Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

How a husband-and-wife publishing team won the Man Booker prize twice in a row – Friday October 28, 2016

The 18 publishers which turned down The Sellout must have felt a little sheepish at the 2016 Man Booker Prize ceremony. Paul Beatty’s satire was the second consecutive winner of the world’s leading literary award for Oneworld, a small independent founded by a husband-and-wife team, which has found huge success discovering novels shunned by the large publishing houses.

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Gillon Aitken dies – Friday October 28, 2016

Literary agent Gillon Aitken of Aitken Alexander Associates has died.

Aitken died peacefully this morning (28th October) after a period of ill health.

Clare Alexander said: "A towering figure in so many of our lives, publishing has lost a great agent from a brilliant generation. He was a wise counsel, a true intellectual and an irreplaceable friend."

She added: "I am sure he would wish to be remembered in the words of some of the many authors who valued his guidance deeply and who came to love him so much."

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Is Writing For Free Ever OK? There's A Fine Line Between Exposure And Exploitation – Thursday October 27, 2016

Writing is a tough gig. There's just no way around that. Whether you want to write in print for a magazine, or for your favorite website, there's a lot of time and work to be done before you get there. One of the biggest controversies in the writing community is the idea of writing for free. It sounds simple enough to tell someone, 'Never write for free,' but the reality is more complicated than that. In a perfect world we could maybe tell writers never to write for free, but in the real world, we have to make sacrifices from time to time.

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Trade shock and sadness at death of Carole Blake – Thursday October 27, 2016

Literary agency Blake Friedmann has announced the sudden death of agency co-founder Carole Blake.

The agency said yesterday (26th): "It is with huge sadness that we must share the news that our beloved mentor, colleague and friend Carole Blake died last night. The loss of such an incredible woman so soon is not something any of us feel prepared for, but we are grateful that she lived so fully to the last, and that she died swiftly and painlessly, on being readmitted to hospital last night, with Julian [Friedmann] by her side."

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Science Fiction Writing: Character Building In Radically Different Worlds – Wednesday October 26, 2016

Science fiction demands particular care from prospective authors. In science fiction writing, character building done correctly can give the story wings, or, if done clumsily or incompletely, drag down a story with a great universe and premises. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at how to construct characters in science fiction stories where the premises are drastically different from the reality we’re used to.

First, I’ll discuss how to frame a character in the context of the universe that you have created that the character lives in. Next, I’ll explain how to make sure that the character has a history that is logical and features which are logical, given the premises that we defined in the first part. Finally, I’ll warn you about anthropomorphizing and creating culturally-blind characters. If you decide to buck my advice, don’t worry: many a science fiction story has successfully depicted characters in wild circumstances.

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Discovering New Talent Through #WriteNow – Wednesday October 26, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest on BBC Asian Network radio to talk about Penguin Random House’s new initiative to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves.

The WriteNow scheme aims to find and publish new writers who are “under-represented in books and publishing”. Targeted groups are writers from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds, writers who come from LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) or BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) communities, or writers with a disability.

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New Magazine Listing – Wednesday October 26, 2016

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

Online literary journal publishing text, images, and new media. No material previously published in print or online (except personal websites). Submit material online through submission manager, or (if necessary) by post. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing – Monday October 24, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Poetry; 
Markets: Children's

Publishes picture books, fiction, and poetry for children.

[See the full listing]

Horror Authors Take a Stab at Self-Publishing – Saturday October 22, 2016

Every literary genre has its subgenres, but there is perhaps no genre so packed with niches as horror fiction. You’ve got your supernatural horror, postapocalyptic horror, fantasy horror, sci-fi horror, comedy horror, and then all the vampire, werewolf, and zombie horror. It’s a long list of genres for the long list of authors who self-publish in this increasingly fractured and versatile category.

Some horror writers are making a killing at self-publishing, but that’s far from the norm. More likely, self-published horror writers are seizing independence to get out work that isn’t finding a home with traditional presses—and many of them are passionate enough to keep going despite making little profit.

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Design Options for Self-Publishers – Saturday October 22, 2016

Book design may be the most self-effacing form of design anywhere. After all, its mission is to so perfectly smooth the interaction between author and reader that the designer disappears from the equation. If a book is readable, enjoyable, easy to interact with, and seamlessly communicates the ideas of the author, I would say the design is a success because nobody notices it.

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