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Writers' News

How I write: Ben Sanders says mornings are a slog but by midday he finds some rhythm

stuff.co.nz – Wednesday January 6, 2021

Auckland-based Ben Sanders, author of American Blood and his latest The Devils You Know, shares his writing experiences.

What's your writing routine?

Writing time is nine to five, Wednesday to Friday. I always begin with a walk or some kind of exercise for about an hour. It’s like panning for gold in your brain: the stuff usable for fiction gets sifted out from the other leaden junk, and usually by the time I sit down to write I have a couple of little nuggets. Mornings are a slog: all backspace. But by midday I’ll find some rhythm.

And where do you write?

We have a home office, heavily fortified against procrastination.

Can you share a piece of good advice you've received about writing?

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‘This is the year I’ll write my novel’: new year’s resolutions and the creative mind

irishtimes.com – Wednesday January 6, 2021

New years presents a fresh slate. The distractions of Christmas have passed, and the promise of longer days lies ahead. It won’t be long before we awake to sunlight creeping in under the curtains.

We set our New Year’s resolutions: we’ll write that novel, we’ll get numerous stories or poems submitted, or we’ll do that creative writing course. We make action lists. We set daily, weekly and monthly targets. We plan to give up each of our distractions, be they television, alcohol or social media. This year, we say to ourselves, writing will be the central focus of our lives.

The problem is, of course, that these promising goals become burdensome. Inevitably, life gets in the way and we get distracted. We miss the targets. Some months later, when we read over our beautiful list of resolutions, it no longer fills us with joy. Instead it has transformed into an emotional “stick” with which we hit ourselves.

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New Literary Agent Listing: Charles Walker

firstwriter.com – Wednesday January 6, 2021

In nonfiction deals mainly in history and memoir. In fiction, leans toward literary fiction, although it can contain historical and crime and very occasionally sci-fi. Send query by email to assistant.

[See the full listing]

Publishers Association in the UK are happy with Brexit Deal

goodereader.com – Tuesday January 5, 2021

With a trade deal between the UK and EU finally, in place, the Publishers Association in the UK has heaved a sigh of relief as this will ensure uninterrupted trade with the European Union. The UK government and the European Union had time till December 31, 2020, to finalize the terms of the new relationship between them as the transition period comes to an end.

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New Literary Agent: Kay Peddle

firstwriter.com – Monday January 4, 2021

Looking for books that spark discussion, that have the potential to change opinions and reveal hidden aspects of a familiar story. Interested in narrative nonfiction; literary memoir; cookery and food writing; travel writing; nature writing; journalism with a social justice angle; politics; current affairs; history and popular science.

[See the full listing]

Announcing the Winner of the 2020 QueryLetter.com Writing Contest

queryletter.com – Sunday January 3, 2021

We at QueryLetter.com love a good blurb that compels us to read the book. Capturing people’s attention in as few words as possible is the name of the game.

A few months ago, we launched a writing contest that is all about book blurbs. The basis of the competition is simple: Write a blurb about a completely made-up, nonexistent book that would make people want to read the story. The person with the best blurb would win $500.

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Zoom Book Tours: 5 Authors on Publishing in a Pandemic

wired.com – Friday January 1, 2021

WRITING A BOOK is a lonely pursuit, one that can take years of solitary work. Selling a book is another story. Authors give talks in cramped storefronts, schmooze at luncheons, and learn to casually discuss their belabored creative project as commercial content. The publicity circuit can be dispiriting, sleazy, and exhausting. It can also be exhilarating, liberating, and fun—a chance for people who spend a lot of time alone with their thoughts to feel like someone’s heard them. This year, releasing a book into the world became another task largely undertaken solo, at home, staring at a screen. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the publishing industry to reimagine its process for convincing people to buy its latest offerings. Even the industry’s fanciest nights, like the National Book Awards gala, took place as digital events, with participants glammed up and sitting at home.

WIRED asked the writers behind five of our favorite 2020 tomes to tell us what it was like to release a book during quarantine. Here’s what they said.

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Why this forgotten punctuation mark should be revived

fastcompany.com – Thursday December 24, 2020

The first writing systems were continuous streams of type. Punctuation did not appear until the third century BC, when Greek librarian Aristophanes introduced the period to signal pauses while reading aloud. In the eighth century, English scholar Alcuin of York introduced the question mark to signal uncertainty. In the 14th century, Florentine leader Coluccio Salutati introduced the exclamation mark to signal intensity. Since then, punctuation has played a larger role than we ever could have thought—we have chosen one of these three marks to end every sentence since.

Jump forward to 1962, when New York ad executive Martin Speckter spotted a new typographic trend. Ads were asking excited, exclamatory questions, using “?!” to end the sentences. The cumbersome pairing and wasted space irritated him.

As the editor of the magazine Type Talks, he was in a position to suggest a solution. He wrote an article proposing a new end mark: the interrobang. Its name combined interro for interrogate and bang—printers’ slang for the exclamation mark. Its design combined the question mark and exclamation mark.

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A Mysterious Phishing Scam Is Roiling the Publishing Industry

theattic.jezebel.com – Tuesday December 22, 2020

The publishing industry has become the target of an international phishing scam, according to the New York Times. What usually happens is this: The author of a book will receive an email that appears to have been sent by their agent or editor, requesting the most recent draft of their manuscript. Not suspecting anything out of the ordinary, the authors attach the document, and then...nothing. They later realize that the person to whom they replied was not their agent or editor, but never do they learn what has happened to their manuscript. The manuscripts don’t seem to end up anywhere on the internet, and no one ever gets in touch with the writer or publishing house to demand a ransom or anything of the sort.

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Announcing the 2021 National Magazine Awards Categories & Call for Entries

newswire.ca – Tuesday December 22, 2020

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - The National Media Awards Foundation is thrilled to announce the call for entries and to unveil the lineup of categories for the 44th annual National Magazine Awards. The lineup includes 29 categories and two special, prestigious awards: Magazine Grand Prix and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The Foundation is also pleased to introduce an exciting, cross-programming initiative. National Magazine Awards participants are invited to submit their work to a series of seven unique categories, and these entries will compete among those submitted to the Digital Publishing Awards (DPA) and National Magazine Awards: B2B (NMA) programs. A single panel of judges will evaluate all entries, with winners announced across all three programs.

[Read the full article]

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