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What's New in 2019

August 2019

26 August 2019 - What's new

August 2019

19 August 2019 - What's new

August 2019
  • ‘I was often accused of having an overactive imagination as a child and I was an avid reader. I used to fib to my mum, saying I was going out to play with the other kids and actually having a book in my pocket. I'd built a den on the waste ground at the far end of the housing estate where I grew up and I would hide there and read. I wrote a novel when I was 11; I even cut out cardboard covers because I wanted it to be a hardback. And I spent a lot of time in the local library. It made me into a writer... Louise Doughty, author of just-published Platform Seven, Whatever You Love, Apple Tree Yard and six other novels in the Observer. Our Comment.
  • Are you writing for the children's market? Have you found it difficult to get expert editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it has real commercial potential? Or are you planning to self-publish? Our Children's Editorial Services provide three levels of report, so you can get your work assessed, and copy editing by specialist children's editors.
  • The Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry is open to unpublished poems from poets from all over the world writing in English. The entry fee is £7 for the first poem, then £4 for every subsequent poem. The First prize is £5,000, Second prize £2,000 and Third prize £1,000. Closing on 15 September.
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • Our links: no one seems to have escaped the fan fury over the finals season, not even the author, George R.R. Martin Doesn't Think Game of Thrones Was 'Very Good' For His Writing Process | Mental Floss; Orwell's reputation may be secure, but his sentences are not, Paging Big Brother: In Amazon's Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite - The New York Times; Why has the literary world gone crazy for her, Sally Rooney and the Hazards of Writing While Female - The Atlantic; and China's sales are growing fast - when will they challenge the US, the market leader? Exchange rates | The Bookseller.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is an outline of the processes involved. Preparing for Publication
  • More links: as writers, we need our room-with-a-view to be both reflective retreat and motivating, sustaining base camp, The Ways in Which Writing May or May Not Resemble Sex | Literary Hub; you may not even realize that your book contract could be canceled if you're accused of misconduct - or just cause drama, What Writers Need to Know About Morality Clauses - Electric Literature; a reminder of how much comics and popular culture have changed since the first show in 1970, The Next 50 Years of Comics Publishing; and the curious case of the paranormal-romance author who claimed that "her ex and one of her former assistants hatched a ‘Shakespearean plot' to murder her by poison, Author Sherrilyn Kenyon Drops Suit Against Ex for Poisoning.
  • '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?' Why your book contract needs vetting.
  • 'Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.' Stephen King in our Writers' Quotes.

12 August 2019 - What's new

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.

5 August 2019 - What's new

August 2019
  • ‘The best advice on writing drama was given to me by Barrie Keefe, wondrous playwright and screenwriter of The Long Good Friday. His guidance was simple: "Write great parts for actors." A brilliant actor is a dramatist's strongest weapon. And remember, as you stay at home writing, actors have to be in make-up at 5am, in the pouring rain, miles from home, standing around for twelve hours to shoot three minutes of screen time. Make it worth their while.' Chris Chibnall, television writer and producer, whose credits include Torchwood, Broadchurch and Doctor Who. Our Comment.
  • Last year we launched the Writer's edit, a top-level new service for writers who want line-editing as well as copy editing. Does your manuscript need high-level input from an editor to help you get it into the best possible shape for submission or self-publishing? This may be the service for you, offering the kind of editing which publishers' senior editors used to do in-house on their authors' manuscripts and which is now hard to find. Our other copy editing services.
  • Closing on 6 September, the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2019 is open in two categories to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe. Its unique English as an Additional Language category is open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language. It costs £5 to submit one poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries. Winners in each category will receive £1,000 and both runners up will be awarded £200.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series: on Copyright 'Many writers worry about losing their copyright. Before sending out your manuscript it is always advisable to put a copyright line consisting of the copyright sign ©, the year and your name on the title page...'
  • On The Writer/Publisher Financial Relationship: 'There's no escaping the fact that publishers and authors are essentially in an adversarial position. Even in the very best and most supportive publisher/writer relationships there is the tension caused by the fact that authors would like to earn as much as possible from their writing and publishers to pay as little as they can get away with...'
  • There's a good crop of links this week in spite of the summer lull in the northern hemisphere: the consensus is that it's a positive move for bookselling in the US as Daunt takes over the biggest chain, Elliott Completes Purchase of B&N; Margaret Busby says she was 'my literary inspiration, the person who I wished I could become', 'Rest, Toni Morrison. You were magnificent'; leading writers on the great American author | Books | The Guardian; weaving something abstract and ultra-modern into the oldest kind of story, Towards a New Canon of Technothrillers | CrimeReads; and I've come to realize that the writers I actually see most of myself in are the other members of my writing group, Is It Okay If I Don't Care About Making Money from Writing? - Electric Literature.
  • If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance. Making Submissions.
  • More links: "The reason Horrible Histories has been a success is I'm a fiction author. I published 50 fiction books before I turned to Horrible Histories." Horrible Histories: Author Terry Deary on being 'a fish out of water' - BBC News; the sales of crime and thriller fiction began their serious climb at more or less the same time as its launch, Crime Club at 50 (issues); a good summary of this significant case, Lady Chatterley's legal case: how the book changed the meaning of obscene | Law | The Guardian; a fascinating look at how the very young make book choices, What I Learned From Tracking My Toddler's Reading | Book Riot.
  • Have you been working on your book? Are you now ready to submit to publishers or to self-publish? We offer the widest range of editorial services on the web, tailored to writers' requirements and carried out by our professional editors, Our Services for writers.
  • 'Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant - you just don't know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place. Trust your demon.' Roger Zelazny in our Writers' Quotes.