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Writers' News

New Literary Agent Listing: Ariella Feiner

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 3, 2020

Always open to submissions. In fiction, would like to see crime and thrillers, issue-led books, plot-driven stories, reading group books, high-concept tales, a great elevator pitch, novels with strong female characters, and historical fiction with a twist. In nonfiction, is interested in topics which feel untouched before now or are inspiring, expert-led ideas, mouth-watering cook books, narrative memoir, and empowering female tales.

[See the full listing]

NaNoWriMo: how to make best use of the annual writing month

theguardian.com – Monday November 2, 2020

If everyone has a book in them, then November is the month that many of those books are conceived. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, comes of age this year with its 21st birthday, and the concept remains as simple as it was in 1999: over 30 days, write at least 50,000 words of your novel.

Almost 368,000 novels have been completed by participants. There are no prizes or league tables, just the satisfaction of taking part – and the potential creation of something publishable.

There remains some sniffiness over NaNoWriMo in some quarters, usually published novelists who like to point out that some people write all year round. Half the world wants to write, it seems, and that means they think they can. Yes, writing a novel is hard work. And for every author that gets published, hundreds – possibly thousands – fail. But does that mean that we shouldn’t write novels just for sheer enjoyment?

[Read the full article]

Bloody Scotland: Virtual Scots crime writing festival goes global on its debut

sundaypost.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

The Bloody Scotland festival, usually held in Stirling, featured leading authors including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Chris Brookmyre and Lee Child.

Organisers confirmed the three-day virtual festival attracted nearly three times the record 10,000 who attended in person in 2019.

The event also “went global”, with authors discussing their work in five continents and audiences logging in from more than 20 countries around the world.

Bob McDevitt, Bloody Scotland’s director, said the success of this year’s virtual festival had inspired a rethink of the traditional format to combine live and online content in future.

[Read the full article]

Novel-writing challenge offers 30 days to go ‘dancing’ with words

pe.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

According to its website, “NaNoWriMo tracks words for writers like FitBit tracks steps.”

NaNoWriMo is a worldwide nonprofit organization that offers support for writing goals. It’s name is short for National Novel Writing Month. Since 1999 thousands of novelists have challenged themselves to write an astounding 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

NaNoWriMo serves as a “social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies.” During November, they send periodic pep talks. This year, you can expect motivation from authors Elizabeth Acevedo, Charlie Jane Anders, Kacen Callender and Alexis Daria. (If you are a writer of YA novels and are not familiar with Elizabeth Acevedo, check out my post on her novel in verse “The Poet X” at VictoriaWaddle.com. It’s very exciting that she is giving a pep talk this year. She’s a perfect choice.)

You might think there’s no way you can get any writing done this month, not in 2020. I understand this feeling. Yet, I’ve always found the time I least wanted a goal was when I most needed one. Consider also that readers are looking for conflict. No conflict, no story. And if you aren’t conflicted right now, you are living in an alternate universe. Since the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write as much as you can, why not try putting that conflict on the page? No editing, no revision, not yet. Just pour it out. It might be great therapy and ease some of your stress. And it will likely be the genesis of a future work.

[Read the full article]

ANALYSIS Publishers and retailers have pivoted to keep books on shelves and in readers’ hands — but will holiday sales fill them with joy?

thestar.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

In New York, a week or so ago, the famous Strand bookstore sent out a call: “We Need Your Help!”

“The Strand’s revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year,” wrote the shop’s proprietor, Nancy Bass Wyden, in a letter. “We need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine.”

And like some present-day remake of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” customers lined up around the block and placed so many orders for books they crashed the website.

The famed Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Co., also made an appeal to its customers in a message this week. “We are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss, with our sales down almost 80% since March.”

[Read the full article]

‘Thank God we have that’: Wattpad author says writing gig became coronavirus emergency fund

globalnews.ca – Sunday November 1, 2020

When Caroline Richardson’s husband was temporarily laid off in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, money became a concern.

The family of four was down to one income and the bills kept coming. There was the mortgage, car payments and two kids who wouldn’t stop growing and needing new clothes just because the economy was going through a rough patch, she recalls.

Luckily, though, Richardson’s long-time hobby came to the rescue. Government employee by day, Richardson is a writer of — in her own words — “mature, steamy romantic stories with a happy ending” in her free time.

It’s a labour of love she’s kept up for years, says Richardson, who has four book-length stories under her belt. But it wasn’t until one of her most recent works took off on Wattpad, an online storytelling platform, that her pastime became a lucrative side-gig.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Caroline Dawnay

firstwriter.com – Friday October 30, 2020

Interested in serious nonfiction and literary fiction. For submissions please email a short cover letter, biographical note and the first 10,000 words of your text.

[See the full listing]

Bridport Prize to be held online this year

bridportnews.co.uk – Thursday October 29, 2020

BRIDPORT’S creative writing competition will be broadcasting its award ceremony for the first time ever this year – and everyone is invited.

The ceremony for the Bridport Prize – one of the most prestigious open writing competitions – will take place at 6pm today (Thursday).

The annual ceremony traditionally takes place at the Bridport Arts Centre and is strictly invitation only. However, due to the pandemic, this year’s ceremony has had to go online.

The award has helped launch the career of a number of famous writers, including Kate Atkinson and Kit de Waal.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Jon Michael Darga

firstwriter.com – Thursday October 29, 2020

Represents both nonfiction and fiction. He is most interested in voice-driven pop culture writing and histories that re-cast the narrative by emphasizing unexpected or unheard voices.

[See the full listing]

Harry Potter publisher says Covid is weaving magic over book sales

theguardian.com – Wednesday October 28, 2020

The Harry Potter publisher, Bloomsbury, has reported its most profitable first half in more than a decade, after a nation tiring of box sets fuelled a lockdown boom in book sales.

The company furloughed staff as the coronavirus crisis forced the publishing industry to shut down, but has seen a remarkable change in fortune as the pandemic has persisted.

“It is a complete surprise because we had as grim a beginning to the pandemic as everyone else in March when 100% of our customers shut down worldwide,” said Nigel Newton, the chief executive.

“And then we found that early on people showed short attention spans and were watching TV. But then reading reasserted its power and people found they could escape through books, and sales have been booming ever since.”

[Read the full article]

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