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16 December 2013 - What's new

16 December 2013
  • 'The announcement that Gillian Flynn had been declared Specsavers International Author of the Year last week was only the latest accolade awarded to her. Flynn is an American author and former television critic for Entertainment Weekly. As of 2012, she has published three novels: Sharp Objects, Dark Places and Gone Girl. Her first two sold pretty well but not spectacularly and she really hit her stride with Gone Girl. Now published in 28 countries and with over two million copies sold worldwide, one million of them in the UK, it's fair to say that the continuing success of the book has surprised everyone, but it has a wide appeal to young and old, male and female...' Our latest Writers' Success Story and the rest.
  • A new site for short story writers and readers has recently launched. Yaktale is a place where writers can post their stories, after they have emailed with the request and sent a brief account of past work. Already existing writers on Yaktale have the ability to invite other writers onboard, but they only have a limited number of invites so they are encouraged to distribute them wisely. News Review
  • A good batch of links this week: HarperCollins CEO Paints Positive Picture for Publishing | Variety, Changing the Diet of American Readers | Publishing Perspectives, BookBrunch - History in the making, Sweden Shifting Away from Crime, While UK Hunts Sure Things | Publishing Perspectives and Amazon Publishing Launches Short Fiction Imprint.
  • Are you preparing your submission package for agents or publishers? Our page on Your Submission Package might be useful and there's also our Submission Critique service to help you get it right. If you already have a publisher but no agent, our Contract vetting service is an invaluable but inexpensive way to get some expert advice.
  • 'I treat it like a job. I like a nice long day. I can't work in bits and pieces, and I prefer not to work at evenings and weekends... The thing about writing a novel that's so funny is that there are perhaps just two or three moments of three minutes - those moments when you have the key ideas - and that's the whole book. Everything else is just filling the gaps. Of course there are moments of fun, but there's a lot that's just work, sometimes hard, sometimes dull...' Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger in the Observer, quoted in our Comment column.
  • From our Archive there's the serialisation of How Not to Write a Novel: Confessions of a Midlist Author by David Armstrong: 'Every week, agents and publishers receive hundreds of manuscripts from would-be authors. Of these, fewer than 1% will make it into print. David Armstrong was one of these, his first crime novel, Night's Black Agents, was plucked from the slush pile at a major publisher and published to acclaim. So far, so good. But what rapidly became clear to Armstrong was that being a published novelist is not always as glamorous as it seems from the outside...'
  • This week's Opportunity is not so much for writers as for illustrators. The 2014 Book Illustration Competition closes on 10 January. It is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, with the winner receiving a Folio Society commission, and last year there were over 500 entries from across the globe.
  • 'It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.' W H Auden being rueful and accurate in our Writers' Quotes.