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Writers' News

2017 Submissions for PEN Literary Awards Due

authorlink.com – Tuesday August 2, 2016

With the August 15 deadline for submitting to the 2017 PEN Literary Awards just two weeks away, PEN is reminding publishers and literary agents to submit their authors’ books for PEN’s prestigious awards which will confer over $250,000 to writers and translators spanning the fields of fiction, essays, science writing, biography, and more.

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PRH hunts for writers from 'under-represented' communities

thebookseller.com – Wednesday July 27, 2016

Penguin Random House UK has launched a nationwide campaign to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves.

The WriteNow scheme aims to find and publish new writers who are "under-represented in books and publishing”. Targeted groups are writers from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds, writers who come from LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) or BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) communities, or writers with a disability. 

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Nielsen Book to launch online ISBN store

thebookseller.com – Monday July 25, 2016

Nielsen Book is launching a new ISBN store allowing publishers and self-published authors to purchase smaller numbers of ISBNs online "within minutes".

Previously publishers wanting to acquire up to 1,000 ISBNs had to use a more labour-intensive manual process, involving completing a form to send to Nielsen by email. But the new service will be automated, asking customers to register (first time users) and log in, choose the number of ISBNs required, and pay online.

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Artificial intelligence and the art of reader-driven publishing

thebookseller.com – Monday July 25, 2016

In March a novel co-authored by an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm moved into the second round of submissions for a national literary contest in Japan. What may have seemed like momentary buzz suddenly gave the publishing industry pause. Is technology capable of replicating the human process involved in creating something as powerful as the written word?

While a world where robots rank on the New York Times bestseller list is still light years away, the industry is starting to acknowledge the impact that AI is having on publishing. 

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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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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.

[Read the full article]

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