Novelist Tim Winton left 'deeply wounded' by axing of his publisher Ben Ball
smh.com.au – Wednesday May 16, 2018
Leading Australian novelist Tim Winton says he has been left "deeply wounded" by the decision of the country's biggest publishing company, Penguin Random House, to axe his highly respected publisher, Ben Ball.
Ball was appointed publishing director of the newly created Penguin Random House Literary division less than a year ago and has an illustrious career publishing literary heavyweights including Winton, Peter Carey, Robert Drewe and Sonya Hartnett.
Marian Keyes to fund Curtis Brown scholarship for budding author
thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 15, 2018
Bestselling author Marian Keyes is funding a £2,600 place on Curtis Brown’s online six-month writing course for one “talented writer with limited financial means”.
Keyes is providing financial support for the place on Curtis Brown Creative’s (CBC) next novel-writing course starting in September.
The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of quality of material – applicants fulfilling the eligibility criteria should send in the opening 3,000 words and one-page synopsis for the novel they would like to work on during the course.
Amazon Publishing launches non-fiction arm
thebookseller.com – Monday May 14, 2018
Amazon Publishing is breaking into non-fiction in the UK through imprint Little A.
The retailer's publishing arm has been “keen to explore quality non-fiction from UK authors for some time”, according to editorial director Laura Deacon, and is calling on agents to submit a broad range of titles ranging from history, science, lifestyle and popular culture. Agents The Bookseller spoke to have greeted the news with enthusiasm.
Amazon Publishing currently publishes fiction under four imprints in the UK: Thomas & Mercer, Lake Union Publishing, Montlake Romance and 47 North. In the US, Little A publishes literary fiction and non-fiction, but in the UK it will currently just focus on non-fiction.
Daily Mail and PRH launch third £20k writers' competition
thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 8, 2018
The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have launched the third year of their nationwide competition to search for a new writing talent.
The winner will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with PRH imprint Century and the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi.
Entrants are invited to submit the first 5,000 words of their novel, along with a 600-word synopsis. Submissions can be of any adult genre except for saga, science fiction and fantasy. Entrants must not have had a novel published before.
The competition will be judged by a panel of experts: author and TV presenter Fern Britton; Bonomi, managing director of LBA Literary Agents; crime writer Simon Kernick; the Daily Mail's literary editor Sandra Parsons; and Selina Walker, publisher for Century & Arrow.
An Indian-American filmmaker wants fans to help 'fix' Simpsons character Apu
digitalspy.com – Friday May 4, 2018
Indian-American filmmaker Adi Shankar has come up with a solution to the problem of The Simpsons' character Apu: he wants to hand the character over to the fans for a rewrite.
The character has become the subject of controversy in recent months, especially after the release of 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu, which discussed the way the long-running TV series has helped to perpetuate the (negative) stereotypes of Indian-Americans, as well as the problems of having a white actor putting on a heavy accent to voice the character.
Researchers built an AI capable of writing poetry that's equal parts woeful and impressive
mashable.com – Saturday April 28, 2018
As if the world weren't already full enough of awful human poetry, now the robot overlords want in.
Researchers from Microsoft and Kyoto University were interested in whether they could invent an AI that writes poetry inspired from images, "generating poems to satisfy both relevance to the image and poeticness in language level." Some of the poems produced are pretty objectively abysmal. Others, surprisingly passable.
Here's one inspired by a photo of a dead crab:
Lovegrove launches magazine for Caribbean writing
thebookseller.com – Monday April 23, 2018
Sharmaine Lovegrove has launched an online magazine dedicated to Caribbean literature.
Pree offers new contemporary writing from and about the Caribbean, including fiction, non-fiction, essays, interviews and experimental writing giving the authors “international visibility far beyond the islands”.
Lovegrove is publisher of the magazine and also publisher at Little, Brown imprint Dialogue Books, which is dedicated to inclusivity. Joining her at the online magazine is editor-in-chief Annie Paul, who is based at University of the West Indies, and editors include Jamaican writer and environmental activist Diana McCaulay, cultural analyst Isis Semaj-Hall and New York-based essayist Garnette Cadogan. The magazine’s creative director is designer Nerys Hudson.
Richard & Judy 'Search for a Bestseller' competition returns
thebookseller.com – Thursday April 19, 2018
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are launching their third “Search for a Bestseller” competition to find a promising first-time writer. The prize is a £30,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre with specialist advice from literary agency Furniss Lawton.
The competition is supported by W H Smith and will open to unpublished writers today (19th April 2018). Writers must submit 10,000 words, plus a synopsis of the novel and the work must be a piece of original fiction aimed at adults. The full terms and conditions can be found on the Richard and Judy website.
Man Booker International Prize shortlist a boon for small publishers
theconversation.com – Friday April 13, 2018
Six books, six languages, two former winners and a bonanza for independent publishers: the Man Booker International Prize – the UK’s most prestigious prize for translated fiction – has announced its 2018 shortlist. Whittled down from a longlist of 13 titles spanning the globe, the six titles to make the cut are translated from Arabic, French, Hungarian, Korean, Spanish and Polish.
This year’s nominations have been selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by novelist Lisa Appignanesi with fellow writers Hari Kunzru and Helen Oyeyemi alongside poet and translator Michael Hofmann and journalist Tim Martin. The shortlist includes Han Kang and Deborah Smith – who won the prize in 2016 for The Vegetarian – and László Krasznahorkai – who won the prize in its former iteration in 2015 – when it was awarded for an achievement in fiction evident in a body of work.
There's no female conspiracy in publishing – your book might just not be good
theguardian.com – Wednesday April 11, 2018
When I first saw the #MisandryInPublishing hashtag, I assumed it was a joke. How could anyone actually believe that there is a bias against men in an industry that has historically prioritised the work of men, and paid them more for it? How?
I soon realised the hashtag was the work of a male author who was complaining about female agents and writers who had spurned him — myself in particular. Though I had not yet read his book, I had retweeted a meme about male authors being bad at writing female characters, which he didn’t like. It was enough to put me in his crosshairs.
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