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Writers' News

February Is National Haiku Writing Month

kjzz.org – Monday February 1, 2021

According to Michael Dylan Welch, “The weight and the length of what you’re writing in 17 syllables in English is too long compared to the meaning and the content of the Japanese haiku. It’s not easier. It’s actually a harder challenge to write a shorter poem than 17 syllables. Some people say they like the challenge of counting the syllables, but it’s the most trivial of haiku’s challenges.”  

He’s a technical writer by trade who hails from Washington. Every February for the last 11 years, he’s engaged haiku poets around the world on social media with NaHaiWriMo and chose this month because it’s the shortest, just as haiku is the shortest for of poetry.  

[Read the full article]

Authors Guild urges DOJ to stop Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House merger

latimes.com – Sunday January 31, 2021

Several writers’ groups and organizations are calling on the government to stop one of the biggest publishing deals in recent history.

On Friday, the Authors Guild and the National Writers Union, along with four other writers’ groups and the nonprofit Open Markets Institute, sent a letter urging the Department of Justice to block the imminent publishing deal between literary giants Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House, the third and first largest trade book publishers in the country.

“The deal would bring well more than half of key U.S. book markets under the control of a single corporation, which poses a variety of potential threats to freedom of speech and democracy in the United States,” the letter stated. “The takeover falls clearly within the standard of illegality set by the Clayton Act and should be summarily rejected.”

The Clayton Antitrust Act, passed in 1914, defines unethical business practices like forming monopolies and colluding to fix prices. Antitrust laws generally require companies to report large deals to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission for a review, without which they cannot be finalized.

[Read the full article]

Granite Noir: Stellar line-up in store as Aberdeen’s crime writing festival goes online

pressandjournal.co.uk – Saturday January 30, 2021

Granite Noir has unveiled a glittering line-up of world-class crime writers – including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Jo Nesbo and David Baldacci – when it returns next month.

While Aberdeen’s award-winning crime writing festival is moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers say its mix of live streaming and pre-recorded messages offers the best of Granite Noir and hope it can reach an even wider audience when it runs from February 19 to February 21.

Jane Spiers, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, which produces the event, said: “Obviously this year is a bit different, being online, but we are still bringing the best of Granite Noir, the essence of Granite Noir.

[Read the full article]

Have a story to tell? Enter the Telegraph's Teen Writing Competition

telegraph.co.uk – Saturday January 30, 2021

Have you always wanted to pen a short story or write about an experience you have had? 

The Telegraph is launching a writing competition inviting its younger readers – aged 13-18 – to submit a 500-word piece of fiction or non-fiction, a short story, or poem. The theme of the competition is Lockdown. Please feel free to interpret that theme as creatively as you like. 

Whether you're only starting your writing journey, or you've already honed and established your skills, this competition is open to young writers of all abilities. 

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: The Racket

firstwriter.com – Friday January 29, 2021

Considers submissions that contain work(s) of poetry and/or prose with a total combined word count of 2,000 words or fewer. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agency Listing: Cull & Co. Ltd

firstwriter.com – Friday January 29, 2021

Handles full-length fiction and nonfiction for adults only. No children’s picture books, poetry, plays or musical theatre. Primarily looking for authors from the UK and Ireland writing in English. Occasionally considers international writers but you must make it clear when submitting why you are looking for a literary agent in the UK.

[See the full listing]

4 Ways to Always Have Fresh Writing Ideas

forge.medium.com – Thursday January 28, 2021

Often, when people say, “I don’t know what to write,” they really mean one of two things: They haven’t spent enough time formulating their ideas, or they’re trying to write something they don’t really believe in.

Many years ago, I started writing fiction — or rather, I tried to start writing fiction. My attempts never amounted to anything, and for years, I didn’t understand why. It wasn’t until I read an essay on writing by Arthur Schopenhauer, the German pessimist, that it finally clicked. “There are above all two kinds of writers,” he wrote: “those who write for the sake of what they have to say and those who write for the sake of writing. The former have had ideas or experiences which seem to them worth communicating; the latter need money and that is why they write — for money.” (I think “money” can be substituted with “any external rewards” here.)

You know writing from that second category when you see it — whether it’s a news feature, a personal essay, or a blog post. It’s the kind that seems pointless, devoid of energy or care, as if the writer was not considering at all what the reader might want or need to get out of it. When I read this kind of writing I think, Why write this at all?

[Read the full article]

Agent Fired from Literary Agency for Using Parler and Gab

newsweek.com – Wednesday January 27, 2021

The president of a literary agency based in New York City said Monday on Twitter that one of the agency's employees was terminated after her use of conservative social media sites Parler and Gab was discovered.

Colleen Oefelein, who identified herself on Twitter as an associate literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, appeared to confirm her termination in a tweet on Monday morning.

"Well thanks Twitter and @JDLitAgency," Oefelein wrote. "I just got fired because I'm a Christian and a conservative."

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Imogen Morrell

firstwriter.com – Tuesday January 26, 2021

Looking for immersive, brilliantly plotted upmarket and literary fiction with a twist. In nonfiction, she’s looking for proposals that find unexpected ways to talk about interesting things (architecture, food, nature, politics, history, identity) from academics, critics and journalists who are writing their specialist subject for trade publication. She also accepts submissions for narrative nonfiction, essay writing and food writing.

[See the full listing]

New Agent Listing: Faith O'Grady

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 20, 2021

If sending fiction, please limit your submission to the first three or four chapters, and include a covering letter and an SAE if required. If sending non-fiction, please send a detailed proposal about your book, a sample chapter and a cover letter. Every effort will be made to respond to submissions within 3 months of receipt.

[See the full listing]

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