Walker Books acquires Jennifer Bell MG in six-figure deal
thebookseller.com – Tuesday July 2, 2019
Walker Books has acquired two novels by middle-grade author Jennifer Bell in a six-figure, pre-emptive deal.
Executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Burt acquired UK, Commonwealth and translation rights to two books, including Wonderscape, which is set in a futuristic gaming world, from Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency.
New chapter? UK print book sales fall while audiobooks surge 43%
theguardian.com – Thursday June 27, 2019
UK book sales fell for the first time in five years in 2018, despite the success of bestsellers such as Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming.
The UK publishing industry was hit by a surprise fall of £168m (5.4%) in sales of physical books last year, ending a period of growth stretching back to at least 2014.
Sales fell from £3.11bn in 2017 to £2.95bn last year, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Wednesday.
PFD's Agora Books launches writing community and prize
thebookseller.com – Thursday June 27, 2019
Peters Fraser + Dunlop e-book imprint Agora Books has launched a prize to celebrate its new writers’ group, Lost the Plot, which offers "no-nonsense advice, industry insight, and community connection".
PFD and Agora Books are introducing the community aimed at aspiring commercial fiction authors across all genres. Lost the Plot will provide "no-nonsense advice, industry insight, and community connection" including how to access support on writing, finding representation, and navigating the publishing process as well as connecting with other authors.
The Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize is for unfinished manuscripts with "the aim is to get books out of a drawer and into the world, to encourage writers to stop procrastinating in pursuit of perfection and get feedback sooner," PFD said.
PRH to acquire F+W book publishing assets
thebookseller.com – Wednesday June 19, 2019
Penguin Random House is set to acquire the book publishing assets of F+W Media following the media company’s bankruptcy, with the effects on F+W's UK division unclear.
The deal, which includes F+W's new titles and 2,000-strong backlist of illustrated non-fiction books, according to Publishers Weekly, is expected to close by the end of the month. PRH declined to comment on the sale when contacted by The Bookseller.
PRH posted the winning bid in an auction held on Thursday 6th June by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The list of successful bidders for the “communities” assets of F+W - separate to its book publishing assets - was submitted for approval to the court yesterday (Monday 17th June).
David Nobbs comedy writing prize opens
chortle.co.uk – Monday June 10, 2019
Entries have opened for this year’s comedy writing bursary set up to commemorate Reggie Perrin author David Nobbs.
The contest is aimed at those early in their writing career – but entrants must already have a broadcast credit for their written material and accompany their entry with a 500-word statement of intent, describing their writing career goals.
Paradigm Taps Lit Agents Ryan Saul & Katt Riley
deadline.com – Friday June 7, 2019
Paradigm has hired Ryan Saul in their Motion Picture Literary department, and Katt Riley in their TV lit section. Both will be based out of the LA headquarters.
Saul’s clients include directors Wes Ball; his producing partner Joe Hartwick, Jr.; Oscar-nominated animation director Tim Reckart; Golden Globe-nominated director Klaus Haro; and award-winning commercial directors Henry Hudson and Gevorg Karensky.
Kate Shaw to launch new literary agency
thebookseller.com – Thursday June 6, 2019
Kate Shaw is leaving The Viney Shaw Agency to set up her own literary agency next month.
The Shaw Agency will be launched on 1st July and Shaw will take her existing client list which includes novelists Isabel Ashdown, Lesley Lokko and Susan Elliot Wright, journalists Ian Cobain and Alex Crawford and children’s novelists Fleur Hitchcock, Vashti Hardy, Alan MacDonald, James Nicol and Holly Smale with her.
An agent since 2001, Shaw worked at Aitken Alexander Associates before joining The Viney Agency in 2009. She became director in 2017 and the firm was renamed The Viney Shaw Agency.
New writing prize inspired by Nan Shepherd, Knives in Hens performed for scholarship fund, Brexit play for Scottish Youth Theatre
heraldscotland.com – Friday May 31, 2019
The winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing will receive a book deal with Canongate, including an advance of £10,000, and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates.
Primadonna Festival launches inaugural writing prize
thebookseller.com – Friday May 24, 2019
The Primadonna Festival has launched its inaugural prize to celebrate "brilliant writing from emerging as well as established artists".
Staged in Suffolk from August 30th to 1st September, the festival aims to focus on women’s writers to redress the gender inequality in publishing and says it will "give prominence to work by women, while welcoming all genders, on stage and off."
The Primadonna Festival is the brainchild of a group of women from publishing and entertainment, who include Sabeena Akhtar, Joanna Baker, Jane Dyball, Catherine Mayer, Kit de Waal, Shona Abhyankar, Jude Kelly, Alexis Kirschbaum, Lisa Milton, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Sonia Purnell, Monisha Rajesh, Catherine Riley, Athena Stevens, Cathryn Summerhayes, Sandi Toksvig and Sioned Wiliam.
Portico Prize relaunches with Manchester Writing School
thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 21, 2019
The £10,000 Portico Prize will return after a four-year absence with a new partnership with the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Blogger and broadcaster Simon Savidge will chair the panel for the 2019 prize with fellow judges including actor Holliday Grainger, who starred in the BBC adaptation of J K Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels, as well as writer and performer Kate Fox, novelist Zahid Hussain and Jean Sprackland, professor of creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.