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Writers' News

(Don’t) Relax (Too Much)

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

firstwriter.com – Monday October 1, 2018

I told my friend about a grammatical glitch I found in Outside magazine:

A man came upon a dead bear cub and leaned over and touched it, but the bear had been electrocuted by a downed electrical wire, and the man, too, was zapped. (He lived but had terrible physical damage.) At any rate, the article said the bear had been laying on a live wire. Of course, obviously, the bear had been lying on the wire. (I tweeted the editor and was ignored—so much for the power of social media.)

[Read the full article]

"Survival Training For Writers": How T.R. Darling Writes Twitter Microfiction

forbes.com – Saturday September 29, 2018

Thomas R. Darling is a television news producer working in Lansing, Michigan, for his day job. The rest of the time he moonlights as a Twitter microfiction author under the handle @QuietPineTrees. He crams entire universes of storytelling into the scant character limits of the social media platform. The results are usually highly conceptual, designed to spark the imaginations of his followers.

Since joining the platform in January 2015, Darling has earned a name for himself: His account has 16.6 thousand followers, he's added a Tumblr account that's even more popular, and he's now crowdfunding a book collecting his best stories and a host of new ones. He gave me a written interview, in which he was, thankfully, a little more verbose then when writing his fiction.

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New Women's Prize longlist fee could pose 'serious barrier to entry', fear indies

thebookseller.com – Saturday September 29, 2018

The Women’s Prize for Fiction has introduced a new £1,000 fee for publishers whose books make its longlist of 16. Reaction online to the rule change reveal concerns the fee could pose "a serious barrier to entry" for smaller presses.

Independent publisher Galley Beggar Press took to Twitter yesterday to share it had just noticed the new rule which could prove "catastrophic for small publishers" in its estimation. "£1000 isn't small change to us," said Galley Beggar Press. "Our author won this prize a few years ago when we were even smaller. It would have been near impossible for us to enter with these rules."

Edinburgh independent Stirling Publishing said: "That’s us out. Perhaps we could have an alternative prize, The Poundland Women’s Prize?"

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday September 27, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Areas include: Cookery; 
Markets: Adult; Children's

Welcomes submissions of books with quality, style, and saleability. Favours books with a Cornish theme. Absence of a Cornish theme will not mean a book is necessarily rejected, but makes the decision more difficult. Particularly interested in children's picture books, cookery, and children's fiction. Send submissions by post only, with SAE.

[See the full listing]

Abrams Artists Agency Acquired By Group Including Longtime Execs, Adam Bold

deadline.com – Wednesday September 26, 2018

Venerable entertainment talent and literary agency Abrams Artists Agency has been acquired, led by a group that includes two of the New York- and Los Angeles-based company’s longtime executives Robert Attermann and Brian Cho, and entrepreneur-producer Adam Bold.

[Read the full article]

Writers' Handbook 2019 now available as an ebook

firstwriter.com – Tuesday September 25, 2018

Following last month's release of the print edition of firstwriter.com's 2019 edition of its Writers' Handbook, the digital editions are now also available from various outlets around the world. These include:

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How to write a killer crime novel, by Val McDermid (who’s sold 15 million of her own)

marieclaire.co.uk – Tuesday September 25, 2018

For the first in our new Writers Bloc series, prolific crime writer Val McDermid tells Charlotte Philby the secret to writing 32 books in as many years

Val McDermid is the multi award-winning author of 32 crime novels, which have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. She is married to the professor Jo Sharp, and has a teenage son. McDermid divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh. Her latest novel Broken Ground is published by Little Brown (£18.99)

You’ve written 32 books in as many years with no signs of abating, and had your work adapted for TV. What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt about successfully drawing readers into the worlds you create?

[Read the full article]

$400M Fiction Giant Wattpad Wants To Be Your Literary Agent

forbes.com – Monday September 24, 2018

It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to type the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing.

[Read the full article]

FutureBook teams with The Pigeonhole for writing competition

thebookseller.com – Friday September 21, 2018

FutureBook is partnering with social reading app The Pigeonhole to run a short story competition exploring the future of the book. The winning author is to be hosted at the FutureBook Conference, 30th November.

Judges will be Molly Flatt, author and associate editor of FutureBook; Anna Jean Hughes, founder of The Pigeonhole; and Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Science Fiction.

[Read the full article]

The Writing Dead

nytimes.com – Friday September 21, 2018

The mystery novelist Reed Farrel Coleman was watching TV in May 2013 when his agent called and asked him, “How would you like to be Robert B. Parker?”

“It took me about a nanosecond to say yes,” Coleman wrote on his website. “We all dream about unexpected magical moments — chance encounters, phone calls, emails — that will transform us, but do we ever believe they will happen?”

These days, when a popular author dies, financially savvy heirs often commission someone to keep writing his or her books. (There’s even a term for this: “continuation literature.”) Sophie Hannah writes Agatha Christie novels; David Lagercrantz channels Stieg Larsson; Anthony Horowitz has taken on Ian Fleming. That’s what Robert B. Parker’s family decided to do when the crime novelist died in 2010. “Spenser was a cash cow,” Parker’s wife, Joan, told The Boston Globe in 2012, referring to her husband’s most beloved character, a Boston private eye. “And we felt that Bob would want to see Spenser live on.” In 2011, they hired Ace Atkins to write more Spenser novels, and in 2013 they asked Coleman to take on a different series, the one starring the Massachusetts cop Jesse Stone.

For Coleman, saying yes was the easy part. “It’s one thing to be offered to step into a great man’s shoes. It is quite another to stare at the blank screen and figure out what to do,” he says ruefully. So he called Atkins. “He gave me some tips on how my life was about to change,” Coleman says. “He suggested that I never go to the fan sites. Of course, that was the first thing I did.”

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