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Writers' News

How do you write a novel? A draft in time saves nine

irishtimes.com – Thursday November 14, 2019

I’m often asked about the best way to write a novel’s first draft, and thank God for that, for otherwise I’d have no social life at all.

For some reason it generally seems to happen when I discover myself at the bottom of Dawson Street around lunchtime, waiting to cross over to the Trinity side.

“I say, Mr Burke!” bawls some aspiring scribe who, having recently perambulated around from College Green, has mistaken me for that prime hunk of literary boulevardier, Edmund Burke. “How does one go about writing a novel-length story?”

“Well,” I bawl back, which usually precipitates something of a conversational longueur, it being my accoster’s expectation that I have deployed same as a precursor to embarking on lengthy disquisition, whereas my advice in the matter of writing novel-length stories is as brief as it is simple, ie, that if they must be written at all, then they really ought to be written well.

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Strong year for Children's publishing as W H Smith unveils Books of the Year

thebookseller.com – Thursday November 14, 2019

W H Smith has unveiled its Books of the Year, with the retailer recognising two children's books for the first time.

In recognition of the "diverse choice across children’s publishing and the importance it plays in supporting literacy and engagement in young readers", W H Smith has chosen both bestselling rhyming read-aloud picture book Oi Puppies! (Hodder Children's Books) by Kes Gray and Jim Field, and the inclusive Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention (Simon & Schuster Children's UK) by Pip Jones and Sara Ogilvie as its Children's Books of the Year. 

Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatshare (Quercus), which has sold 15,362 copies through TCM, has been named Fiction Book of the Year. W H Smith said the "brilliant rom-com" story of Tiffy and Leon who share a flat but have never met is "one of the most uplifting debuts of 2019". 

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One long sentence, 1,000 pages: Lucy Ellmann 'masterpiece' wins Goldsmiths prize

theguardian.com – Thursday November 14, 2019

Lucy Ellmann’s 1,000-page novel Ducks, Newburyport has won the £10,000 Goldsmiths prize for “fiction at its most novel”, praised by judges as a “masterpiece”.

Ducks, Newburyport is the stream-of-consciousness internal monologue of a mother in Ohio as she bakes pies in her kitchen. Made up of one long run-on sentence, with interludes from the perspective of a mountain lion, its ambitious form led to it being turned down by Ellmann’s previous publisher, Bloomsbury. It later found a home at independent press Galley Beggar and was shortlisted for this year’s Booker prize.

Chair of judges, Erica Wagner called the novel “that rare thing: a book which, not long after its publication, one can unhesitatingly call a masterpiece”.

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Five Things To Keep in Mind When Writing A Fantasy Series

winteriscoming.net – Wednesday November 13, 2019

Writing a fantasy series can feel a lot like going on a really long road trip. No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re probably still going to get lost a zillion times and realize that you didn’t pack half the things you need. But none of that will matter because you’ll have all kinds of adventures along the journey!

Or … your characters will at least.

As the author? You’re mostly going to consume a lot of caffeine.

I’ll be honest: I had no idea how to write a book when I first got the idea for Keeper of the Lost Cities. And I knew right away that the story would need to be told throughout the course of a series, so it felt extra daunting. I tried studying the craft of writing, but it was all a bit too abstract to be useful for me. What helped me so much more was devouring as many fantasy series as I could get my hands on—which brings me to the first thing to keep in mind if you’re writing a fantasy series.

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New Literary Agency Listing: Javelin

firstwriter.com – Monday November 11, 2019

Represents presidential contenders, diplomats, journalists, historians, scientists – and others with a unique and compelling story to share.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday November 8, 2019

Publishes: Articles; Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews;
Areas include: Arts; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes poetry that responds to, explores, or is inspired by a piece of art, and fiction and nonfiction of any kind, including book interviews or profiles, and articles about ekphrastic writing. Accepts submissions in alternate months only. Closed to submissions in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

[See the full listing]

When rejection isn’t failure

dailyprincetonian.com – Thursday November 7, 2019

This year, I had only one New Year’s resolution: to receive a rejection letter from a literary agent. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to succeed. It was because rejection isn’t the opposite of success, but a necessary step on the road to accomplishment.

Rejection sucks. It’s inevitable, but still — it sucks. This problem is especially prevalent here at Princeton, where students who were their high school’s star athlete or lead actor or first chair find themselves suddenly surrounded by people who are, let’s face it, more talented than them. So often, Princeton students will go through audition after interview after application and face rejection after rejection after rejection. I’ve certainly had my fair share here, and I won’t pretend that it didn’t shatter my self-esteem a little.

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Folio Lit Acquires Emma Sweeney Agency

publishersweekly.com – Thursday November 7, 2019

Folio Literary Management has acquired the Emma Sweeney Literary Agency (ESA), effective January 2, 2020. The latter, founded in 2006, represented such authors as Sara Gruen and Edgar Cantero.

In a release about the deal, Folio said authors at ESA have won a host of major literary awards, including the Nobel and the Pulitzer. And Gruen's 2006 novel, Water for Elephants, has Folio noted, sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

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CalArts’ Creative Writing MFA Program Is Seeking Applications for Fall 2020

hyperallergic.com – Thursday November 7, 2019

CalArts’ MFA Creative Writing Program—a two-year master’s degree dedicated to fostering the experimental impulse, is seeking applicants for Fall 2020.  A non-tracking program that allows students the freedom to study across genre and form, CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program is designed for writers who want to push beyond traditional boundaries and discover new modes of expression through language. With new faculty members Michael Leong and Anthony McCann, and exciting guests including the 2020 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence, John Keene, there’s never been a better time to apply.

Centered in the storied creative laboratory that is CalArts—an electric community of boundary-pushing visual and performing artists—the program’s rigorous courses can be supplemented by enriching electives from across the institute. CalArts incredible faculty, stellar reading series, and genre-busting literary magazine, SubLevel, afford our students the opportunity to work and study with some of the most exciting writers publishing today. Postgraduate professional development opportunities such as teaching fellowships, and artist residencies, gird our graduates for the demands of life as a working writer.

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 7, 2019

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Short Stories; Spiritual;
Markets: Adult; Children's;
Preferred styles: Literary

Usually accepts submissions from Canadian authors only. Send query by post with SAE with sufficient Canadian postage for return, with author bio, synopsis, and first three chapters up to a maximum of 50 pages.

[See the full listing]

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