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16 November 2015 - What's new

16 November 2015
  • The fuss that's been sparked off by the recent publication of Philip Henscher's selection of short Stories in The Penguin Book of the British Short Story suggests that short stories may be achieving more traction and visibility than they did even a few years ago. The 90 short stories included in the two volumes come from the eighteenth century (Daniel Defoe) up to the present day (Zadie Smith). Henscher trawled trough thousands of short stories by hundreds of writers. Top authors such as Rose Tremain, Julian Barnes and William Boyd, surprisingly, didn't make the cut. Our News Review.
  • Another poetry Writing Opportunity, the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2015, is open to all unpublished poems and you can enter as many poems as you like. 1st Prize €10,000, entry fee €12 per poem and closing on 31 December.
  • Tips for writers is our 8-part crash course for writers, taking you from Improving Your Writing to Learn on the Job, from Keep up to date to Submisson to publishers and agents. 'Think about the market for your book. Research the category and read widely to see what other published writers in this area are doing. Which writers are successful and why? Visit bookshops and analyse what you find there. If you are reading this you are probably already writing, but it really is worth thinking right from the beginning about your readers, as that makes it far more likely you'll eventually find them...'
  • ‘It is a mark of the importance that still attaches itself to biography as an art form that practically every example of it that appears in a publisher's catalogue tends to cause offence to someone... All this raises the associated questions: who is the biographer writing for, and to whom is he or she ultimately responsible? If the answer to the first question hangs tantalisingly out of reach, the second's answer is "the subject". D J Taylor in the Independent on Sunday provides this week's Comment.
  • Working with an Agent - 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...'
  • Our links: a new generation of young, digitally astute poets whose loyal online followings have helped catapault them onto the bestseller lists, Web Poets' Society: New Breed Succeeds in Taking Verse Viral - The New York Times; a long but extremely thorough article about how to get published in a literary magazine, The Ultimate Guide To Getting Published In A Literary Magazine; Alec Ross argues that the future of the book industry lies in a combination of data compression technology and cryptography, Data Encryption, Cryptography are Keys to the Future of the Book - Publishing Perspectives; and there tends to be a lot of crossover between the U.K. and American children's book markets, but are there types of books that tend to be "too American" for the UK market? PW Talks with Global Kids Connect Speaker Ginger Clark.
  • Our new article 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.
  • More links: what happens when you start wanting to rewrite your already-published book? Writers on the pain of hindsight in publishing: 'It's like a bad breakup - you have to move on' | Books | The Guardian; Born-digital millennial readers are a slippery bunch. Reports indicate that this generation is equally engaged in content in both print and digital formats. But one thing is clear: more readers are going to discover and read books - as well as related content - on their phones and tablets, Bastei Lübbe Targets Millennials With New Mobile Platform - Publishing Perspectives; and - a long piece again - the Mexican-American writer Jennifer Clement was elected as the first female president of PENSupported by eminent writers, this is the English branch of International Pen, which has centres in nearly 100 countries. It fights for freedom of expression and against political censorship. It campaigns for writers harassed, imprisoned and sometimes murdered for their views. International, With First Female President, PEN International Looks to the Future - Publishing Perspectives.
  • And it was the great Elmore Leonard who said: 'All the information you need can be given in dialogue.' From our Writers' Quotes.
  • The August Magazine is ready, giving you access to a month's worth of fascinating recent material.