Coronavirus in the UK: an unlikely ally for aspiring novelists
inews.co.uk – Sunday March 8, 2020
You don’t come to the Arts pages of a newspaper to read about coronavirus. This should be a World Health Organisation-free zone, the last place you expect to find updates on Government action plans. We do ballet here. I understand all that but, please, bear with me, because I think I have some good news. Or at least the glint of a silver lining.
Earlier this week, the London Book Fair was cancelled (don’t worry, that’s not the good bit) amid concerns that thousands of publishers and literary agents flying in from all over the world to shake hands and breathe on each other might not be very sensible right now.
Publishers report sales boom in novels about fictional epidemics
theguardian.com – Friday March 6, 2020
“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves,” wrote Albert Camus in La Peste (The Plague), his 1947 novel about of how a deadly plague devastates a quarantined town.
More than 70 years later, the global threat of the coronavirus is sending today’s readers towards novels about epidemics in droves. Publishers around the world are reporting booming sales of books including La Peste, as well as Stephen King’s The Stand and Dean Koontz’s “frighteningly relevant” The Eyes of Darkness, which has become the subject of conspiracy theories online owing to its prescience.
The 1981 novel about a fictional virus called “Wuhan-400” – “China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon in a decade” – leapt into third place in Amazon’s charts this week after a description of the illness was widely shared online. Ebook sales are up by an extraordinary 3,000% in just three weeks, according to the publisher Headline, which credited Koontz’s “extraordinary imagination and masterful storytelling”.
Revealed - Famous guests for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate
harrogateadvertiser.co.uk – Thursday March 5, 2020
Crime writing royalty Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Lisa Gardner, Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron and Michael Connelly will be appearing as part of the killer line-up curated by this year’s Festival Programming Chair and Rebus author, Ian Rankin OBE.
From July 23-26, Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the legendary scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – will welcome more than 100 world famous authors for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.
London book fair cancelled over coronavirus fears, amid growing anger
theguardian.com – Wednesday March 4, 2020
One of the world’s biggest international literary events, the London book fair, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears, amid growing anger that the delay in calling it off was putting people’s health at risk and an unfair financial strain on publishers.
Organiser Reed Exhibitions announced on Wednesday that the escalation of the illness meant the fair, scheduled to run from 10 to 12 March, would be called off. Around 25,000 publishers, authors and agents from around the world had been due to attend the event, where deals for the hottest new books are struck.
Abrams Artists Agency Rebrands as A3 Artists Agency
variety.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020
Abrams Artists Agency, a prominent talent and literary agency, has officially rebranded as A3 Artists Agency.
The name change, announced over the weekend at the company’s annual retreat, comes 18 months after Robert Attermann, Brian Cho, and Adam Bold acquired the agency,
“When we purchased the agency in 2018, we set out to be the premium brand we now are,” Bold said. “We said we’d have diversity, and we do. We’re not only promising to be something different; we are something different. We’ve hired top-tier agents from diverse backgrounds, we were the first agency to launch a digital studio, and we recently expanded internationally with an office in the UK.”
Crime Story 2020: Innovative crime writing festival turns spotlight on contemporary crime
newsroom.northumbria.ac.uk – Saturday February 29, 2020
A series of events for crime fiction fans will take place at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle this spring, bringing together people from the two very different worlds of fact and fiction.
Across the three events, celebrated writers AA Dhand, Oliver Harris, Jessica Moor, Judith O’Reilly and Mim Skinner will be paired with experts who will offer unique insight into how contemporary issues are dealt with in real life.
Experts taking part in Crime Story include three Northumbria University academics - Dr Nicci MacLeod, a forensic linguist, who has written on women in the criminal justice system; Professor Mike Rowe, a criminologist who specialises in policing culture and reforms; and Professor Lars Holmquist, an internationally-leading researcher in human-computer interaction.
Publishers, Agents Scramble to Reschedule Bologna
publishersweekly.com – Wednesday February 26, 2020
The news on Monday that the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been rescheduled to May 4–7 due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has left North American publishers and agents scrambling. Most are working to reschedule appointments, hoping that other attendees will agree to shift their existing appointments to the new dates.
Prize for short form writers launched in tribute to Dave Murray
thebookseller.com – Friday January 31, 2020
An award for new and emerging short-form writers has been launched in memory of Manchester-based writer and critic Dave Murray.
The QuietManDave Prize will be run by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with the Manchester School of Theatre.
Named in honour of Murray, a writer and theatre blogger, and lover of flash fiction and non-fiction, who died in 2019, the prize has been initiated and funded by Murray’s family, including his wife Vanda Murray OBE, who is a senior non-executive director with several organisations and chair of Manchester Metropolitan’s board of governors.
SUNY Cortland launches online literary magazine
www2.cortland.edu – Tuesday January 28, 2020
SUNY Cortland’s new online literary magazine, Hoxie Gorge Review, blends together innovative poetry, fiction and nonfiction from established national writers as well as emerging talents.
It was also a labor of love for the 12 students in an upper-level course on the publishing industry taught by instructor Heather Bartlett in the English Department. Those students served as editors, soliciting, selecting and editing submissions for the first issue published in December.
While there are many online literary magazines that feature the work of undergraduate writers, including Cortland’s own Crystallize Review, few are in the mold of Hoxie Gorge Review: a magazine run by undergraduates featuring the work of national writers.
Buchwald Adds Sola Fasehun and Tim Patricia As Literary Agents
deadline.com – Saturday January 25, 2020
Fasehun got her start working under Academy Award-winning producer Michael Phillips at Lighthouse Productions. She then spent six years as a film production, sales, and distribution consultant at Submarine Entertainment/Deluxe. She joins Buchwald from UTA, where, as a member of their team, she helped spearhead the agency’s Diversity initiative.