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Writers' News

Banker sets up new publishing house offering budding novelists £24,000 annual salary

inews.co.uk – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Jonathan De Montfort knew he wanted to be a novelist at the age of 15, but went into banking after his parents encouraged him to pursue a more stable career.

It was when he took a break from his job as a hedge fund manager and finally sat down to write his book that he saw a gap in the publishing market.

The banker’s new publishing house, De Montfort Literature, offers new writers £24,000 a year to join its ranks while they write, develop and produce their novel. The aim of the company is to “make being a novelist a valid career choice for aspiring writers”, while also creating more best-selling writers, it states.

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Writers & Books launches The Ladder literary conference

rochestercitynewspaper.com – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Writers are all too familiar with dry spells, creative roadblocks, and blank-page totalitarianism. The analogies are plentiful, and for good reason. But once victory is claimed -- finished manuscript raised triumphantly in the air -- what next?

In part, this is exactly the question that Writers & Books and its Executive Director Kyle Semmel want to answer with the new literary conference called The Ladder. The June 16 conference at Rochester Riverfront Hotel will be a marathon: a day-long boot camp featuring the expertise of more than 40 literature industry professionals -- published writers, editors, agents, and assorted panelists among them -- and 12 different workshops, all designed to help writers up their game.

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We're entering a golden age for radical publishing

thebookseller.com – Monday May 28, 2018

Hosted by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB), the London Radical Bookfair, held on this Saturday 2nd June, brings together a diverse community of radical booksellers and publishers from across the UK, showcasing the depth and breadth of radical publishing today.

But what does ‘radical’ really mean?

The Latin origin of the word denotes a change ‘from the root’ - and certainly a desire to create meaningful and positive social change from the ground up is what all those present on the day, booksellers and visitors alike, will have in common. Finding a single word to define a wide range of political positions is always going to fail to capture the many complexities covered: ‘radical’ is an imperfect word, but it is one with a rich tradition within British political struggle.

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Another Romance Author In #CockyGate-Level Move

goodereader.com – Saturday May 26, 2018

Ah, who can forget only a couple of weeks ago when a romance author destroyed any hope of having a career and a dedicated following by being a jerk to other authors? Dubbed #cockygate, author Faleena Hopkins filed a dubious trademark-slash-wordmark on the word “cocky” as it pertains to her Cocky Brothers book series. She then moved forward with threatening other authors who had used the very same word in their titles, despite the fact that her wordmark was for the logo she created of the book series.

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Publishers urge government on e-book VAT ahead of crunch EU meeting

thebookseller.com – Saturday May 26, 2018

Publishers are urging the UK government to support measures that would allow VAT to be removed on e-books, audiobooks and online newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the UK. 

At a European Union meeting today (25th May) taking place in Brussels, finance ministers will consider new proposals that would allow all member states to reduce the amount of VAT they apply to e-publications, or not tax them at all.

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Poetry Gone Viral

tabletmag.com – Tuesday May 22, 2018

“Every revolution in poetry is apt to be … a return to common speech,” wrote T. S. Eliot in his essay “The Music of Poetry.” Indeed, the spikes of poetry’s popularity, in our time, have been directly related to poets’ attempts to bring poetry back to the masses—and to speak, again, the vernacular language of the street. This happened in T. S. Eliot’s days with the advent of Modernism. It happened again with the Beats in the 1950s. Bob Dylan single-handedly brought on another wave with his poetic lyrics in the 1960s. Slam Poetry happened in the 1980s, and was reincarnated as Def Poetry Jam in 2000s.

Today, a new poetic revolution may be afoot.

Caroline Kaufman is a Harvard freshman, and her collection light filters in is being published by Harper Collins this week. As Kaufman pointed out to me during a recent interview over Zoom video conferencing, she didn’t seek out the publisher. Instead, the agent, Penny Moore at Empire Literary, approached her, having noticed Caroline’s Instagram account, @PoeticPoison, which now has more than 220,000 followers.

[Read the full article]

Traditional publishers’ ebook sales drop as indie authors and Amazon take off

geekwire.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

Ebook sales are dying. Ebooks are insanely popular.

If the short definition of cognitive dissonance is holding two contradictory ideas to be true, ebooks are about as dissonant as digital content gets.

Yet ebooks may also represent a chapter in the still-being-written story of how keeping track of what’s happening with content hasn’t always kept pace with the technology that’s transformed it.

Let’s start with the bad news. Two new sets of numbers covering 2017 show ebook sales are on the decline, both in terms of unit and dollar sales.

The first, released in April by market research firm NPD’s PubTrack Digital, saw the unit sales of ebooks fall 10 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. In absolute numbers, that meant the roughly 450 publishers represented saw ebook sales drop from 180 million units to 162 million over a year’s time.

The second, just released by the American Association of Publishers, reported a decline in overall revenue for ebooks, a year-to-year decrease of 4.7 percent in 2017. AAP tracks sales data from more than 1,200 publishers.

[Read the full article]

Chambers and HarperCollins launch writing bursary

thebookseller.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

Crime author Kimberley Chambers and HarperCollins have launched a writing scholarship, the 'Kickstart Prize', in association with Peters Fraser and Dunlop (PFD) Literary Agency and CrimeFest.

The prize, announced at Crimefest in Bristol on Saturday (19th May), aims to "kick open doors to writers who need a leg up into the world of publishing", through a £1,000 bursary to help with writing essentials, time with Chambers’ editor, writing tips and feedback, and an offer of representation from PFD.

[Read the full article]

Writers Of all Ages Encouraged To Enter Africa Day Writing Competition

hotpress.com – Wednesday May 16, 2018

Now in its fourth year, the competition marks Africa Day 2018 celebrations and offers a platform for emerging talent, as well as established writers of all ages.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon has announced that Irish Aid has again partnered with The Irish Times on an African-themed short story and poetry competition.

Entries are invited across three categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Adult. Writers are invited to submit a short story or poem relating to the relationships and interactions between Ireland and Africa.

[Read the full article]

Novelist Tim Winton left 'deeply wounded' by axing of his publisher Ben Ball

smh.com.au – Wednesday May 16, 2018

Leading Australian novelist Tim Winton says he has been left "deeply wounded" by the decision of the country's biggest publishing company, Penguin Random House, to axe his highly respected publisher, Ben Ball.

Ball was appointed publishing director of the newly created Penguin Random House Literary division less than a year ago and has an illustrious career publishing literary heavyweights including Winton, Peter Carey, Robert Drewe and Sonya Hartnett.

[Read the full article]

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