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Writers' News

BBC local radio to boost new comedy writing

2020 – Tuesday June 16, 2020

The BBC is showcasing new comedy writing across its network of local radio stations this weekend. 

Sketches, stand-up, comedy songs and more will be included in a series of Upload Festival programmes running on 39 stations across the UK.

There will also be a live video stream on the BBC website, which will also be available on iPlayer.

And as part of the event, the BBC is running free online workshops on writing both sketches and comedy in general.

[Read the full article]

Independent Publishing in a Post-Covid World

publishersweekly.com – Sunday June 14, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has already had a big impact on independent publishing. Some changes—working at home, employee furloughs, curbside shopping—were thrust upon the industry suddenly. And though they weren’t part of a concerted effort to change old and inefficient business practices, they may indeed have that effect. Here are several new realities that are likely to survive the disease itself and lead to evolutionary leaps in book publishing.

[Read the full article]

National Writing Day launches 24-word challenge

entertainment-focus.com – Sunday June 14, 2020

First Story, the charity behind National Writing Day, has launched a 24-word story challenge to mark the annual nationwide celebration of the pleasure and power of writing and words. This year it will take place on 24th June. Together with its National Writing Day partners, a coalition of leading literacy organisations and publishers and a host of the nation’s much loved children’s authors including Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman and Frank Cottrell Boyce, First Story is challenging everyone – especially young people – to come together to share their experiences.

With a nation in lockdown, and the extreme experiences of the past few months keenly felt, the power of words to give voice to our stories is timely. Many pupils and students are still home-learning; and schools are closed to most of their cohorts.

National Writing Day is leading the charge with a simple writing call to action: a challenge to everyone to write just 24 words, in 7 minutes, starting with the prompt ‘One day…’ and to share their work on social media using the hashtag #247challenge. The challenge involves everyone, and participants can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.

[Read the full article]

Fall is now jam-packed for book publishers. That could be a problem.

chicagotribune.com – Sunday June 7, 2020

In March, when parts of the United States began shutting down because of the coronavirus, the best-selling children’s book author Jeff Kinney faced a quandary.

“Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure,” part of his popular Wimpy Kid series, was due out in April with a first printing of 3 million copies. His publisher had lined up a 10-city tour.

In a matter of days, those plans crumbled. “The book was about to land in stores that were closed to customers at the height of a pandemic,” Kinney said.

He and his publisher decided to postpone the release until August, in hopes that by then, his tour could be resurrected. Millions of copies are now sitting in warehouses. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said. “We knew lots of kids would enjoy the book while in lockdown.”

[Read the full article]

'Crunch point' is yet to come, say indie publishers

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 4, 2020

Two indie publishers have shared their concerns about the coming autumn, and emphasised the importance of flexible plans moving forward.

Speaking at the IPG Virtual Spring Conference, Sarah Braybrooke, managing director at Scribe UK, and Atlantic Books managing director Will Atkinson aired concerns on the packed line-up of titles expected this autumn because of coronavirus delays.

"I'm concerned about the massive concertina effect that might last into next year," Atkinson said. "I am much more worried now than I was a month ago." He said that approximately 30% of Atlantic's titles due for July had been moved.

[Read the full article]

How COVID will creep into the literary world

abc.net.au – Wednesday June 3, 2020

Imagine your favourite book; take a moment to picture those characters, their interactions, and the scene they're in.

Now reimagine that same book, but throw in all the coronavirus fears and restrictions we've seen throughout 2020.

Would you still want to read it?

That's the question authors and literary agents across the world are facing right now, as they grapple with this new reality and decide whether they should reflect it in their work.

[Read the full article]

Langlee leaves Kate Nash to join North Literary Agency

thebookseller.com – Tuesday June 2, 2020

Lina Langlee has left the Kate Nash Literary Agency to join the North Literary Agency.

Langlee, whose authors include Christina Courtenay, Sandy Barker, Stephen O’Rourke and Lucy Saxon, will remain based in Edinburgh.

With a background in publishing, Langlee joined Kate Nash as a junior agent in 2018 before winning a promotion last December and being shortlisted for Agent of the Year at the Romantic Novelists’ Association's Industry Awards.

At North, she joins an agency that was set up in October 2017 by four agents based in the north of England and Scotland: Mark Stanton, Allan Guthrie, Kevin Pocklington and Julie Fergusson.

[Read the full article]

Three Agents Resign After Red Sofa Literary Owner's Tweet

publishersweekly.com – Monday June 1, 2020

The civil unrest in the Twin Cities continues to take its toll on Minnesota's literary community—sometimes in unexpected ways. Thursday evening, the night before protesters set fire to two adjoining Minneapolis indie bookstores and destroying them both, the reaction to a St. Paul–based literary agent’s tweet ended up gutting the boutique agency she owns.

Three agents affiliated with Red Sofa Literary tweeted this past weekend that they have resigned in response to owner Dawn Frederick’s tweet, leaving one subsidiary rights executive besides Frederick still employed there. Frederick's official Red Sofa account on Twitter has been removed.

[Read the full article]

Amazon Literary Partnership Announces 2020 Grant Recipients

businesswire.com – Thursday May 28, 2020

Following emergency relief donations to Artist Relief and PEN America Writer's Emergency Fund who are providing grants directly to writers impacted by COVID-19, the Amazon Literary Partnership expands support with more than $1 million in funding to 66 nonprofits dedicated to serving writers

Since 2009, the Amazon Literary Partnership has awarded more than $13 million in grant funding to more than 175 literary organizations

For more than 10 years, the Amazon Literary Partnership has supported efforts that help writers tell their stories and find their readers. Following the emergency relief donation to Artist Relief and PEN America Writer’s Emergency Fund, both of which are providing grants directly to writers impacted by COVID-19, the Amazon Literary Partnership today announced an additional $1 million in grant funding to 66 organizations across the country. The funding will support groups that are working to empower writers, helping them to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive.

[Read the full article]

Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 to go ahead

thebookseller.com – Thursday May 28, 2020

After weeks of speculation the Supervisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair decided yesterday (Wednesday 27th May) that the fair will take place as scheduled from 14th–18th October.

However it will be a very different Frankfurt. The plan is to run the event not only on the fair's grounds but also decentralized at locations in the city, and as a virtual event.

Strict safety and hygiene measures will be in place based on the coronavirus regulations of the state of Hesse, whose government together with Frankfurt’s mayor has been, and continues to be, deeply involved in getting the fair on the road.

[Read the full article]

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