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Writers' News

Daily Mail and PRH launch third £20k writers' competition

thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 8, 2018

The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have launched the third year of their nationwide competition to search for a new writing talent.

The winner will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with PRH imprint Century and the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi.

Entrants are invited to submit the first 5,000 words of their novel, along with a 600-word synopsis. Submissions can be of any adult genre except for saga, science fiction and fantasy. Entrants must not have had a novel published before.

The competition will be judged by a panel of experts: author and TV presenter Fern Britton; Bonomi, managing director of LBA Literary Agents; crime writer Simon Kernick; the Daily Mail's literary editor Sandra Parsons; and Selina Walker, publisher for Century & Arrow.

[Read the full article]

An Indian-American filmmaker wants fans to help 'fix' Simpsons character Apu

digitalspy.com – Friday May 4, 2018

Indian-American filmmaker Adi Shankar has come up with a solution to the problem of The Simpsons' character Apu: he wants to hand the character over to the fans for a rewrite.

The character has become the subject of controversy in recent months, especially after the release of 2017 documentary The Problem With Apuwhich discussed the way the long-running TV series has helped to perpetuate the (negative) stereotypes of Indian-Americans, as well as the problems of having a white actor putting on a heavy accent to voice the character.

[Read the full article]

Use a Placeholder in Your Writing to Keep From Getting Stuck

lifehacker.com – Friday May 4, 2018

Sometimes the hardest part about writing isn’t finding ideas or knowing how to begin, it’s maintaining a flow so you actually finish what you started. It’s not quite total writer’s block since you’re already on the move, but a writer’s road block, if you will. This trick that Star Trek: The Next Generation staff writers used can help you keep on truckin’.

The writers of TNG were great at coming up with interesting plot lines for the crew of the Enterprise, but they weren’t actual scientists or experts in space travel. So, when that kind of stuff came up in the script, they often used a placeholder word for the science-y things and worried about fixing it later. Writer Ron Moore explains the process to Syfy:

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday May 4, 2018

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Areas include: Arts; Autobiography; Business; Cookery; Crafts; Culture; Film; Gardening; Health; Historical; Hobbies; Humour; Photography; Science; Self-Help; Spiritual; Sport; Technology; Travel; Women's Interests
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth
Preferred styles: Commercial; Literary

Seeking new and existing authors across all genres. Particularly interested in narrative, memoir, prescriptive nonfiction (including sports, health, wellness, business, political and parenting topics), commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade books. No screenplays, scripts, poetry, or picture books. Submit online through online submissions system or by email. See website for full details.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday May 3, 2018

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Arts; Autobiography; Culture; Current Affairs; Historical; Literature; Media; Philosophy; Photography; Politics; Science; Short Stories; Sociology; Travel; 
Markets: Academic; Adult; Professional; 
Preferred styles: Contemporary; Experimental; Literary; Popular; Progressive; Satirical; Traditional

University-affiliated quarterly online literary arts journal showcasing creative work. We publish short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and essays, as well as art and photography. The goal of our publication is to assemble a variety of literary and artistic styles and a broad range of voices, perspectives, and life experiences. 

The theme of our Fall 2018 issue is “Home.” We are interested in your perspective relating to ideas such as the meaning of home, immigration, marginalization, nationalism, ownership, comfort, security, displacement, boundaries, and identity. 

Please include a brief author bio of no more than 100 words. Limit submissions to no more than 2,500 words of prose, five poems, or five artworks or photographic images. Works previously published elsewhere cannot be submitted. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are fine. Please notify if work gets accepted for publication elsewhere. 

For additional guidelines and to submit, please visit our website.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday May 3, 2018

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Areas: Crime; Thrillers
Markets: Adult
Treatments: Literary

Send query by post or by email, with synopsis and first three chapters (or fifty pages) (fiction); or proposal (nonfiction). If submitting by email, send material in Word or PDF attachment. If submitting by post, do not include SAE as material will be recycled once read. Include email address for response. Aims to respond within six weeks.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday May 2, 2018

Handles: Fiction
Areas: Erotic; Fantasy; Romance; Sci-Fi
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth
Treatments: Contemporary; Dark

Actively seeking new clients for middle grade, young adult, and adult categories. See website for individual agent interests and contact details and query one agent at a time. See website for full details.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday April 30, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Arts; Cookery; Humour; 
Markets: Adult; Children's

Accepts electronic submissions of complete manuscripts only (except in the case of cookbooks, which may be submitted as complete mss or proposals). Not currently accepting poetry submissions. See website for full details.

[See the full listing]

If Shakespeare were alive today, would he be writing crime novels?

telegraph.co.uk – Sunday April 29, 2018

There is no surer way to make yourself sound like a fatuous idiot than to speculate on what famous writers of the past would be doing if they were alive today – to suggest that Dickens would be scripting soap operas, Jane Austen would write chick lit, Blake would be penning hip-hop lyrics, Oscar Wilde would be a preening vlogger, and so on. And yet there is a part of me – the fatuously idiotic part, presumably – that nods along in agreement when people say that if Shakespeare were around today, he would be writing not plays but crime fiction, and we’d find him on the bestseller lists up with Ian Rankin, Lee Child and Val McDermid. The crime novelist Peter James made this point repeatedly as chairman...

[Read the full article]

Researchers built an AI capable of writing poetry that's equal parts woeful and impressive

mashable.com – Saturday April 28, 2018

As if the world weren't already full enough of awful human poetry, now the robot overlords want in.

Researchers from Microsoft and Kyoto University were interested in whether they could invent an AI that writes poetry inspired from images, "generating poems to satisfy both relevance to the image and poeticness in language level." Some of the poems produced are pretty objectively abysmal. Others, surprisingly passable.

Here's one inspired by a photo of a dead crab:

[Read the full article]

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