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Writers' News

4 Ways to Always Have Fresh Writing Ideas

forge.medium.com – Thursday January 28, 2021

Often, when people say, “I don’t know what to write,” they really mean one of two things: They haven’t spent enough time formulating their ideas, or they’re trying to write something they don’t really believe in.

Many years ago, I started writing fiction — or rather, I tried to start writing fiction. My attempts never amounted to anything, and for years, I didn’t understand why. It wasn’t until I read an essay on writing by Arthur Schopenhauer, the German pessimist, that it finally clicked. “There are above all two kinds of writers,” he wrote: “those who write for the sake of what they have to say and those who write for the sake of writing. The former have had ideas or experiences which seem to them worth communicating; the latter need money and that is why they write — for money.” (I think “money” can be substituted with “any external rewards” here.)

You know writing from that second category when you see it — whether it’s a news feature, a personal essay, or a blog post. It’s the kind that seems pointless, devoid of energy or care, as if the writer was not considering at all what the reader might want or need to get out of it. When I read this kind of writing I think, Why write this at all?

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Agent Fired from Literary Agency for Using Parler and Gab

newsweek.com – Wednesday January 27, 2021

The president of a literary agency based in New York City said Monday on Twitter that one of the agency's employees was terminated after her use of conservative social media sites Parler and Gab was discovered.

Colleen Oefelein, who identified herself on Twitter as an associate literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, appeared to confirm her termination in a tweet on Monday morning.

"Well thanks Twitter and @JDLitAgency," Oefelein wrote. "I just got fired because I'm a Christian and a conservative."

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Amazon.com and 'Big Five' publishers accused of ebook price-fixing

theguardian.com – Saturday January 16, 2021

Amazon.com and the “Big Five” publishers – Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – have been accused of colluding to fix ebook prices, in a class action filed by the law firm that successfully sued Apple and the Big Five on the same charge 10 years ago.

The lawsuit, filed in district court in New York on Thursday by Seattle firm Hagens Berman, on behalf of consumers in several US states, names the retail giant as the sole defendant but labels the publishers “co-conspirators”. It alleges Amazon and the publishers use a clause known as “Most Favored Nations” (MFN) to keep ebook prices artificially high, by agreeing to price restraints that force consumers to pay more for ebooks purchased on retail platforms that are not Amazon.com.

The lawsuit claims that almost 90% of all ebooks sold in the US are sold on Amazon, in addition to over 50% of all print books. The suit alleges that ebook prices dropped in 2013 and 2014 after Apple and major publishers were successfully sued for conspiring to set ebook prices, but rose again after Amazon renegotiated their contracts in 2015.

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Writing awards, competitions and opportunities in 2021

artshub.co.uk – Wednesday January 13, 2021

Writers, could be this be the year you win that big prize or crack a prestigious publication? If you are thinking of entering a writing prize or competition in 2021 then populate your calendar with these prizes and opportunities.

Please note that some opportunities are listed based on when submission deadlines are open or closed, while other awards are listed by the date on which winners are announced.

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Five things we learned from Marian Keyes’ first writing masterclass

irishexaminer.com – Wednesday January 13, 2021

Nestled in among a crowd of thousands, it seemed like most of Ireland attended Marian Keyes’ first ‘how-to’ class on novel writing last night, a clear sign that ‘novel writing’ is the banana bread of Lockdown 3.

It was a giddy, gig-like atmosphere, with friendships formed in the comments and one or two wise-guys causing hysteria among the masses while ‘teacher’ wasn’t looking (see Dublin singer CMAT asking Keyes if she “ever considered writing a book about a very famous popstar from Dublin” for an example). It was an experience that was an utter salve to the bleak January weather and the heart-wrenching headlines we’ve been seeing since Christmas, which is exactly why Keyes chose to share her insights and tips into a creative outlet so many people are intimidated by.

Keyes is sharing a free four-week course on the basics of novel writing, from plot to characters and dialogue plus everything in between. It takes place every Monday at 7.30pm live on her Instagram page, with a catch-up video shared on YouTube soon after. She will also be sharing weekly challenges; this week our homework is to write 500 words a day based on her writing prompts.

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Literary Agent Christopher Little dead at 79

the-leaky-cauldron.org – Tuesday January 12, 2021

We all remember the story of how Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by numerous publishers before finally being picked up by Bloomsbury for £2,500. What you may not remember is the literary agent who took on the job of trying to sell the manuscript. That agent, Christopher Little, deserves some of the credit for the Harry Potter series gracing your bookshelf today.

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Bookstores Saw Graphic Novels Sales Increase By 29% In 2020

bleedingcool.com – Monday January 11, 2021

So how did graphic novels sell during 2020? Publisher's Weekly reports that print books as a whole saw sales numbers in North America rise 8.2% in 2020, selling 750.9 million copies, up from 693.7 million the year before. And the largest annual increase since 2010. While many bookstores were in shutdown, online sales took over to ramp up sales, especially with more and more people staying home looking for reading matter and unable to visit libraries.

Non-fiction books for the young also received a big boost as many schools closed for long periods, with a 23.1% increase sales. But graphic novels were had one of the most significant increases, which saw sales increase by 29% in 2020, based on 2019.

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AAR Becomes AALA

locusmag.com – Sunday January 10, 2021

The Association of Au­thors’ Representatives (the professional organiza­tion for literary agents) has changed its name to the Association of American Literary Agents. They say the new name “better reflects the membership and aligns the organization with its core mission of empowering and educating literary agents.”

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Marian Keyes to help budding writers unlock their talents

independent.ie – Sunday January 10, 2021

She has written 15 best-selling novels and sold 35 million books worldwide and now Marian Keyes wants to share her wisdom with aspiring writers.

The Irish author says she has been moved to teach others a way they can escape through writing now that life has been become so "brutal" under lockdown.

[Read the full article]

Authors Seek Missing Payments from Shuttered Literary Agency

publishersweekly.com – Friday January 8, 2021

When the former cofounders of Foundry Literary + Media parted ways in September to launch their own literary agencies, the partners said that thousands of existing contracts would still be handled by Foundry. It appears that payments to some authors with contracts residing at Foundry have been stalled.

According to multiple sources, a number of authors have either not been paid royalties owed, or have had checks for those royalties bounce. Sources also indicated that some former agents of the firm may also be owed money.

[Read the full article]

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