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Writers' News

Fantasy fans crowdfund record £17m for author Brandon Sanderson’s new novels

theguardian.com – Sunday March 6, 2022

Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson might not be a household name like George RR Martin or JRR Tolkien, despite having a legion of loyal fans.

But that might be about to change. Sanderson, 46, although traditionally published and regularly selling upwards of 2m copies of his sweeping, epic novels, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday to self-publish four novels he had written during lockdown.

When he woke up on Wednesday, it was to, in effect, one of the biggest book deals in history. And less than three days after launching the project on Kickstarter he broke the platform’s record for the highest earnings in its 13-year existence.

[Read the full article]

TNB hopes to inspire young writers through weekly writing prompts

theaquinian.net – Monday February 28, 2022

Theatre New Brunswick began posting weekly writing prompts on their social media pages on Feb. 14 to entice and inspire young and old writers alike.

Jena Elizabeth McLean, an artist-in-residence at TNB, is the one in charge of the weekly writing prompts which included phrases such as “today is the best day” and “into the impossible.”

“[It’s important to give] a writer time to explore an idea in an unstructured, low-stakes way that keeps their writing muscle active,” she said.

McLean said the idea originated from workshops TNB puts on for young creatives.

[Read the full article]

Best Australian Yarn: The world’s richest short story competition now open

perthnow.com.au – Sunday February 27, 2022

WA is now home to the world’s richest prize for professional and amateur short story writers, as The West Australian launches an ambitious new competition with a prize pool of $50,000 thanks to help from the Minderoo Foundation.

The Best Australian Yarn gives writers, both professional and aspiring, the opportunity to win a $30,000 major prize and $20,000 in other awards — a financial incentive rarely seen in short story competitions.

The contest, being launched today at Perth Festival’s Writers Weekend, is designed to showcase the value of storytelling and participating in the arts.

[Read the full article]

Deadline looming for entries to Neil Gunn Writing Competition

northern-times.co.uk – Tuesday February 22, 2022

The deadline is looming for entries to the 2021-2022 Neil Gunn Writing Competition.

The competition, which is being run by High Life Highland in conjunction with the Neil Gunn Trust, opened in September and closes on Friday, March 4.

Entries are invited from adult writers worldwide in two sections - adult poetry and adult short story. There is an entry fee of £8.

[Read the full article]

Veritas Said to Bid to Take Publisher Houghton Mifflin Private

bloomberg.com – Monday February 21, 2022

Veritas Capital is bidding to take private Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co., the publisher of education materials and research, according to people familiar with the matter.

Veritas could merge Houghton Mifflin with its portfolio company Cambium Learning Group, said one of the people, both of whom asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. A final decision hasn’t been made and other bidders may emerge for the Boston-based company, they said.

Representatives for Houghton Mifflin and Veritas declined to comment. 

[Read the full article]

The bks Agency stands by £649 one-day book deal course after price criticism

thebookseller.com – Sunday February 20, 2022

The bks Agency has stood by a £649 one-day course called "How To Get a Book Deal" after it was criticised over the price and accused of marginalising underprivileged writers.

Cheshire Novel Prize creator, writer and editor Sara Naidine Cox highlighted the event on Twitter, and said the price needed "calling out". Other users, including Bluemoose Books and Little Toller, said it was "outrageous" and "appalling". 

[Read the full article]

Clarke steps up as Association of Authors’ Agents president

thebookseller.com – Thursday February 17, 2022

Catherine Clarke, managing director of Felicity Bryan Associates, has stepped up to the role of president of the Association of Authors’ Agents (AAA), praising outgoing president Isobel Dixon for leading the association with “poise, warmth, immense hard work and resolve, in probably the most challenging two years of any of our lives”. 

Clarke said: “Being vice-president for the past two years and working closely with Isobel has given me a lot of insight into what our members are interested in. I’ve seen first-hand how co-operation with other trade bodies in the book industry is vital for campaigning on all the urgent issues of our times, including copyright protection for the authors we represent, and sustainability. We’re also here to help build a truly representative and diverse workforce throughout this industry. With such an engaged and energetic committee, I am honoured to help drive that as president.” 

[Read the full article]

Write Across scheme aims to find new BBC One drama writers

bbc.co.uk – Sunday February 13, 2022

A scheme to "find and develop the people who will be writing BBC One dramas in five years' time" has been launched by the broadcaster's boss.

Director general Tim Davie said Write Across would be piloted in Liverpool, before similar projects were rolled out across the UK.

He said Liverpool was picked because it was "a city of stories".

Tony Schumacher, who wrote the recent Liverpool-set drama The Responder, welcomed the initiative.

He said starting a writing career was "hard and it's difficult to know where to begin".

[Read the full article]

Greene Door mentoring scheme returns for crime and thriller writers

thebookseller.com – Saturday February 12, 2022

Greene & Heaton is bringing back its Greene Door mentoring scheme for writers from underrepresented backgrounds, and this year has opened submissions specifically for crime and thriller writers. 

The literacy agency launched the initiative as part of the Greene Door Project in November 2021. The project aims to discover writers and help increase diversity of representation in the publishing industry. This time, the opportunity is open to unagented crime and thriller writers who are underrepresented in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or socio-economic background.

[Read the full article]

Long-standing literary magazines are struggling to stay afloat. Where do they go from here?

edition.cnn.com – Wednesday February 9, 2022

The Believer was once at the top of the literary magazine game.

A leading journal of art and culture, The Believer published the work of icons like Leslie Jamison, Nick Hornby and Anne Carson. It won awards, it launched careers -- it created a home for off-beat, quirky writing. When the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada bought the magazine, observers spoke of Las Vegas as a potential new hub for literary arts.

Then, in October of last year, the college announced it was shutting the magazine down in early 2022, citing the "financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic." In a statement explaining the decision, the dean of the school's College of Liberal Arts called print publications like The Believer "a financially challenging endeavor."

[Read the full article]

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