Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

10 Writing Rules You Can (and Should) Break – Friday July 14, 2017

Let me begin by reminding you—and myself, because of certain things we must routinely remind ourselves, too—that there are, in fact, no rules in fiction. Like, none. (Hell, in this context, the word rule should probably even appear in quotes, just as, say, “reality” has since—when?—1920? 1945? ’53? From November 8, 2016 on, for sure.) And also by reminding us that this general rulelessness is almost certainly a big part of what made us want to write the stuff in the first place. (Remember that joyful whoop that would surge through the classroom whenever Teacher announced that the next assignment was to be creative? Exactly.) Why, if we wanted to follow rules we would’ve leapt to become the low-to-mid-level employees that we’ve had to be anyway in order to buy ourselves all the time we need to learn how to not follow any goddamned rules for a change. Because, regardless of what all these rule enforcers like to tell themselves and others, breaking rules really means writing new ones of your own, which, of course, is way harder than simply following the ones other people came up with. But regardless of how you feel about rules, so long as you’re willing to break them now and then, here are 10 that you should absolutely have at:

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Seat 14C: Science Fiction short story competition launched – Friday July 14, 2017

On June 28, XPRIZE launched Seat 14C, an online science fiction anthology that offers a glimpse into a techno-optimistic future.  Many of the world’s leading sci-fi authors have contributed an original short story told from the perspective of one of the passengers on a flight that mysteriously lands in San Francisco, 20 years in the future, and they need your help.

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New Magazine Listing – Thursday July 13, 2017

Publishes: Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

A print magazine until 2008, now publishes two online issues a year. Publishes fiction up to 5,000 words; nonfiction; poetry; artwork; and graphic narratives. Submit via online submission system only - no submissions by post or email. Reading periods run from September 1 to November 1, and January 15 to May 1. No work by current or former students of the university.

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Vermont author says writing what you know isn’t always the best practice – Wednesday July 12, 2017

Jeffrey Lent takes a hammer to the popular advice for young writers, “Write what you know,” and shatters it. In his new book, “Before We Sleep,” 17-year-old Katey Snow goes on a journey of self-discovery. The story follows Katey, her mother Ruth, and her father Oliver in a tiny Vermont town in the 1960s as they grapple with the aftereffects of World War II.

Lent, who, to maintain transparency, is my uncle, has written numerous historical fiction books including “In the Fall” and “A Slant of Light.” He will be on a panel at “Islanders Write” on August 14, talking about how to write believable characters from a different gender. I sat down with him recently to talk about gender in literature, and why it’s important to go beyond what you know.

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How To Launch Your Freelance Writing Career – Wednesday July 12, 2017

There is lots of content out there about what a great career freelance writing is. And they make it look so easy. You just hook up with an agency, take gigs from job boards, sign up on “bid to write” sites, and life becomes wonderful – you can sit on the beach, just write, and make boatloads of money.

If this is what you think launching a freelance writing career is all about, then you may be looking in the wrong career direction.

Granted, freelance writing is in high demand, has a low barrier to entry and is suitable as a side gig for students or 9-to-5 workers. But, becoming a successful freelance writer and making good money involves lots of work and some lean times before you achieve a good income. Here are six strategies you can use that will build your business steadily.

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Got a great book idea but not a clue what to do? Here's a brilliant scheme to apply for – Wednesday July 12, 2017

The country’s biggest book publisher, Penguin Random House, is focusing on the North East as part of a nationwide search for untapped writing talent.

Newcastle is one of the three cities – along with Bristol and London – chosen for the second year of its WriteNow initiative.

This will result in 10 writers being chosen for a year of professional mentoring with the aim of getting their book published.

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New Literary Agency Listing – Tuesday July 11, 2017

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Areas: Business; Crime; Fantasy; Historical; Horror; Mystery; Science; Sci-Fi; Thrillers
Markets: Adult; Youth
Treatments: Commercial; Literary

Agency based in Colorado, representing fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults. No romance, poetry, children's picture books or screenplays. Send query by email with first five pages of your novel (if sending fiction) in the body of the email. For nonfiction, a proposal must be available before querying. No attachments. See website for full guidelines.

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Want to know the secret to writing a great crime novel? – Saturday July 8, 2017

Can You Keep a Secret? is the name of Karen Perry’s forthcoming novel. It is applicable to the content and action of the narrative of the novel but not to how it was written, or any other novel for that matter. Because there is no secret. No formula, no magic potion, and no short cut to what goes into the writing of a novel. And it doesn’t matter what genre we are talking about. It doesn’t matter whether the novel is a thriller, a mystery or a literary novel. Yes, that’s right, the literary novel is a genre, too. Each genre comes with its own codes and conventions, but that does not mean there is a formula.

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5 Apps That Will Help You Finish Writing Your Book – Saturday July 8, 2017

Authors are not immune to procrastination, nor to distraction. To write a book requires dedication and a consistent writing schedule, but any author will tell you that the kind of focus needed to finish something as long as a book doesn't come naturally. It's a skill that they have developed over time through continued practice.

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Flipside launches green writing competition – Friday July 7, 2017

FlipSide, East Anglia’s leading literary and arts festival based at the Snape Maltings, has launched an enviromentally-themed competition aimed at writers of all ages.

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