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Writers' News

Portico Prize relaunches with Manchester Writing School

thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 21, 2019

The £10,000 Portico Prize will return after a four-year absence with a new partnership with the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Blogger and broadcaster Simon Savidge will chair the panel for the 2019 prize with fellow judges including actor Holliday Grainger, who starred in the BBC adaptation of J K Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels, as well as writer and performer Kate Fox, novelist Zahid Hussain and Jean Sprackland, professor of creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

[Read the full article]

Harlequin Presents/ M&B Modern Blitz

firstwriter.com – Saturday May 18, 2019

Harlequin Presents/ M&B Modern are looking for new authors. You can submit your first chapter between Wednesday 15th May and Sunday 2nd June 2019, and get a response by Friday 14th June 2019.

What you need to know:

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Rankin and Cleeves to headline Bute Noir crime writing festival

thebookseller.com – Thursday May 16, 2019

Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves will headline this summer's Bute Noir crime writing festival. 

Authors Mark Billingham, Denise Mina, Stuart MacBride, Chris Brookmyre, Ruth Ware and Mick Herron will also join the line-up for the festival in Rothesay, which takes place from Friday 2nd August 2 to Sunday 4th August. 

Organisers have also signed up authors Oscar de Muriel from Mexico, Lilja Sigurdardottir from Iceland, Thomas Enger from Norway, Alexandra Sokoloff from the USA, and Liz Nugent from Ireland as well as leading Scottish talent including Alex Gray, Lin Anderson and Craig Robertson.

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ICM Partners join forces with Curtis Brown Creative for writing course

thebookseller.com – Wednesday May 15, 2019

US agency ICM Partners and Curtis Brown Creative are teaming up to launch a six-month online novel-writing course. 

The course, which starts in September, will provide 15 writing students with the opportunity to connect with literary agents from the US and UK and the chance to glean knowledge and industry insights from US and UK publishing perspectives. 

ICM Partners have worked with Curtis Brown for more than 10 years on UK and translation rights representation and now ICM literary agents Heather Karpas and Zoe Sandler will take part in 'agent days' during the creative writing school's new course. 

[Read the full article]

James White Award suffers technical problem

jameswhiteaward.com – Saturday May 11, 2019

If you've submitted a story to this year's James White Award Short Story Competition and did not receive a confirmation email you will need to resubmit your story.

The competition organisers have suffered a technical problem with their website submission form which has meant that they have not been receiving submitted material. Their back-up system has also failed.

The James White Award accepts science fiction stories between 2,000 and 6,000 words. Winners receive £200 and publication in Interzone.

[Read the full article]

Writing at risk of becoming an 'elitist' profession, report warns

theguardian.com – Tuesday May 7, 2019

Though the average writer earns £10,000 a year, mean household earnings are more than £81,000 – a result bestselling author Kit de Waal calls problematic.

Writing is in danger of becoming an elitist profession, with many authors being subsidised by their partners or a second job in order to stay afloat, according to new statistics.

The full findings from the annual Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society report into author earnings paint a more nuanced picture than the headline results from last summer, which revealed that median earnings for professional writers had fallen to less than £10,500 a year. While the average professional writer earns £10,000 a year, the mean earnings for a writer’s household were more than £81,000 a year, and median household earnings were at £50,000 per annum. “Most writers supplement their income from other sources, such as a second job or household earnings contributed by a partner”, according to the report, which analysed answers from more than 5,500 professional writers.

[Read the full article]

Buchwald Adds Five Agents In New York, Los Angeles Outposts

deadline.com – Monday May 6, 2019

The boutique agency Buchwald has expanded its New York and Los Angeles offices with five key hires made by president Julia Buchwald. In the New York office, Cassandra Tay and Katie Britton have been brought on as theatrical agents, as well as Liz Orr as a literary agent.

In Los Angeles, Jason Hyman joins as a talent agent, while George Carmona has been hired as Buchwald’s West Coast voice-over agent. In addition to building out the voice-over booth in Buchwald’s L.A. office, Carmona will work with a number of the agency’s east coast commercial agents including newly promoted Director of Animation, Pamela Goldman.

[Read the full article]

Creative writing graduates will 'never make a living as novelists', says Self

thebookseller.com – Thursday May 2, 2019

Will Self has declared literature to be “morphing into a giant quilting exercise”, suggesting that no current creative writing graduates will make a living from literary fiction.

The author criticised courses during an interview with Radio 4’s “Today” programme on Thursday (2nd May), in a show recorded at the University of East Anglia, almost 50 years since its prestigious Creative Writing MA launched.

Self said: “If you want to do it and you’re not too concerned about making a living in the future then it’s probably a good idea. The paradox is, in the modern university, everyone is encouraged to tailor their courses towards employability but it’s certainly not clear what the pathway is into literary fiction – possibly into genre fiction, or possibly people can use the writing courses just to develop themselves as writers to write video games or something else, that’s a possibility.”

[Read the full article]

Cengage, McGraw-Hill Agree to Merge to Become 2nd Biggest US Textbook Publisher

edsurge.com – Wednesday May 1, 2019

Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education plan to join forces in an all-stock merger. The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would create the second-biggest U.S. textbook publisher if the deal is approved, with a combined valuation estimated at $5 billion. Pearson, with a market cap of $8.5 billion, would still be ahead of the pack.

[Read the full article]

Writers Who Fired Their Agents Aren’t Flocking To WGA-Approved Agencies

deadline.com – Tuesday April 16, 2019

Talent agencies that signed the WGA’s new Code of Conduct aren’t being flooded with calls from writers seeking new representation now that they’ve been ordered by the guild to fire their agents who refused to sign. Deadline reached out to many of the 48 agencies that signed the Code and asked if they’ve been getting calls from writers who fired their agents on this the first business day since the Code went into effect.

[Read the full article]

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