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Writers' News

A look ahead to the inaugural Bournemouth Writing Festival

greatbritishlife.co.uk – Tuesday April 4, 2023

The inaugural Bournemouth Writing Festival (April 21-23) offers more than 60 activities designed to improve and progress people’s writing – and how to get published! A mix of free and paid-for events, involving over 70 experienced writers and professionals, have been carefully curated to foster inspiration, networking and stimulate creativity, whatever your experience level is.

Held in venues within Bournemouth town centre, including St Peter’s Church and Art University Bournemouth’s Palace Court Theatre in Upper Hinton Road, television and film screenwriters, best-selling authors, poets, journalists, publicists, writing coaches, editors and publishers will be sharing their advice through talks and practical writing workshops.

[Read the full article]

Books: As demand for sex fiction hots up, UK bookshelves will soon be heaving under weight of steamy titles

inews.co.uk – Tuesday March 28, 2023

Readers can expect a stream of erotic fiction, memoir and relationship guides to appear in book shops, and for titles to have a greater focus on inclusivity than traditional mainstream offerings

Things are about to start hotting up between the covers for British bookworms after publishers predicted bookshelves across the country will soon be heaving with steamy titles.

A host of offerings centering on sex, relationships and intimacy is due to be released in the coming months to cater for readers starved of physical closeness and affection during the Covid-19 pandemic and seeking escape from the bleakness wrought by the cost of living crisis.

Readers can expect a stream of erotic fiction, memoir and relationship guides to appear in book shops, and for titles to have a greater focus on inclusivity than traditional mainstream offerings – which have typically focused on heterosexual monogamous relationships – publishers, literary agents and authors have revealed.

[Read the full article]

Sheppard leaves DHH to establish new literary agency

thebookseller.com – Wednesday March 15, 2023

Hannah Sheppard is leaving the DHH Literary Agency to launch a boutique agency with a focus primarily on commercial adult fiction and children’s fiction from middle grade through to YA. The Hannah Sheppard Literary Agency (HSLA) will be opening to submissions from 14th March 2023.

While at DHH, Sheppard worked with authors Dee Benson, Sarah Bonner, Abi Elphinstone and Chris McGeorge among others, and will continue to represent the majority of her client list at her new agency. With HSLA, Sheppard aims “to consciously build a community of authors who celebrate diverse and joyful representation and also commits to opening the agency’s virtual doors to aspiring authors for a monthly Zoom drop-in to help demystify publishing”.

[Read the full article]

Why Would Someone Steal Unpublished Manuscripts?

nytimes.com – Tuesday March 14, 2023

Filippo Bernardini has been accused by the government of stealing over 1,000 book manuscripts. In court filings, he said he was motivated not by money but by a love of reading.

For more than five years, someone was stealing unpublished book manuscripts from editors, agents, authors and literary scouts. The question of who was behind the scheme baffled the publishing industry, but just as perplexing was another question: Why?

Most unpublished manuscripts would be almost impossible to monetize, so it wasn’t clear why somebody would bother to take them. Filippo Bernardini, who has pleaded guilty in a fraud case in which the government said he stole more than 1,000 manuscripts, offered an explanation on Friday in a letter addressed to a federal judge.

Bernardini said he stole the books because he wanted to read them.

[Read the full article]

Grammarly expands beyond proofreading with AI-powered writing

engadget.com – Friday March 10, 2023

Grammarly announced today that it’s (unsurprisingly) diving into the generative AI fray. GrammarlyGo is an upcoming set of auto-composition features to help the AI proofreading software keep up with the many companies adding the ChatGPT API (or different generative AI backends) to their products.

GrammarlyGo can use context like voice, style, purpose and where you’re writing to determine its approach. So, for example, it can spit out email replies, shorten passages, rewrite them for tone and clarity, brainstorm or choose from one-click prompts — all while adhering to your company’s voice or other provided context. In addition, since Grammarly’s desktop service can pop up in any text field on your computer, its generative writing could be slightly more convenient than competitors (like Notion or Gmail’s Smart Compose) that require you to visit an app or website. The company says GrammarlyGo will be enabled by default for individuals, and you can toggle it in settings.

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Leicestershire MP accuses James Bond publishers of censorship over classic novel rewrites

leicestermercury.co.uk – Tuesday February 28, 2023

Andrew Bridgen has hit out at rewrites to the classic James Bond novels, claiming it is “censorship”. The MP for North West Leicestershire has added his name to the vocal critics to the move, but publishers have defended their decision.

Mr Bridgen, who is still suspended by the Conservative Party for spreading misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines, spoke out after it emerged that Ian Fleming Publications were making alterations to classic Bond novels ahead of the 70th anniversary of Casino Royale’s publication this spring.

[Read the full article]

Blake Friedmann literary agency launches second online open week for writers

thebookseller.com – Tuesday February 28, 2023

The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency will run a week dedicated to demystifying publishing and agenting, and supporting writers seeking representation. From Monday, 6th March, the agency will share agent blogs on a variety of agenting and publishing topics. It will also run book giveaways across its social media accounts until 10th March. 

The aim is to offer insights into what an agent does, how to navigate the submission process to find an agent, and how an author and agent work together. There will also be a focus on understanding the publication process, earning income as an author through rights sales, as well as getting into the agenting or publishing industries. 

[Read the full article]

Andlyn founder Andrew-Lynch joins Curtis Brown

thebookseller.com – Thursday February 23, 2023

Davinia Andrew-Lynch, the founder of boutique agency Andlyn, has joined Curtis Brown. 

Andrew-Lynch ran Andlyn for seven years, representing mainly children’s content and adult commercial fiction across all genres. Among her clients are Annabelle Sami, Malcolm Duffy, Bex Hogan, Faye Brann and Adam Douglas-Bagley.

Prior to this, she worked as a film and TV agent and freelance editor. She also helped to co-create the FAB Prize alongside Faber Children’s. The prize aims to discover Black and minority ethnic authors and illustrators. 

As she joins Curtis Brown, Andrew-Lynch is looking to grow a list of commercial adult fiction alongside her existing list in children’s and YA. She will be based in London, joining the Curtis Brown team at their new offices on Regent Street.

[Read the full article]

Sci-fi publisher Clarkesworld halts pitches amid deluge of AI-generated stories

theguardian.com – Wednesday February 22, 2023

One of the most prestigious publishers of science fiction short stories has closed itself to submissions after a deluge of AI-generated pitches overwhelmed its editorial team.

Clarkesworld, which has published writers including Jeff VanderMeer, Yoon Ha Lee and Catherynne Valente, is one of the few paying publishers to accept open submissions for short stories from new writers.

But that promise brought it to the attention of influencers promoting “get rich quick” schemes using AI, according to founding editor Neil Clarke.

In a typical month, the magazine would normally receive 10 or so such submissions that were deemed to have plagiarised other authors, he wrote in a blogpost. But since the release of ChatGPT last year pushed AI language models into the mainstream, the rate of rejections has rocketed.

In January, Clarke said, the publisher rejected 100 submissions, banning their “authors” from submitting again. In February to date, he has banned more than 500.

[Read the full article]

Publisher of Roald Dahl books in French has ‘no plans’ for rewrite

theguardian.com – Wednesday February 22, 2023

The French publishers of Roald Dahl have ruled out any changes to the late British author’s translated books after it emerged that English editions were being rewritten for modern audiences.

Gallimard said on Tuesday the original texts would “remain intact” after the UK publisher Puffin hired sensitivity readers to remove language deemed inappropriate.

“This rewriting only affects Great Britain. We have never modified Roald Dahl’s writings and we have no plans to do so today,” a spokesperson for the publisher’s children’s department said.

The changes to characters and language in the author’s popular children’s books provoked a wave of debate. The author Sir Salman Rushdie wrote on Twitter: “Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship/ Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”

[Read the full article]

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