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Writers' News

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

qmul.ac.uk – Thursday January 16, 2020

From 15 January to 1 June 2020, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize will be receiving submissions from around the world. The competition is open to any writers who have not yet published a book-length work in their chosen genre, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or background. The grand prize of £1,000 is available in each category: Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry.

In addition to the cash prize, winners and shortlisted writers may be eligible for a Chapter and Verse Award, courtesy of The Literary Consultancy, worth £2,000, or Free Reads mentoring, to support them as they grow their writing careers.

[Read the full article]

Children/YA Sales Rose, Adult Sales Fell in October

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday January 15, 2020

Sales in the children/young adult category jumped 20.9% in October over October 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. The increase was led by the performance of Wrecking Ball, which helped lift sales of hardcovers, where sales rose 29.3% over October 2018. Sales of paperbacks increased 21.7%. For the first 10 months of 2019, sales in the children/young adult segment were up 9.9% over the comparable period of 2018.

Sales of adult books did not perform nearly as well as children/young adult. In October, sales fell 3.7% as sales of all formats except trade paperback (up 3.2%) and downloadable audio (ahead 16.3%) fell. The mass market paperback category had a particularly bad month, with sales tumbling 38% compared to October 2018.

[Read the full article]

Rebus author Ian Rankin to chair this year's Harrogate crime writing festival

yorkpress.co.uk – Tuesday January 14, 2020

Ian Rankin, best-selling author of the Inspector Rebus novels, has been unveiled as the chair of this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

The author, who has sold more than 20 million books, has been charged with pulling together a “most wanted” list of guest authors and speakers to headline the four-day event at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel from July 23-26.

Helen Donkin, the Harrogate International Festivals Literature Festival Manager, said: “Ian has been one of the crime writing festival’s greatest supporters and we are delighted that he has agreed to become the 2020 Programming Chair."

[Read the full article]

Tyler Perry slammed by fans after admitting he has no writer’s room

pagesix.com – Thursday January 9, 2020

It ain’t easy being Madea.

Tyler Perry admitted this week that he’s written several of his plays, films and television shows solo, apparently hoping to inspire others with his work ethic. Many fans missed that sentiment, however, and called out the studio owner for not hiring writers.

“So, I don’t know if you know, this but all shows on television have a writer’s room,” Perry, 50, said in an Instagram clip Monday. “Most of the time, they’re 10 people, 12, whatever, that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writer’s room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling [you] this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. What’s my point? Work ethic!”

But rather than be inspired, many of Perry’s followers took issue with what they saw as his refusal to employ writers who could bring fresh perspectives to his work.

[Read the full article]

Abrams Agency Announces A Spate Of New Promotions, Including Amanda Marzolf, James Murray, And Max Grossman To Partner

celebrityaccess.com – Wednesday January 8, 2020

Abrams Artists Agency announced it is starting the new year with a round of promotions at the company that include upping three to partner, six to senior agent, and the minting three new agents.

The Los Angeles-based Amanda Marzolf has been upped to partner in Abrams alternative programming, digital media, licensing & branding division. Since joining Abrams in 2014, Marzolf has focused on the development of social media/digital personalities and spearheaded the agency’s podcasting business.

Longtime Abrams agent James Murray has taken on the title of partner within the voice-over division. Since he joined Abrams in 2008, Murray has worked across commercial, television, feature animation, interactive, promos, and narration, including representing talent in hit television shows and feature films.

[Read the full article]

Brown and Morris promoted to agents at Curtis Brown

thebookseller.com – Wednesday January 8, 2020

Becky Brown and Lucy Morris have both been promoted to agents at Curtis Brown's books department.

Brown becomes an agent at the firm's heritage division, having taken up the role of associate agent in September last year, joining Norah Perkins to expand the agency’s list of literary estates. Curits Brown said she had been instrumental in bringing in a raft of new ones, including Nancy Spain and Pamela Frankau.

She first joined in 2017 to support Jonny Geller’s office, having previously worked at A M Heath and publishers Macmillan and Bloomsbury.

Morris, who joined in 2014 as assistant to Karolina Sutton and became an associate agent last year, is promoted to agent in the books department.

[Read the full article]

'Authenticity is the key' - budding crime writers on getting the science right

bbc.co.uk – Sunday January 5, 2020

Whether it is Ian Rankin's world-weary Inspector Rebus or the windswept murder mysteries of BBC Scotland's Shetland, home-grown crime fiction is big business.

But with fans more clued-up than ever, is getting the forensic science right in novels and television series important?

Dundee University seems to think so.

The university launched its MLitt in Crime Writing and Forensic Investigation in 2017, the first course of its kind in the UK.

With Scottish crime writers more popular than ever and the continued success of literary festivals like Stirling's Bloody Scotland and Aberdeen's Granite Noir, many fans are not just content to know "whodunnit", but how it was done, too.

[Read the full article]

Mango Publishing Acquires Yellow Pear Press

publishersweekly.com – Friday January 3, 2020

Mango Publishing, a Miami-based independent house focused on a diverse list of voices and topics, has acquired Yellow Pear Press, which also includes Bonhomie Press, a fiction and memoir imprint.

Founded in 2015 in San Francisco, Yellow Pear Press specializes in lifestyle and regional titles as well as notecards and journals. The YPP list works well with that of Mango Publishing, which publishes across an eclectic range of topics including LGBTQ issues, feminism, health and self-help, fiction, and children’s and young adult books.

[Read the full article]

Houston-based Romance Writers of America sees board exodus after racism allegations

houstonchronicle.com – Sunday December 29, 2019

Nine board members of the Houston-based Romance Writers of America resigned this week in a startling exodus that took place during a holiday lull. The organization — which represents a billion-dollar industry and celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 — will enter the new year with decimated leadership and lingering questions about its focus and future after several romance authors questioned the association’s commitment to a diverse community.

“I knew this kind of thing could happen, but I certainly didn’t see it happening this way, over Christmas week,” said author Piper Huguley. “I knew there was a big push coming, a resistance against this. I believe we’re in a fight for the soul of this organization, which to a number of people who observe it is not unlike what’s going on in the country politically. Right now the big question is, ‘What’s going to happen?’”

[Read the full article]

EU Court of Justice claims selling used ebooks is illegal

goodereader.com – Sunday December 22, 2019

Publishers all over Europe have been fighting Tom Kabinet since 2014 and the European Court of Justice has issued a ruling, reselling used ebooks is illegal. It is basically a violation of copyright law. Tom Kabinet stated that the first sale doctrine should apply to ebooks and users should be able to do whatever they want with them, after they are legitimately purchased.

In 2014, Tom Kabinet launched a website where second-hand e-books could be sold. Publishers immediately filed a lawsuit and sent numerous cease and desist letters against the company. In 2015, the judge in The Hague ruled that reselling was allowed in principle, but that the seller had to be able to prove that the ebooks were legally purchased, instead of downloaded from the internet or stripped the DRM. Tom Kabinet then changed its website: sellers had to be able to submit the download link for the book. However, this could not guarantee that sellers had removed their own copies. Now customers must submit the original download link and delete their own copy. In exchange for the ebooks they receive credits, which they can exchange on the site for other e-books.

[Read the full article]

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