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6 May 2019 - What's new

6 May 2019
  • ‘Why would anybody be intimidated by mere words? I mean, neither I nor any other atheist that I know ever threatens violence. We never threaten to fly planes into skyscrapers. We never threaten suicide bombs. We are very gentle people... It's just an opinion.' Richard Dawkins, ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The Enemies of Reason, River out of Eden, The God Delusion and 9 other books. Our Comment.
  • If you are trying to get your work into shape for publication, or for self-publishing, there's plenty of advice on the WritersServices website which you may find useful. Advice for Writers gives a rundown of what's on the site.
  • The Curtis Brown First Novel Prize is open to unpublished writers of 18 or over, writing a novel in English and resident in the UK or Ireland. There's no entry fee. First Prize is representation by Curtis Brown plus a prize of £3,000, and there are five generous runners-up prizes. It's closing on 1 August.
  • Other live competitions and prizes.
  • If you are looking for copy editing online, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript. Let WritersServices help you. Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing and it is in any case 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.
  • Our links: new figures show that many authors are being subsidised by their partners or a second job in order to stay afloat, Writing at risk of becoming an 'elitist' profession, report warns | Books | The Guardian; a desperate industry increasingly addicted to quick takes for fast profit, Book Publishers Have a Trump Problem | The New Republic; "I realized if I did not trust myself enough to write it, it would never be written." From Trauma to Triumph: An Indie Success Story; and - more on memoir - The New Toolkit For Opening Up Your Memoir Writing | Literary Hub.
  • Health Hazards is our special series about the various health risks for writers, including the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you know you're spending too much time at a keyboard, it's worth making sure you're being careful about how you're sitting, your eyes and your wrists.
  • More links: Do disturbing novels reflect an extreme reality or are they just titillation? Would American Psycho be published today? How shocking books have changed with their readers | Books | The Guardian; the author hasn't made a single mention of HBO's Game of Thrones on his Twitter or blog since the April 14 premiere of the show's final season, George R.R. Martin can still fix this shit | The Outline; this year, the Mellon Foundation provided $2.2 million in funding for poets, Funding the Poets: PW Talks with Elizabeth Alexander; a new publisher planning to put a robust rights strategy at the heart of its business model by seeking - and exploiting - world English language rights, Interview: Amanda Ridout on Her Boldwood Books' Rights Strategy.
  • A new page which gives an editor's take on using pdfs, So what's wrong with PDFs? 'If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file...'
  • 'Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums?"' A less serious note from Connie Willis in our Writers' Quotes.