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Writers' News

Booktrack’s Days are Numbered

goodereader.com – Sunday July 24, 2016

Booktrack is a company that develops soundtracks to books. It started in 2011 and has raised around three million dollars to stay in business. Their technology didn’t seem to take off with consumers and the only way to listen to them is with their proprietary app. I fear Booktrack’s days are numbered.

Booktrack took advantage of most of the hype surrounding the enhanced e-book phenomenon of 2010 to 2012. This is when EPUB 3, Kindle Format 8, iBooks Author and various initiatives were highly touted as the next big thing in digital publishing. Major publishers have failed to embrace audio, video and interactive elements in their e-books because customers have not embraced it. Most of the e-books that do leverage their technology are only available in a few apps and have limited content. The only segment to actually make interactive elements a viable business model is education.

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firstwriter.magazine Issue 29: Summer 2016

firstwriter.com – Thursday July 21, 2016

The latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see not just the winning poem from our Fourteenth International Poetry Competition, but also all the Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Fifteenth International Poetry Competition click here.

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Madeleine Milburn Agency launches writing competition

thebookseller.com – Thursday July 21, 2016

The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will tomorrow (22nd July) launch a competition to find unpublished authors.

The theme of this year’s ‘Madeleine Milburn Summer Writing Competition’ is ‘make us scared’, and entrants can send any genre of writing as long as it fits the brief. Writers from anywhere in the world that are un-agented and unpublished are eligible, although their manuscripts must be in English.

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Popular writing app Scrivener is now available on iOS

techcrunch.com – Wednesday July 20, 2016

If you’re tech-savvy and a serious writer, chances are you already know about Scrivener. The popular writing app has been available on OS X and Windows for years now. And now, it is available on iOS for $19.99 as well. Scrivener is a flexible and powerful writing app that makes it easier to write long-form stuff — think about it as a sort of writing studio.

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Why theatre is set for greater diversity as publishing lags behind

theguardian.com – Saturday July 16, 2016

British publishing and the stage have a problem with diversity. But when it comes to action rather than words, the theatre leaves book publishing standing. I have been commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber to lead research into why few black and Asian actors make it to the stage as he is “deeply concerned” about the lack of diversity, as he said last week.

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Stop pushing the same 'classic' books on children and trust modern writing

theguardian.com – Wednesday July 13, 2016

I will start by saying: the BBC’s #LoveToRead campaign looks fantastic and I love that it “celebrates reading for pleasure”, and aims to start “a unique national conversation about books”. Nonetheless, among all the planned dramatisations, documentaries and live events, one aspect of the campaign is strangely unadventurous – its list of top 10 books recommended for children.

The list isn’t a bad one. It’s just not a new one. Created by the public, it sets out 10 books that children should read, and includes the usual suspects: The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Bible, with Harry Potter coming out on top. Yes, it’s right that we acknowledge that they are all important contributions to the history of literature; yes, it is also understandable that we want the next generation to experience the books that we have loved.

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Here's Why E-Book Sales From Major Publishers Are Plummeting

fortune.com – Monday July 11, 2016

But growing sales of self-published e-books may offset the drop.

Book publishers are winning in their quixotic war against their own electronic books as sales dropped 11% last year, according to a new report from the industry’s leading trade group.

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Comedy writing programme announced

theknowledgeonline.com – Wednesday July 6, 2016

A comedy writing programme has been launched by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) to find emerging UK comedy writers.

The Betty Box and Peter Rogers Comedy Writing Programme - named after the producers of the Doctor and Carry On series - is being run in partnership with Big Talk Productions and LOCO London Comedy Film Festival.

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Startup of the week: RedDoor

thebookseller.com – Saturday July 2, 2016

Bridging the gap between traditional and self-publishing, RedDoor Publishing aims to provide a credible platform for authors who are "slipping through the net as traditional publishers become increasingly (and understandably) risk averse." It operates in the same way as a traditional publishing house, except its authors pay for pre-production and first print run of their book. 

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'In stressed times, we can take comfort in wildlife': why nature-writing is 'exploding'

firstwriter.com – Thursday June 30, 2016

Now in its third year, the Wainwright nature-writing prize has announced its shortlist, spotlighting what one judge called an “exploding” field, as more and more writers and readers are turning to this genre as a balm for the woes of modern life.

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