Finally working on that novel as you self-isolate? You're not alone
theguardian.com – Friday March 27, 2020
There’s been a rapid rise in submissions from would-be authors since the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re dusting off your manuscript, here are some things to keep in mind...
If you’re one of those people who always said they would write a novel if only they had the time: this is your moment. As more budding writers self-isolate due to the coronavirus and finally knuckle down on their manuscripts, the publishing industry has already seen a surge in submissions.
Literary agent Juliet Mushens, of the Caskie Mushens agency, usually receives between 10 and 15 appeals for representation a day from new writers. Last Monday alone, she received 27.
“I am all in favour of it,” she said, of the increase. “We all know that social distancing is going to be crucial to how we combat the virus and I think it’s great if people can use that time productively – whether it’s learning the guitar, like one of my clients is, or writing that novel. And perhaps it’s also about people who have already written that novel but were too scared to hit send – they are realising that life is too short and you have to seize the day!”
Are you a new or emerging writer from a working-class background?
irishtimes.com – Monday March 23, 2020
Are you a new or emerging writer from a working class background? Would you like to be published alongside an Impac Award-winner, a Booker Prize-winner, two Sunday Times Short Story Award-winners, a senator, playwrights and poets? What about a professional development programme with the help of leading publishers and the Irish Writers Centre.
Well, now is your chance. Next spring, The 32: An Anthology of Working Class Voices will be published in Ireland and the UK. It will include 16 well-known contributors and 16 new and emerging writers. We are launching the search for those new writers today in The Irish Times.
Winchester Poetry Festival launches best new writing competition
hampshirechronicle.co.uk – Sunday March 15, 2020
AN ANNUAL poetry competition celebrating the best in new writing for 2020 has been launched.
The Winchester Poetry Prize is organised by the Winchester Poetry Festival and is open to poets from around the world.
This year’s entries will be judged by Andrew McMillan, whose first collection, physical, was the only poetry collection to ever win The Guardian First Book Award and was the Poet in Residence at Basingstoke Discovery Centre in 2012. He is also a senior lecturer in the Manchester Writing School.
‘Harry Potter’ publisher’s stock climbs as Britain’s chancellor waves his magic wand
marketwatch.com – Thursday March 12, 2020
Shares of the “Harry Potter” publisher Bloomsbury Publishing rose almost 5% after British Chancellor Rishi Sunak scrapped a “reading tax” on e-books — as investors hoped the move would conjure up more sales.
Announcing the news in his first budget on Wednesday, Sunak said the 20% levy on digital publications, including books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals, will be scrapped from Dec. 1 in time for Christmas.
Sunak said a world-class education will help the next generation to thrive. “Nothing could be more fundamental to that than reading. And yet digital publications are subject to VAT. That can’t be right. So today I am abolishing the reading tax,” he said.
Agents Highlight Leading Christian Publishing Trends
publishersweekly.com – Wednesday March 11, 2020
The religion publishing category is as strong as ever, interviews with several with literary agents found. Among the favorable trends they pointed to are a growing interest by publishers in the beliefs and behaviors of younger generations as well as an increase in the types of self-help books being released.
According to Kathryn Helmers, managing partner at Creative Trust Literary Group, readers are keen to move beyond books based on traditional thinking about the Christian faith—proper beliefs, a Bible-based worldview, and didactic teachings. Instead, readers are looking for “an ethos that values experience over knowledge, authenticity over authority,” she says.
London Book Fair award winners revealed
thebookseller.com – Wednesday March 11, 2020
The winners of the London Book Fair Awards 2020 have been revealed with the LBF International Excellence Awards, CAMEOs and UK Book Blog Awards all taking place online with the prizes posted to winners after the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The winners of the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards, in association with the Publishers Association, have been announced, with Europe and Asia leading the way with five and four winners respectively.
Shortlisted in three categories, Karadi Tales (India) took home the Audiobook Publisher of the Year. The judges congratulated it on its “firm commercial focus on their future web-based strategy, and continued dedication to both educating and entertaining young people in India.” Maadi Public Library in Egypt was crowned Library of the Year, with judges praising the library’s “sheer energy, diversity and vibrancy”.
Educational publishing merger raises competition concerns
gov.uk – Wednesday March 11, 2020
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the proposed merger could result in university textbooks costing more.
McGraw-Hill and Cengage are two leading publishers, producing textbooks and associated materials, for higher education students.
Woody Allen’s memoirs: this is the behaviour of censors, not publishers
theguardian.com – Sunday March 8, 2020
When Hachette bought Woody Allen’s autobiography, they no doubt expected it to be controversial. And no doubt they expected it to be a commercial success.
He is, after all, one of the great American writers and directors. And the notoriety and outrage that have continued since his daughter Dylan Farrow accused him of sexual abuse bring additional interest regarding what he might have to say on the subject. Following the staff walkout on Friday, and critical statements from Dylan and Ronan Farrow, they have now dropped the book. Very swiftly, the book became too damaging to Hachette’s reputation to publish.
This is worrying for writers and for readers. The staff at Hachette who walked out last week clearly thought that they were doing the right thing morally – protesting against the publication of a book by a man who has been accused of abusing his own child. But, as has been repeated many times, Woody Allen was investigated on two occasions and has never been charged. While Dylan and Ronan accuse Woody Allen, he has not been found guilty. Nothing has been proven. There is in fact no acceptable reason for not publishing Woody Allen’s book.
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”.