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Writers' News

In the #MeToo Moment, Publishers Turn to Morality Clauses

publishersweekly.com – Saturday April 28, 2018

Until recently, the term “moral turpitude” is not one that crossed the lips of too many people in book publishing. But Bill O’Reilly, Milo Yiannopoulos, Sherman Alexie, Jay Asher, and James Dashner changed all that.

A legal term that refers to behavior generally considered unacceptable in a given community, moral turpitude is something publishers rarely worried themselves about. No longer.

Major publishers are increasingly inserting language into their contracts—referred to as morality clauses—that allows them to terminate agreements in response to a broad range of behavior by authors. And agents, most of whom spoke with PW on the condition of anonymity, say the change is worrying in an industry built on a commitment to defending free speech.

[Read the full article]

Researchers built an AI capable of writing poetry that's equal parts woeful and impressive

mashable.com – Saturday April 28, 2018

As if the world weren't already full enough of awful human poetry, now the robot overlords want in.

Researchers from Microsoft and Kyoto University were interested in whether they could invent an AI that writes poetry inspired from images, "generating poems to satisfy both relevance to the image and poeticness in language level." Some of the poems produced are pretty objectively abysmal. Others, surprisingly passable.

Here's one inspired by a photo of a dead crab:

[Read the full article]

Vetting for stereotypes: meet publishing's 'sensitivity readers'

theguardian.com – Saturday April 28, 2018

When reviewers first saw Keira Drake’s The Continent, this story of a teenager trapped by a war between two “native” tribes quickly found attention on social media – though not much of it was good. This young adult novel was attacked for its “white saviour narrative” and its stereotypical portrayal of people with “reddish-brown skin” or “almond-shaped eyes”. The author Justina Ireland called it a “racist garbage fire”.

Drake apologised, said she would “address concerns about the novel”, and delayed the release. Her publisher, Harlequin Teen, sent the book out to two “sensitivity readers”, who vetted the manuscript for stereotypes, biases and problematic language. Armed with a list of potential problems and possible solutions, Drake went back to the drawing board.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday April 27, 2018

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

Accepts fiction and nonfiction of any length. Submit via online submission system.

[See the full listing]

Lovegrove launches magazine for Caribbean writing

thebookseller.com – Monday April 23, 2018

Sharmaine Lovegrove has launched an online magazine dedicated to Caribbean literature.

Pree offers new contemporary writing from and about the Caribbean, including fiction, non-fiction, essays, interviews and experimental writing giving the authors “international visibility far beyond the islands”.

Lovegrove is publisher of the magazine and also publisher at Little, Brown imprint Dialogue Books, which is dedicated to inclusivity. Joining her at the online magazine is editor-in-chief Annie Paul, who is based at University of the West Indies, and editors include Jamaican writer and environmental activist Diana McCaulay, cultural analyst Isis Semaj-Hall and New York-based essayist Garnette Cadogan. The magazine’s creative director is designer Nerys Hudson.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday April 23, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Accepts submissions of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction via online submission system between January 1 and May 1 each year. Seeks aesthetically ambitious work that invokes the colliding and converging energies of the fairgrounds. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday April 23, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult

Founded to help authors publish (or republish) nonfiction works of the highest quality. Will also consider fiction if truly unique. Pursues a digital-first approach. See website for submission guidelines and more information.

[See the full listing]

Book clinic: do editors often have to cut authors down to size?

theguardian.com – Sunday April 22, 2018

Nabokov called editors “pompous avuncular brutes”. Thanks, Vlad! Working with novelists, editors both try and help writers sharpen and structure the story they want to tell and use their experience to provide a sounding board as to how readers might react to it. I say “the story the writer wants to tell” because ultimately it is the writer’s creation.

When I read reviewers’ snarky comments about the fall in editing standards at publishers, I sometimes wonder how much – or how little – they know about the conversations that would have taken place between writer and editor. Ultimately, as an editor, you just have to stand back and say: “OK, it’s your book.”

[Read the full article]

Richard & Judy 'Search for a Bestseller' competition returns

thebookseller.com – Thursday April 19, 2018

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are launching their third “Search for a Bestseller” competition to find a promising first-time writer. The prize is a £30,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre with specialist advice from literary agency Furniss Lawton.

The competition is supported by W H Smith and will open to unpublished writers today (19th April 2018). Writers must submit 10,000 words, plus a synopsis of the novel and the work must be a piece of original fiction aimed at adults. The full terms and conditions can be found on the Richard and Judy website.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday April 16, 2018

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

Publishes collections of poetry and short stories, submitted through their annual competitions (reading fee applies). No general submissions.

[See the full listing]

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