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Writers' News

The kindness of strangers has saved our publishers

standard.co.uk – Friday December 20, 2019

One of the reasons my husband Sam Jordison and I set up Galley Beggar Press, our small independent publishing company, in 2012 was that it would allow us to take risks on publishing the books we loved. 

I’m happy to say that it worked. We haven’t put out many books in the past seven years, but the ones we have, have had a big effect. They’ve won prestigious literary prizes, been translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world. And they’ve also, luckily for us, sold enough copies here in the UK to help keep our little company going.

This year was an especially fortunate one. Our title Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann was shortlisted for The Booker Prize. It’s a big deal — and it meant that Lucy’s masterpiece, which we loved so much, was going to find more readers. 

[Read the full article]

End of an era for book publisher Penguin

news.sky.com – Wednesday December 18, 2019

It is the end of an era for one of the most famous names in book publishing.

Penguin is being sold by Pearson, its owner for the last half-century, as the company focuses its activities exclusively on education.

Pearson today announced that it was selling its remaining stake in Penguin Random House, the book publishing joint venture it formed six years ago with Bertelsmann, the German media group.

The company originally owned 47% of Penguin Random House when the joint venture was set up in 2013.

It sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, its joint venture partner, for $1bn in July 2017.

[Read the full article]

Book People collapse plunges small publisher Galley Beggar into crisis

theguardian.com – Wednesday December 18, 2019

Galley Beggar Press, the tiny literary publisher behind acclaimed novels including the Booker-shortlisted Ducks, Newburyport and women’s prize for fiction winner A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, has been forced to make a public appeal for support after the Book People’s fall into administration left it with a £40,000 hole in its finances.

Galley Beggar’s co-director Eloise Millar turned to crowdfunding on Wednesday to ask for urgent help from readers as it faces “the biggest crisis in its seven-year history”. The publisher entered into a partnership with the discount retailer earlier this year when Lucy Ellmann’s novel was shortlisted for the Booker. Galley Beggar produced 8,000 special editions of the novel, costing it around £40,000.

[Read the full article]

The Choose Your Own Adventure publishers are trying to get the phrase banned from Itch.io

theverge.com – Tuesday December 10, 2019

Chooseco, which publishes the famous Choose Your Own Adventure series, is apparently trying to stop indie game developers from using the phrase “choose your own adventure.” It’s sending trademark infringement notices to the Itch.io gaming storefront, and so far, they’ve resulted in four game pages being suspended.

Itch.io founder Leaf Corcoran told developers about the takedowns this afternoon. “Warning to any devs using the phrase ‘choose your own adventure’ to describe their games, Chooseco is issuing takedown notices,” he wrote on Twitter. Corcoran tells The Verge that the games include Purrfect Apawcalypse, an “apocalyptic dog dating choose your own adventure game”; a “choose your own dating sim text adventure” game called It’s a Date; an unofficial GameBoy game called Choose Your Own Adventure GB; and New Yorker writer Luke Burns’ A Series of Choose Your Own Adventure Stories Where No Matter What You Choose You Are Immediately Killed by a Werewolfwhose plot is self-explanatory.

[Read the full article]

Major Talent Agencies Step Up Global Expansion As WGA Standoff Continues

deadline.com – Saturday December 7, 2019

The television business is becoming increasingly global, fueled by the rapid expansion of the major streaming platforms. That also goes for the major Hollywood talent agencies.

Reps have always looked for opportunities beyond the U.S. But now, because of the increased demand for locally produced international content, they have stepped up their efforts. Also factoring into the acceleration is the ongoing impasse (and legal battle) between the Big 4 talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America which in April ordered its members to fire their agents if they hadn’t signed the guild’s new Code of Conduct.

[Read the full article]

Call for Names, Editors, and Contributors: Journal/Magazine of Fiction by Academics #CFP

patheos.com – Thursday December 5, 2019

I really shouldn’t start new projects. But I’ve had so many conversations recently with academics in my field about writing fiction that I think the time has come to do something about it. And so I’m going to be announcing soon the launch of a new periodical dedicated to fiction written by academics. This post aims mainly at gauging interest (and more specifically the kinds of interest there may be both from potential contributors and from potentially readers) and tackling a few initial questions that it is better to crowd source now.

[Read the full article]

Curtis Brown Creative launches TV serial writing course

thebookseller.com – Wednesday December 4, 2019

The Curtis Brown Creative writing school is launching a new course in writing an original TV drama serial.

Run in collaboration with Curtis Brown’ TV, film and theatre agents it promises expert teaching and masterclasses from TV directors, producers and showrunners at the firm’s central London offices.

The 18-week course, led by TV writer, playwright and former Birkbeck Professor Colin Teevan, starts in March.

[Read the full article]

Twelfth Annual Papatango New Writing Prize Opens For 2020 Submissions

broadwayworld.com – Tuesday December 3, 2019

The Papatango New Writing Prize, now in its twelfth year, opens for submissions today, Tuesday 3 December 2019, until 9pm on Sunday 2 February 2020.

The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK's first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 10% of the gross box office, and a £6500 commission with full developmental support for a follow-up play. It is also unique in producing the winning play within the same year. Since 2019, the winning play has toured the UK following its London premiere.

In addition, every entrant receives feedback on their script - a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award. Writers nurtured in this way have gone on to see their scripts produced at many leading venues across the UK.

[Read the full article]

Bad Sex Awards 2019: Two writers share 'Britain's most dreaded literary prize'

inews.co.uk – Tuesday December 3, 2019

In an echo of the Booker prize two writers have won the 2019 Literary Review Bad Sex In Fiction Award.

The judges struggled to pick just one winner so chose French author Didier Decoin with his novel The Office of Gardens and Ponds and John Harvey, a life fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with his book, Pax.

The judges were swayed equally by raunchy passages in Decoin's and Harvey's books.

[Read the full article]

HMH to Launch Children's Graphic Novel Imprint

publishersweekly.com – Friday November 22, 2019

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the latest publisher to announce a children’s graphic novel imprint: Etch, which will gather all of HMH’s graphic novels into a single imprint, will debut in September 2020. The launch catalog will consist of seven titles, with plans to publish about 15 books per year.

Publisher Catherine Onder will oversee the imprint, but editors from the HMH children’s imprints Clarion, Versify, and HMH Books for Young Readers will all acquire properties for Etch. “I’ve been so impressed by the passion from the team, across both editorial and design, and the talented roster of creators that they’ve brought on board,” Onder said. “This variety of perspectives, interests, and expertise is key to our providing graphic novels for every reader.”

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