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Writers' News

So you want to become a better writer? Be a better reader.

eu.usatoday.com – Tuesday November 30, 2021

People who write habitually – for work or for fun, journal entries or blog posts, book reports or short stories – often want to put their better foot forward, but the eccentricities and minutiae of the English language can be extraordinarily daunting.

As a professional word person, I know this as well as anyone: There’s always so freaking much to remember, from the basic differentiation between treacherous homophones (their, they’re, there), to the fine points of grammar (subject-verb agreement! the dreaded subjunctive!), to where to put the punctuation. (Some days I’m tempted to save up all the commas, colons and periods and dump them at the end of whatever I’m writing and leave it to the reader to sort out.)

These things are important, to be sure: God is in the details, they tell us, but so, they tell us, is the devil. And sometimes I’m simply asked for simple big-ticket advice on improving one’s writing. 

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New Literary Agent Listing: Isabel Mendia

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 30, 2021

Interested in representing a range of nonfiction, including cultural criticism, narrative reportage, politics, and history.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing: the6ress

firstwriter.com – Monday November 29, 2021

Publishes poetry, art, and word art. See website for submission windows and issue themes.

[See the full listing]

Writing for our young readers is the most important fiction of all

independent.ie – Sunday November 28, 2021

Some years ago, the novelist Martin Amis gave an interview in which he asserted that the only circumstances under which he would write a children’s book were if he had suffered a serious brain injury. “In my view,” he said, “fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable.”

Leaving aside the fact that it’s ridiculous to think that writing children’s fiction places any restraints on the author at all – if anything, it has the opposite effect – the most surprising element of the quote is Amis’s haughty disregard for young adult fiction. One could make the case that it’s the most important fiction of all. After all, is there a serious adult reader or writer out there who has not enjoyed a lifetime of reading because they discovered a love of books when they were young?

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The Brontës, the Shelleys, Kingsley and Martin Amis: new research suggests literary relatives share similar writing styles

theconversation.com – Thursday November 25, 2021

From Jane Austen to James Patterson, every author has their own way of writing. And that writing is often discussed in terms of “style”. Essentially, style refers to “how” something is written – it is more concerned with form than content. So when, for example, someone remarks that they “enjoyed the story” but “didn’t like how it was written”, they are commenting on the style.

If you want to see an example of different styles in action, just compare something like The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien to Ulysses by James Joyce. The Hobbit is written for a general audience, it’s a good old-fashioned story told through clear, accessible language. Ulysses is a more difficult read, full of obscure terms, complex phrasing, and cryptic references to other materials.

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New Magazine Listing: Angela Poetry Magazine

firstwriter.com – Wednesday November 24, 2021

Accepts poetry submissions from everyone on Earth and orbiting spacecraft. Publishes poems that are curious, humorous, and generally on the lighter side of life. Read the Submissions page and follow the guidelines to submit.

[See the full listing]

The long and short-form of it: podcasts that will teach you how to write

theguardian.com – Tuesday November 23, 2021

Whether you are plotting, drafting, staring at a blank page, or keen to get tips from the pros … if you want to be an author, there’s a podcast for that

New Yorker Fiction

In this monthly podcast, a celebrated writer selects a short story from the New Yorker’s archive to read and discuss with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. The pleasure here lies as much in the pairings of authors with material as it does the stories themselves: Margaret Atwood reading Alice Munro, or Andrew Sean Greer reading Dorothy Parker, or Tessa Hadley reading John Updike. There is much to be learned about the craft and discipline of short fiction writing from the subsequent discussions, too. A recurring point: fewer words is always better. Also, check out The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice, where writers read their own stories.

Longform

Approaching its 10th anniversary [...]

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New Magazine Listing: View From Atlantis

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 23, 2021

Primarily interested in speculative poetry (fantasy, science fiction, supernatural horror, etc), but literary poems and poetry from other genres will be considered as long as they fit the issue theme. Prose poems and flash fiction will also be considered. Please check the website for themes and submission periods. Submissions sent outside of submission periods will be deleted unread.

[See the full listing]

Writers' Handbook 2022 now available to buy

firstwriter.com – Sunday November 21, 2021

The 2022 edition of firstwriter.com’s bestselling directory for writers has just been released, and is now available to buy both as a paperbook and an ebook.

The directory is the perfect book for anyone searching for literary agents, book publishers, or magazines. It contains over 2,500 listings, including revised and updated listings from the 2021 edition, and over 400 brand new entries.

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Lowis moves to Viney Agency

thebookseller.com – Saturday November 20, 2021

Amberley Lowis has been appointed literary agent at the Viney Agency.

Lowis previously worked as an agents' assistant at Abner Stein for five years and as an editorial assistant at Kyle Books. 

She said: "I feel very lucky to have worked with such brilliant colleagues at Abner Stein and have learnt so much from them. I'm delighted to be joining the Viney Agency and I very much look forward to working with Charlie and further expanding the agency over the coming years."

Agency founder Charlie Viney said: "Amberley’s experience and drive stand her in very good stead to substantially add to the agency in the future and I’m thrilled that she is joining us."

Lowis will take up her new role in December. 

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