Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Small Press of the Year regional and country winners unveiled – Thursday March 18, 2021

The nine winners of the regional and country round of the British Book Awards Small Press of the Year accolade have been revealed. Presented for the third time in 2021, and sponsored by the CPI Group, the award celebrates the diversity of small presses in the UK and Ireland. This year’s winners include publishers from County Kildare in Ireland, Hackney in London, Leicester, Sheffield, Cardiff, Beaminster in Dorset, and Edinburgh.

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Julie Burchill finds new publisher after her book about cancel culture was cancelled – Monday March 15, 2021

Edinburgh-based indie, Stirling Publishing has acquired world rights for Julie Burchill’s book, which was dropped by her original publisher Little, Brown, part of Hachette, last December.

Ironically, the journalist’s book, Welcome To The Woke Trials: How #Identity Killed Progressive Politics, which was due out this spring , became a casualty of the very issue it was describing, after Burchill made several comments on Twitter to Muslim “libertarian communist” journalist Ash Sarkar, including a reference to the age of one of the Prophet Mohammed’s wives.

The tweets were branded “deplorable” by Little, Brown’s managing director Charlie King in a letter to staff, the book was dropped and the company issued the following statement: “While there is no legal definition of hate speech in the UK, we believe that Julie’s comments on Islam are not defensible from a moral or intellectual standpoint, that they crossed a line with regard to race and religion, and that her book has now become inextricably linked with those views.”

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Fengdu Novel Launches Its First Writing Contest to Promote Growth of Fantasy Authors – Monday March 15, 2021

SHANGHAI, March 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CooTek (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: CTK) ("CooTek" or the "Company"), a fast-growing global mobile internet company, today announced to launch the first "Fengdu Cup" Fantasy Literature Writing Contest by Fengdu Novel, CooTek's reading platform for free and original online literature, calling on online literature writers across China to actively create excellent works.

The contest opens submission from March 1 to August 31, 2021, and mainly collect works themed around the metaphysical fantasy genre. The goal is to select top-quality online literary content and potential writers and provide them with high-traffic premium platform to present their talent. The most outstanding works of this contest will not only win access to Fengdu Novel's traffic but also opportunities to further nurture the IP content.

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Northeast Indie Publishers Stuck with Their Niches in 2020 – Sunday March 14, 2021

New England’s independent publishers are known for carving out strong niches and holding steadfast to them, come what may. The extraordinary forces of the last year—pandemic, protests, and climate change—put that model to the test, and for five publishers it appears that strategy paid off.

At the outset of the pandemic, sales took a nosedive at Interlink Publishing Group in Northampton, Mass., as traditional sales channels collapsed. “Most independent booksellers canceled their orders for our spring list, Amazon suspended ordering for a month, and international trade came to a complete halt,” said founder and publisher Michel Moushabeck. “It was a very scary time.”

Sales rebounded in fall, however, and Interlink ended the year up 8% over 2019. Moushabeck attributed the gains to a list that cultivated a dedicated audience who sought out the publisher’s brand of international cultural histories, fiction, cookbooks, and children’s books through new avenues. He helped readers find those new sales channels, including direct-to-home ordering, by writing two customer newsletters a week and ramping up social media.

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Sky Studios to inspire next generation of Northern writing talent – Sunday March 14, 2021

Sky Studios has partnered with writing development agency, New Writing North to inspire the next generation of television writers.

Sky Writes has been created to help “diversify the pool” of scriptwriters and will offer an introduction to writing for television for people from under-represented groups and under-served geographical areas in the North of England. 

“We are delighted to be working with Sky Studios on this initiative. The programme is an effective and innovative way of addressing issues that we know make it hugely challenging for underrepresented writers to break into screenwriting,” explained Will Mackie, Senior Programme Manager (Writing and Awards) at New Writing North.

“We know that our region is bursting with talent and through a programme like Sky Writes we’re looking to offer the kind of grassroots development that has the potential to open doors and create meaningful long-term opportunities. We have recruited inspirational and hard-working Programme Producers and Writers in Residence to carry out this work.”

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Harrogate Crime Writing Festival set to make summer comeback – Friday March 12, 2021

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is set to return to Harrogate this summer.

Harrogate International Festivals confirmed today that plans are in place for the event to run at the Old Swan Hotel from July 22-25.

Organisers hope the festival will be able to go ahead live and are adapting operational plans to ensure this can happen in a safe and covid-secure way.

In a statement on its website, Harrogate International Festivals said: “We are working hard on 2021’s Festival and have ambitions to run a live event in July.

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Glasgow Caledonian University opens TV script writing opportunity – Friday March 12, 2021

A GLASGOW university is on the hunt for experienced writers to help create a climate change drama. 

The three year PhD programme at Glasgow Caledonian University will produce a script that will encourage viewers to consider the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Catriona Miller, senior lecturer in MA TV Fiction Writing, said: "Drama has a huge capacity to start conversations."

The prospective script will be inspired by shows like The West Wing and The Thick of It​. 

Candidates will be expected to produce a dissertation as well as a completed script.

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SoA and WGGB launch vanity publishing investigation – Saturday March 6, 2021

The Society of Authors (SoA) and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) have launched a joint investigation into so-called vanity publishing following a sharp rise in complaints.

Unions say members are increasingly contacting them about “hybrid”, “contributory” and “partnership” publishers — more commonly called vanity publishing — which charge authors to release their work.

Issues reported range from aggressive marketing tactics and emotionally manipulative sales approaches to opaque contracts and processes, and services that fall short of expectations. Unions say the fees charged are typically four or five figures, often with the authors surrendering a wide range of rights and control over their work.

Both organisations say they are concerned about exploitative practices and are beginning an investigation with a survey on the financial and contractual impact for writers. The survey, which runs until 25th April, aims to form a picture of the experiences, both positive and negative, of authors who have been approached by or worked with these publishers. 

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Interested in writing short stories? Here's your chance to have your work featured on RTÉ – Tuesday March 2, 2021

The RTÉ Short Story Competition 2021 in honour of Francis MacManus is now open for entries, the broadcaster announced today.

Writers have until Friday, May 7 to submit their short story to the competition, which will be judged by writers Lisa McInerney, Declan Hughes and Lucy Caldwell. 

Since its inception 35 years ago, the RTÉ Short Story Competition has been a critically important launchpad for new and emerging writers in Ireland. 

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Festivals 2021: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival gets green light with programme from Ian Rankin – Saturday February 27, 2021

BOOK lovers have been given something to cheer about this week after the announcement Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival WILL go ahead this year.

And Scottish fans will have an extra interest this year - with the programme being put together by Tartan Noir legend Ian Rankin.

Bosses behind the world-famous event in Harrogate have taken the decision to go ahead with the 2021 fest after last year's event was axed because of Covid.

And literature buffs can't wait to get to see their favourite writers in the flesh -  with over 80% of early ticket bookers for the 2020 Festival having already transferred their tickets.

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