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Writers' News

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.

[Read the full article]

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.

[See the full listing]

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.

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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.

[Read the full article]

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. 

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Finger cramp after writing: What is writer’s cramp? 4 ways to stop it

express.co.uk – Monday January 17, 2022

WRITER'S cramp is the formal name for the pain and cramping in the hand muscles after doing lots of writing or other repetitive movements of the hand. Here's why it happens and how to stop it.

Writer’s cramp affects between seven and 69 per million people of the entire population. It isn’t exclusive to writers, however. This achy hand condition impacts anyone who uses their hands repetitively, such as musicians, chefs, gardeners, someone who uses their phone or laptop too much, and so on. The issue is most common in those aged 30 to 50 and affects men more often than women. Think you’ve got writer’s cramp? Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out everything you need to know about writer’s cramp.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Charlotte Seymour

firstwriter.com – Thursday January 13, 2022

In fiction, looks for book club and literary fiction as well as outstanding character – and voice-driven crime, thriller and suspense. She loves writing that crosses boundaries, whether geographic or linguistic or in bringing a twist to a genre.

In non-fiction, she is interested in accessible, engaging writing on a range of subjects including popular science, social and cultural history, reportage, nature, the arts, food and cookery. She especially loves hybrid books, for example, when in a memoir, the personal is interwoven with a bigger story or subject.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: Wildling Press

firstwriter.com – Tuesday January 11, 2022

Committed to uplifting marginalized voices by offering traditional publishing contracts to authors whose books will make the world a better place! We also offer an educational publishing track as well as a la carte literary services.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing: Authentic Shorts

firstwriter.com – Tuesday January 11, 2022

An online platform for publishing short stories. We are open minded with regard to the subject of short stories and will consider submissions across all genres.

There is no perfect length for a short story, only the author can decide, but we would expect them to be no more than 7,000 to 8,000 words. This will allow them to be adaptable for online publication, either as a serialisation or under small collections of aligned works.

[See the full listing]

Simon & Schuster employee denies he stole bestseller manuscripts

bbc.co.uk – Saturday January 8, 2022

An employee of publishers Simon & Schuster has pleaded not guilty to charges in New York that he posed as literary editors and agents to steal hundreds of authors' unpublished work.

Filippo Bernardini, 29, was arrested at JFK airport and is charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Legal documents allege he registered more than 160 fake online domains.

Judge Robert Lehrburger rejected a request for him to be detained, setting bail at $300,000 (£221,000).

[Read the full article]

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