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Writers' News

Sentimentality in Poetry: Emotional Imbalance and How to Avoid it

By Maria Foster
Poet and Writer

firstwriter.com – Saturday April 18, 2020

Nothing is going to turn readers off your writing quicker than that sickly, disingenuous whiff of sentimentality that emanates from aggressively emotional wording. That cliched, pandering thing that so many writers fall into the trap of.

All of my mean adjectives aside, it’s usually not something that happens deliberately. It’s not like people are just padding out their writing with sentimentality, knowing that it sounds awful but doing it anyway just because they want to.

What’s going on is probably more of a misguided attempt at something that is actually sincere. When we’re writing something creative and artistic, it’s almost always going to be an expression of emotion.

[Read the full article]

12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times

nytimes.com – Thursday April 16, 2020

The coronavirus has transformed life as we know it. Schools are closed, we’re confined to our homes and the future feels very uncertain. Why write at a time like this?

For one, we are living through history. Future historians may look back on the journals, essays and art that ordinary people are creating now to tell the story of life during the coronavirus.

But writing can also be deeply therapeutic. It can be a way to express our fears, hopes and joys. It can help us make sense of the world and our place in it.

Plus, even though school buildings are shuttered, that doesn’t mean learning has stopped. Writing can help us reflect on what’s happening in our lives and form new ideas.

[Read the full article]

Sphinx Theatre announces £1,000 commissions for female playwrights and new writing lab

thestage.co.uk – Wednesday April 15, 2020

A new writing programme for female playwrights, offering £1,000 seed commissions and support from writers including Winsome Pinnock and April De Angelis, has been launched by Sphinx Theatre.

The pilot writing programme, called Sphinx Lab, and the commissions have been announced to mark the company’s 30th anniversary.

Emerging to mid-career female playwrights can apply for one of 10 commissions by submitting a CV and an example of their work to Sphinx Theatre by June 15. Further opportunities are to be announced for mid-career to established female playwrights.

[Read the full article]

Caskie and Mushens part ways after three years

thebookseller.com – Wednesday April 15, 2020

After three years working together as Caskie Mushens, literary agents Robert Caskie and Juliet Mushens have decided to work independently.

Each will continue working with their own clients, the pair confirmed.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agency Listing: 42 Management and Production

firstwriter.com – Wednesday April 15, 2020

A fully integrated management and production company, producing film, television and content, representing actors, writers, directors, producers, casting directors and media book rights; with offices in London and Los Angeles.

[See the full listing]

Literary Magazines Published by Libraries

bookriot.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020

As both an author and library employee, I’m intrigued by libraries that publish literary magazines. Since so many libraries offer services for local writers and writer organizations, it seems like a natural extension.

In fact, last month I had the pleasure of being a judge—along with authors Sarah McGuire and Peter Raymundo—for the Osceola Library System’s third annual literary contest for kids aged 8–17. The theme was “There’s a Monster in My Lit Mag!” and while the ceremony for the winners has been cancelled, the winners will be read in an upcoming episode of the library’s Nonfiction Friends podcast by Jonathan, the amazing Youth Specialist who coordinated the contest.

[Read the full article]

Faber, Canongate and Profile among indies to furlough staff

thebookseller.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020

Faber, Canongate, Profile, Oneworld and Pushkin Press are among indie publishers who have confirmed to The Bookseller they are temporarily furloughing staff, making use of the government-funded scheme intended to alleviate the business impact of coronavirus. But the scheme also has its critics, with Will Atkinson of Atlantic Books (which is furloughing about 25% of its staff) calling it "clunky" and "completely unsuitable" for the industry.

Andrew Franklin, founder of Profile Books, confirmed: "We've furloughed about 20% of our staff. We asked for volunteers first across all departments, but nobody has been compelled. The criteria we used [took into account] individual wellbeing, the long-term health of the company, and the strain put on the people left behind."

[Read the full article]

Publishers: Think Like a Kid

blogs.publishersweekly.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020

When we heard the news that one of spring’s most highly anticipated books for kids wouldn’t be coming out until late summer, I’ll be honest: it felt like a gut punch—to kids.

All these children who had just learned they would be sheltering in place at home for weeks to come, whose worlds had shrunk practically to the size of their living rooms, were so in need of the kind of joy a new book by their favorite author brings.

[Read the full article]

E-readership on the rise as publishers feel Covid-19 heat

dailypioneer.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020

With limited opportunities for physical book sales, publishers across the world looking to meet targets with e-books.

"The COVID-19 impact is (affecting) and will affect book industry as well. Books are never treated as essential items, which they should be, during the lockdown to engage people while they are at home. E-books are likely to see a spike in sales, but that is still a tiny fraction of the total market. But at this time, we are trying to use different platforms to sell our e-books," Usha Jha, VP (Sales), Speaking Tiger, told IANS.

As per Speaking Tiger's VP Publishing, Renuka Chatterjee , it's not so much the absence of physical book launches, promotions and author tours - which in any case have limited benefits in relation to the costs involved - but the fact that bookshops are closed, distributors are not taking orders, and people simply can't go to a bookstore to buy books."

Adding, "From that perspective, e-readership should certainly see a rise. We may also have to focus more on digital and e-books in the immediate future, to minimise printing costs and recover some of the losses we've made in this period," Chatterjee added.

[Read the full article]

TV Lit Agent Laura Gordon Leaving ICM for CAA Amid Coronavirus Shutdown

variety.com – Sunday April 12, 2020

Hollywood’s talent agencies may be significantly impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but agents are still making moves in an unprecedented crisis.

Television literary rep Laura Gordon, who has risen from the assistant level at ICM Partners nearly a decade ago to senior agent, left the shop amicably this week after the expiration of her contract, sources said. CAA is in the process of finalizing her deal, added another insider.

Gordon will join a company that has just instituted across-the-board salary reductions, not to mention one of the majors currently in a contentious battle with the Writers Guild of America over packaging fees. It was not immediately clear if Gordon will be subjected to the cuts made across CAA, which will see “our highest compensated colleagues shouldering a greater responsibility,” a CAA spokesperson said this week.

[Read the full article]

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