Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Publishing in a pandemic – Sunday April 26, 2020

Our society faces an unprecedented challenge from coronavirus and publishing is no exception to that. The pandemic has affected all of us in the books industry – booksellers have had to close shops, authors have had to move publication dates and cancel events, freelancers have seen their work and incomes shrink. 

Publishers are facing incredibly difficult decisions about how to respond to the significant pressures on their businesses and how best to support their employees in the coming months. 

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Vigliano Buys Back His Agency – Saturday April 25, 2020

David Vigliano has bought back the assets of his eponymous literary agency from Y Entertainment Group.

The boutique firm was sold to Y Entertainment in 2014. (That same year Y Entertainment formed a lifestyle group called AGI.) Vigliano said he was "grateful for all I have learned from AGI’s constellation of superstar agents." He added: " I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and put it to use as I return to operating independently."

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Bay Path launches literary magazine, Multiplicity – Saturday April 25, 2020

“Borders, Boundaries, and Belonging” is the theme of the inaugural issue of Multiplicity, the literary magazine of the Master in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University.

Each of the 22 writers featured in this issue — 18 essayists and four poets — has written a brief statement about life during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on their own work in light of the new reality. These statements accompany the writer’s work.

“Millions of people are sheltering in place at home, turning to art and literature and music online for inspiration and community, myself included,” said Leanna James Blackwell, director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University and editorial director of Multiplicity magazine. “My co-editors and I felt that Multiplicity — online, free and filled with real-life stories and poems from great writers of all backgrounds — could make a genuine contribution to readers looking for connection in this deeply uncertain time.”

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Competition invites aspiring young writers with time on their hands to imagine the past – Friday April 24, 2020

The prestigious Young Walter Scott Prize, a UK-wide historical writing prize for 11-19 year olds is open for entries.

Budding writers that have found themselves with more time on their hands since the Coronavirus outbreak, have a golden opportunity to explore the historical novelist within. The prize challenges young people to write a piece of short fiction set in a time before they were born.

The winners receive a £500 travel grant and a 2-day trip to the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland where they are presented with their prizes. All winning and highly commended writers see their work published in the special YWSP anthology and runners-up in each age category receive a book token.

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New writing awards to honour leading poet Mairtin Crawford – Thursday April 23, 2020

The life and work of the man described by award-winning poet Michael Longley as "a saint of poetry" will be celebrated with the launch of the Mairtin Crawford Awards.

The Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2020 are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel.

Both published and unpublished writers from all over the world are invited to submit poems or a short story. The only stipulations are that entrants must not yet have published a full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel, and entries must be in the English language.

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Duffy and Manchester Writing School launch coronavirus poetry project – Tuesday April 21, 2020

Poet Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School have launched an international poetry project in response to the coronavirus.

WRITE Where We Are NOW will see writers including Duffy, Gillian Allnutt, Raymond Antrobus, Roger McGough and Ian McMillan share new work inspired by the pandemic.

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Pembrokeshire's Penfro Book Festival poetry and writing competitions launched – Tuesday April 21, 2020

THE search is launched this week by PENfro Book Festival to find some of the country’s best ‘eco’ poets and short story writers.

Two competitions run by the Festival are linked to the Loving the Earth Green Fair weekend, due to be held at Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran, at the end of August. Results will be revealed at the fair, and if the event is postponed the winners and shortlisted writers in both contests will be announced on the venue’s website.

Poetry competition organiser, Jackie Biggs said: “PENfro Book Festival had planned to run a series of literature related events at Rhosygilwen throughout this year, but while all live events are postponed we can at least continue with our popular competitions.

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Opportunity knocks: how lockdown is opening doors for new creative talent – Sunday April 19, 2020

Cameras have stopped rolling, book launches are postponed and actors are all “resting”. It looks as if nothing is moving in the world of entertainment and storytelling, yet from Hollywood to the major the publishing houses of London and New York, the talent scouts and production companies are working overtime to complete unfinished projects and find new tales to tell.

The frenzy of backroom activity is creating unusual opportunities for novice stars of the future. For once, aspiring writers and wannabe directors are in demand.

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A Rainbow Short Story Prize to Beat the Blues – Sunday April 19, 2020

Everyone is having to make sacrifices in these dystopian times, but few more so than the over 70s. Not only is this group more vulnerable to coronavirus, but self-isolation is already proving a high price to pay. For some time now, 70 has been the new 50. Fitter than ever before, more socially active and playing a vital part in the lives of children and grandchildren, this generation of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, has transformed the process of ageing. Not so surprising then that enforced isolation is taking its toll.

Fortunately, technology is proving a life-saver with emails, Skype and Zoom keeping us connected. Newspapers can be downloaded, food delivered by supermarkets. There's even theatre and church service streaming along with virtual poetry meetings and poetry exchange schemes.

The Bedford Competition, a not-for-profit organisation, is also doing its bit by promoting a special Rainbow Prize for the best short stories submitted by anyone 70 years and over, all proceeds going to charities helping victims of Covid-19. Writing a winning story is yet another great way to beat the isolation blues. Bestselling, internationally acclaimed author, Leigh Russell, who is judging the Rainbow Prize, says, "In the current crisis we need stories more than ever, to offer us an escape from the loneliness we are all experiencing. So I am thrilled to be invited to judge the Rainbow Short Story Prize, and look forward to reading your entries." 

The Bedford Competition opens 1 May. Entry fee for one short story is £6 or you can enter 3 for £12. First prize is £500 with additional prizes for second and third places. In addition the winning stories will be published in BWC's anthology. And, even if you don't win, there's the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to a worthy cause. The bigger the number of entries, the bigger the donation we can make.

At the other end of the spectrum, we're offering prizes for the best short story or poem submitted by 17 - 25 year olds.

The spirit of pulling together, as in the war days, has sprung to life again. We may be keeping our distance but we're still reaching out. How long the crisis will last, no one knows. But, as HM, The Queen , movingly reminded us, We Will Meet Again. It will end, and there will be a return to normality, One Sunny Day. 

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Sphinx Theatre announces £1,000 commissions for female playwrights and new writing lab – Wednesday April 15, 2020

A new writing programme for female playwrights, offering £1,000 seed commissions and support from writers including Winsome Pinnock and April De Angelis, has been launched by Sphinx Theatre.

The pilot writing programme, called Sphinx Lab, and the commissions have been announced to mark the company’s 30th anniversary.

Emerging to mid-career female playwrights can apply for one of 10 commissions by submitting a CV and an example of their work to Sphinx Theatre by June 15. Further opportunities are to be announced for mid-career to established female playwrights.

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