Writers' Newsletter

Issue #252
March 2024


Some of this month's news for writers from around the web.

New children's publisher Post Wave UK, led by Emma Hopkin, appoints creative team

New children's publisher Post Wave UK, led by Emma Hopkin, appoints creative team – Thursday March 14, 2024

Post Wave UK, a new subsidiary of Chinese publishing house Post Wave Publishing China, led by m.d. Emma Hopkin, has appointed a creative team and is to launch its books list in August.

Emma Blackburn will join from Hachette as publisher in April, while Joanna McInerney from Big Picture Press is to be editorial director and Avni Patel of Thames & Hudson will be design director. Bounce Sales & Marketing will be Post Wave UK’s first sales and distribution partner.

Hopkin, who had a former role as m.d. of consumer publishing at Bloomsbury, said of the new appointments at Post Wave UK: “The profile of our acquiring and design team really signals our intent to be an exceptional illustrated children’s publishing house, backed by our colleagues from Post Wave China. We plan to grow quickly and cleverly, and I couldn’t hope for a better team to steer our list strategy and our agent, author and illustrator relationships.”

[Read the full article]

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Rizzoli International to Launch U.K. Publishing Arm

Rizzoli International to Launch U.K. Publishing Arm – Thursday March 7, 2024

Rizzoli International has announced plans to launch a London-based publishing arm, Rizzoli UK.

Helming the new business is Stephen King, who has been appointed managing director of Rizzoli UK. King was previously managing director of independent publisher Hardie Grant UK.

King will also join the Rizzoli International executive team headed by president and CEO Stefano Peccatori. Also on the executive team are Jennifer Pierson, v-p of global sales, marketing, and operations; Randy Barlow, v-p of finance and administration; and Charles Miers, publisher of all Rizzoli International imprints, who oversees Rizzoli New York, Rizzoli Universe, Rizzoli Electa, and now Rizzoli U.K.

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The Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers returns for fifth year

The Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers returns for fifth year – Wednesday March 6, 2024

The Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers returns for its fifth year, offering one year’s free membership to Campaign for National Parks, a £300 paid commission to write a National Parks-inspired piece for Viewpoint Magazine and an Arvon course of choice. 

The winner will also receive three one-hour mentoring sessions with a Gaia commissioner, a one-hour mentoring session with a literary agent and a book bundle from Octopus Publishing Group. 

The prize, which aims to break down barriers, was set up in 2020 by the writer Natasha Carthew to create opportunity for working-class nature writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. It is supported by Arvon Foundation, the Campaign for National Parks and Gaia, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group. The prize is free to enter and encourages self-identifying working-class writers from all over the UK, whether they live in the country or in towns, cities and other spaces.

[Read the full article]

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A selection of the new listings added to this month.

New Literary Agent Listing: Camille Burns

New Literary Agent Listing: Camille Burns – Tuesday March 12, 2024

In MG, I am drawn to stories with lots of heart and written in a lyrical tone which convey a sense of wonder and warmth, and which would not be amiss as a modern classic. I am also very keen to see stories that hover on the cusp between MG and teen, with darker themes and complex plotting, particularly when combined with action-packed sequences and acerbic wit. In YA, I’m open to seeing all genres, whether literary or commercial, but tend to be drawn to stories with a strong romantic component. I’m also keen to see stories with a strong cast of characters, which encapsulate the thrill, angst and drama of growing up. I am on the lookout for a select few adult fiction projects, particularly romance, fantasy, speculative or historical fiction. I would also love to see proposals for smart and accessible non-fiction (children’s or adult) which teach us about the world we live in, which shine a light on a culture (including workplace culture etc), which are empowering, or which encourage deep thinking and fundamental shifts in perspective.

[See the full listing]

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New Publisher Listing: Velocity Press

New Publisher Listing: Velocity Press – Monday March 11, 2024

Publishes fiction and nonfiction about the history and innovation of electronic music and club culture.

[See the full listing]

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New Magazine Listing: London Grip New Poetry

New Magazine Listing: London Grip New Poetry – Friday March 15, 2024

Quarterly online poetry magazine. Poetry may be submitted in December/January, March/April, June/July, or September/October. Proposals for poetry reviews (or other articles on poetry) may be submitted at any time.

[See the full listing]

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Some of this month's articles for writers from around the web.

How to sustain a writers’ group

How to sustain a writers’ group – Wednesday March 13, 2024

Games and fiction writer Gavin Inglis shares his top tips for running a writers' group that lasts.

Gavin Inglis has been in the same writers’ workshop since 1993. He shares some of the secrets that have helped keep it together all these years.

Make sure your writers' group has a focus

For a start, your group needs an identity so potential members can decide whether or not it suits them. Perhaps it is a friendly, open gathering dedicated to encouragement and support. Perhaps it is a private workshop which critiques commercial crime novels. It can be whatever works for the membership, but if it tries to be all things to all people, it will not have the cohesive force to endure.

People stick with writers’ groups because they are useful, and/or members enjoy the experience. Support, critique, networking. . . Understand what it is you do well, and move that to centre stage.

[Read the full article]

Lisa Gardner: 10 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years of Suspense Writing

Lisa Gardner: 10 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years of Suspense Writing – Wednesday March 13, 2024

When people first meet authors, they always ask the same question—how did you get started in this business? I’m a bit a rarity. Wrote my first novel at seventeen, sold it at twenty, hit the bestseller lists at twenty-eight. Trust me, if you’d told my 12-year old bookworm self, armed with a library pass and overactive imagination, that this would be my life, I never would’ve believed it. And yet, a sometimes heartbreaking, always incredible three decades later, here I am. Better yet, here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

1. Write from the Heart

Needless to say, I’ve sat through a lot of advice on trends over the years. Write whatever you want to write…but make it about vampires. Wait, domestic suspense is in…or is it international thrillers…unreliable narrators…books with the word girl/she/her in the title? These fads are all true and yet none of them matter. As writers, we think in story. Good news, so do readers. What is the best thing you can possibly be writing right now? The book that keeps knocking at your mental door. At seventeen, I had this scene I couldn’t get out of my head—a woman who ran a shelter for homeless youths, witnessing a murder one night, and the killer spotting her. Maybe other people dream of rainbows and fluffy bunnies, but clearly they were never meant for crime fiction.

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On writing settings that crawl under the skin

On writing settings that crawl under the skin – Thursday March 7, 2024

I once attended a writing seminar that claimed the landscape of your childhood home informs the way you move, think, and talk. A rocky, mountainous place might shorten your sentences into a rhythm that makes room for quick bursts of speed; a hot and humid landscape might lead you to consider your thoughts slowly, without straining yourself.

Embarrassingly, I have forgotten exactly who led this discussion (if you’ve attended something similar, please tell me!), but the idea has never left me—that, in the same way some people wind up looking exactly like their dogs, the place where you live can infect you to a deeper degree than you might have realized.

It’s by turns a comforting notion, and a disturbing one. What might you be carrying with you, subconsciously influencing your choices? And what if your relationship to those childhood landscapes isn’t altogether positive? I think of my grandmother, who, when asked about this concept at a dinner not long after, visibly recoiled from the question. Her early memories of Mississippi river flats and anything that land might have imprinted on her were not welcome at our table. She spent much of her life traveling, finally landing in New York, and only conceded to move as far south as Virginia because my brothers and I were children there.

[Read the full article]

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