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Writers' News

New Agent Listing: Jim Hart

firstwriter.com – Monday May 11, 2020

Interested in nonfiction on the topics of Christian living, church growth, leadership, business, social issues, parenting, and some self-help. Nonfiction writers will need to show a strong platform in their area of expertise. Not looking at memoirs or devotionals at this time.

Looking at select fiction in these categories: suspense/thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical, suspense, Amish), women’s fiction, and some speculative and sci-fi. Fiction writers should possess a strong and growing platform. He is not looking at children’s or middle-grade fiction at this time.

Not looking at proposals for books that have been previously self-published. Please do not send proposals for books that include graphic language and sex.

[See the full listing]

The importance of sadism in writing a great screenplay

spectator.us – Saturday May 2, 2020

How do you tell a great story? According to Craig Mazin, you have to be a sadist.

‘As a writer, you are not the New Testament God who turns water into wine,’ Mazin chuckles on his long-running podcast Scriptnotes. ‘You are the Old Testament God who tortures Job because, I don’t know, it seems like fun.’ Mazin wrote HBO’s horrifying, incandescent miniseries Chernobyl, and so knows of what he speaks. In the episode of this podcast titled ‘How to Write a Movie’, he describes how screenwriters build plot out of suffering.

He outlines a scenario, making the stakes higher each time. Suppose our main character is a single father desperate to protect his child. Not good enough. OK, now suppose he is a single father who witnessed his entire family being murdered, leaving him only one child. Better — but how about this: a man’s entire family are murdered before his eyes, leaving him only one child, and the child is disabled and vulnerable. Then the man loses his child.

It sounds like pure sadism. In fact, it’s the opening 10 minutes of Finding Nemo.

[Read the full article]

Stay at Home — and Write Your Memoir #2

authorlink.com – Saturday May 2, 2020

Last month I wrote here about using your stay-at-home time to work on a memoir and suggested the basics for getting started. This month I’m offering the next step: figuring out what to do with all those memories you’ve been stockpiling in preparation for writing, or with all the stories you’ve already written. What should you do with them? Do you plot your memoir as a novelist might do and somehow fit these in, or is there some other way to use this material?

My belief is that writing memoir in the early stages, is best done without any structure hanging over your head. Why? Because the heart of your memoir—what it’s really about—is best found by working freely to remember and record, to suss out the emotional hot spots in memory and to get the details down.

Still, I know most writers want to get a handle on the shape of their story sooner, rather than later. So, I offer a tool to give you a sense of control, and yet still stave off the official plotting of your memoir for a while longer, at least until you’ve had ample time to explore your memories and learn what is at the base of them driving you to write.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Nicola Chang

firstwriter.com – Saturday May 2, 2020

Represents writers of fiction and nonfiction as well as a small list of poets. Currently accepting submissions and is primarily looking for literary fiction and nonfiction of all kinds.

[See the full listing]

So, you want a critique?

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

firstwriter.com – Saturday May 2, 2020

You asked for it. You may even have paid for it. But you still cringe when you open the emailed result of the critique and begin to read. You wanted to hear that your novel is great and you’re an astonishing writer, yet that’s not what the words on the screen are saying to you... But here are some ideas to let percolate in your mind when you’ve received what you wanted—some honest criticism.

[Read the full article]

Jamie Holmes wrote a book. Here are 9 things to know about the process.

wftv.com – Thursday April 30, 2020

So you’ve got some spare time on your hands, and you’re determined to do the one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing: writing the Great American Novel.

What to do? Where to begin? Here are nine ways to finally take charge of that blank page:

[Read the full article]

Majority of authors 'hear' their characters speak, finds study

theguardian.com – Tuesday April 28, 2020

Some writers have always claimed they can hear their characters speaking, with Enid Blyton suggesting she could “watch and hear everything” and Alice Walker describing how her characters would “come for a visit ... and talk”. But a new study has shown this uncanny experience is very widespread, with almost two-thirds of authors reporting that they hear their characters’ voices while they work.

Researchers at Durham University teamed up with the Guardian and the Edinburgh international book festival to survey 181 authors appearing at the 2014 and 2018 festivals. Sixty-three per cent said they heard their characters speak while writing, with 61% reporting characters were capable of acting independently.

[Read the full article]

Publishing in a pandemic

thebookseller.com – Sunday April 26, 2020

Our society faces an unprecedented challenge from coronavirus and publishing is no exception to that. The pandemic has affected all of us in the books industry – booksellers have had to close shops, authors have had to move publication dates and cancel events, freelancers have seen their work and incomes shrink. 

Publishers are facing incredibly difficult decisions about how to respond to the significant pressures on their businesses and how best to support their employees in the coming months. 

[Read the full article]

Vigliano Buys Back His Agency

publishersweekly.com – Saturday April 25, 2020

David Vigliano has bought back the assets of his eponymous literary agency from Y Entertainment Group.

The boutique firm was sold to Y Entertainment in 2014. (That same year Y Entertainment formed a lifestyle group called AGI.) Vigliano said he was "grateful for all I have learned from AGI’s constellation of superstar agents." He added: " I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and put it to use as I return to operating independently."

[Read the full article]

Bay Path launches literary magazine, Multiplicity

masslive.com – Saturday April 25, 2020

“Borders, Boundaries, and Belonging” is the theme of the inaugural issue of Multiplicity, the literary magazine of the Master in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University.

Each of the 22 writers featured in this issue — 18 essayists and four poets — has written a brief statement about life during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on their own work in light of the new reality. These statements accompany the writer’s work.

“Millions of people are sheltering in place at home, turning to art and literature and music online for inspiration and community, myself included,” said Leanna James Blackwell, director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University and editorial director of Multiplicity magazine. “My co-editors and I felt that Multiplicity — online, free and filled with real-life stories and poems from great writers of all backgrounds — could make a genuine contribution to readers looking for connection in this deeply uncertain time.”

[Read the full article]

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