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Writers' News

Frankfurt 2022 from a Children's Book Perspective

publishersweekly.com – Saturday November 5, 2022

For many rights professionals, the recent Frankfurt Book Fair was their first opportunity since 2019 to attend a fair in person. Attendees said they were delighted to be back, even amid industry challenges and world uncertainty on several fronts. We spoke with a number of savvy agents and scouts about their impressions of the fair, and asked them to talk about trends they were noticing.

“It was wonderful to be back at a fair, and to be among so many fellow book people again,” said Sara Crowe, senior agent at Pippin Properties. “Being back in Frankfurt was energizing, emotional, and re-affirming,” said Rachel Hecht, founder of Rachel Hecht Children’s Scouting. “There is no replacement for the in-person connections to be made over tables while gasping over sample spreads, or the bolt of joy from waving down an old colleague while rushing between stands. We are a community of book people who thrive when we gather, and while Zoom is a convenient tool, it cannot replicate the alchemy that happens during a fair.

[Read the full article]

Books at Berlinale Issues Its 2022 Call for Submissions

publishingperspectives.com – Tuesday November 1, 2022

The annual Books at Berlinale program now is accepting submissions from film-rights holders for novels with high adaptation potential.

The Books at Berlinale program—long familiar to our Publishing Perspectives international readership—has issued its call for submissions for its 18th edition, scheduled to take place as a part of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, February 18 to 22.

A joint initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

As usual, the 18th edition of “Books at Berlinale” will take place during the Berlinale as part of the of the Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb 18-22, 2023).

As you know, the program selects 12 or so books to pitch to an audience of some 150 internationally established producers during the film festival.

[Read the full article]

US judge blocks $2.2bn Penguin Random House merger

theguardian.com – Tuesday November 1, 2022

A US judge has blocked the $2.2bn planned merger of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, with rival Simon & Schuster.

Judge Florence Pan of the US district court for the District of Columbia said in a brief order on Monday that she had found that the justice department had shown that the deal would “substantially” harm competition “in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books”.

Unlike most merger fights, which are focused on what consumers pay, this one focused on authors’ earnings. The US government argued that fewer publishing houses being in competition with each other would lead to lower advances for authors across the board, but focused on a small part of the market: bestselling writers who were paid $250,000 or more.

[Read the full article]

Publishing: The Cancel Mob Targets Amy Coney Barrett's New Book | Mind Matters

mindmatters.ai – Sunday October 30, 2022

Last year, Mind Matters News covered the new phenomenon of publishing house staff going to war against the publisher’s own books. It’s a far cry from the days when publishers might have to defend their books in a courtroom. Last year the target was, among other authors, best-selling psychologist Jordan Peterson.

We were informed by Maclean’s Magazine that “Employees at Penguin Random House Canada speak out on how they’re rethinking their workplaces and why publishing, writ large, should weigh its moral responsibilities” in connection with Peterson’s latest, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life (Penguin 2021).

The book did get published, despite them, to five star reviews. But Cancel Culture staff continue to lead the charge for “depublishing” and have succeeded with many less well known targets. Orwell Prize-winning author Kate Clanchy’s memoir was Canceled by its original publisher (though acquired by another. Blake Bailey’s biography of author Philip Roth was Canceled by W.W. Norton due to the author’s and subject’s Me Too sins. Young adult author Jessica Cluess was Canceled after she defended literary classics.

The latest attempt at big-name Cancelation is aimed at U.S. Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett. Early in 2021 she was signed by Penguin’s Sentinel imprint to write a book on her judicial philosophy and the reasoning behind her decisions.

[Read the full article]

The Moth and Caterpillar magazines to cease publishing but prizes will continue

thebookseller.com – Thursday October 27, 2022

Arts and literature magazines the Moth and the Caterpillar will cease publishing next summer, its directors have announced, but the four literary prizes associated with the magazines will continue with increased prize pots. 

Directors Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan said: “We will have had 13 happy years. It feels like the right time to focus on things other than the publications.”

Govan said back issues of both magazines will be sold online so people can complete their vintage collections. 

[Read the full article]

Dodd steps up at ASH Literary

thebookseller.com – Thursday October 27, 2022

Agency assistant at Saffron Dodd is being promoted to associate agent at ASH Literary, focusing on middle-grade and YA titles.

Taking up the new role on 1st January 2023, Dodd will be building her own list, prioritising UK creators, alongside agency founder Alice Sutherland-Hawes.

Sutherland-Hawes said: “Saffron joined the agency at the start of 2022 and has made a lasting impact on our clients and the work we do. Her passion and joy for the work has been wonderful to witness and I am so excited for her future with the agency. I can’t wait to welcome her clients to ASH Literary.”

[Read the full article]

25 Picture Prompts for Writing Scary Stories

nytimes.com – Tuesday October 25, 2022

Happy Halloween! Do you enjoy reading, watching or listening to horror stories? What about writing them?

To celebrate the season, we’ve rounded up 25 haunting photos and illustrations from around The New York Times that you can use as prompts to write your own terrifying tales. Choose an image and then use your imagination to write a short story or a poem inspired by it — or tell us about a memory from your own life that the picture makes you think of.

You can use these images however you like, but if you need more guidance, here are four prompts, as well as articles with advice from horror writers and experts, to get you started:

[Read the full article]

‘Terror’ stopping great work from being published in the UK, Pike warns

thebookseller.com – Sunday October 23, 2022

Arabella Pike, publishing director at HarperCollins’ William Collins, has warned that UK publishers’ “terror” is preventing “some very great work” from being published.

Speaking alongside the founder of Silkworm Books, Trasvin Jittidecharak, and Niko Pfund, president and academic publisher of Oxford University Press USA on a panel entitled “Non-fiction Publishing in the Age of Misinformation” at the Frankfurt Book Fair yesterday (20th October), Pike described the fear of being targeted as a result of a publication as “the chill factor” and argued greater safeguards were needed to prevent abuses of the British legal system such as she experienced.

“The chill factor and the fear that people have is stopping some very great work emerging,” she said. “It varies depending on which part of the world you’re in, but this is something that’s very much happening in the UK. It’s happening in newsrooms and in publishers; people are too terrified to tackle these responsibly published books.”

[Read the full article]

Amberley Publishing acquires Icon Books

thebookseller.com – Tuesday October 18, 2022

Icon Books has been acquired by Amberley Publishing for an undisclosed sum. 
Amberley said the acquisition would “provide a strong addition to Amberley’s existing non-fiction catalogue” and follows its acquisition of Quiller Publishing for £1.4m in June 2021.

Icon Books was bought by Jonathan Ball Publishers in April 2020 and Amberley said this acquisition follows detailed discussions on working closely together.

[Read the full article]

Writers' Handbook 2023 now available to buy

firstwriter.com – Sunday October 16, 2022

The 2023 edition of firstwriter.com’s bestselling directory for writers has just been released, and is now available to buy both as a paperbook and an ebook.

The directory is the perfect book for anyone searching for literary agents, book publishers, or magazines. It contains over 2,000 listings, including revised and updated listings from the 2022 edition, and over 350 brand new entries.

[Read the full article]

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