Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Country Life publisher Future launches buyback amid fears media group running out of steam – Monday July 10, 2023

Magazine publisher Future has launched a £45m share buyback to placate investors, as the media group battles to reverse flagging earnings and readership.

Future, which owns titles including The Week and Country Life, said it planned to repurchase up to 10pc of total shares.

The London-listed company said the move would provide greater flexibility to deliver value for shareholders, while still maintaining a strong balance sheet.

Shares rose 48p to 741p on the announcement.

However, industry analysts said the buyback was an attempt to soothe investor concerns about Future’s flagging share price and earnings.

[Read the full article]

Pushkin Press acquires two indie publishers and unveils new classics list – Monday July 10, 2023

Pushkin Press has announced plans for a new Pushkin Classics list following the acquisition of two independent publishers, Peter Owen Publishers and Angel Classics.

The first eight titles on the new list will be published in the UK on 3rd August, with roughly two titles a month following. Encompassing fiction and non-fiction, the list will feature new translations as well as covers by Pushkin Press art director Jo Walker.

Some titles are brand new to Pushkin Press, while others have been published before by Pushkin. Many are books that Pushkin brought to a UK audience for the first time, including launch titles The Evenings by Gerard Reve, Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman, Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb and The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov.

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How to enter The Sunday Post’s short story writing competition – Sunday July 9, 2023

The word is out. Amateur writers across the country should have pens and laptops at the ready because today The Sunday Post launches its inaugural Short Story Writing Competition, and we want to hear from you.

Can you weave a captivating tale? Do you marvel at where your imagination takes you? Do the characters you conjure take on a life of their own? If the answer is yes, then this is your moment. Whether you’re unemployed or a student, a retired granny, grandpa or working mum, with disabilities or without, or just downright frustrated at not fulfilling your literary dream, now is your chance.

And we’ve lined up a great team of experts to cast their eyes over your creations. Our judges are the king of feel-good fiction, No.1 Ladies Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith, queen of romantic comedy Jenny Colgan, and thriller royalty, Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival founders Lin Anderson and Alex Gray. Also on the judging panel is Sunday Post and P.S magazine Books Editor Sally McDonald.

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Ex-Canelo director Riccardi joins Kate Nash as literary agent – Monday July 3, 2023

Francesca Riccardi has joined Kate Nash Literary Agency as a literary agent, building a list in fiction.

Riccardi was previously sales and marketing director at Canelo where she was instrumental in driving the company’s growth into audio and print sales alongside the e-book business.

During her time at Canelo, Riccardi also launched the flagship Canelo Crime imprint and worked with authors directly to achieve their writing ambitions.

Riccardi started her publishing career at RNIB, where she worked on transcribing books into accessible formats, and has worked previously at Atlantic Books, where she was recognised as a Bookseller Rising Star in 2017, as well as at Constable and Robinson and HarperCollins.

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Culture Creative Entertainment Hires Netflix’s Sherley Ibarra As Literary Agent – Wednesday June 21, 2023

Culture Creative Entertainment, the nascent talent agency founded by former Abrams Artists Agency agents Brad Rosenfeld, Paul Weitzman and Karen Kirkland, has hired a new literary agent.

The company has hired Sherley Ibarra, who joins from Netflix, where she was Manager of Animation Outreach & Engagement. Ibarra was at the streamer for over three years, having previously been Vice-President of Creative Talent Development & Outreach at Nickelodeon.

At CCE, she will represent a diverse roster of talent working across TV series and features in both live-action and animation.

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I was sacked for writing about trans censorship – Tuesday June 20, 2023

For a quarter of a century, on and off, Melbourne’s “quality” daily newspaper The Age not only published my words — it was my intellectual home.

I had joined the paper’s staff around the turn of the century as a trainee journalist, progressing to social affairs reporter, senior writer, leader writer and, most recently, weekly columnist. For the most part, my views aligned with the paper’s superego, which fluctuates between soft Left and small “l” liberal. And there was always space for dissent, even when my opinions sharply diverged from The Age consensus — more on that soon.

About two years ago, my harmonious relationship with the paper began to deteriorate. The tension reached its climax last week when the editor, Patrick Elligett, sacked me as a columnist. The breakdown in trust was down to one issue: gender-identity politics, the trans debate — or severe lack thereof.

My dismissal was linked to a feature I wrote on youth gender transition that had been commissioned by a previous editor, Gay Alcorn, and which Elligett had refused to run. In response, I told Elligett that I intended to publish the piece on my new Substack and would disclose that he rejected it. He looked uncomfortable, but said The Age would take it on the chin.

And so, early this month I published the feature, announcing to the world that if they wanted to know why the piece was rejected, they would have to ask Elligett himself. A standing army of gender sceptics on Twitter did just that, under the hashtag “gutless” . This can’t have been pleasant for Elligett. But he attributed the sacking to another remark in my launch statement where I flagged that in future posts I’d be writing on gender-identity politics more broadly, “without the copy being rendered unreadable by a committee of woke journalists redacting words they deem incendiary, such as ‘male’”. Elligett responded: “Obviously we can’t have our columnists publicly disparaging the publication like that so we won’t be commissioning further columns from you.”

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Books with neurodivergent characters mark new chapter for publishers – Thursday June 15, 2023

Children’s books that feature neurodiverse main characters are the latest publishing trend, experts have said.

Publishers, which were previously reluctant to approach the subject, are increasingly seeking out realistic and explicitly neurodiverse protagonists, often by authors who are themselves neurodivergent.

Elle McNicoll, who until now has been published only by the small independent Knights Of, was recently at the centre of a five-publisher bidding auction for the world rights to her next two Young Adult books, of which MacMillan Children’s Books was the eventual victor. The first book is due next autumn.

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UTA opens new London Office at 1 Newman Street – Thursday June 15, 2023

United Talent Agency (UTA) opened its new London Office today (Thursday 15th June), at the intersection of Fitzrovia and Soho. 

The company will mark the occasion with a gala opening event this evening attended by clients and industry leaders. 

The 28,000 sq ft space occupies two floors at 1 Newman Street W1, and is designed by award-winning architectural firms Gensler and Modus Workspace. The offices house members of the company’s music practice, as well as agents who run the range of representation services, from production arts and podcasting, to endorsements and voiceovers, entertainment marketing as well as advisory services through UTA-owned MediaLink.  

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Dilemma for UK authors as Russia offers huge sums for escapist fiction – Monday June 12, 2023

The thirst for escapist literature in Russia has prompted a new bidding war for translated fiction. English-language authors of crime, romance and fantasy novels have received some unexpectedly enticing offers for their books this spring.

But despite the increased price tag on these potential foreign rights deals, the war in Ukraine has led many British writers to resist the lure of Russian money. “We leave it up to our authors to see if they want to accept an offer,” said Kate Nash, a leading British literary agent.

“We see it as an individual decision. We have quite a few offers in from Russia at the moment and one publisher has just increased their bid to get the deal done.”

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Author dropped by publisher after posting several 'mean' TikToks about Goodreads reviewer who rated debut book: 'Completely baffling' – Sunday June 11, 2023

Author Sarah Stusek has been accused of bullying a Goodreads reviewer after she left a four-star review for Stusek’s upcoming bookA Twitter thread seemed to indicate that Stusek’s book publisher had dropped her in response to the allegations. Stusek said she later apologized to the reviewer in a private conversation.

It’s a story that’s taken BookTok — a subcommunity within TikTok dedicated to books and literature, where there is a significant focus on young adult fiction — by storm. Stusek’s book, Three Rivers, is classified as young adult fiction and was slated to be released on Sept. 12.

Stusek, who is a first-time author, reportedly called Goodreads reviewer Karleigh Kebartas a “bitch” in a since-deleted TikTok for posting the first four-star review for Three Rivers, which, according to Stusek, had been getting only five-star reviews up until that point.

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