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13 July 2015 - What's new

13 July 2015
  • 'At the London Short Story Festival a month ago writers lamented the lack of a publishing market for short stories. With one or two notable exceptions, such as Comma Press, which is publicly funded, publishers do not find it economic to publish short story collections.' News Review asks 'Can short stories find an audience?'
  • Our Health Hazards series gives a good basic grounding in Repetitive Stain Injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and advises you what to do about your computer chair and your eyes. Reading this will alert you to the dangers of spending a substantial amount of time at a keyboard.
  • 'Most authors are driven to write - would probably write whether or not they were ever published or paid, just for the joy of it. This is their strength and their downfall. With the exception of a canny few who treat art as a business, writers are often reluctant to think of their work as just another product...' Joanne Harris, author of The Gospel of Loki and Chocolat, provides this week's Comment in the Daily Telegraph.
  • Our Picture libraries page has a useful list of places to go if you need to source images for your book.
  • This week's Writing Opportunity, the fantastic Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015 is closing on 31 July. It's open to young poets from across the world who are aged 11-17 on the closing date. The top 15 winners are published in an anthology and are invited to attend a week's residential creative writing course at a prestigious Arvon centre or receive a poet residency in their school.
  • This week's links: we misssed this in April but thought we should give it some space now, Ten ways self-publishing has changed the books world | Books | The Guardian; over a hundred years after its foundation, Mills and Boon sells 5.5 millions books a year, Mills & Boon: And you thought romance was dead! After 35,000 tender clinches, 30,000 kisses and 10,000 ‘I do's' Mills & Boon is still booming 100 years on | Daily Mail Online; in the week when the Go Set a Watchman embargo has been completely broken by the New York Times, Mike Shatzkin's comments seem on the buttion, Publisher strategies around first serials pretty obviously need to be rethought - The Shatzkin Files The Shatzkin Files; and reflections on the effect on translation of the global dominance of English, Found in Translation - The New York Times.
  • More links: the winner of Africa's Caine Prize has decided to share her prize money with the other shortlisted authors, The Caine Prize; why on Earth would you start a literary magazine? The Persistence of Litmags - The New Yorker; and an affectionate piece about the much-loved children's writer and illustrator, Shirley Hughes: 'It's my job with a picture book to slow children down' - Telegraph
  • Why your book contract needs vetting - 'You are a first-time author without an agent and you receive a contract to publish your book - just how do you evaluate it? Is it fair or biased against the author by prevailing industry standards? Is your publisher looking out for your interests as well as his own - or wording the clauses in a way only advantageous to the company? Would you, for example, know which rights to grant - for how long and on what terms...' Our contracts expert on why contract vetting is essential if you don't have an agent.
  • 'I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I'm one of the world's great rewriters.I find that three or four readings are required to comb out the cliches, line up pronouns with their antecedents, and insure agreement in number between subject and verbs...' James Michener in our Writers' Quotes.