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Writers' News

Baldwin and McCalmont launch new scouting agency Zephyr

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 9, 2022

Literary scouts Naja Baldwin and Katie McCalmont have joined forces to launch a new international consulting and scouting agency called Zephyr. 

The new agency is based in Soho, central London. It scouts UK and international books for publishers and film and TV companies, and has already signed up its first clients, including Hanser Verlag in Germany, Nieuw Amsterdam, Podium and Fontaine (Park Publishers) in the Netherlands, Polaris in Sweden, Kagge in Norway and Todavia Livros in Brazil.

Baldwin said: “Zephyr is named after the west wind, bringing change, warmth and fresh ideas. This captures the energy we want to bring to our new venture. I can’t think of a better partner than Katie to launch this agency with — she’s an innovative and creative thinker, bold in her ambitions and an absolute joy to work with."  

[Read the full article]

Audiobook publishers record ten straight years of double digit growth

goodereader.com – Wednesday June 8, 2022

The audiobook segment is on a roll with publishers reporting the tenth straight year of continuous double-digit growth. As per data revealed in an Audio Publishers Association’s Sales Survey conducted by InterQ, the segment grew by a healthy 25 percent in 2021 to record revenues of $1.6 billion. There have also been about 76,000 audiobooks published in 2021, which marks a 6 percent rise compared to the preceding year.

The survey also revealed science fiction and fantasy titles were among the most sought after, followed closely by mystery, thrillers, and suspense stories. Romance and fiction made up a close third while revenue from audiobooks for children and young adults too witnessed growth in revenue.

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Words Without Borders Reboots

publishersweekly.com – Tuesday June 7, 2022

The nonprofit organization Words Without Borders launched in 2003 to aid in publishing works from countries and cultures underrepresented in English-first language regions. WWB now has an archive of 12,000 published pieces across 140 countries and 130 languages. Though their mission has not changed, there are several new developments planned to expand the literary conversation.

“I think it’s easy to forget just how much has changed for both the publication and the landscape of international literature since we started in 2003,” said Eric M. B. Becker, digital director and senior editor.

The publication was among the first online-only literary magazines, has evolved to become a platform for writers and translators alike, with programs like its Poems in Translation contest, the Indigenous Writing Project, and the Words Without Borders Campus program. Throughout, the mission has remained the same: to offer free access to international literature through translation online to anybody with an internet connection.

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18 of Our Favorite Books About the Craft of Writing

tor.com – Saturday June 4, 2022

Are you a writer? Do you like learning about the creative process, either for your own projects, or just cause you think it’s interesting? This post is about to make your day. As I’m sure you know, there is a booming industry of books on the art and craft of writing, from all sort of different authors, who cover all sorts of different angles. I’ve rounded up 18 of my favorites.

Let me start with one piece of my own advice: all of the books on this list are very good, and helpful, and if you’re a writer I think you should read them! BUT: What makes a writer is creating a space, as often as possible, to think and write. And that can mean many things! It can be typing into a notes app during your baby’s nap, it can mean an hour before work each day, it can mean sitting under a tree with a Moleskine and a fancy pen, it can mean one long writing session a week, or dictating during your commute, or staying up until 4AM writing fic.

Also read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible—and to that end, here’s a book list!

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How the Publishing World Is Muscling In on Hollywood Deals: For Authors, “The Future Is Multihyphenate”

hollywoodreporter.com – Thursday May 26, 2022

his June, when the Netflix film Spiderhead hits the streamer, something revolutionary will happen — but blink and you’ll miss it. Before the opening scene of the dystopian drama starring Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth and Jurnee Smollett, the New Yorker logo will appear on the screen. The script is an adaptation of a 2010 George Saunders short story, published in the magazine under the title “Escape From Spiderhead.” The film was produced by Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE), one of the first major projects under the group’s new president, studio veteran Agnes Chu.

Spiderhead’s path to the screen is part of a new push to rethink the traditional page-to-screen pipeline — which insiders on both ends of the dealmaking equation say is meant to bolster the authors behind the IP Hollywood covets.

For decades, book agents would identify the upcoming titles on their publishing slates best fit for film or television, pitch to counterparts at the major Hollywood agencies, and then sit back as producers and film creatives picked the most promising projects and shepherded them the rest of way. “There had to be a better way to get authors a place at the table,” says Todd Shuster, co-CEO of Aevitas Creative. The lit agency has developed several pipelines to secure more autonomy for authors and their representation, including a first-look deal with Anonymous Content that allows literary agents to serve as producers. One fruit of this union was the 2020 Netflix movie The Midnight Sky, adapted from the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Aevitas literary agency client Lily Brooks-Dalton. Directed by and starring George Clooney, the film reached Netflix’s No. 1 spot in 77 countries, giving Shuster, who has a producer credit, the confidence that the model could work.

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Morton Janklow, Groundbreaking Literary Agent, Dies at 91

variety.com – Thursday May 26, 2022

Morton Janklow, one of the nation’s most powerful literary agents who elevated the power of the profession in advocating for authors, died Wednesday morning of heart failure at his home in Water Mill, N.Y.. He was 91 years old.

Janklow’s clients included the likes of Sidney Poitier, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins, Nancy Reagan and Ted Turner. His death was confirmed by publicist Paul Bogards to The New York Times.

Janklow began his career as a literary agent in 1972 when his client and friend William Safire asked him to help with a book he was writing about President Richard Nixon. The corporate attorney educated himself on the publishing industry and successfully negotiated a contract for Safire’s book. After the Watergate scandal broke, the book’s publisher attempted to back out of the $250,000 contract.

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TRU Community Gathering Via Zoom - A Conversation With Literary Agents: How Shutdown Has Changed The Business

broadwayworld.com – Saturday May 21, 2022

A dependable haven for artists in isolation, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is now into its second year of non-stop weekly Community Gatherings this Friday, having offered to date over 100 conversations and unlimited camaraderie since April 17, 2020. TRU hosts their Community Gatherings every Friday at 5pm ET via Zoom, to explore the creation of art and theater in the time of COVID-19, and these crucial conversations continue going forward as theater reopens. Ask questions, bring answers, be part of a community - it's an opportunity to network with theater professionals and talk about how we kept theater alive during shutdown, and what we are doing now, going forward.

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Ex-Pavilion publisher Dunnicliffe sets up Spring Literary agency

thebookseller.com – Wednesday May 18, 2022

Following the sale of Pavilion Children’s Books to HarperCollins, publisher Neil Dunnicliffe has left to set up his own agency, Spring Literary. 

The agency will focus on the children’s market, representing both authors and illustrators. 

Dunnicliffe said he is representing some of the talent he worked with at Pavilion, including Pam Smy, shortlistee for the Greenaway and Waterstones Children’s Prizes, and John Broadley, winner of the New York Times illustrated children’s book of the year 2021. The agency has also signed Nibbies-shortlisted Ian Eagleton and Klaus Flugge-longlisted Ian Morris and Flora Delargy. 

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Andrews UK acquires Devon-based publisher Arthur H Stockwell

thebookseller.com – Wednesday May 18, 2022

Bedfordshire-based media publishing and distribution company Andrews UK has acquired Devon publisher Arthur H Stockwell.  

Arthur H Stockwell was originally established in 1898 in London before relocating to North Devon during the Second World War. It is one of the oldest surviving UK publishers having been family owned since that time by the Stockwell family.

Following the acquisition, Arthur H Stockwell operations have now been transferred to Bedfordshire at its own offices in West Wing Studios.  

[Read the full article]

Channel 4 launches scheme to identify new TV drama writing talent in South West England

channel4.com – Tuesday May 17, 2022

Channel 4 has launched a scheme designed to identify and support new TV drama writers in the West and South West of England.

The Channel 4 TV Drama New Writers scheme will give 12 writers six months of specialist support which will include in-person workshops and training, mentoring and introductions to scripted drama production companies. After completing the scheme, participants will be able to submit a first draft script for consideration and feedback from Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Gwawr Lloyd.

Gwawr said: “Ensuring that the Nations and the Regions are represented in its dramas is a real priority for Channel 4. As a broadcaster, we have a history of discovering and nurturing new talent - it’s something that we are passionate about. 

“Launching this TV Drama New Writers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the channel to identify talent from the region and to work with them to help us get authentic, original stories on screen - reflecting audiences back on themselves. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Channel 4 Bristol Hub to collaborate with our local partners to give stories that matter the platform they deserve.”

[Read the full article]

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