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Archive for the ‘Publishing Industry’ Category

Harper Voyager Books Open for Digital Submissions

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 5, 2012

Between October 1st and October 14th Harper Voyager Books will be open to manuscripts.  (See full details here). They say:

‘We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. ‘ The manuscripts should be between 80,000 to 120,000 words and they should be completed.

This is for their new digital line of books.

This link:

How To Submit A Manuscript
To submit, go to www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.’

Doesn’t work. I suspect it will be working only in that two week period. And they say if you don’t hear from them in three months, consider your ms rejected.

So you have until October first to polish your manuscript!

Posted in Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Felicity makes the Final Three of the Text YA Fiction Competition

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 19, 2012

We’re doing a Squee! for Felicity, regular ROR blog reader and guest poster.

(See Fel’s post on using research to give authenticity to your writing. She talks about her time on the tall ship and a balloon ride).

Felicity (writing as Louise Curtis) entered her book Heart of Brass in the Text Young Adult Fiction Prize. She was delighted to hear she’d made the final three. While her book didn’t win, this is an excellent result and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for her!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Editors, Literary Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Possible Market for SF, F and Horror

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 20, 2012

When I was at World Con in 2005 I met Jo Fletcher (we were on a panel together). At the time she was editing for Gollanz. Now she has her own line with Quercus Publihsing. And she’s looking for books.

From the web site:

Jo Fletcher Books is a specialist science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint, but as Jo’s own personal tastes in fiction have always been so wonderfully eclectic, and as the field of imaginative literature is so incredibly wide, Jo Fletcher Books is going to be as broad a church as possibly, hopefully publishing something for everyone.

Submissions

Jo Fletcher Books is currently accepting submissions of finished manuscripts in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.

Please contact Nicola Budd with the first three chapters (or first 10,000 words), plus a synopsis and covering email sent to the following email address:

submissions@jofletcherbooks.co.uk

 

 

Here’s a link to the books s Jo Fletcher is releasing.

 

(With thanks to Angela Slatter for bringing this to my attention).

Posted in Editors, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Paula Weston asks: Why aren’t YA books as respected as ‘adult’ books?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 2, 2012

Today we have Brisbane based author, Paula Weston, whose debut YA fantasy Shadows has just been released from Text Publishing. Paula is going to talk about her passion, writing for Young Adults.

She raises the question why are YA (and children’s books) less respected than adult novels.

Watch out for the give-away question at the end.

 

‘Young adult is a point of view, not a reading age.’

I don’t know who said it (or in what context) but I love that sentence. Not just because it justifies the amount of time I spend reading (and enjoying) young adult stories of all genres, but because it’s true.

To suggest – as a Times magazine columnist recently did – that adults should only read adult books and leave everything else to teenagers, is remarkably narrow minded. His justification? Because ‘books are one of our few chances to learn’. In other words, there is nothing of value in young adult stories.

In that case, why do we let our teenagers read them?

The idea that a young adult novel is somehow less well written, less intelligent, less engaging and less capable of moving a reader, is insulting to writers and readers alike. Sure, there are varying degrees of quality among young adult books, but that can said of novels in any section of a book store or library.

Yet young adult novels come under stronger criticism. And when you combine the words ‘paranormal’ and ‘young adult’, you’re almost guaranteed to be immediately dismissed as lightweight in many circles. (And yes, I know spec writers – adult and young adult alike – have faced this sort of discrimination for years.)

Like many writers whose books end up in the YA section, I didn’t set out to specifically write a young adult novel.

I’d had an idea bouncing around for a while for a paranormal story but I kept pushing it aside because I was working on a fantasy series. My agent (Lyn Tranter of Australian Literary Management) came very close to scoring a publishing deal on the latter, and when it fell through, I went through my usual round of self doubt, frustration and yes, a teeny bit of self pity. (At that point I’d written five full-length manuscripts, with my first rejection slip dated 1995.)

Once I dusted myself off, I knew I needed a break from the pressure I’d put myself under to land a publishing deal. I just wanted to write something for fun, and that increasingly insistent idea in the back of my mind was the perfect outlet.

So I started on a story just for me, not worrying about anyone would think. I wrote a few scenes, which became a few chapters, and suddenly I had half a novel. Characters had never come so easily and I’d never enjoyed writing so much. I sat down and fleshed out the plot in greater detail and realised I had a story that would take more than one book to tell (four in fact). My agent loved the idea, and those early chapters, and I suddenly had an exciting new project on my hands.

I chose the age of my characters based on what would work best from a narrative perspective and what I needed for plotting (Gaby, my narrative character is 19…or so she thinks.)

When the wonderful folk at Text Publishing offered me that long-awaited contract, they felt the Rephaim series was young adult. The team there really knows what its doing in the YA market, and I was more than happy with that call. My only concern was that my series not be marketed to children or younger teens, given the amount of violence and profanity it features.

I’m an eclectic reader – from literary to paranormal and everything in between – and I’ve consistently found some of my favourite writers on young adult shelves (Aussies Melina Marchetta and Markus Zusak, and US writer Maggie Stiefvater). Some of the best books I’ve read in the last 12 months have been YA (and written by Aussies), including Vikki Wakefield’s All I Ever Wanted, Leanne Hall’s This Is Shyness and Jane Higgins’ The Bridge (okay, Jane’s from New Zealand, but you get the picture).

And if you don’t think YA spec fic stories can’t be complex and rich with analogy and metaphor, check out Marianne de Pierre’s Night Creatures series or Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.

Certainly, some YA stories can have a lighter touch, particularly when it comes to dealing with sexual issues (compare the YA and adult paranormal novels of writers like Richelle Mead, Lilith Saintcrow and Kelly Armstrong), but others push the boundaries more than adult fiction.

I agree there are boundaries that should be respected when the primary target is teens. But more and more, young adult novels are crossing over to wider markets. Harry Potter – still referred to in some quarters as ‘children’s fiction’ – sparked that fire, and it shows no sign of burning out any time soon.

Absolutely, teens should own the YA section of book stores. But the rest of us shouldn’t have to feel like we’ve left our brains at the door when we want to read great stories that just happen to wear the YA label.

Paula has a copy of Shadows for one lucky commenter. Give-away question:  When you were growing up what YA novel (or writer) made a big impression on you?

Shadows: Book 1 of the Rephaim series (Text Publishing) is out 2 July

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Characterisation, Fantasy Genre, Genre Writing, Publishing Industry, Readers and Genre, Visiting Writer, Writing Craft, Writing for children, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Opportunity for Writers

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 29, 2012

The QWC Hachette Mauscript Development Program has opened again. This is not genre specific, in fact it is not even fiction specific, so you might have a non-fiction book to submit.

Submissions close 5pm, Thursday 12th July.

You can download the Application Guidelines here and the Application Form here.

Posted in Literary Competitions, Mentorships, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Richard and Trent at Gold Coast Supanova

Posted by richardharland on April 18, 2012

(Richard writes) I’ve been a hermit lately – a very productive hermit, finishing the next novel. (Steampunk, of course – same world as the juggernaut books, but a different time and different characters.) Now I’m going to get out and about again – starting this weekend with Supanova on the Gold Coast. I’ve been invited as a guest, and so has fellow-RORee, Trent Jamison. It’ll be great to catch up, Trent – seems a long long time since we met outside of cyberspace.

Michael Pryor and I will be doing a joint presentation on – of course – Steampunk! (Sunday at 3.15) Costumes and videoclips and readings and all sorts of wonderful things are guaranteed! Trent – if I can speak for you – I see you’re on at 2.40 Saturday with Kylie Chan, talking about Storytellin.

I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve never attended a Supanova before – but I hear the buzz is fantastic. I’ve just found an image of the hotel where I’ll be staying, the Hilton at Surfers –


How about that? I just hope it doesn’t topple over between now and Friday night.
Supanova itself is in the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre at Broadbeach. The authors’ gang includes Keri Arthur, Bevan McGuinness, Brandon Sanderson (the American author who’s continuing Robert Howard’s series) and, I think, Alison Croggan, as well as Trent, Michael and myself. The media stars are even more dazzling, but still, that’s quite a show of authors. It’s going to be grrrrreat!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Creativity, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Publishing Industry, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Angry Robot open their doors again!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 26, 2012

If you have an epic fantasy, or sf and fantasy in all flavours for the YA reader, then you may want to submit.

Full instructions are here.

Time frame is April 16th to 30th, 2012.

Best of luck!

Posted in Creativity, Editors, Pitching, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Query Letter and Synopsis, Writing for Young Adults, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Is that a door opening or are you just pleased to see me?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 7, 2012

Lyn and Lee Battersby, Photo Courtesy Cat Sparks

Back in March 2011, Angry Robot Books, a UK-based publisher that generally only accepts agented submissions, held their first Open Submission Month, an experiment to see whether there were any unrepresented gems floating around the submitosphere that might be of interest.

In one month, they received 994 submissions. Mine was amongst them.

I’d had a somewhat frustrating time when it came to novels. I’d established a pretty solid reputation as a short story writer, at least on an Australian level: I’d sold a bunch of stories in Australia, the US and Europe, won a handful of local awards, and even had a collection published through an American small press. My reputation had been parlayed into teaching and mentoring stints at various industry associations, and I was pretty confident that, when it came to short stories, I knew what I was doing more often than not.

But therein lay the rub. Increasingly, I was confronted by the feeling that my career, such as it was, had reached a cross roads. I could continue to do what I was doing, and do it well enough, and accept that I had reached a natural level I was incapable of exceeding. But I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for a long time, one that demands I at least move towards a full time career in writing, if not actually achieve one. To do that, I needed to sell novels.

I’d come close with my first attempt, which I’d sent to 68 agents the previous year. One had picked it up, but we parted ways after she was unable to place it and didn’t like my second novel. No blood, no foul, and we separated on good terms. That second novel, an anti-fantasy romp entitled The Corpse-Rat King, was the one I sent to Angry Robot.

The deal was simple. Supplicants were invited to submit the first 5 chapters, or 10 000 words, of their novel, along with a synopses. A team of readers would plough through them, and ask to see the full manuscript of anything they believed merited further examination. Should that full manuscript be considered suitable, it would be passed upwards to editing bwana Lee A Harris. If it rocked Lee’s socks, he would take it to the editorial board and make a case for its purchase. Should the editorial board be persuaded then, and only then, would a contract be prepared and Angry Robot Shangri-La be achieved.

No guarantees, but then, only death and taxes and all that (and thanks to superhero comics and Christopher Skase, even they’re not absolutes).

So I submitted my synopses and five, and got on with other things. One of those other things was to continue my pursuit of an agent. I’ve always felt I needed an agent as part of my long-term strategy: whilst I want to write and conduct business to my own benefit, I’m aware of my weaknesses, and time-management is amongst them. An agent could take up much of the slack and apply much greater knowledge than I possess in terms of publishing law, contract negotiations and the like. Not only would I not have to do these things myself, I wouldn’t have to devote the time necessary towards gaining an intimate knowledge of them. I can take care of the creative stuff myself, but a business partner was always going to be a necessary component of building “Battersby, Inc.”

So, while I waited, the novel went out to 58 unsuspecting literary agents. And I got on with other things. Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of good friends who are experienced novelists. I’d been well informed: the novel game is a waiting game. Keep busy, keep working. I was tutoring an online course, and my day job is in the arts, and if you’ve met my family, well… occasionally I slept, and I could just about recite the Monarch Song from Horrible Histories off by heart. Most importantly, I started work on a new novel: Father Muerte & The Divine, a lengthier exploration of the character I’d created in several short stories, and a chance to finally answer many of the mysteries I’d raised in them. I kept busy, and tried not to watch the calendar.

Then word came from Angry Robot. The first reading round was complete. I’d passed. Now they wanted the whole manuscript. I sent it off. Word started filtering back from agents: rejection after dismissal after non-interest. Line after line on my spreadsheet was coloured in appropriately gloomy shades of grey.

I got on with other things.

Four months after submitting, I received a positive response from an agent. Then another. And a third. All liked the book. All were interested in representing it. I hadn’t mentioned Angry Robot. This was all about the book itself. Things looked positive.

Five months after submitting, word from Angry Robot: ‘my’ reader loved the full manuscript, and had passed it on to Bwana Lee. If he liked it, it would go to the publishing board. I’d passed again.

I compared agents, and came to a decision. And got on with other things

Father Muerte & The Divine hit 50 000 words. I joined The Angry Robot Waiting Club, a social forum on the Absolute Write forum boards devoted to the 22 authors who had gone right the way up to editorial and were now just waiting to find out if we were going to take the short, final hop from ‘aspiring’ to published novelist. We waited, together. I could recite all the way up to George IV.

October 26. Almost seven months to the day since I submitted my little package, and Bwana Lee sent me an email.

I’d made it. All the way through. A contract offer was, well, offered. As soon as I signed it and returned it to them, I would officially be an Angry Robot author.

Just one final thing to do: I forwarded the offer to my new agent, Richard Henshaw of the Henshaw Group. And got on with other things.  I was right the way up to Victoria, now.

The contract went back. It went forth. It went back again. For six weeks, Richard and Lee negotiated. Angry Robot announced the first two Open Door month authors. One as even called Lee, damn it! Negotiations continued. I waited. My wife and kids began to comment openly about my crankiness.

They say most people drown in sight of shore.

And then it was all over, so quickly it took me two days after I was announced before I got myself together enough to make my own proclamation. The final contract arrived in my inbox, I signed and emailed it back, and my mug was up on the Angry Robot website in less than 18 hours. The Corpse-Rat King will be published in 2012. A sequel, Marching Dead, will follow in 2013.

All of a sudden, after nine months, I was an author with an agent, a two-book deal, and a deadline.

Nine months after submitting my package on the last day of the Open Door month, the landscape of my career has changed completely. Far from hoping for an opportunity, I’m in the position of making the most of one. For the first time in a decade, I’m heading into uncharted career territory. I have a sequel to write, and I need to make sure I’ve got novels to follow after it, so that my second book isn’t my last. I need to build a relationship with my agent, and provide him with materiel with which to approach publishers. The door may be open, but the next few years will determine whether it’s at the front or just the workman’s entrance in the alleyway round the side.

Father Muerte and the Divine, 55 000 words old, has been put aside. 25 000 words of Marching Dead have already been written, as of penning this post.  Still, at least I know what I’ll be doing most evenings for the next three years…

(Departs, singing): William, William, Henry, Stephen, Henry, Richard, John, oi! Henry, Ed, Ed, Ed, Rich two, then three more Henrys join our song….

BIO: Lee is the author of over 70 stories in Australia, the US and Europe, with appearances in markets as “Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror”, “Year’s Best Australian SF & F”, and “Writers of the Future”. A collection of his work, entitled “Through Soft Air” from Prime Books. He’s taught at Clarion South and developed and delivered a six-week “Writing the SF Short Story” course for the Australian Writers Marketplace. His work has been praised for its consistent attention to voice and narrative muscle, and has resulted in a number of awards including the Aurealis, Australia Shadows and Australia SF ‘Ditmar’ gongs. He lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby and an increasingly weird mob of kids. He is sadly obsessed with Lego, Nottingham Forest football club, dinosaurs and Daleks. He’s been a stand-up comic, tennis coach, cartoonist, poet, and tax officer in previous times, and he currently works as Arts Officer for a local council, where he gets to play with artists all day. All in all, life is pretty good. More information, and infinitely more lies, can be found at his website or his long-running blog The Battersblog.

 

 

Posted in Agents, Australian Spec Fic Scene, Contracts, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Editors, Nourish the Writer, Pitching, Plotting, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Query Letter and Synopsis, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Terry Pratchett First Novel Award 2012

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 2, 2012

Calling all unpublished writers…

THE TERRY PRATCHETT ANYWHERE BUT HERE, ANYWHEN BUT NOW FIRST NOVEL AWARD

‘Sir Terry Pratchett had this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).’

All the competition terms and conditions are available at the above link. Best of luck!

 

Posted in Creativity, Literary Competitions, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Writers: Make Technology Work for You

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 17, 2011

 

 

 

 

Sean the Blogonaut follows up last week’s post with:

Making technology work for you

I mentioned in my previous post that while you should maintain a web presence, incorporating social media that your writing needs to come first.  Thankfully we live in the future and there are technical solutions to this quandary.

This post concentrates on Twitter and Paper.li and how you can bend social media to your service as a writer.

 

My personal approach:

I have been using twitter since Jan 15, 2008, both as a socialising tool and to promote my blogging.  It’s still the highest source of referrals on my blog.  Once you get beyond a couple of hundred followers though, it becomes nigh on impossible to read every tweet in your stream.  It quickly looses its usefulness or becomes a huge time sink.

I quickly abandoned the default twitter web page in favour of third party software that allowed me to filter and break into columns, the various groups of people/interests I followed.

My personal preference was Tweetdeck, but there are others out their including Hootsuite and Seismic.  Once you have understood the basics of twitter I’d advise checking out one of these services to streamline your twitter experience – some even incorporate posting to Facebook.

 

Enter Paper.li

Even with the use of Tweetdeck, I found that I was missing out on a large chunk of news and information, which for a commenter on the state of Speculative fiction was a problem.  Enter Paper.li

For those of you who are not aware Paper.li is a service that allows a user to collate tweets with links and automatically generates a “newspaper styled” web page each day (there are twice daily and weekly publication options), featuring these links.

There are thousands of these electronic news papers, covering all the things that people tweet about.  Readers can subscribe to individual papers; they don’t even have to be on twitter.  The feature list for the service continues to grow and the last few months have seen them release add-ons that allow greater control for curators.

And it’s free.

What prompted me to start a paper?

Initially, I just wanted a central location of the most tweeted information for that day so that I could quickly scan the news and blog on articles that interested me.  I formed The Book Bloggers Daily – a paper that collates links from the people on my book blogger list and others who use various keywords associated with book blogging.

Aside from this rather selfish notion of collecting information for me, it soon became apparent what a great tool it could be for promoting authors and their posting or tweeting.  Book Blogging was a fairly broad focus though so I stated a second paper focusing purely on Australian Speculative Fiction.

This then expanded to cover both New Zealand and English Speaking South East Asia (largely inspired by the efforts of Charles Tan).  The Austral-Asian Spec-Fic Daily is its current form. The Daily is a collection of author and bloggers, tweeting on Speculative fiction and sometimes other interests as well.

I envisaged it being a great way to promote a selection of writers who are disadvantaged because of their location. Australian writers are beginning to reap rewards of exposure at various international conventions, but the American market is still elusive.  English speaking South East Asian authors by contrast are almost invisible.

It’s my hope that by curating the daily it might in some way help to raise profiles. For me it creates a central location for authors to promote their work and others, without them actually doing anything but tweeting their interests.

Increased exposure without the legwork.

 

Should I start my own?

It’s entirely up to you. The service is free and takes almost no technical know-how.  I tend to think it’s better to focus or pool resources, so if you can identify a paper that already covers your genre it’s probably worth approaching the person that collates it and asking to have your twitter handle added to their list.

On the other hand you could just construct it as a private (in the sense that you don’t promote it on twitter) paper.

 

Join me up, Sean!

If tweeting Speculative Fiction authors want to be added to the list they can tweet me at @seandblogonaut . If you are just interested in subscribing there’s a subscription button on the website.

 

I hope the article has been useful.  If you’d like me to expand on any points, I’ll be lurking below in the comments.

 

 

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Promoting your Book, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »