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Writers' News

Don’t dip your pen in someone else’s blood: writers and ‘the other’

irishtimes.com – Sunday July 1, 2018

Was there ever any worse advice than write what you know? Who of the greats ever wrote what they knew? Did Charlotte Bronte live in a grand country house with a man called Edward Rochester who tried to commit bigamy with her before she wrote Jane Eyre? Was Gustave Flaubert a woman who committed adultery before he wrote Madame Bovary? And how many of us could write a good book if we only wrote what we know? I would have to write about a middle-aged woman who lives in a midlands town, visits Tesco and tends her garden. No story there. No bestseller. Because it’s not interesting. As writers we have to make things up if we want to spin a good yarn. We have to have a murder or two, a broken heart, a bank robbery, a ride in a spaceship.

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Writers and publishers trade blows over plummeting author pay levels

theguardian.com – Saturday June 30, 2018

The Society of Authors has issued a sharply worded challenge to the UK’s biggest publishers after the chief executive of the Publishers Association questioned new figures revealing the plummeting incomes of writers, describing them as “unrecognisable”.

A survey of more than 5,500 professional writers for the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) revealed earlier this week that median earnings for professional authors had dropped by 42% since 2005 below £10,500 a year, with the average full-time writer earning just £5.73 an hour, well below the UK minimum wage for those over 25. The number of professional authors, defined as those who spend more than half their working hours writing, also fell, from 40% of all published authors in 2005 to 13.7% in 2018.

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Getting In The Right Zone To Write

forbes.com – Saturday June 30, 2018

We’ve all been there. There’s a deadline looming and all you have is a blank page. Or a mess of scribbled notes. Or reams of writing that feels dull and uninspired. The clock is ticking, and you need a break-through, but it feels like you’re going in circles.

Well, it may seem counter-intuitive but the first thing to do is step away from your computer screen. Many people have got used to thinking and writing from a place of stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you’re in the right energy zone and frame of mind, most tasks – including writing – can be done with flow and ease.

So, here are my top tips for getting in the right zone to write.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday June 29, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult

A traditional publisher that specialises in fiction and nonfiction work.

[See the full listing]

Publishers are paying writers a pittance, say bestselling authors

theguardian.com – Thursday June 28, 2018

Philip Pullman, Antony Beevor and Sally Gardner are calling on publishers to increase payments to authors, after a survey of more than 5,500 professional writers revealed a dramatic fall in the number able to make a living from their work. 

The latest report by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), due to be published on Thursday, shows median earnings for professional writers have plummeted by 42% since 2005 to under £10,500 a year, well below the minimum annual income of £17,900 recommended by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Women fare worse, according to the survey, earning 75% of what their male counterparts do, a 3% drop since 2013 when the last ALCS survey was conducted.

[Read the full article]

Pick Up A Pen...It’s National Writing Day

voice-online.co.uk – Thursday June 28, 2018

THIS YEAR’S National Writing Day today (June 27) is being celebrated with a host of literary and writing workshops for adults and children across the UK.

National Writing Day is coordinated by literacy charity First Story and designed to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to get into writing.

[Read the full article]

Tor.com Publishing Opens to Novella Submissions

locusmag.com – Wednesday June 27, 2018

Tor.com Publishing will open to novella submissions for two weeks beginning July 30, 2018.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 27, 2018

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

Publishes metrical poetry in modern English. See website for previous issues and full guidelines. Submit 3-5 poems by email during specific reading periods (August 15 - October 15; January 15 - March 15; and April 1 - June 15).

[See the full listing]

Writing agencies gear up for National Writing Day

thebookseller.com – Monday June 25, 2018

More than 35 writing agencies are coming together for this year’s National Writing Day, which will take place on Wednesday (27th June).

Author William Fiennes, who is co-ordinating the day, said there were “too many events to count” this year, with scheduled highlights including a workshop with writer Sabrina Mahfouz in London, a Twitter Q&A with Jed Mercurio on the BBC website Writers Room, and a poetry workshop with Polly Atkin in Cumbria.

National Writing Day is an annual celebration designed to inspire people across the UK to get writing and grew out of Fiennes’ experience with First Story, the charity he set up with Katie Waldegrave.

[Read the full article]

‘The Spotify for Books’ hasn’t worked yet. Here's why.

thebookseller.com – Monday June 18, 2018

No term garners more collective trepidation from the publishing industry than ‘the Spotify for Books’. From Oyster to Scribd, and Flooved to Entitle, countless outfits have professed to be on the brink of disrupting the world of books. So why have none achieved the runaway success of Spotify? Is the publishing industry fundamentally unsuitable to a model of unlimited consumption? Many would have you believe so. In reality, whilst the term has inevitably been overused, it has also been misused. This has paved the way for widespread confusion regarding business models and in many cases, unnecessary reticence from publishers.

We now live in a world increasingly skewed towards models of access over ownership. Blame the millennials if you must, but the reality is that we largely don’t actually need to own content that we consume either partially or fleetingly. And therein lies half of the explanation - the model just doesn’t work for books that are voraciously read cover-to-cover. In short, the Spotify model is less suitable for trade publishing. A bold statement, certainly, but one that has been shown to be true time and again.

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