authors, and this grey and shivery day is instantly brightened. On Salman’s Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie has posted another episode of his running serial, The Seventh Wave — 49 chapters about the relationship between Francis, a film director, and his love, Anna, a homage to the great French film-makers Godard and Truffaut. Meanwhile, the memoir writer Nicole Chung has a wry post on I Have Notes on lasting through the drearier bits of the third year of the pandemic, sparking a smile and immediate identification. And Booker winner George Saunders has over 200 reader responses on Story Club to a recent post where he manages to make the craft of escalating the action in a short story sound absolutely gripping.
Newsletters have already become an established part of our general reading lives on subjects ranging from fashion, big tech and political punditry to whimsical travel. Now it is the turn of the literary newsletter to make its mark with readers with a flurry of new material, book recommendations (The Book Satchel, Dear Reader) publishing tips (The Publishing Post, Indie Insider) or just bulletins from the home front of writing life.
How to write like Ernest Hemingway
bigthink.com – Wednesday January 19, 2022
Today, more than 60 years after his death, Ernest Hemingway is known not just for his moving stories but his technical writing skills. According to E.J. Gleason, professor of Irish and American literature at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, Hemingway had found his artistic voice before he turned 26. His signature writing style, characterized by short phrases constructed using plain, everyday English, left a profound impact on the literary world, shaping generations of aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers that followed in his footsteps.
Although Hemingway’s way of writing may seem straightforward, it is by no means simplistic, let alone easy to imitate. A less talented writer might hide their lack of substance behind difficult words and convoluted sentences, but to write like Hemingway requires both a great effort and real intellect. Like a surgeon, Hemingway stripped his stories of any and all insignificant or superfluous information, until only a basic skeleton and a handful of vital organs were left on the page.
Do writers need Twitter to be successful?
irishtimes.com – Tuesday January 18, 2022
Twitter terrifies me. Somehow, I’ve equated my lack of popularity on this admired social media platform with my writing ability. Every tweet is posted with a racing pulse and a flood of underarm sweat. Often to be deleted moments later. But I’m told Twitter is the way forward for emerging writers.
On Twitter, everyone wins prizes and gets published. I leave every scrolling session more deflated than I started. Why does it invoke the worst in me? The jealousy, insecurity, the unhealthy comparisons with other writers. Do I need to put myself through this? I figured it was time to go back to my journalistic roots and attempt some nonfiction. It can’t be any worse than my prose.
When I attended a John Hewitt workshop a few years ago, Twitter was hailed as an excellent resource for writers. I resisted for a while, but the fear of missing out made me cave in and sign up. Initially, scout’s honour, I joined to source writing opportunities. However, when I won a few small competitions, I couldn’t help posting news of my success. That was the Twitter way. But then I was filled with a strange sense of self-loathing.
Greenstreet joins Paper Literary from C&W
thebookseller.com – Tuesday January 18, 2022
Katie Greenstreet has joined Paper Literary, becoming the first person to be hired by the agency since it was founded by Catherine Cho last year.
Greenstreet makes the move from C&W Agency, where she has worked for five years. A former lawyer, Greenstreet began her publishing career at ICM Partners in New York as an assistant to literary agent Binky Urban.
At C&W, Greenstreet has sold multiple projects across upmarket women's fiction and crime, including Comedy Women in Print-shortlisted The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Penguin), Amazon bestseller The Safe Place by Anna Downes (Hodder) and Ericka Waller's Dog Days, which was snapped up by Doubleday in a six-figure pre-empt. In her new role, she will be focusing on adult fiction and crime authors.