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Writers' News

New Literary Agency Listing: Spring Literary

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 8, 2022

Specialises in children’s and YA writing and illustration. Works with all the major publishing houses, plus entertainment companies, to ensure the best match for each book, author and illustrator.

[See the full listing]

Words Without Borders Reboots

publishersweekly.com – Tuesday June 7, 2022

The nonprofit organization Words Without Borders launched in 2003 to aid in publishing works from countries and cultures underrepresented in English-first language regions. WWB now has an archive of 12,000 published pieces across 140 countries and 130 languages. Though their mission has not changed, there are several new developments planned to expand the literary conversation.

“I think it’s easy to forget just how much has changed for both the publication and the landscape of international literature since we started in 2003,” said Eric M. B. Becker, digital director and senior editor.

The publication was among the first online-only literary magazines, has evolved to become a platform for writers and translators alike, with programs like its Poems in Translation contest, the Indigenous Writing Project, and the Words Without Borders Campus program. Throughout, the mission has remained the same: to offer free access to international literature through translation online to anybody with an internet connection.

[Read the full article]

New Publishing Imprint Listing: Engram Books

firstwriter.com – Tuesday June 7, 2022

Imprint to focus on memoirs, auto-biographies, and biographies – including books about the challenges of disabilities. Especially interested in books that will be uplifting for the disabled community; that will reach out to others and let them know they are not alone, that others have gone through similar issues; how to deal with those issues; where to find help - and similar.

[See the full listing]

Trauma is everywhere. Write about it anyway.

theatlantic.com – Sunday June 5, 2022

Every day—through TikTok, Instagram, and Zoom—the internet forces us to think about how we present ourselves to the world, giving us endless opportunities to construct our identities anew. Little wonder, perhaps, that the personal feels ubiquitous in contemporary writing, too, with a slew of publications that draw from, or appear to draw from, the lives of their authors. (Think of the novels of Douglas Stuart, the essays of T Kira Madden, and the poems of Ocean Vuong, all writers who mingle personal experiences with exceptional creative writing.) But in the past few years, I’d argue that another driving force has been behind much personal writing: the many traumas of recent vintage, including the pandemic, racist violence, and the mental-health crisis. As these events have piled up, my writing students have become more interested in rendering their own experiences—especially the painful ones.

Melissa Febos is at the vanguard of this particular boom in confessional writing, and she is the guide I point my students to when they want to write in this style. She’s best known for her nonfiction: Whip SmartAbandon Me, and last year’s Girlhoodmasterful analysis of growing up female, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Febos is an engaging, cerebral writer who mingles what might seem like familiar ingredients—research, interviews, cultural critique, and personal anecdotes—in surprising ways. Her latest book is Body Work, an essay collection that sets out to teach the craft of personal writing by not only showing us how to capture the difficult, intimate details of our lives, but also arguing for why we should pursue the practice in such a challenging time.

[Read the full article]

18 of Our Favorite Books About the Craft of Writing

tor.com – Saturday June 4, 2022

Are you a writer? Do you like learning about the creative process, either for your own projects, or just cause you think it’s interesting? This post is about to make your day. As I’m sure you know, there is a booming industry of books on the art and craft of writing, from all sort of different authors, who cover all sorts of different angles. I’ve rounded up 18 of my favorites.

Let me start with one piece of my own advice: all of the books on this list are very good, and helpful, and if you’re a writer I think you should read them! BUT: What makes a writer is creating a space, as often as possible, to think and write. And that can mean many things! It can be typing into a notes app during your baby’s nap, it can mean an hour before work each day, it can mean sitting under a tree with a Moleskine and a fancy pen, it can mean one long writing session a week, or dictating during your commute, or staying up until 4AM writing fic.

Also read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible—and to that end, here’s a book list!

[Read the full article]

3 Best Tips From Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’

studybreaks.com – Friday June 3, 2022

There is no one right way to write, but to write well requires some semblance of a structure. The process of writing, the tools at a writer’s disposal and combating the dreaded scheduling pitfalls are all at the discretion of the aforementioned writer. Before taking on the monumental task — in the eyes of any aspiring author — of typing the first sentence of a story, there lies the inescapable (at least for now) dilemma of how one could even begin to write.

The physical necessities for writing are all there: a computer or for the old-fashioned, a pencil and paper, a quiet room calibrated to any atmospheric preferences and zero interruptions. But without a set-in-stone process or pre-established idea of a story’s premise, there’s little point in writing at all, at least, according to Stephen King’s 2000 memoir and how-to-guide, “On Writing.”

[Read the full article]

How to write a novel in Ulysses on iPadOS

techradar.com – Thursday June 2, 2022

Writing a book, whether it’s fiction or fact, is a challenging and daunting task, and it makes sense to use every tool at your disposal to make the job easier.

While traditional word processors have always been a popular choice, we now have apps more tailored to large and complex writing projects, and one of the premier examples is Ulysses.

Ulysses(opens in new tab) is a Markdown(opens in new tab) writing environment, which means you write in plain text, using some simple punctuation to apply styling. The syntax will be familiar to almost anyone who’s written a text message or a tweet; for example, you can surround a phrase with underscores for emphasis, use double-asterisks for boldface, or use hyphens to make a bulleted list. Ulysses also offers controls to apply the styling for you but it's all easy to learn.

[Read the full article]

Wallace Stegner and the Trap of Using Other People’s Writing

newyorker.com – Thursday June 2, 2022

For years, troubling charges—appropriation, plagiarism—have hovered over Wallace Stegner’s famous novel, “Angle of Repose,” the story of a mining engineer and his wife living in the American West during the late eighteen-hundreds. There’s no question that Stegner used the life of the writer Mary Hallock Foote as the basis for his novel, nor that he used passages of her work without attribution, but at first few people knew it. In 1971, when Stegner’s novel was published, Foote’s memoir was unpublished. When her book came out the following year, Stegner’s novel had won the Pulitzer Prize, and it was protected by a halo of esteem.

But charges began emerging in the late seventies. In 2000, in an introduction to the novel, Jackson Benson, Stegner’s biographer, defended Stegner’s inclusion of thirty-eight passages from Foote’s letters, “approximately 61 pages,” all without attribution. It’s “a brilliant tactic,” Benson says, that creates “an invaluable part of the novel” and provides “depth and authenticity.” As to Foote’s life, Benson says the family had encouraged Stegner to use the material, believing that Stegner would tell the story of Foote’s productive career and happy marriage. In a preface, Stegner wrote, “This is a novel which utilizes selected facts from their real lives. It is in no sense a family history.” But it was recognizably a family history—one that distorted the lives it described. More recently, a persuasive essay by Sands Hall, in the journal Alta, accuses Stegner of plagiarism, the appropriation of Foote’s life, and the slandering of her name. Instead of hewing to the historical facts, Stegner fabricates an adulterous liaison for the character based on Foote, a transgression that costs the life of a child and destroys her marriage. Some people who knew about Foote assumed that’s what happened in her own life, when it did not.

[Read the full article]

Publishers scared of cancel culture made me rewrite my book, says Anthony Horowitz

telegraph.co.uk – Sunday May 29, 2022

Anthony Horowitz was told to rewrite his latest children’s book and remove jokes because publishers were terrified of cancel culture, he has claimed.

The best-selling author said children’s publishers were “more scared than anybody” about causing offence, and he was given a list of things he “could and couldn’t say” regarding gender or ethnicity.

He suggested that the industry take inspiration from Ricky Gervais, who has defied the “shrill voices” of Twitter to make jokes about the trans debate.

[Read the full article]

Maggie Shipstead on Dealing with Mistakes in Writing

lithub.com – Sunday May 29, 2022

Maybe five years ago I read a novel in which a man drowns in a lake, and, a few minutes later, his body is found floating on the water’s surface.

If any of my writer friends are reading this, they’re probably groaning because they’ve heard me harp on this example before. What can I say? Sometimes I’m irritating and pedantic. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t make any sense for that body to float. If bodies were inherently buoyant, no one would ever drown. For that scenario to work, the man’s lungs would have filled with water, pulling him under and killing him, and then, almost immediately, something — the condition of death? — would have sent his body rocketing back up to the surface, where, despite being heavier now than before, he floated. No. Bodies float because gases of decomposition eventually lift them. The process takes time: at least a couple days even in relatively warm, shallow water, longer in colder, deeper water. Many bodies never surface at all. But the image of the floating body is pervasive in our culture and our entertainment (“We’ve got a floater,” says one TV cop to another), so familiar that a writer may skip directly from drowning to floating without stopping to think.

[Read the full article]

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