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Writers' News

National Writing Day launches 24-word challenge

entertainment-focus.com – Sunday June 14, 2020

First Story, the charity behind National Writing Day, has launched a 24-word story challenge to mark the annual nationwide celebration of the pleasure and power of writing and words. This year it will take place on 24th June. Together with its National Writing Day partners, a coalition of leading literacy organisations and publishers and a host of the nation’s much loved children’s authors including Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman and Frank Cottrell Boyce, First Story is challenging everyone – especially young people – to come together to share their experiences.

With a nation in lockdown, and the extreme experiences of the past few months keenly felt, the power of words to give voice to our stories is timely. Many pupils and students are still home-learning; and schools are closed to most of their cohorts.

National Writing Day is leading the charge with a simple writing call to action: a challenge to everyone to write just 24 words, in 7 minutes, starting with the prompt ‘One day…’ and to share their work on social media using the hashtag #247challenge. The challenge involves everyone, and participants can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Megan Burkhart

firstwriter.com – Thursday June 11, 2020

Looks for YA fantasy and children’s picture books, especially those with a strong narrative voice. Closed to picture book submissions as at June 2020.

[See the full listing]

Fall is now jam-packed for book publishers. That could be a problem.

chicagotribune.com – Sunday June 7, 2020

In March, when parts of the United States began shutting down because of the coronavirus, the best-selling children’s book author Jeff Kinney faced a quandary.

“Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure,” part of his popular Wimpy Kid series, was due out in April with a first printing of 3 million copies. His publisher had lined up a 10-city tour.

In a matter of days, those plans crumbled. “The book was about to land in stores that were closed to customers at the height of a pandemic,” Kinney said.

He and his publisher decided to postpone the release until August, in hopes that by then, his tour could be resurrected. Millions of copies are now sitting in warehouses. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said. “We knew lots of kids would enjoy the book while in lockdown.”

[Read the full article]

'Crunch point' is yet to come, say indie publishers

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 4, 2020

Two indie publishers have shared their concerns about the coming autumn, and emphasised the importance of flexible plans moving forward.

Speaking at the IPG Virtual Spring Conference, Sarah Braybrooke, managing director at Scribe UK, and Atlantic Books managing director Will Atkinson aired concerns on the packed line-up of titles expected this autumn because of coronavirus delays.

"I'm concerned about the massive concertina effect that might last into next year," Atkinson said. "I am much more worried now than I was a month ago." He said that approximately 30% of Atlantic's titles due for July had been moved.

[Read the full article]

Want to Strike a Funny Bone?

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Thursday June 4, 2020

My editing client’s (erotic romantic) writing made me genuinely LOL—laugh out loud— which naturally caused me to muse on humor in fiction. The world is going to hell in a handbasket (they lowered workers in handbaskets to set off dynamite while building the railways). But let’s not go all gloomy Gus over our trials and tribulations. Laugh, clown, laugh. Did I mix any metaphors?

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How COVID will creep into the literary world

abc.net.au – Wednesday June 3, 2020

Imagine your favourite book; take a moment to picture those characters, their interactions, and the scene they're in.

Now reimagine that same book, but throw in all the coronavirus fears and restrictions we've seen throughout 2020.

Would you still want to read it?

That's the question authors and literary agents across the world are facing right now, as they grapple with this new reality and decide whether they should reflect it in their work.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Natalie Jerome

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 3, 2020

Has a specific interest in commercial nonfiction across areas of health and wellness, food, current events, culture, music and entertainment as well as looking for vibrant new authors in children’s fiction.

[See the full listing]

Langlee leaves Kate Nash to join North Literary Agency

thebookseller.com – Tuesday June 2, 2020

Lina Langlee has left the Kate Nash Literary Agency to join the North Literary Agency.

Langlee, whose authors include Christina Courtenay, Sandy Barker, Stephen O’Rourke and Lucy Saxon, will remain based in Edinburgh.

With a background in publishing, Langlee joined Kate Nash as a junior agent in 2018 before winning a promotion last December and being shortlisted for Agent of the Year at the Romantic Novelists’ Association's Industry Awards.

At North, she joins an agency that was set up in October 2017 by four agents based in the north of England and Scotland: Mark Stanton, Allan Guthrie, Kevin Pocklington and Julie Fergusson.

[Read the full article]

Writing Insights: How Many Pages Should You Write in a Day?

authorlink.com – Monday June 1, 2020

Some writers are worried that they aren’t turning out as many pages as they should, or that they may be writing too fast.

So, let’s look at a reasonable daily output for a typical author. This is how I have answered similar questions on Quora.com. 

Let’s do some simple math.

[Read the full article]

Three Agents Resign After Red Sofa Literary Owner's Tweet

publishersweekly.com – Monday June 1, 2020

The civil unrest in the Twin Cities continues to take its toll on Minnesota's literary community—sometimes in unexpected ways. Thursday evening, the night before protesters set fire to two adjoining Minneapolis indie bookstores and destroying them both, the reaction to a St. Paul–based literary agent’s tweet ended up gutting the boutique agency she owns.

Three agents affiliated with Red Sofa Literary tweeted this past weekend that they have resigned in response to owner Dawn Frederick’s tweet, leaving one subsidiary rights executive besides Frederick still employed there. Frederick's official Red Sofa account on Twitter has been removed.

[Read the full article]

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