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Writers' News

Audible's Captions Program Stirs Fears, Frustration Among Publishers

publishersweekly.com – Saturday July 20, 2019

“Outrageous” and “copyright infringement” were the first two (unsolicited) emails PW received from independent publishers when word of Audible’s new program to run text along side its audiobooks began to spread. The program, called Captions, which requires the company to transcribe audio to text, was highlighted in a story in USA Today with a headline touting that Audible is looking to let customers “ ‘read’ an audiobook while [they] listen.” While the company disputes that description, saying Captions is not at all akin to the act of reading, publishers, literary agents, and organizations representing authors are skeptical.

While Audible said in a statement that Captions “does not replicate or replace the print or eBook reading experience,” publishers are unconvinced. “There are real copyright issues here and authors, publishers, and agents should review and clarify their positions,” said Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks. “It seems unlikely that Audible was granted these rights.”

[Read the full article]

Adventures in Script-Writing

counterpunch.org – Friday July 19, 2019

Over the years I’ve had approximately twenty scripts produced at small theaters in and around Hollywood and Orange County. None of these plays were celebrated or spectacular, mind you, just some offbeat comedies (in what might be called the “minimalist” tradition) that were fortunate enough to attract modest audiences willing to pay $25.

Live theater, particularly when you’re doing original scripts, is a fascinating process. You start by submitting a script to the artistic director of a theater. If they agree to produce it, you hold auditions, cast the roles, conduct rehearsals (usually four to six weeks), have your “tech week” (where the cast dresses in their costumes, and all the technical stuff—lights, musical cues, and special effects—are integrated into the performance), followed by opening night. Which is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Original plays are also challenging in ways that established plays are not. The difference between an actor doing material by a dead playwright like Arthur Miller or Agatha Christie, and doing material by a famous but living playwright like Christopher Durang or Beth Henley, is that the actor is never going to suggest to the director that the script be changed. Not in his or her wildest dreams would they suggest such a thing. (“Can’t we shorten that speech by Hamlet?” Make it lighter?”)

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday July 19, 2019

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Short Stories; 
Markets: Adult

Publishes novels, textbooks, poetry, short stories, photo essays, graphic novels, short-form personal essays and long-form nonfiction work. Query via form on website.

[See the full listing]

WGA’s fight with agents enters Act 2, but there’s no end in sight

latimes.com – Friday July 19, 2019

Like many of his peers, writer Rasheed Newson, a co-executive producer on the Showtime drama “The Chi,” was supportive of his union’s efforts to rein in some of the aggressive practices of talent agencies.

But three months after the Writers Guild of America told members to fire their agents, Newson is growing frustrated with the lack of progress in resolving a dispute that has consumed Hollywood.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday July 18, 2019

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

Punk-influenced broadsheet journal based in Cape Cod and Pittsburgh. Publishes material both in print and online. Send one or two unpublished stories or up to five unpublished poems, by email. See website for full guidelines and separate email address for poetry submissions.

[See the full listing]

U.S. Publishers Report Nearly $1 Billion in Sales as Strong Industry Growth Continues

benzinga.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

 

NEW YORK, July 17, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Audio Publishers Association released the results from their annual sales survey, conducted by independent research firm Management Practice Inc., which revealed that the strong growth the audiobook industry has seen in recent years continues. Based on information from responding publishers, U.S. audiobook sales in 2018 totaled $940 million, up 24.5% from the previous year, with a corresponding 27.3% increase in units. This continues the seven-year trend of double-digit revenue growth in audiobooks year over year.

[Read the full article]

Grammarly will now tell you if your writing is bland

news.yahoo.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

Grammarly has announced that its text Editor tool will not only check your grammar correctness and spelling, but also warn you if your writing is bland or lacking in conciseness.

Since the company was founded over 10 years ago, Grammarly has offered students, professionals, and anyone who types on a computer an AI-powered grammar tool that helps them write and spell correctly. This week the company announced that its browser extension, web, and desktop Grammarly Editor apps are getting an update that will do more than just keep users' texts mistake-free, it will also encourage them to write smoothly and more concisely.

[Read the full article]

David Ly and Jenny Ferguson In Conversation

this.org – Wednesday July 17, 2019

Meet This Magazine‘s new Poetry Editor, David Ly, and Fiction Editor, Jenny Ferguson. Jenny Ferguson is Métis, an activist, feminist, auntie, teacher, and accomplice with a PhD. She is the author of Border Markers (NeWest Press), a collection of linked flash fiction narratives. Jenny believes writing and teaching are political acts. David Ly is a writer and poet based in Vancouver. His poetry has appeared in range of magazines and anthologies, including The Puritan, The /temz/ Review, Prism international, Pulp Literature, The Maynard, and carte blanche. He is the author of the chapbook, Stubble Burn (Anstruther Press) and the upcoming collection Mythical Man (Anstruther Books, 2020). Here, Jenny and David interview each other about their new roles, what they’re looking for in a poem or story, and the future of CanLit.

[Read the full article]

Tips From Publishers: How Authors Can Improve Their Chances Of Getting Published

By Hollie Jones
Freelance Blogger

firstwriter.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

What are the odds of an author getting a book published? According to literary agent Chip MacGregor, the chances could be as low as 0.0065%. If you want to be one of the few writers who are able to make a book and see it on the shelves, you have to get it in front of publishers and give them something they can work with. From finding the right niche to getting an agent, here’s what you can do to improve your chances of getting published.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

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

Seeks poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction of exceptional literary merit. Submit through online submission system. $10 submission fee.

[See the full listing]

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