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Writers' News

Creative writing graduates will 'never make a living as novelists', says Self

thebookseller.com – Thursday May 2, 2019

Will Self has declared literature to be “morphing into a giant quilting exercise”, suggesting that no current creative writing graduates will make a living from literary fiction.

The author criticised courses during an interview with Radio 4’s “Today” programme on Thursday (2nd May), in a show recorded at the University of East Anglia, almost 50 years since its prestigious Creative Writing MA launched.

Self said: “If you want to do it and you’re not too concerned about making a living in the future then it’s probably a good idea. The paradox is, in the modern university, everyone is encouraged to tailor their courses towards employability but it’s certainly not clear what the pathway is into literary fiction – possibly into genre fiction, or possibly people can use the writing courses just to develop themselves as writers to write video games or something else, that’s a possibility.”

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Cengage, McGraw-Hill Agree to Merge to Become 2nd Biggest US Textbook Publisher

edsurge.com – Wednesday May 1, 2019

Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education plan to join forces in an all-stock merger. The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would create the second-biggest U.S. textbook publisher if the deal is approved, with a combined valuation estimated at $5 billion. Pearson, with a market cap of $8.5 billion, would still be ahead of the pack.

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Writers Who Fired Their Agents Aren’t Flocking To WGA-Approved Agencies

deadline.com – Tuesday April 16, 2019

Talent agencies that signed the WGA’s new Code of Conduct aren’t being flooded with calls from writers seeking new representation now that they’ve been ordered by the guild to fire their agents who refused to sign. Deadline reached out to many of the 48 agencies that signed the Code and asked if they’ve been getting calls from writers who fired their agents on this the first business day since the Code went into effect.

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Yorkshire to host one of best horror writing festivals on its first visit to UK

thescarboroughnews.co.uk – Saturday April 13, 2019

One of the world's best horror writing events is coming to the UK for the first time - and it will be based in Yorkshire

StokerCon™ will be held at the Grand and Royal Hotels in Scarborough in April 2020.

For the first time, the Horror Writers' Association's annual gathering will be held outside of the US and will continue to incorporate such popular StokerCon programming as Horror University, the Final Frame Short Film Competition, the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, and the presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards®.

[Read the full article]

WGA & ATA Fail To Reach New Deal; Mass Firing Of Agents And Lawsuits Loom

deadline.com – Saturday April 13, 2019

The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents have failed to reach an agreement on a new franchise agreement, setting the stage for unprecedented upheaval in the film and TV industry. Thousands of writers now are ordered by the guild to fire their agents, and in the coming days, expect both sides to carry out their threats to sue each other.

The guild said this afternoon that “as of midnight tonight, every agency will be required to become a signatory” to its new Code of Conduct. Writers will have to fire any agency that refuses to sign it. (Read the letter from guild leaders to members below.) All of the major agencies have said they will not sign, so the unprecedented battle between writers and their agents soon will be on.

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The first AI-generated textbook shows what robot writers are actually good at

theverge.com – Wednesday April 10, 2019

Academic publisher Springer Nature has unveiled what it claims is the first research book generated using machine learning.

The book, titled Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research, isn’t exactly a snappy read. Instead, as the name suggests, it’s a summary of peer-reviewed papers published on the topic in question. It includes quotations, hyperlinks to the work cited, and automatically generated references contents. It’s also available to download and read for free if you have any trouble getting to sleep at night.

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Rick Christian leaves literary agency that transformed Christian publishing

religionnews.com – Friday March 15, 2019

As a San Diego high school student in the early 1970s, Rick Christian was frustrated when he heard radio commercials for best-sellers that ended with the words “available wherever books are sold.”

The books he wanted to read — Bibles, concordances and other Christian works — were hard to find in regular bookstores.

“I thought, ‘Someday I would love for Christian books to be available wherever books are sold,’” he said. In 1989, he set out to make that dream a reality as founder of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Alive Literary Agency.

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Stormzy launches search for 'best writer of a new generation'

theguardian.com – Thursday March 14, 2019

Less than a year after taking his first step into publishing with the launch of #Merky Books, the grime artist Stormzy has unveiled the New writers’ prize for authors under 30, to “promote the stories that aren’t being heard, and to find the best writer of a new generation”.

#Merky Books, a Penguin Random House imprint focused on fostering talent among young UK writers, is part of the musician’s growing #Merky empire, which also includes a record label and music festival. Its first book was Stormzy’s memoir, Rise Up, co-authored with the 25-year-old writer Jude Yawson.

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Writer's Digest, Popular Woodworking publisher F+W Media files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

eu.usatoday.com – Tuesday March 12, 2019

The publisher of Writer's Digest, Popular Woodworking and other niche magazines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid plummeting subscriptions and advertising revenue.

New York-based F+W Media asked for court protection from its creditors on Sunday after it nearly ran out of money, according to a court filing.

The company's publications include more than 50 specialized titles in arts and crafts, writing, design, knitting and the outdoors. It also publishes books, holds consumer and trade events and sells products online.

[Read the full article]

Entering our crime writing competition? We want courage and audacity

bigissue.com – Wednesday March 6, 2019

Crime has become the most popular fiction genre in the UK. Book shops and libraries are bursting at the seams with decent page-turners. But it takes something special for a novel to stand out, to tell a tale which doesn’t just pull readers through to the end, but leaves them pondering stories and characters for days afterwards.

Crime fiction has many powers. There is nothing – no moral or political issue, no character type, no philosophical query – which cannot be served by a good crime story. Dostoevsky used crime to investigate the parameters of morality, Raymond Chandler to showcase his remarkable ear for dialogue, Agatha Christie to tie readers up in twists and turns, Ian Rankin to explore the dark corners of a historic, shadow-ridden city. Really, ‘genre’ is a lazy catch-all term for a subject matter which has been utilised by writers as diverse as Robert Louis-Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Muriel Spark, Patricia Highsmith, Douglas Adams, Henning Mankell, Val McDermid and Paula Hawkins.

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