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10 June 2013 - What's new

10 June 2013
  • Will Self's recent comments at the Hay Festival suggest that the literary world has changed out of all recognition: ‘What has changed in the past 30 years is that it has become impossible for the rump of the literary profession - those middling sorts (of sales, that is, not necessarily of brow) - to earn a reasonable living simply by writing books. The abolition of the net book agreement in the 1980s heralded two simultaneous developments: a vertiginous integration of book distribution and retailing, and a simultaneous collapse in the formerly steep-sided pyramid of critical authority...' News Review
  • Sir Quentin Blake: Children need illustration to read and Bloomsbury launches e-book only imprint are our links of the week.
  • 'It was a bit unimaginable when I began that I'd ever get to 25 books. But it was also unimaginable how much crime-writing would have changed. In hindsight, I can see that several things happened at the same time. Literary fiction in the UK became very interested in critical theory and lost its relationship with narrative and, to some extent, with the reader. It stopped taking them on a journey from a beginning to a middle to an end. Val McDermid is quoted in our Comment column.
  • Do you think it might be worth brushing up your keyboard skills? For most writers using the keyboard is the very essence of what they do and being able to use it well will save enormous amounts of time and error. Our listing provides some sources of instruction on doing this, many of them free.
  • The deadline is 1 July for this week's Writing Opportunity, the H W Fisher Biography Prize.
  • 'People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it.' Harlan Ellison provides this week's Writers' Quote.