Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Channel 4 launches scheme to identify new TV drama writing talent in South West England – Tuesday May 17, 2022

Channel 4 has launched a scheme designed to identify and support new TV drama writers in the West and South West of England.

The Channel 4 TV Drama New Writers scheme will give 12 writers six months of specialist support which will include in-person workshops and training, mentoring and introductions to scripted drama production companies. After completing the scheme, participants will be able to submit a first draft script for consideration and feedback from Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Gwawr Lloyd.

Gwawr said: “Ensuring that the Nations and the Regions are represented in its dramas is a real priority for Channel 4. As a broadcaster, we have a history of discovering and nurturing new talent - it’s something that we are passionate about. 

“Launching this TV Drama New Writers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the channel to identify talent from the region and to work with them to help us get authentic, original stories on screen - reflecting audiences back on themselves. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Channel 4 Bristol Hub to collaborate with our local partners to give stories that matter the platform they deserve.”

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Inaugural SF Debuts Writing Prize – Wednesday May 11, 2022

Science Museum in London and UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton have announced the inaugural Science Fiction Debuts Writing Prize. To qualify, “writers must be unpublished and not represented by a literary agent, and residents of the United Kingdom.” The author of the winning entry will receive £4,000, a six-month mentorship with Hodderscape editorial director Molly Powell, introduction to three literary agents, and a full critique. The runner-up will receive £2,000 and a critique, and shortlisted authors will get £800.

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Hodder and the Science Museum launch Science Fiction Debuts Prize – Wednesday May 4, 2022

Hodder & Stoughton and the Science Museum have partnered to launch a new award, the Science Fiction Debuts Prize, in celebration of the museum’s upcoming exhibition “Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination”.

From 4th June, unpublished and unagented writers from the UK will be invited to submit the first 10,000 words of a novel within the science fiction genre and a 500-word synopsis. 

The open submissions period will run for several months, closing at midnight on 30th September. The winner will receive £4,000, alongside a full critique of their work, a six-month-long mentoring programme with Hodderscape editorial director Molly Powell and an introduction to three literary agents. 

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Webnovel Kicks Off Global Writing Contest to Highlight Emerging Voices in Different Languages – Saturday April 30, 2022

Webnovel, a global-facing project founded by China Literature (China Literature Limited 0772.HK),launched the 2022 Webnovel Spirity Awards (WSA) on April 29th . In addition to English works, the writing competition also accepts entries in Indonesian and Thai for the first time. Winners will be given a chance to have their works adapted into TV or film by WeTV, the global video streaming platform launched by Tencent Video.

Leading on from last year, English will remain the main category with nine themes for entrants to choose from, including werewolf, CEO or billionaire, and fantasy. Additionally, English writers with ideas for other subjects are also encouraged to submit them. As the majority of online literature readership in Indonesia are female, the Indonesian category primarily attracts themes of drama and romance, including contract marriage, CEO or billionaire, revenge, and high school, . In Thai, subjects that appear more popular include boy's love, drama, as well as global hits such as fantasy and system. The writing competitions in English and Indonesian have started, and that in Thai is expected to begin in mid-May.

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UK publishers take £6.7bn in sales as TikTok crazes fuel purchases – Thursday April 21, 2022

UK publishing’s total income reached a new high of £6.7bn in 2021, up 5% from 2020. This growth comes despite – or perhaps because of – the pandemic, with the social media platform TikTok emerging as a surprise driving force not only for new books, but backlist purchases.

While the Covid lockdowns forced bookshops to close and subsequent supply chain issues caused delays and headaches for publishers, the appetite for reading soared, with sales up by 5% year on year for both print and digital books, while audiobooks continued the “stellar” performance of recent years with a 14% rise in sales, according to a report from the Publishers Association.

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Book Puma announces live query workshop to help authors of all levels – Wednesday April 13, 2022

In its effort to help more works of incredible fiction and nonfiction enter the market, Book Puma Services has announced a new live online learning class to help authors create, polish, and submit query letters to literary agents and publishers.

One of the hardest steps for authors seeking a voice via major publishers is retaining the representation of a literary agent to broker those book deals. This often yearslong process of querying agents and waiting for responses is, in many ways, more critical than the works themselves.

Enter Charles Blackstone — award-winning novelist, editor, and instructor at the famed Gotham Writers' Workshop — who will be teaching a workshop at, which offers a $7.99 per-month subscription that allows writers of all levels to access live and MasterClass-style video courses to improve their craft and learn about the business of publishing.

Blackstone's workshop is set to begin in May and will help authors of all kinds pitch their work to literary agents in a way that will substantially increase their chances of getting representation.

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New Imprint for David C Cook – Tuesday April 12, 2022

Christian publisher David C Cook is launching Esther Press, a new imprint focusing on women readers. Named after the Old Testament’s Queen Esther, the imprint will focus on Bible studies and trade books that share stories of women’s struggles and triumphs, as well as leadership books, devotionals, and hybrid interactive trade books and workbooks, along with video teachings. Susan McPherson, acquisitions editor at David C Cook who is heading up the new publishing program, says that Queen Esther’s “bravery, bold faith, and willingness to risk her life to answer God’s call embodies what we want this imprint to represent to women.”

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Crime writer David Peace says 'publishers should be less risk-averse' and novelists 'have a responsibility to push the boundaries' amid publishing's sensitivity crisis – Monday April 4, 2022

  • Crime writer David Peace is latest author to speak out on sensitivity crisis 
  • The author, 55, said novelists 'have a responsibility to push the boundaries'
  • Comes after Margaret Atwood and Art Spiegelman spoke on book bans
  • The Handmaid's Tale author said it was 'playing woke snowflakery back'  
  • Maus cartoonist called society 'Orwellian', saying it is out of control 'culture war' 

Novelist David Peace has become the latest renowned author to slam publishing's sensitivity crisis as he said novelists have 'a responsibility to push boundaries.'

The 55-year-old, who lives in Tokyo, has penned  11 novels, including The Damned Utd, which was made into a film with Michael Sheen in the lead role as Brian Clough.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said: 'Publishers should be less risk-averse...if novels are going to survive, novelists have a responsibility to push the boundaries.'

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The largest annual writers convention re-emerged last week. Here’s AWP by the numbers – Saturday April 2, 2022

They came, they saw, they picked up 6,000 AWP tote bags.

The annual conference of the Assn. of Writers & Writing Programs took place in person in Philadelphia last week. For thousands of writers accustomed to coming together annually to talk shop and stay up late drinking, it was a long-delayed reunion.

After the demise of the long-lived BookExpo, this MFA-centric gathering represents a writer’s biggest opportunity to network, browse journals, attend panels on literary trends and assemble for bookish gossip.

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Mind body spirit publisher Toran Press to launch at LBF – Monday March 28, 2022

A boutique body, mind and spirit press is launching at London Book Fair, focusing on "beautiful, thought-provoking" books for children and adults. 

Toran Press was conceived by Vineet Sharma, who is also m.d. at Parragon Publishing India, and Nicola Deschamps, former brands and licensing publisher at Parragon Books and owner of Target Editorial.

The press will focus on publishing books orientated towards the mind, body and spirit market promoting positivity and wellness in children and adults. Its name has been derived from the Sanskrit word to describe a colourful and meaningful decoration that was traditionally used to adorn front doors on celebration days. 

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