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Writers' News

Writing Fiction about Real People

historynewsnetwork.org – Sunday September 1, 2019

Biographers can report what happened to their subject and when; they can also suggest reasons why it happened. But only a novelist can climb inside the subject’s head and describe their innermost thoughts and insecurities. It’s in that secret place, hidden behind the bare facts of a life, that I like to write.

The recent trend for biographical novels about strong historical women has produced some cracking reads: Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s My Dear Hamilton, Stephanie Marie Thornton’s American Princess, and the works of Paula McLain, of which my favourite is The Paris Wife.  In the UK Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory are perennially popular with their insider stories of the Tudor and Stuart monarchies, and many other novelists have dipped their pens in the biographical inkwell. None of them is attempting to rewrite history – it is always clear they are writing fiction – but they want to go deeper than the history books allow.

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Can You Write a Novel as a Group?

newyorker.com – Friday August 30, 2019

It all started on a weekend away for the Booksluts, a Sydney book club with the motto “We’ll read anything.” Six of the group’s eight regular members were discussing “Crime and Punishment,” and talking about the club’s upcoming tenth anniversary, which they dreamed of celebrating with a Trans-Siberian Railway trip. They jokingly decided that they would fund the trip by writing a novel together. Much vodka had been consumed by this point, and plot discussions degenerated into mass hysterics.

But the next morning the friends went out and bought butcher paper and Sharpies and spent all day brainstorming. They decided that their novel would be a rural romance, set in the Australian outback, and agreed on the backstory of their heroine, a city girl who inherits the farm where her father—now mysteriously disappeared—grew up. Sparks would fly when she meets the handsome (and engaged) cattle farmer next door.

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How I’m using AI to write my next novel

vox.com – Friday August 30, 2019

I expect to suffer some degree of writer’s block pretty much every day for the rest of my life. I’m a journalist and a novelist; it comes with the territory. But I have a feeling I’m going to suffer less from now on, thanks to my new best friend, GPT-2.

Let me back up a bit: Six months ago, the research lab OpenAI created an AI system that generates text — from fake news to poetry — that in some cases actually sounds like it’s written by a human being. The OpenAI team has been rolling it out in stages, each time giving us a more powerful version of the language model they dubbed GPT-2, and carefully watching to see how we use it.

They’ve just put out the most powerful version yet. It boasts 50 percent of the power of the full version, which has yet to be released. As you can tell by trying it out for yourself, this model is already plenty powerful.

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday August 30, 2019

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

Publishes literary fiction and nonfiction, including translations. Accepts submissions from anyone who identifies as Australian, particularly those who "identify as queer and/or trans and/or intersex and/or are of any colour, religion, or gender, and/or have a disability" [sic]. Submit via online submission system.

[See the full listing]

Publisher E-Book Revenue Decreased In First Half Of 2019

ellenduffer – Thursday August 29, 2019

A familiar story is told by recent statistics released by the Association of American Publishers: e-book revenues continue to decrease for many in the industry.

According to AAP's publisher revenue report, based on 1,360 participating publishers' figures, e-book revenues decreased in the first six months of calendar 2019 by 3.8% over the same period in 2018. E-books were one of only two format categories that saw revenue decreases in this period (the other category being physical audio).

[Read the full article]

Changing Agents Gracefully

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

firstwriter.com – Thursday August 29, 2019

I’m leaving Dork Associates, Mr. Dork. But it’s nothing personal.

Most agents are, in reality, pretty nice people. Your own current agent might be witty and charming—but you don’t have an agent for entertainment sake. You want someone to represent you who is both connected and knowledgeable. 

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday August 29, 2019

Publishes: Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews; 
Areas include: Criticism; Fantasy; Literature; Philosophy; Science; Sci-Fi; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

A quarterly digital literary and art journal dedicated to speculative fiction, art and literary criticism. Send submissions by email.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday August 29, 2019

Nonfiction > Books
Biography; History; Medicine; Philosophy; Politics; Science

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 28, 2019

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Areas include: Historical; Sci-Fi; Short Stories; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Independent publisher of literary fiction. Values art over entertainment. Send submission through online submission system. $10 submission fee.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 28, 2019

ADULT > Fiction > Novels

  • Mystery; Romance; Thrillers; Women's Fiction

CHILDREN'S

  • Fiction > Picture Books
  • Nonfiction > Picture Books

YOUNG ADULT

  • ​Fiction > Novels
  • Nonfiction > Books

[See the full listing]

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