What Big Publishing Consolidation Means for Authors
huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
So, the Hachette Book Group is acquiring the Perseus Books Group again, 18 months after its first failed attempt to do so. This time it looks like the deal will stick, though.
If you read industry news deals or press releases, you'll see all kinds of positive spin on deals like these. This is the third major publishing merger in the past three-plus years, preceded by the 2013 merger between Penguin and Random House and the acquisition earlier that same year of Harlequin by HarperCollins. The companies like to talk about expanding their global reach and investing in broadening their lists. And while these corporate agendas sound good on paper, the consolidation of publishing is not good for authors.
Evelyn Conlon: prize culture devalues art of writing
irishtimes.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
I am saddened for the apprentice writers who think that the only way their work can be judged is by a prize listing. What an awful thing for the industry to subject writers to.
My fear is that we’re in danger of losing the challenge of [the independent bookshop]. What happens now is that the window can be bought and that all that exciting innovative work has been bulldozed by giddy marketing. Too many people now make straight for the prize-winning shelf. I am not averse to the notion of the occasional prize, and yes I understand that it is a method of bringing attention to the as yet unknown, but when the bookshop experience seems like you’ve been tipped into a tombola then clearly we have lost sight of the art of finding our own books.
Save dragons, save books! Three authors give tips on children's writing
theguardian.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
It’s a perennial bugbear among children’s writers that every other writer thinks it’s an easy thing to do when, in fact, children are among the most discerning readers, with an intimate relationship with the on-off switch. Three leading authors will be passing on the tricks of the trade in a Guardian Masterclass on Sunday, 20 March. We asked Philip Ardagh, author of the Eddie Dickens series; How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell; and Laura Dockrill, author of the Darcy Burdock books, to explain the challenges and the rewards of specialising in literature for young people. They also give some useful tips for anyone hoping to follow them into this most demanding of areas.
For writers: To agent or not to agent?
wnd.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
Writers who want to be published (or who have already been published) are constantly in a state of turmoil trying to answer the question: Do I need an agent?
New Magazine Listing
firstwriter.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Autobiography; Short Stories; Travel;
Preferred styles: Literary
Publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. Submit by post or through online submission system from September to May. Send up to 6 poems, or one piece of prose. As well as fiction, increasingly looking for nonfiction, including personal essays, travel writing, memoirs, and other forms of creative nonfiction. Novel excerpts acceptable if self-contained.
The simple truth behind suspenseful writing
bostonglobe.com – Tuesday March 8, 2016
With simple words, suspenseful stories thrill and chill us.
In Stephen King's The Shining, there's a heart-pounding moment when young Danny once again finds himself standing outside Room 217 of the Overlook Hotel.
Despite being warned not to enter, he puts a key into the lock. He turns the knob.
It's enough to make my palms sweat.
Good suspenseful stories elicit strong emotions, even when we know what happens next. Now, a team of academics at Stanford University has identified what prompts those feelings. Surprisingly, it often comes down to the use of simple words and sentence patterns. So simple, in fact, that the team trained a computer program to accurately predict when a written passage will be suspenseful.
Proselint is a "style checker" for your writing
boingboing.net – Tuesday March 8, 2016
Proselint isn't a grammar checker. It's a "style" checker, warning writers when their work is hackneyed, inconsistent or very obviously not great.
One-handed typing improves prose, research suggests
alphr.com – Tuesday March 8, 2016
Nothing highlights someone unused to hammering away at a computer keyboard more than the use of a single digit, hunting down each character slowly and deliberately. But while you may finish your emails first, they’ll have the last laugh. It turns out this is very much like the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race – at least in terms of quality.
Write For Us: Your Story Matters
goodmenproject.com – Sunday March 6, 2016
Your story matters. Whether you think your life has been a total drag or you think no one will care. You have something to share with the world. We’d like it in writing, please.
A writer's lament: Literary efforts are labors of love, but bittersweet
duluthnewstribune.com – Sunday March 6, 2016
Someday I’m gonna sit down, open my old files and figure out how many book signings, library talks, book festivals, craft fairs and book clubs I’ve attended over the 25 years I’ve been writing. In summary fashion, I can safely say I’ve been as far west as Calgary, Alberta, as far east as Youngstown, Ohio, as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as far south as Council Bluffs, Iowa.