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Writers' News

How lockdown has affected creative writing

theboar.org – Thursday August 6, 2020

In any other circumstances the idea of taking a few months off work, spending time at home with the family and having the opportunity to learn new skills and take up new hobbies sounds idyllic. Every year we eagerly await the few weeks or months of free time in summer, so the thought of being obliged to extend that time in theory sounds blissful.

However, the arrival of COVID-19 and indefinite national lockdown was something we struggled to anticipate, and even 4 months on still struggle to comprehend – and is certainly not the blissful time off we might have dreamed of. It has affected us all in countless ways, and of all the hobbies that people have picked up, creative writing has proved a seemingly popular one. So how has lockdown impacted writers around the world? 

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Why I plan every novel I write - and how to plan yours

theguardian.com – Thursday August 6, 2020

There’s no denying that around 90 per cent of novelists asked will say that they don’t plan their books before they begin drafting, and they will often follow that up with a comment that implies planning would somehow take the fun/creativity out of the process for them.

The opposite is true for me. And, since so many people at festivals and talks I have done have found this helpful to hear, I’ve decided to write about it. Maybe it will be helpful for you too?

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12 (Plus 1) Ways to Promote Safely at Home

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

firstwriter.com – Sunday August 2, 2020

When I first published a couple of books, of course I went to all the conferences in various cities to speak on panels and promote. I did readings in bookstores.

Those were the days.

Those days are gone.

Now, while we might deliver hometown bookstore readings in some locales, in other towns and cities, we might not be able to. We’d certainly have to think twice about the risks anywhere (if the stores are even open).

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Publishers Play the Pandemic Waiting Game

publishersweekly.com – Sunday August 2, 2020

With Labor Day only five weeks away, it has become clear that a substantial number of publishers, both in New York City and elsewhere, will not be returning to their offices in anything resembling full force before 2021. Moreover, organizers of a few industry events set for early next year have already announced they will be moving them from in-person to online. PubWest, for one, announced that its annual conference, originally planned for February 4–6 in Denver, will be virtual.

Those developments follow decisions to hold many fall 2020 publishing events online. All of the fall regional bookselling shows, which some had speculated could mark the return of in-person meetings, have gone virtual. BISG canceled its annual meeting—which had originally been planned for spring but moved to September 11 in New York City—and replaced it with a series of online programs, which began July 28 and will conclude on September 11 with its awards ceremony and a keynote address by Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt. Last week, the Brooklyn Book Festival said it will move its September 28–October 5 fair online. The National Book Awards will also be a virtual event, set for November 18. In the weeks ahead of the awards ceremony, the NBA will hold a series of digital programs, beginning October 20 with its 5 Under 35 event, which recognizes emerging fiction writers.

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Creative writing – how to begin

argyllshireadvertiser.co.uk – Friday July 31, 2020

For me, there are two essential ingredients when it comes to setting out as a creative writer: time and space. By creative writing I mean poetry, short stories, novels and children’s writing: everything involving the use of the imagination.

When someone claims they don’t have time to write, I don’t believe them as it’s a question of making time.

PD James started writing when nursing a dying husband: he needed care all through the day. There was a part of the night when finally he went to sleep and she had the chance to put pen to paper, so that was what she did. If we are serious about wanting to write, we will make time.

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Why are women now dominating the literary landscape?

irishtimes.com – Thursday July 30, 2020

he past few years have been a boon for women novelists, often young and often literary debutantes. Sally Rooney is the standard bearer of this trend. And though we should resist comparisons between two successful female writers simply for the sake of it, snapping at Rooney’s ankles is Naoise Dolan (28) with her accomplished (if slightly naive) debut Exciting Times.

Dolan’s refreshingly sharp perspective on how women are perceived, coupled with Rooney’s stratospheric success, and Anna Burn’s Milkman winning the Man Booker Prize in 2018 all point to one thing: books by, and about, women are in vogue.

This upsurge in commercial success and critical acclaim is not just the preserve of Irish women, of course. In 2019 the Booker Prize was awarded to two women (that the award was split between Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo was a disappointingly lazy cop-out from the judges and no comment on the inimitable talents of either author). And so too this year the Booker Prize longlist contains just four men out of the total 13. Women’s domination of the literary landscape seems all but complete. But of course it raises the question: Why? And why now?

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How These Writers Got a Literary Agent

thecut.com – Friday July 24, 2020

What do you do if you think the document you’ve been working on maybe, just maybe, might possibly be a book? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but for some writers, the next step is to look for a literary agent who will work to sell your manuscript to a publishing house and help guide your career from a business standpoint (typically for a fee of 15 percent). Below, eight writers explain how they connected with their literary agent.

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New Literary Agent Listing: Kwaku Acheampong

firstwriter.com – Friday July 24, 2020

Looking for fiction and nonfiction across most genres, though he has a special passion for new adult.

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So You Want to Write?

thecut.com – Wednesday July 22, 2020

When it comes to making it as a writer, there’s no magical shortcut to success: You just have to show up and keep doing the work. But there are some things that might be helpful to know and bits of wisdom to encourage you to keep going. Below, nine writers share what they wish they’d known and the advice they would give fledgling writers.

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Q magazine to close

completemusicupdate.com – Tuesday July 21, 2020

Q magazine will close after one final issue, it has been confirmed. Publisher Bauer Media had hoped to find a buyer, but seemingly no deal could be done to rescue the music magazine.

It was one of ten titles put up for review by Bauer in May. Last month it was announced that three of those ten would close, including another younger music title, the magazine spin-off of radio station Planet Rock. But Q was among five magazines that the publisher hoped might be bought by another company, with talks about a possible sale seemingly at an “advanced” stage.

Prior to that announcement the team who produce Q were pretty certain closure was incoming and put together the most recent issue as if it was the last. The prospect of surviving under new ownership allowed them to start working on another edition, but yesterday Editor Ted Kessler confirmed closure was now confirmed, making the upcoming issue the grand finale.

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