Skip to Content

12 August 2019 - What's new

12 August 2019
  • ‘It wasn't really writing. It was sort of doing something at night, rather than cultivating friendships. I found myself very good company, so I never needed a party or a dinner in order to make me wonder on Saturday night, what are you going to do? And besides I had these little children, so I wrote at night, sporadically, trying to build on a story I had written years before. I liked the authority of being in a place where I was doing it, and I liked how hard it was. And I liked the privacy, the interior world that was all mine, the freedom to explore that in a systematic way...' Toni Morrison, who died last week and was the author of Beloved, Song of Solomon, Sula, Jazz and 7 other novels, in a 1987 interview with Publishers WeeklyInternational news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries Our Comment.
  • If you're aiming at traditional publishing, Finding an agent and Working with an agent are two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship. 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year, but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • The Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing is open to previously unpublished and self-published writers based in the UK and there's no entry fee. The winner gets an advance of £10,000, editorial mentoring and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates

    Literary fiction, crime writing and writing for children; non-fiction: biography, history, sport, music popular culture. Also adult fiction and general non-fiction. No poetry, science fiction, fantasy or academic.

    Represents children's writers and illustrators. No reading fee. See website for submission guidelines.

    Submissions by email: Prefers to receive submissions by email. You will find their individual preferences and email addresses listed on their Agents page. Please email your submission directly to the agent you feel will be most compatible with your work. They read all submissions made in order of receipt. Please note that they will only respond to submissions if they wish to read more. If you have not heard back within eight weeks then you can assume that they do not feel that the work is right for the agency.

    Submissions by post: Their strong preference is for submission by email, but if this is not possible, then send a hard copy to your preferred agent at Jenny Brown Associates, 33 Argyle Place, Edinburgh EH9 1JT. They will only respond if they wish to see more. Unfortunately they are unable to return material submitted, and their policy is to recycle all materials.

    For fiction: send the first 50 pages (no more) and a synopsis in a single document, with a covering letter (see below).

    For non-fiction: email a proposal and short example of the proposed work - a sample chapter, for instance. Please include a short note on the competing or comparable literature stating, where possible, author, title, publisher and publication date. It would be helpful to have an overview of possible marketing outlets and a biographical note outlining your background, training and experience.

    For children's: Does not represent poetry or plays.

    All submissions: Please write a covering letter in the body of the email giving an account of the background of the book and your writing career to date. If you have been referred to us by a publishing or personal contact then make this clear. If you have had previous correspondence with one of their agents please mention this. They appreciate knowing if your project has been sent to or is being considered by other agents or publishers.

    Founded 2002

    . Closing on 10 September.
  • Other live competitions and prizes.
  • 'If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.' was Stephen King's view and Sarah Taylor-Fergusson argues that it's essential for nearly all authors to do a lot of reading. Writing for Children: Rule Number One
  • Our links: his books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies since he signed with Mondadori, Formerly Self-Published Italian Author Lands Netflix Series; bright stars in the self-contained, lucrative universe of ebooks, Amazon's Plan to Conquer the World of Publishing - The Atlantic; the man who spent weeks in a noisy, arm-waving debate about the ideal angle of tilt for bookstore shelving, Can Britain's Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble? - The New York Times; fiction that reflects and explores the social truths of our world, In Praise of Samuel R. Delany - The New York Times; and choosing such a backward time to set books, Why Write Medieval Mysteries? | CrimeReads.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best?  Which report? gives you a breakdown on our three levels of report, including the most popular, the Editor's Report Plus, and the reports we can provide as part of our Children's Editorial Services.
  • More links: figure out what your characters do for work and show them working, Why You Should Write About Your Characters at Work | Literary Hub; the retail and streaming giant has been refused permission by the estate to use the bulk of the book's plot, Amazon's new Lord of the Rings 'cannot use much of Tolkien's plot' | Books | The Guardian; could we look to poetry, of all places, to lead the way toward more diverse representation of writers? The Case of the "Disappearing" Poet | The New Republic; and something which some writers may find useful, 6 Rules for Writing Realistic, Meaningful Gunfights | CrimeReads.
  • If you need to get your material typed up, but can't face doing the job yourself, Typing manuscripts is a service for writers who have an old or handwritten manuscript or audio tapes, which need typing before they can proceed with reworking, submission or publication.
  • 'Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?' Cornelia Funke in our Writers' Quotes.