Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Off Assignment, Literary Magazine of Travel Writing, Launches Online – Tuesday September 6, 2016

Off Assignment, a magazine of literary travel writing, recently launched the first of its online content, answering the demand for authors to enhance their published work with compelling experiences and details left unsaid. Forged by today’s top journalists, essayists, and travel writers, Off Assignment is a publication dedicated to candid storytelling. The magazine, which grew out of a grassroots series of live storytelling events featuring writers such as Gay Talese and Sloane Crosley, now publishes a weekly series called “Letter to a Stranger,” short essays about memorable strangers from past journeys. In its first weeks, the series has featured contributors such as New York Times bestselling authors Leslie Jamison and Lauren Groff, as well as memoirist Howard Axelrod and National Book Award winner Julia Glass.

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5 Tips When Writing Fiction For Women’s Weeklies – Tuesday September 6, 2016

Ah, the People’s FriendWoman’s Weekly and My Weekly. You probably remember your mother reading them, and maybe your grandmother. They’ve all been on the newsstands for more than 100 years - the People’s Friend for nearly a century and a half - and because they’ve been around so long you may have preconceived ideas about the sort of short stories they publish.

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From Zero to Hero: the next generation of passionate publishers – Tuesday September 6, 2016

So it's back to school this week, and as relieved parents return to their desks, there will undoubtedly be some speculation about whether the complex summer holiday juggling might be made just a bit easier by running your own business. While flexibility might be one reason often cited for setting up a new business on your own, there are clearly many more complex motivations for making the leap. Some of the most exciting new publishing ventures to launch in recent years have had very varied motivations for getting started, but there are certainly some themes emerging across this next generation of publishers.

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New Magazine Listing – Tuesday September 6, 2016

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

Quarterly online publication of new poetry, fiction, essays, and art. Submit 3-5 poems or one short story or one essay up to 5,000 words, between September and April only. Submissions accepted by post with SASE, but encourages submissions through online submission system via website.

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Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine – Sunday September 4, 2016

“Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to step inside it?” So begins Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine by Melissa Ford. It’s the only book you’ll need to tell your story with Twine, an interactive fiction computer game. Think Choose Your Own Adventure book, but, with the magic of technology, it can become much, much more. I stumbled across Twine about a year ago, found the concept intriguing and downloaded the software. I made one simple game, but I wasn’t confident in my abilities to program and never went farther. I figured I’d just play around with it someday and learn, but I never did. That’s why I was so excited about Ford’s book; hopefully, it would be my guide to what I knew was a great way to tell all the stories I have. And that’s exactly what I found it to be.

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A Desperate Plea From A Desperate Writer – Saturday September 3, 2016

Whether this sounds snarky or not it needs to be said, and I guess I’m going to be the one to say it.


This is a desperate plea from a writer trying her hardest to remain a pacifist, but some people make it hard. While I juggle edits and the general neurosis that goes with trying to tell stories people will read in a world where, to quote Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, “Print is dead,” you dum dums say things that make me understand why some of the best writers of our time went a little batty.

Let’s examine, shall we?

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Why It’s Wrong To Say Creative Writing Courses Are Killing Creativity – Saturday September 3, 2016

I have just read Ravinder Randhawa’s blog on Killing the Creative - In Creative Writing Courses.

Without wanting to offend her, I wanted to write about why, in my opinion, she is wrong and also about why I believe it’s important to address the way the criticism of writing training for the reasons outlined in her blog is causing damage to the diversity of the writing industry.

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A Rough Six Months for Big Book Publishers – Saturday September 3, 2016

The trade publishing segment has been operating in a low-growth environment for several years, and that trend appears to have continued into 2016. Financial reports for the first half of 2016 from five major publishers showed that none of the companies had a sales increase in the first half of the year; HarperCollins had the best top-line performance, with only a minor sales decline compared to the first six months of 2015. Earnings fell at three publishers in the period and rose at two. Though sales of print books have stabilized, all five reporting publishers said sales of e-books fell in the first six months of 2016 compared to the January–June 2015 period.

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The Best Writing Advice Changes Everything – Friday September 2, 2016

This summer I was invited to the Mendocino Writers Conference, where at the opening reception in downtown Mendocino (where one can’t help but evoke Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote) each presenter was asked to come to the microphone to share their best piece of writing advice. I was inspired by what people chose to impart, but more important, I was moved by how each person remembered who had imparted the advice, and how, in effect, that person’s wisdom lived on, carried along by the group share in the tradition of storytelling as it’s existed for thousands of years. It’s occurred to me since that good advice can only come from the heart, and its staying power is serious business.

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Pay-back time for publishers: authors forced to return their advances – Friday September 2, 2016

Though he’s fallen out spectacularly with his publisher, Seth Grahame-Smith at least has the consolation of joining a stellar club of writers whose deals for much-anticipated books were terminated. It emerged this week that Grahame-Smith, the man behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is being sued in the United States for breach of contract by Hachette, which wants half his $1m advance for a two-book deal returned. Hachette claims the second book’s typescript was eventually submitted “34 months” late, and was too short and substandard, “in large part an appropriation of a 120-year-old public domain work” (unnamed, but presumably 1897’s Dracula).

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