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17 September 2018 - What's new

17 September 2018
  • ‘The mature, serious novel is the best art form for explaining our complicated lives. It gets all the little shades of meaning and the nuance of the human condition. D H Lawrence called the novel the ‘bright book of life', and it's the art form that has evolved to explain this bizarre adventure we are all on...' William Boyd, author of 15 novels, including Love is Blind, A Good Man in Africa, An Ice Cream War and Any Human Heart, in the Sunday Times magazine. Our Comment.
  • Closing on 22 October, the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2018 is open to all with an entry fee of £6 for the first poem and £4 for further poems. First prize £2,000, Second prize £1,000 and Third prize a week-long creative-writing course at the Arvon centre of your choice. The Prize is judged by Jo Shapcott and Daljit Nagra.
  • Other live Writing Opportunities.
  • Our 6-part Editor's Advice series from one of our editors deals with subjects such as further drafts :'I have just finished writing a report on a novel. I've pinpointed various areas of weakness and made various suggestions that the writer may or may not wish to follow. But the nub of the report is a recommendation that the writer produce a further draft of the novel rather than trying to submit it to a publisher now. I wonder sometimes how writers feel when they get my reports and see that recommendation. It must be very disheartening, when you've spent eighteen months sweating buckets over 150,000 words of fiction to have a report coming winging back, effectively saying "do it again"...'
  • Our links: The Children Act novelist and screenwriter reflects on what he's learned about endings and studio execs' suggestions: "They were all formed out of a pattern, as if they'd all taken Screenwriting 101 years ago." Ian McEwan on Adapting His Novels and Script Notes That Drive Him "Mad" | Hollywood Reporter; one of the best ways to connect with readers, build a large, engaged audience - and promote your books, 8 things to include in your author social media strategy | The Bookseller; what the young Kazakhstani scientist Alexandra Elbakyan has done to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls, Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research - it should be free | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian; and a real dilemma for author Marko Kozkas, French bookshops revolt after prize selects novel self-published on Amazon | Books | The Guardian.
  • 'Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing. It is notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish...' Getting your manuscript copy edited
  • Here's a detailed article on how to prepare Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript...'
  • More links: hordes of books have had their titles changed in America, A book by any other name: why does the US change so many titles? | Books | The Guardian; knowing which type of printing service to use depends on authors' publishing needs - and before any decision is made, it's important to have a clear understanding of the two types of printing, Offset Printing Versus Print-on-Demand; from agent Tessa David - Every agent is different, and every agency has slightly different guidelines, but here are a few tips I would suggest bearing in mind when submitting, Top Tips on How to Write a Successful Submission - Young Writer of the Year Award; and, five years later, how does this huge trade publishing consolidation look for authors? Penguin Random House Is Building the Perfect Publishing House | The New Republic.
  • How can you give yourself your best chance when entering competitions? Here's a set of tips to make sure you make the most of the opportunities.
  • Finally, some tough words from the novelist Zadie Smith in our Writers' Quotes: 'Don't romanticise your ‘vocation.' You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no ‘writer's lifestyle.' All that matters is what you leave on the page.'