Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

This 22-year-old is trying to save us from ChatGPT before it changes writing forever – Wednesday January 18, 2023

While many Americans were nursing hangovers on New Year's Day, 22-year-old Edward Tian was working feverishly on a new app to combat misuse of a powerful, new artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT.

Given the buzz it's created, there's a good chance you've heard about ChatGPT. It's an interactive chatbot powered by machine learning. The technology has basically devoured the entire Internet, reading the collective works of humanity and learning patterns in language that it can recreate. All you have to do is give it a prompt, and ChatGPT can do an endless array of things: write a story in a particular style, answer a question, explain a concept, compose an email — write a college essay — and it will spit out coherent, seemingly human-written text in seconds.

The technology is both awesome — and terrifying.

"I think we're absolutely at an inflection point," Tian says. "This technology is incredible. I do believe it's the future. But, at the same time, it's like we're opening Pandora's Box. And we need safeguards to adopt it responsibly."

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Carter founds new literary agency after 10 years at Janklow & Nesbit – Wednesday January 18, 2023

Literary agent Rebecca Carter has launched Rebecca Carter Literary after 10 years at Janklow & Nesbit.

The new agency, which is already up and running, is working in collaboration with PEW Literary in Soho, London, for contracts, accounting and translation rights. Carter can be contacted at and Margaret Halton can be reached at for foreign rights enquiries.

The agency has already closed two deals: with Kaiya Shang at Chatto & Windus for a new memoir by Xiaolu Guo, and with Sarah Braybrooke at Ithaka for a “powerful” narrative non-fiction book about Ukraine by the BBC’s Andrew Harding. More information on these acquisitions will be forthcoming from the publishers, The Bookseller understands. 

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New AI editing tool for science publishers hints at what’s coming … – Thursday January 12, 2023

Editage, a scientific editing brand of CACTUS, has launched an advanced AI engine, Digital Editing, to help researchers make accurate, high-quality pre-submission language and technical edits for scientific manuscripts in less than five minutes.

Powered by PaperPal, the engine uses machine learning algorithms to identify language and technical errors in manuscripts and provides intuitive suggestions to help authors improve their submission quality.

The new tool is trained on 2.5 million editor hours and over three billion words of academic text to ensure that technical aspects of papers, like subject-specific terminology, units of measurement, and equations are edited accurately in less time.

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Free virtual writing workshops and literary events to check out this January – Wednesday January 11, 2023

If your New Year’s resolution was something along the lines of: attend more events or be a better literary citizen, I have good news for you! Here are a handful of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch/bed/bathtub without spending a dime. (Because you’re probably also resolving to spend less money this year, and I feel that.)

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Haymarket buys Bay Publishing Ltd as part of ‘digital transformation’ – Monday January 9, 2023

B2B and specialist publisher Haymarket has acquired Bay Publishing Ltd, which runs Health and Safety International, HSME (Health and Safety Middle East), and AWE International, which covers “the impact of industry on the environment”.

Haymarket said the purchase meant that “Bay Publishing’s global client base will have the opportunity to source the leads they need to grow their businesses via Audience Labs’ ability to create tailored content, customised marketing, webinars and more”.

Haymarket media group chief executive Kevin Costello said: “Adding Bay to our portfolio couldn’t have come at a better time. It plays to our digital transformation strengths and Haymarket’s known audience model, plus we are experts in producing brands in multiple channels.

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United Talent Agency Grows Its Literary Business – Thursday January 5, 2023

With the acquisition of the literary agency Fletcher & Company, UTA added hundreds of authors to its client roster. The deal comes amid consolidation in the entertainment industry.

When United Talent Agency, which represents celebrities like Chris Pratt, Timothée Chalamet, Kevin Hart, Bad Bunny and Lizzo, bought the esteemed London-based agency Curtis Brown last summer, it made a bold play for a bigger toehold in the book world. With the acquisition, UTA took on the estates of towering literary figures like John le Carré, Ian Fleming, Daphne du Maurier and A.A. Milne.

Now, UTA is expanding its ambitions even further by buying the literary agency Fletcher & Company, dramatically increasing its roster of contemporary novelists and nonfiction writers. The agencies announced the deal on Wednesday.

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The End of a Book World Mystery: A Suspect in Manuscript Thefts to Plead Guilty – Wednesday January 4, 2023

Filippo Bernardini was arrested by the F.B.I. last year. He is expected to enter his plea on Friday, ending a yearslong saga that captivated the industry.

The mystery captivated the book world: For years, someone impersonated authors and agents, editors and publishers, trying to steal unpublished book manuscripts from high profile authors like Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Ethan Hawke, but also from debut novelists and writers of more obscure works.

Now, a resolution to the yearslong scheme is near. On Friday, Filippo Bernardini is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud in front of a magistrate court judge in Manhattan, according to an email from the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York that was sent to victims on Tuesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Bernardini early last year, saying he had “impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, hundreds of individuals” over five or more years, gaining access to hundreds of unpublished manuscripts in the process.

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Female-only Welsh publisher invites submissions from trans authors – Tuesday January 3, 2023

As part of a call for new writers, Honno says that the criteria for ‘women’ means ‘women or those who identify as women’

Trans and non-binary authors can submit work to a state-funded publisher intended for female writers, prompting concerns that it has “caved to ideology”.

Honno was established as an independent press in 1986 to promote writing by female authors in Wales, and receives government grant funding to continue its mission of exclusively putting out women’s literature.

However, the publisher has now issued a call for new writers that has invited those who “identify as women” to submit their work, stating that what it takes as the criteria for a woman will include people who are “non-binary and transgender”.

The open invitation has caused concern among authors who have worked with Honno, who fear the organisation has “caved to ideology” and removed a valued female-only service.

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18 Free or Low-Cost Writing Residencies to Apply for in 2023 – Wednesday December 28, 2022

I was a young MFA student when I attended my first artists’ residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. I had heard of these places nestled in the woods or in small-town America where writers and artists were provided with a private bedroom and studio space, as well as meals or a meal allowance, with the only expectation that they spent the majority of their time working on their art. 

What I didn’t expect to learn at this residency program was that I could utilize the peace and uninterrupted time offered by a residency to turn inwards and engage in the necessary struggles I had previously avoided in my writing. In my studio overlooking an empty ball field and cobblestoned streets, I was truly alone, with no one else to help me facilitate the actualization of these thoughts and characters I was harboring within myself. Or perhaps I wasn’t exactly alone: At this residency program, I shared the company of other writers, visual artists, and composers with whom I had stimulating and supportive conversations whenever we had the chance. In their company, I was less afraid of being alone with my art, and when the opportunity came to share our work with each other, I felt valued and affirmed in this lonely path I had chosen to pursue.   

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Writers defect from Society of Authors to rival union after it was engulfed in freedom of speech row over claims it has not properly defended gender-critical authors from being 'cancelled' – Monday December 19, 2022

Writers reportedly leave the Society of Authors for a rival union after the former was engulfed in a freedom of speech row over claims it has not properly defended gender-critical authors from being 'cancelled'. 

As the UK's largest writers' union, the Society of Authors has upset members over claims it did not support figures like JK Rowling who have been accused of 'transphobia'.

Authors who feared the union was 'lost to cancel culture' are already understood to be defecting to the rival Free Speech Union, which promised to 'come to defence of beleaguered authors'. 

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