Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

American Dirt’s problem is bad writing, not cultural appropriation – Monday February 3, 2020

Sometimes, allies can be more harmful than enemies. American Dirt, a novel about a mother and son fleeing a drugs cartel in Mexico, has the literary world clutching its pearls. The problem? Does the writer, Jeanine Cummins (whose grandmother is Puerto Rican but who has identified as white) have the right (or the ability) to portray an authentic Mexican story? The background of the author, something that should have been an irrelevant matter, became the focal point of reviews.

In the New York Times, a white reviewer agonised over whether it was her place to review such a book at all. “I could never speak to the accuracy of the book’s representation of Mexican culture or the plights of migrants; I have never been Mexican or a migrant,” Lauren Groff wrote. To her horror, she discovers that the writer herself is not Mexican nor a migrant.

This well-meaning nonsense got us, the readers, nowhere. The question that a review answers is simply, is the book any good? If it were a work of nonfiction, all these questions about identity, access and the problematic “white gaze” as Groff called it, become more relevant. But American Dirt is a novel, and a thriller at that, so the angst over the accuracy of its portrayal, rather than whether the world feels authentic, seems misplaced and forced.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing – Monday February 3, 2020

Publishes: Articles; Features; Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Reviews;
Areas include: Entertainment; Music; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult

Entertainment periodical, online-only since 2009. Accepts short stories between 500 and 3,000 words. For features or music reviews contact by email in advance. See website for specific email addresses and full submission guidelines.

[See the full listing]

Top ten writing tips and resolutions for aspiring writers by Jane Riley – Saturday February 1, 2020

How satisfying is it to start the year off with a set of resolutions you assure yourself you’ll achieve – or, as my character Oliver Clock does in The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock, jots down goals in his ‘Notebook of Resolutions’ throughout the year? The problem is, however, that like Oliver, many of us never even start the resolutions we make, let alone achieve them. For all those aspiring writers out there, here are my top ten tips and resolutions that are, hopefully, achievable all year round.


[Read the full article]

Publishing's 'American Dirt' Problem – Saturday February 1, 2020

Ask someone who works in publishing what they think of American Dirt and they might tell you they’re not the best person to speak to the situation. Or that they haven’t read the novel. They might directly reference their privilege, then suggest you ask one of the handful of Latinx people who edit or sell books.

This was the reaction from myriad publishing professionals when questions were put to them about the latest controversy that has engulfed their business.

Two weeks ago Jeanine Cummins’s novel, about a bookseller from Mexico who flees to America with her son in tow to escape the local drug cartel, was a bestseller-in-waiting, riding a wave of critical support to its January 21 release date. Now it is a cultural lightening rod, and its author is at the center of a complex debate about power, privilege, and who should be given a platform to tell what stories. Though many insiders say they welcome the conversation that the book’s publication has inadvertently raised—about which books the industry chooses to elevate, and whether it’s properly equipped to champion the work of diverse voices—they’re stunned at the aggressive turn the debate has taken. And, even if they won’t say so publicly, they admit feeling sorry for Cummins who, as an author, should not have to answer for the shortcomings of the publishing industry as a whole.

[Read the full article]

Prize for short form writers launched in tribute to Dave Murray – Friday January 31, 2020

An award for new and emerging short-form writers has been launched in memory of Manchester-based writer and critic Dave Murray.

The QuietManDave Prize will be run by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with the Manchester School of Theatre.

Named in honour of Murray, a writer and theatre blogger, and lover of flash fiction and non-fiction, who died in 2019, the prize has been initiated and funded by Murray’s family, including his wife Vanda Murray OBE, who is a senior non-executive director with several organisations and chair of Manchester Metropolitan’s board of governors.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing – Thursday January 30, 2020

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

Online literary journal publishing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Submit via website through online submission system.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Niamh O'Grady – Thursday January 30, 2020

Actively looking for accessible literary and reading-group fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is drawn to books with heart and humour, thought-provoking writing and distinctive, compelling voices. She particularly loves novels that explore family and relationships and wants to read stories that leave an emotional impact, with characters that stay with her long after the final page. She is keen to find new Irish and Northern writing talent.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Marina De Pass – Thursday January 30, 2020

Loves commercial and book-club fiction in all its forms – from twisty, domestic psychological suspense to smart rom-coms and big, sweeping love stories – and is actively looking to take on clients in this area.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing – Wednesday January 29, 2020

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

Publishes novels (all genres accepted, but with a literary bent), memoirs / biographies / autobiographies, creative nonfiction, and writing / publishing reference books, and short story collections. Send query by email with first ten pages and author bio.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing – Wednesday January 29, 2020

Publishes: Articles; Poetry;
Markets: Adult; Youth;
Preferred styles: Positive

Electronic poetry journal co-founded by two authors. They are family friendly, publishing "positive poetry/content. Positive as in stimulating, optimistic, confident, uplifting, inspirational." They accept work from adult writers/poets and teen poets (13-16).

We are a family-friendly magazine, so we expect clean language. No dirty words at all. We also don't want anything related to erotica or politics.

Apart from that, we are open to everything, as long as the message is good and uplifting.

When poets send us their pieces, we ask them to tell us why they think they would make a good fit for the journal. We want to ensure that they understand that the message is just as important as the language itself. There must be an energy behind the pieces that really make us think hard and ultimately inspires the reader, not just the poet themselves.

[See the full listing]

Page of 218 36