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Writers' News

So you want to be a novelist? A New York literary agent, editor and author reveal how bestsellers are born

independent.co.uk – Sunday June 2, 2019

Stephen Barbara’s office is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a small, cosy space in Midtown Manhattan with a bookshelf in the corner and inspirational messages on the walls (“There is nothing new in art except talent” and “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge”). Barbara himself is a welcoming person. Though he does claim to be “very argumentative”, that side of his personality doesn’t manifest itself during our hour-long chat. He’s polite, voluble, and answers questions with the patience and precision of someone who loves the topic at hand. Yet most strangers who attempt to contact Barbara will agonise over their emails for weeks. They will ask their friends to proof-read their messages. They will hold their breath as they hit send. They will spend the next hours, days or weeks anxiously refreshing their email inbox. In other words, they will manage their communications with a level of anguish that seems irreconcilable with the perfectly pleasant person sitting in front of me. Stephen Barbara, you see, is a New York literary agent.

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Is Small Press for You?

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

firstwriter.com – Sunday June 2, 2019

Manuscript finished, hat in hand, we all yearn to sell to Random House. But while the big guys demand “breakthrough” potential, most of us write mid-list or niche. Therefore, though aiming straight for the top, we might want to keep in mind independent imprints.

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New writing prize inspired by Nan Shepherd, Knives in Hens performed for scholarship fund, Brexit play for Scottish Youth Theatre

heraldscotland.com – Friday May 31, 2019

A new writing prize inspired by the work of Nan Shepherd has been launched by the leading publisher Canongate, with the Nan Shepherd Estate and the University of Aberdeen.

The winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing will receive a book deal with Canongate, including an advance of £10,000, and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates.

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday May 31, 2019

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

Submit prose up to 8,000 words or up to three poems via online submission system. $2 fee. Does not accept international submissions.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday May 30, 2019

Publishes: Fiction; 
Areas include: Fantasy; Historical; Horror; Mystery; Romance; Sci-Fi; Thrillers; Westerns; 
Markets: Adult

Send query by post or email with synopsis, author bio, and first three or four chapters / 50 pages of your manuscript. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday May 29, 2019

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

Accepts poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Prose should be under 5,000 words. Flash fiction up to 1,000 words. Will consider novel excerpts, but must work as stand alone entities. For poetry and flash fiction submit a maximum of three pieces at a time. Send submissions through online submission system. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday May 29, 2019

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reference; Scripts
Areas: Adventure; Autobiography; Criticism; Drama; Fantasy; Romance; Sci-Fi; Suspense; Thrillers; Women's Interests
Markets: Adult; Children's; Family; Youth
Treatments: Commercial; Contemporary; Cynical; Dark; Experimental; In-depth; Light; Literary; Mainstream; Niche; Popular; Positive; Progressive; Satirical; Serious; Traditional

A literary agency that started in the heart of Chiswick. The managing director is a former bookseller and bookshop manager. You can read more on the website.
All genres are welcome. We look forward to hearing from you!

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Tuesday May 28, 2019

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

International literary magazine committed to British, Irish and American poetry. Send submissions by post only, to UK or US editorial addresses. No simultaneous submissions. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

Faber & Faber: The Untold Story – What do publishers actually do all day?

irishtimes.com – Saturday May 25, 2019

On my first visit to the offices of Penguin Books in 1990 I remember overhearing the receptionist busily answering phone calls with the greetings, “Hello Penguin”, “Hello Bodley Head”, “Hello Viking”, “Hello Michael Joseph”, “Hello Hamish Hamilton”.

It was a roll call of publishing houses swallowed up by a conglomerate that was later swallowed by another conglomerate. This is no criticism of Penguin who adapted to economic circumstances to continue to publish excellent books. Publishers have survived through amalgamations for decades, resulting in a diminishing pool of gatekeepers for new authors to get past.

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Primadonna Festival launches inaugural writing prize

thebookseller.com – Friday May 24, 2019

The Primadonna Festival has launched its inaugural prize to celebrate "brilliant writing from emerging as well as established artists". 

Staged in Suffolk from August 30th to 1st September, the festival aims to focus on women’s writers to redress the gender inequality in publishing and says it will "give prominence to work by women, while welcoming all genders, on stage and off."

The Primadonna Festival is the brainchild of a group of women from publishing and entertainment, who include Sabeena Akhtar, Joanna Baker, Jane Dyball, Catherine Mayer, Kit de Waal, Shona Abhyankar, Jude Kelly, Alexis Kirschbaum, Lisa Milton, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Sonia Purnell, Monisha Rajesh, Catherine Riley, Athena Stevens, Cathryn Summerhayes, Sandi Toksvig and Sioned Wiliam.

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