Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Twelfth Annual Papatango New Writing Prize Opens For 2020 Submissions – Tuesday December 3, 2019

The Papatango New Writing Prize, now in its twelfth year, opens for submissions today, Tuesday 3 December 2019, until 9pm on Sunday 2 February 2020.

The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK's first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 10% of the gross box office, and a £6500 commission with full developmental support for a follow-up play. It is also unique in producing the winning play within the same year. Since 2019, the winning play has toured the UK following its London premiere.

In addition, every entrant receives feedback on their script - a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award. Writers nurtured in this way have gone on to see their scripts produced at many leading venues across the UK.

[Read the full article]

Bad Sex Awards 2019: Two writers share 'Britain's most dreaded literary prize' – Tuesday December 3, 2019

In an echo of the Booker prize two writers have won the 2019 Literary Review Bad Sex In Fiction Award.

The judges struggled to pick just one winner so chose French author Didier Decoin with his novel The Office of Gardens and Ponds and John Harvey, a life fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with his book, Pax.

The judges were swayed equally by raunchy passages in Decoin's and Harvey's books.

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How To Write And Publish An Op-Ed (Even If You Are Not A Writer) – Thursday November 28, 2019

My colleague, New School writing professor Sue Shapiro (The Byline Biblehas taught writing for 25 years. Her students have broken into top publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington PostCNNNewsdayThe LA Times, and more. I spoke with Sue (we first met when as editor of a now defunct publication I assigned her to write a funny piece on Barbie) and asked her to share her best tips on how to write, target and publish a short op-ed for a newspaper or magazine. 

EE: Everyone has opinions, so everyone has an op-ed in them. The problem is most don’t understand how to write them. 

SS: I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from writing a short op-ed piece Many of my students have been published for the first time with op-eds. They have been offered jobs, internships, speaking engagements, and editors and agents have come calling. 

Every newspaper is open to short pieces by not only writers but people in every field. Most publications pay between $50 to $500 for a short piece of 350-750 words. 

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New Magazine Listing – Thursday November 28, 2019

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews;
Areas include: Short Stories;
Markets: Adult

Publishes fiction, poetry, essays, interviews and reviews from or about South Asia and its diasporas. Submit online via online submission system.

[See the full listing]

The Number One Mark Of An Amateur Writer – Wednesday November 27, 2019

It's time for some publishing wisdom. Many people are freelance writers as side hustles. They write books, articles, brochures, or novels, while also holding a full-time job. Without years of experience in writing, there are some mistakes that everyone can make, if they are not careful.

As a writing coach and NYU professor I work with my students to build their portfolio and get the attention of editors.

I always tell them there is one way to immediately get sent to the slush pile.

If you want to be taken seriously as a professional writer, stop using exclamation marks as punctuation. It’s the mark of an amateur, and every editor thinks it, even if they don't tell you to your face.

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Defining Roles: Agents & Editors – Wednesday November 27, 2019

At the pre-publication stage, as you’re drafting queries and sending off sample pages, an editor at a publishing house and a literary agent seem to serve the same purpose: to legitimize your claim as a professional author, and to set you on the path to publication.

That’s usually where the similarity ends. An editor interested in your novel can make you a publication offer, complete with an advance, a contract, and a timeline in which your novel will publish. He will be your champion inside the publishing house, coordinating between editorial and other departments to make sure that everyone is working in line with the vision for the book.

But what if that vision, after a few adjustments, no longer matches your own? What if you aren’t sure about a clause in the contract, or you don’t know what the editorial process should entail? Your editor loves your work and wants to support you, but it’s not his job to hold your hand through the process. At the end of the day, he answers to the publishing house.

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New Magazine Listing – Tuesday November 26, 2019

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Online literary magazine. Send fiction or essays up to 4,000 words through Submittable or through specific email address, or 3-5 unpublished poems in the body of an email. See website for different email addresses for different types of submissions.

[See the full listing]

AI determines how much help Shakespeare had writing a play – Monday November 25, 2019

Many believe that Shakespeare had help writing at least some of his plays, but to what extent? AI might have an answer. Czech researcher Petr Plecháč has developed a machine learning system that determined which portions of Henry VIII were likely written by Shakespeare's contemporary (and long-suspected collaborator) John Fletcher. The approach trained an algorithm to recognize the word choices and rhythms of both Shakespeare and Fletcher plays from the time (such as The Tempest and Valentinian), and used a "rolling window" technique to study those styles without worrying about the starts or ends of scenes. The results were at once expected and surprising.

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Author Charlotte Philby on how to write a novel when you’re really, really freaking busy – Monday November 25, 2019

I have a life that’s messy and manic – hello three small kids and a Netflix addiction – so let me tell you how I did it and got published too. Can you do it? Yes you can!

The late American author Charles Bukowski famously said about writing, ‘If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your gut, don’t do it. If you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it.’ I say bollocks. I also say that Bukowski clearly didn’t have multiple jobs, several children, mounting bills and a demanding Netflix habit to juggle at any one time, alongside his simmering idea for a novel.

Sure, I imagine for some the writing process is an unconscious purging of literary brilliance that falls fully-formed from their fingers. For the rest of us, it’s a slog. Even for practised writers, writing a book is hard as hell. I say that as someone who spent ten years as a daily news journalist whilst raising three children and simultaneously trying and failing and then trying again – and FINALLY succeeding – to get a book deal.

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HMH to Launch Children's Graphic Novel Imprint – Friday November 22, 2019

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the latest publisher to announce a children’s graphic novel imprint: Etch, which will gather all of HMH’s graphic novels into a single imprint, will debut in September 2020. The launch catalog will consist of seven titles, with plans to publish about 15 books per year.

Publisher Catherine Onder will oversee the imprint, but editors from the HMH children’s imprints Clarion, Versify, and HMH Books for Young Readers will all acquire properties for Etch. “I’ve been so impressed by the passion from the team, across both editorial and design, and the talented roster of creators that they’ve brought on board,” Onder said. “This variety of perspectives, interests, and expertise is key to our providing graphic novels for every reader.”

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