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Writers' News

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne: The writer as an older human being

rte.ie – Friday December 4, 2020

I am a short story writer. I write in many other genres - novels, children's books, plays, non-fiction - but my favourite literary form is the short story. Why? I think it is partly a lazy reason. When I started writing, and publishing, way back in the 1970s, short stories were what I wrote. And although I moved on to novels in due course, I became more and more interested in finding ways to create short stories. I like writing them because they can be written quickly - the first draft can be scribbled down within a day or two. Even if the rewriting takes weeks, the heart of the story is pinned down fast.

That means I can catch the idea, the mood, the feel, of whatever inspiration is concerned and preserve it, before it flies away. A character in an Alice Munro story, Family Furnishings, compares writing to grabbing something out of the air. It’s like that with a short story. It’s like catching a leaf as it falls from a tree, putting it between the pages of a book, then examining it, reading it, finding out what it has to tell you. That may be a lot more than you thought when it came floating down, red or gold or russet, in the autumn air. But no matter how much you develop it, it will still be that leaf that you caught at a certain moment in time.

A novel is quite different.

[Read the full article]

Helen Sword devises a new writing tool to sharpen your prose

indiaeducationdiary.in – Friday December 4, 2020

Helen, an internationally acclaimed expert on writing in all genres, lectures in English in the Faculty of Arts and is an affiliate of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation in the Faculty of Education. She is a scholar and a poet whose passion is helping others improve their writing, especially academic writing.

Originally from Southern California, she has lived in New Zealand for nearly 20 years with her Kiwi husband, Dr Richard Sorrenson. Her popular book The Writer’s Diet was published by Auckland University Press in 2015 and is supplemented by a website (writersdiet.com) that she says attracts around 100,000 visitors a year from all over the world. Through the website, writers can paste their text into an analysis tool that determines whether their prose would benefit from tightening up.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Sophie Scard

firstwriter.com – Friday December 4, 2020

Actively building her client list, and is looking for excellent writing of all types, fiction or nonfiction. For submissions please email a brief cover letter along with a biographical note and the first 10,000 words of your text.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Jen Marshall

firstwriter.com – Thursday December 3, 2020

Represents a range of fiction and nonfiction. She is most interested in: literary fiction, commercial fiction, crime, thrillers, style, pop culture, and compelling narrative nonfiction.

[See the full listing]

PRH Purchase of S&S Draws Objections

publishersweekly.com – Tuesday December 1, 2020

Following the announcement that Penguin Random House parent company Bertelsmann won the bidding war for Simon & Schuster with a $2.2 billion offer, members of the book business and related organizations have begun to weigh in.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Authors Guild laid out its opposition to the proposed deal. The sale "would mean that the combined publishing house would account for approximately 50% of all trade books published, creating a huge imbalance in the U.S. publishing industry," the Guild said. (Penguin Random House's global CEO, Markus Dohle, told PW that he believes PRH's publishing market share is about 14.2% and S&S's 4.2%, including self-publishing; others have estimated the combined companies' market share would amount to roughly one third of the U.S. book market.)

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: Scribbler Arts and Literary Magazine

firstwriter.com – Friday November 27, 2020

Magazine aimed at children and young adults, publishing original work by children aged 7-13. Submit up to 5 poems or up to 3,000 words of prose.

[See the full listing]

The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon

theatlantic.com – Thursday November 26, 2020

Penguin Random House purchasing Simon & Schuster is not the gravest danger to the publishing business. The deal is transpiring in a larger context—and that context is Amazon.

In 1960, Dwight Eisenhower’s attorney general, William Rogers, read the paper with alarm. He learned that Random House intended to purchase the venerable publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Rogers began making calls to prod his antitrust division into blocking the sale. In those days, monopoly loomed as a central concern of government—and a competitive book business was widely seen as essential to preserving both intellectual life and democracy. After checking with his sources, Rogers discovered that the merger would yield a company that controlled a mere 1 percent of the book market, and he let the matter drop.

Not so long ago, Democratic and Republican administrations alike wouldn’t hesitate to block a merger like the one proposed today, which intends to fold the giant publisher Simon & Schuster into the even more gigantic Penguin Random House. How big would the combined company be? By one estimate, it might publish a third of all books in the U.S. This deal is so expansive that it’s hard to find an author to write about it who isn’t somehow implicated. Based on the odds, I suppose, it’s not terribly surprising to reveal that I’m published by Penguin Random House.

[Read the full article]

New Agent Listing: Will Lippincott

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 26, 2020

Agent based in Los Angeles. Interested in politics, journalistic narratives, history, health, technology, and memoir, with a special focus on multi-media storytelling.

[See the full listing]

Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster for $2.175 Billion

lunch.publishersmarketplace.com – Wednesday November 25, 2020

ViacomCBS announced Wednesday morning that it has a definitive agreement to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2.175 billion in cash, “from existing liquid funds.” The transaction is expected to close in 2021, with S&S ceo Jonathan Karp telling staff that will “likely” happen “in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.” It is subject to regulatory approvals — primarily in the US — and competing bidders such as HarperCollins parent News Corp. have already declared they believe “it will clearly be a serious antitrust issue.” Bertelsmann has already indicated it does not expect approval issues. (Internal PRH documents on “messaging” with industry partners about the deal acknowledges “rumors” they “will face antitrust challenges because of our size” and asserts “these are not grounded in fact and we assume may be perpetuated by competitors.”) The agreement includes a termination fee in the event the acquisition fails to win approval.

[Read the full article]

CBC launches Breakthrough Writers' Programme

thebookseller.com – Wednesday November 25, 2020

The Curtis Brown Creative Writing School is launching a Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, which features fully funded courses, mentoring and scholarships for underrepresented writers. 

The programme – which is intended to run for a minimum of three years – aims to seek out writers and deliver teaching and industry advice, through interaction with successful authors, agents and publishers. 

The programme of courses and mentoring is fully funded by Curtis Brown Group and its literary agents. Opportunities are targeted to address specific barriers to entry and will commence in February 2021.

[Read the full article]

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