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Writers' News

The one piece of advice every aspiring author needs to know

independent.co.uk – Sunday August 5, 2018

If you are one of the millions of people who aspire to be a published author, I have some writing advice for you: never listen to writing advice.

Not that it’s easy to avoid. If you go on Twitter and follow the hashtag #amwriting you’ll get more unsolicited advice than you know what to do with. Do this, do that, don’t on any account do the other. Everyone it seems, has some rules for you to follow.

Which is hardly surprising, as literally almost everybody is writinga book. And I use the phrase “literally almost everybody” advisedly. At the BookExpo America conference in 2015, author Jane McGonigal claimed that 90 per cent of young people in the US say they want to write a book.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday August 3, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult; Youth

Describes itself as a conventional independent publishing house that thinks unconventionally. Willing to consider most genres of fiction and nonfiction, other than hate books and gratuitous pornography. Approach using submission form on website.

[See the full listing]

How to Write a Book Without Losing Your Mind

theatlantic.com – Thursday August 2, 2018

A few months ago, I promised some nice people in New York that I would, sometime very soon, write a book.

Since then, I have:

Called my mom rejoicing.

Called my mom crying.

Considered changing my Twitter bio, then thought better of it.

Considered emailing all my ex-boyfriends and mentors to let them know I’m an impostor, then thought better of it.

Extensively researched three different long-form writing softwares, only to find that I prefer the first one I ever tried.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday August 2, 2018

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

Online magazine publishing poems that are unique or thought provoking. No religious poems, nature poems, greeting card styled poems or teenage angst. Send submissions in the body of an email with bio up to 75 words and author photo.

[See the full listing]

Why Are So Many Wannabe Screenwriters Getting Scammed?

hollywoodreporter.com – Wednesday August 1, 2018

From "pitch fests" to online script coaches, an entire cottage industry has sprung up to help aspiring scribes crack the movie business, and while some offerings are legit, many are schemes designed to prey on the Hollywood dreams of gullible strivers.

A few weeks after Manny Fonseca arrived in Los Angeles in the early part of this decade, having left his native Michigan with the hope of becoming a Hollywood writer or executive, the then 30-year-old was at a party when a producer asked if he’d “like to make a hundred bucks.” Sure, he replied. What would he have to do?

The answer was to show up the next day at a “pitch fest,” one of dozens of such gatherings each year in which hopefuls pay hundreds of dollars to serve up their story ideas to agents and executives who, in theory, will buy them if they’re good. Fonseca would be there as one of the buyers, which struck him as strange — not only was he not an executive, he didn’t even have a proper job: he had been interning with producers Arnold Kopelson and Irwin Winkler. 

[Read the full article]

Judith Appelbaum, a Guide for Would-Be Authors, Dies at 78

nytimes.com – Monday July 30, 2018

Judith Appelbaum, whose almost 60-year career in book publishing became a crusade to make the industry better — for writers, publishers and readers — died on Wednesday at her home in Bedford, N.Y. She was 78.

Alan Appelbaum, her husband of 57 years, said the cause was ovarian cancer.

Ms. Appelbaum held numerous jobs in the book publishing industry. During the early 1980s she was managing editor of Publishers Weekly and wrote the “Paperback Talk” column for The New York Times Book Review. But her best-remembered and most influential project may have been the 1978 book “How to Get Happily Published: A Complete and Candid Guide,” which she wrote with Nancy Evans.

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How the ‘brainy’ book became a publishing phenomenon

theguardian.com – Sunday July 29, 2018

This is a story about a book that just kept selling, catching publishers, booksellers and even its author off guard. In seeking to understand the reasons for the book’s unusually protracted shelf life, we uncover important messages about our moment in history, about the still-vital place of reading in our culture, and about the changing face of publishing.

The book is Sapiens, by the Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari, published in the UK in September 2014. It’s a recondite work of evolutionary history charting the development of humankind through a scholarly examination of our ability to cooperate as a species. Sapiens sold well on publication, particularly when it came out in paperback in the summer of 2015. What’s remarkable about it, though, is that it’s still selling in vast numbers. In its first two and a half years of life, Sapiens sold just over 200,000 copies in the UK. Since 2017, when Harari published Homo Deus, his follow-up, Sapienshas sold a further half million copies, establishing itself firmly at the top of the bestseller lists (and convincingly outselling its sequel). Sapiens has become a publishing phenomenon and its wild success is symptomatic of a broader trend in our book-buying habits: a surge in the popularity of intelligent, challenging nonfiction, often books that are several years old.

[Read the full article]

Marjacq to push further into the heart of the action in its 45th year

thebookseller.com – Sunday July 29, 2018

Despite concerns about the "Spotification of literature" and the unknowns of Brexit, Marjacq’s director Guy Herbert is in an upbeat mood as he welcomes me to the central London office of the boutique literary agency, which turns 45 this year.

What follows is a more chaotic interview than the average company profile for The Bookseller, as his six-agent team piles into the small meeting space along with their leader. We are forced to conduct the interview in two stages as there are not enough chairs to fit all the staff in, but the conversation that follows is peppered with the words "collegiate" and "collaborative", and it is clear that these phrases are not merely paying lip service.

[Read the full article]

Inspiration or plagiarism? Writing hackles raised in Boston dispute

bostonglobe.com – Friday July 27, 2018

Good artists copy, but great artists steal, or so the old saying goes. But the truth may be far more complicated, as shown by a recent case of alleged plagiarism that rattled through Boston’s literary scene.

Accusations arose in June that a small section of a piece of short fiction chosen by the Boston Book Festival for its annual One City One Story program contained material lifted from another, real-life source. The group is planning to distribute now slightly modified copies of the work for free starting in late August.

The story, “The Kindest,” by Boston writer Sonya Larson, involves a kidney donation and was published last year in American Short Fiction to praise and acclaim. The objections, raised by a former friend of Larson who said the writer had lifted material from her Facebook post, eventually triggered legal and ethical inquiriesas well as questions of when and how it is acceptable for the stuff of real life — someone else’s life in particular — to be transformed into art.

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This Piece Of Writing Advice From 'Ron Carlson Writes A Story' Transformed My Creative Process For The Better

bustle.com – Friday July 27, 2018

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a writer in some capacity or another. Growing up, I spent all the free time I had working on angsty teenage love poems and cringe-worthy romance stories that were in reality just thinly veiled fantasies about whoever I had a crush on that week. Back then, the words flowed out of me almost seamlessly, but as I got older, I found that writing — and I mean really writing, actually working on a novel — is a lot more difficult than it seemed a decade ago when I still believed every idea I had was pure gold and every word I put on paper was absolutely genius. It had a lot to do with my confidence, or a lack thereof and my fear of creating something terrible, embarrassing, or just plain boring. For years, I found myself starting a project with the highest of hopes, only to abandon it after a few hundred words, convinced there was no way that what I was writing was could ever become an actual work of literary art. That is, until I picked up a slim writing guide that held within its pages advice from author Ron Carlson that transformed my writing process for the better.

[Read the full article]

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