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13 February 2017 - What's new

13 February 2017
  • 'If I've written the screenplay, I get a lot of say, or I make myself an executive producer and at least pitch in with it. I always think of the novel as a visual form. I think of people as visual creatures. It's our strongest sense. The key to an important scene is to get the visual details correct... There comes a moment when you just have to back off. Once it goes into pre-production, all the big decisions are made and you really don't want to be lurking around saying ‘it's not like this in my novel! Our Comment is from 'Ian McEwan, author of The Children Act and sixteen other novels and books of stories in Concrete Online.
  • Closing on 15 May, the ten Winchester Writers Festival Competitions offer something for everyone. They are open to all writers across the UK and around the world regardless of whether or not you attend the Festival. Entry fees mostly £6, various prizes.
  • An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Dialogue, Manuscript presentation and Doing further drafts: 'A rewrite is a huge investment of time, and faith in what you're doing, but it can pay dividends in terms of improving the novel. Here's why I suggest doing it. The trouble with writing a novel is that you're living cheek by jowl with the thing, day in, day out. After a while, you lose any sense of proportion where it's concerned.'
  • In a very visible case, highly successful Australian author Kate Morton has accused the agent who kick-started her career of favouring her own interests. Morton is seeking a refund of up to $2.8 million paid to her agent in commission. Her well-respected agent Selwa Anthony is suing her former client for breach of contract relating to books on which she says she was entitled to receive her 15% commission. News Review
  • Our article on How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers with a manuscript which needs translating: "if your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself, and then getting your translation polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market. It's also a good approach if your book is in English but needs polishing up for publication.
  • Our links: for months, Ashton has been posting the same tweet - and getting nearly a thousand retweets each time - about a 19-year-old author from Sheffield's self-published book, Want to sell a bad book? Tap into Twitter's network of "influencers"; how finding out about the stories of real women can pitch you into writing about them, Emma Donoghue and Laird Hunt on Writing Historical Women | Literary Hub; are they playing fair with the average author dreaming of selling a million copies of his or her e-book? Is Amazon Kindle Cheating Self-Published Authors? - Authorlink; and another piece on the death of the novel, but also on a fractured, stupefied publishing industry, Stupid cultures: on our obsession with Literature | Overland literary journal.
  • Top Ten Tips for non-fiction writers is a helpful checklist for writers, compiled by a Creative Writing tutor. No 1 is 'Story, story, story. Make sure that your story can sustain several chapters and tens of thousands of words. Keep asking yourself: Why would anyone want to read this story?' Now doesn't that sound like fiction? But it's not, it's non-fiction.
  • More links: 'Very atypically, I can pinpoint an exact moment where I had a damascene conversion - where poetry very suddenly entered my life properly, for the first time', Rishi Dastidar - The Asian Writer; 'The indie romance community has a great bond between readers and authors. There's a real passion for our genre.' Three Award-Winning Romance Novelists Discuss Their Craft - BLARB; caling for publishers to oppose crackdowns on free speech and the rise of so-called fake news, Faber CEO speaks out after winning indie trade publisher of the year | Books | The Guardian; these advising angels - part fact-checkers, part cultural ambassadors - are new additions to the book publishing ecosystem - how "sensitivity readers" from minority groups are changing the book publishing ecosystem, Is My Novel Offensive?
  • 'I think poetry should be alive. You should be able to dance to it.' Benjamin Zephaniah in our Writers' Quotes.