Sky Studios to inspire next generation of Northern writing talent
prolificnorth.co.uk – Sunday March 14, 2021
Sky Studios has partnered with writing development agency, New Writing North to inspire the next generation of television writers.
Sky Writes has been created to help “diversify the pool” of scriptwriters and will offer an introduction to writing for television for people from under-represented groups and under-served geographical areas in the North of England.
“We are delighted to be working with Sky Studios on this initiative. The programme is an effective and innovative way of addressing issues that we know make it hugely challenging for underrepresented writers to break into screenwriting,” explained Will Mackie, Senior Programme Manager (Writing and Awards) at New Writing North.
“We know that our region is bursting with talent and through a programme like Sky Writes we’re looking to offer the kind of grassroots development that has the potential to open doors and create meaningful long-term opportunities. We have recruited inspirational and hard-working Programme Producers and Writers in Residence to carry out this work.”
Know thy reader
thebookseller.com – Friday March 12, 2021
With the levelling off of e-book sales, many have begun to wonder whether the book publishing industry will be spared the kinds of disruption experienced by other sectors of the media industries. But the digital transformation of the book publishing industry was never fundamentally about e-books anyway: e-books turned out to be just another format by which publishers could deliver their content to readers, not the game-changer that many thought (or feared) it would be. The big question that the digital revolution posed to book publishers is just as pressing today as it was a decade ago: it’s the question of how publishers understand who their ‘customers’ are, and how they relate to and interact with them.
For most of the 500-year history of the book publishing industry, publishers understood their customers to be retailers: publishers were a B2B business, selling books to retailers, and they knew very little about the ultimate customers of their books, the readers. The digital revolution has forced publishers to think again about this model and to consider whether there might be something to be gained by becoming more reader-centric. This fundamental shift in publishers’ self-understanding is likely to be one of the most significant and enduring consequences of the digital revolution in publishing.
Harrogate Crime Writing Festival set to make summer comeback
examinerlive.co.uk – Friday March 12, 2021
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is set to return to Harrogate this summer.
Harrogate International Festivals confirmed today that plans are in place for the event to run at the Old Swan Hotel from July 22-25.
Organisers hope the festival will be able to go ahead live and are adapting operational plans to ensure this can happen in a safe and covid-secure way.
In a statement on its website, Harrogate International Festivals said: “We are working hard on 2021’s Festival and have ambitions to run a live event in July.
Glasgow Caledonian University opens TV script writing opportunity
glasgowtimes.co.uk – Friday March 12, 2021
A GLASGOW university is on the hunt for experienced writers to help create a climate change drama.
The three year PhD programme at Glasgow Caledonian University will produce a script that will encourage viewers to consider the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Catriona Miller, senior lecturer in MA TV Fiction Writing, said: "Drama has a huge capacity to start conversations."
The prospective script will be inspired by shows like The West Wing and The Thick of It.
Candidates will be expected to produce a dissertation as well as a completed script.
New Literary Agent Listing: Renae Moore
firstwriter.com – Thursday March 11, 2021
In YA and Adult, she is interested in speculative fiction, mystery, thrillers, and select romance. She is always interested in #OwnVoices.
How do writers of children’s books meet their readers during a pandemic?
irishtimes.com – Tuesday March 9, 2021
On March 12th last year I was sitting in a blustery, empty car park in Blackpool, Lancashire, eating a bland prepacked sandwich beside a giant mural of Barry from The Chuckle Brothers. I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Sure, school closures had just been announced and the St Patrick’s Festival (at which I had an author event) had been cancelled, but I’d just finished a school talk about my children’s books. It had been the last of a four-day book tour of England and my 39th author event in 40 days.
Irish events included every Dublin city library, several bookshops, a delightfully raucous event with illustrator Ben Mantle at Liberty Hall Theatre, a school in the Dublin Mountains, classes of kids spread out on the floor of O’Mahony’s Booksellers in Limerick, a packed-out art workshop in the Hugh Lane Gallery, a lot of M50 miles, a couple of flights, and a handful of hotel breakfast buffets I now regret not taking full advantage of.
It had been exceptionally busy, but still just about within the range of expectations when you write books for children. I had done hundreds of events over the preceding years, to audiences as high as 700 and as low as one (there had been a mix-up, I was assured). This is the life of writers for every age and genre, in fact. Talking about writing is how we meet readers, promote books, seek inspiration, find ideas and – crucially – earn income.
Eating my lunch on my lap in the Blackpool car park before heading to the flight home felt like the beginnings of decompression. Sure, festivals were in wait-and-see mode – the whole country was – but the timescale seemed short enough. What was the worst that could happen?
New Literary Agent Listing: Maria Rogers
firstwriter.com – Tuesday March 9, 2021
Currently looking for non-fiction that explores big events from new angles, whip-smart cultural criticism, as well as original and urgent journalism and science writing. She’s also on the lookout for books to engage kids in non-fiction topics, from ancient history to contemporary issues. She is not currently considering poetry, picture books, romance, science fiction, or fantasy at this time.
Brexit and gender are off limits for aspiring authors
spectator.co.uk – Sunday March 7, 2021
When a small US publisher accepted my first book for young adults, 'Crosstrack', it wasn't long before things went pear shaped. The novel follows two teenage athletes, one a middle class American, the other a young Syrian refugee. Apart from cycling ability, they have another thing in common: both are trans.
I’d anticipated a backlash at having the temerity to describe someone outside my own experience, and expected it to involve the Middle Eastern migrant (a la Jeanine Cummings). Yet when my publisher passed the book to a new editor for a final edit, she took exception to some of the views expressed by the other main character, and in particular a comment where she refers to 'trannies'.
'The word tranny is offensive to a lot of trans people,' the editor informed me pompously, suggesting I find a more 'acceptable' term. The fact that it was a character (a trans character at that) who used the term didn’t matter; there was a risk that some people who read the book might be offended, and we couldn’t have that, could we? I wouldn’t compromise and withdrew the book – perhaps rashly, as it was the first full-length novel I’d had accepted in a decade.
SoA and WGGB launch vanity publishing investigation
thebookseller.com – Saturday March 6, 2021
The Society of Authors (SoA) and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) have launched a joint investigation into so-called vanity publishing following a sharp rise in complaints.
Unions say members are increasingly contacting them about “hybrid”, “contributory” and “partnership” publishers — more commonly called vanity publishing — which charge authors to release their work.
Issues reported range from aggressive marketing tactics and emotionally manipulative sales approaches to opaque contracts and processes, and services that fall short of expectations. Unions say the fees charged are typically four or five figures, often with the authors surrendering a wide range of rights and control over their work.
Both organisations say they are concerned about exploitative practices and are beginning an investigation with a survey on the financial and contractual impact for writers. The survey, which runs until 25th April, aims to form a picture of the experiences, both positive and negative, of authors who have been approached by or worked with these publishers.
New Magazine Listing: Black Moon Magazine
firstwriter.com – Friday March 5, 2021
Submit up to three short stories between 1,000 and 8,000 words, or up to five poems of up to five pages each. Also accepts book reviews and interviews with professionals in the writing community for online publication.
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