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Writers' News

Stop 'tampering with literature'! Publishers warned against cancelling classic authors after woke rewrites

gbnews.com – Saturday September 30, 2023

Woke rewrites of classic books "deprive children of valuable lessons on right and wrong", the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport has warned.

Lucy Frazer claims "tampering with literature" denies people "precious cultural heritage" as she warns publishers against cancelling authors.

Her comments come after books by authors such as Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton have recently been altered by their publishers.

In some instances, certain words and phrases which they now deem to be offensive have been removed.

However, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire says rewriting old texts is "infantilising".

[Read the full article]

Kumar joins David Godwin Associates as a literary agent

thebookseller.com – Friday September 29, 2023

Aparna Kumar is joining David Godwin Associates as a literary agent on 2nd October. She will be helping to manage David Godwin’s long list of clients as well as acquiring her own.

Kumar, who has recently completed her MSc in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, has worked in publishing for six years. Most recently, she was an editor at Penguin Random House India, where she commissioned literary fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.

[Read the full article]

Children's Books North launches directory for authors, illustrators and publishing professionals

thebookseller.com – Thursday September 28, 2023

The Children’s Books North (CBN) network is launching a directory listing published children’s authors, illustrators and publishing professionals based in the north-east, north-west, Yorkshire and Scotland.

Tilda Johnson, CBN co-founder, said: "The directory is a key resource in our aim to connect the children’s book professionals living in our regions, to promote our members’ work, and to champion the importance of regional diversity in children’s books and the publishing industry."

CBN members will be listed with their details, with the aim of enabling booksellers, librarians, schools, festivals, literacy organisations, agents and publishers to get in touch. The directory, which will be updated annually, is also aimed at authors and illustrators looking to connect with other creatives working in their region and to forge new networks.

[Read the full article]

The Hollywood writers’ strike is over — and they won big

vox.com – Thursday September 28, 2023

Hollywood’s longest and most costly labor strike has ended.

Late in the day on Sunday, September 24 — after 146 days of labor stoppage, the longest strike in Hollywood history by a long shot — the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents Hollywood’s writers, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an association of Hollywood’s largest studios and production companies, announced that an agreement had been reached. On Tuesday, September 26, the union’s leadership announced that they’d voted to end the strike and recommended the membership vote in favor of ratifying the contract.

The strike officially ended in the wee hours of Wednesday, September 27, and the union’s membership will begin their vote on Monday, October 2. For many, this moment is one for celebration. President Joe Biden, who is set to join striking auto workers on their picket line on Tuesday, issued a statement applauding the writers’ tentative deal. “There simply is no substitute for employers and employees coming together to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement that makes a business stronger and secures the pay, benefits, and dignity that workers deserve,” he said.

[Read the full article]

The White Review literary magazine ceases publishing

theguardian.com – Tuesday September 26, 2023

A statement cited increased costs and removal of UK state funding as the magazine, which featured writers including Paul Murray, Caleb Azumah Nelson and Sally Rooney, is to consider its future

Literary magazine the White Review will not be published “for an indefinite period” according to a statement from its board.

This comes after the not-for-profit journal’s applications for funding were rejected by Arts Council England for three consecutive years. The charity relied on this funding for “a substantial portion of its annual budget” between 2011-2021, read the statement.

“Despite our best efforts, the associated effects of the cost of living crisis and the increase in production costs, in tandem with reduced funding, has meant that the White Review has not been able to publish a print issue since No 33 in June 2022,” the board said.

[Read the full article]

This teenage novelist is $1,400 out of pocket to self-publisher — but still doesn't have a book

cbc.ca – Saturday September 23, 2023

After spending about $1,400 through a U.S.-based self-publishing company and no books to show for it, a mother and daughter from Gander are cautioning people before taking the self-publishing route.

Lindsay Whiteway, 14, said it was a dream to have her book — which she compared to American author Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series — published.

"I kind of wanted to publish them and get them out. Because it's just all the stories I built up in my mind…. I need other people to read it, you know," she told CBC News.

While looking for publishers online, Lindsay's mother, Jessica Pritchett, came across Premium Book Publishing, which is based in Florida.

[Read the full article]

Northern Fiction Alliance launches 'environmentally responsible' online book fair

thebookseller.com – Saturday September 23, 2023

The Northern Fiction Alliance is launching the online Green Book Fair which will take place between Wednesday 27th and Friday 29th September.

The pilot book fair aims to offer an "environmentally responsible way for international publishers to conduct business".

Funded by Arts Council England, the initiative is set to take place online, in line with its aim to be more sustainable than traditional festivals that require airplane travel. The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of the festival while also ensuring that it is accessible to attendees from across the world.

[Read the full article]

Prototype Publishing announces new writing prize

thebookseller.com – Thursday September 21, 2023

Prototype Publishing, along with partners Monitor Books and frieze magazine, has announced the Prototype Prize, a new, bi-annual prize for published or unpublished writers and artists working at the intersections of different literary and artistic forms.

The prize of £3,000 plus publication by Prototype will go to the best book-length project by a writer or artist resident in the UK or Ireland. A second prize of £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books will be awarded to the best proposal for a short-form work. Both prize-winners will have an excerpt of their work published by frieze.

The judges for the inaugural prize are Bhanu Kapil pictured, Tom McCarthy and Elizabeth Price, who will work alongside an editorial board from the publishers.

[Read the full article]

Amazon restricts authors from self-publishing more than three books a day after AI concerns

theguardian.com – Wednesday September 20, 2023

The company announced the new limitations after an influx of suspected AI-generated material was listed for sale but said that ‘very few’ publishers will be affected

Amazon has created a new rule limiting the number of books that authors can self-publish on its site to three a day, after an influx of suspected AI-generated material was listed for sale in recent months.

The company announced the new limitations in a post on its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) forum on Monday. “While we have not seen a spike in our publishing numbers, in order to help protect against abuse, we are lowering the volume limits we have in place on new title creations,” read the statement. KDP allows authors to self-publish their books and list them for sale on Amazon’s site.

Amazon told the Guardian that the limit is set at three titles, though this number may be adjusted “if needed”. The company confirmed that there was previously no limit to the number of books authors could list a day.

[Read the full article]

Reilly appointed literary agent at Colwill & Peddle

thebookseller.com – Wednesday September 20, 2023

Milly Reilly has joined Colwill & Peddle as a literary agent. She brings with her a list of non-fiction and literary fiction authors, including Dr Annabel Sowemimo, Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad, among others. 

Reilly started her career at First Story before joining Jo Unwin Literary Agency in 2017, originally as Unwin’s assistant. She said: "Kay and Charlotte are phenomenal agents. Their transparent and collaborative ethos is a force for good in the industry, and I’m delighted to be joining their agency.

"I am so grateful to Jo and the wider team – Rachel, Donna and Daisy – for my time at JULA, and all that I’ve learnt at the company. It has been a joy and privilege to work with such intelligent and inspiring colleagues, and I will miss them very much."

[Read the full article]

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