We had snow here in Charlottesville! Whether it is due to climate change, mere local weather patterns, or a sinister plot to make me unhappy, there is never snow before Christmas, and even the dusting we got is giving me a warm feeling in spite of it chilling my toes. In this week's Roundup, we'll warm your heart with another big-money contest, this one open to everybody, our usual agent info, and some pub industry musings at the end.
We'd love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think in the comments and if there are certain types of information you would like to see in the Roundup. Also feel free to tweet at us (@freelancingrads) with any ideas or questions. Have a great writing week!
A promotion and a new hire this week!
Adria Goetz has been promoted to Literary Manager at Martin Literary Management.
Fiction: Christian topics in all age groups
Nonfiction: Christian nonfiction including Memoir; Lifestyle
In fiction, she seeks work "featuring diverse characters, nontraditional family structures, and character-driven narratives."
In nonfiction, she is looking for "lifestyle books that feature accessible recipes, craft tutorials, gardening basics, with quirky lists or other interactive elements."
Eva Scalzo has joined Speilburg Literary Agency as a Literary Agent.
Fiction: Romance; YA
Nonfiction: Not interested
"Multicultural romance [is] something I want to see more of. I support the #OwnVoices campaign to increase the diversity in Romance not just of the characters but also of its authors. As a Latina I love seeing my culture represented in the books I read, I want others to feel that way too."
Do you have a short story about a sympathetic villain? A friendship forged over a good meal? A friendship with a sympathetic villain forged over a good meal? If so...
Fairytalez Best Villain Fairy Tale Competition—Submissions due January 3rd, 2018 (Short Story Contest—Gift Card, Promotion)
What: Up to three original or adapted fairy- or folk-tales, 300-5000 words each. Winner receives a $200 Amazon gift card, digital badges for use on a blog or website, and promotion across Fairytalez's social networks.
"Fairytalez wants to hear the other side of the story, the villains behind a so-called “happily ever after”! After all, as they say, even the villain is the hero in their own story."
To Submit: More information and contest guidelines may be found here.
Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing—Submissions due January 3rd, 2018 (Short Story Contest—Big £££ Prize)
Who: Writers of any nationality over the age of 18
What: New works of short fiction up to 2,500 words, with food or drink at the heart of the story. £10 entry fee. Winner will receive £10,000.
“The short story (no poems) could, for instance, be about crime or intrigue; about a chance meeting over a drink; a life-changing conversation over dinner; or perhaps the details of a relationship explored through food or drink."
#MSWL Highlights: boys who dance & fireside reads!
Rena Bunder Rossner, Literary and Foreign Rights Agent at The Deborah Harris Literary Agency
Rena wants a work of MG or YA fiction with boys who dance: “I just went to my daughter's dance performance. There was a hip hop group of like 20 girls on stage and ONE boy, and he was killing it. I want this in a novel." Source Tweet
Fiction: Literary; Historical; Thrillers; Upmarket Women's; Science Fiction; Fantasy; Young Adult; Middle Grade; Picture Books
Nonfiction: Science Writing; Literary Non-fiction
“I'm a poet, and I think the best novelists were poets first, so novels in verse, novels with poetic language and writing, are totally things I am always looking for."
"I am always looking for Israeli and Middle Eastern Science Fiction and Fantasy, and also SciFi/Fantasy with Jewish content and themes. I would love to find a New Adult or Adult novel written about the Israeli army (LGBQT also!). I would love to represent historical fiction set in Ancient Israel, or historical fiction with Israeli/Jewish content and themes... I love all types of historical fiction, in all genres. I'd love to see literary novels set in the Middle East - historical fiction, fantasy, and especially multicultural romances."
Follow Rena on Twitter @renarossner.
Dawn Dowdle, Agent at the Blue Ridge Literary Agency
Dawn is looking for some good fireside reading... "Amish Romance!" for example. "Also Cozy Mysteries!" Source Tweet
Fiction: Romance; Mystery
Nonfiction: Non interested.
Follow Dawn on Twitter @blueridgeagency.
Last week we wrote about how important it is for self-publishing authors to be working with reputable businesses. Sometimes writing can feel like an exercise in lighting money and time on fire and then choking on the ashes as they blow into your glass of box wine (I know it should be boxed wine, but I prefer the noun for its potential to be read as an appositive to the clearly adjectival participle), and being ripped off by an unscrupulous or incompetent press just adds injury to insult. But even a contract with a lauded publisher may not be protection enough. This week, the Guardian reported that the day after award-winning Scottish publisher Freight began liquidation a recently-departed former director/partner launched the first book with his new imprint. Freight authors who are reportedly still owed royalties and are faced with having the remainder of their books pulped if they can’t buy the back stock (shout out again to Manutius Press and Umberto Eco!) are understandably less than pleased. The idea that writing is about taking risks is a cliché (as well as totalizing and therefore untrue), but the reality is that it is always risky, just for reasons that have little to do with content, voice, or form. Check it out here.
While you’re over at the Guardian, check out their piece on the lack of diversity in British publishing and the efforts that are being made to remedy this problem. While the attempts may be being made with the best of intentions, some British authors remain skeptical. One author and professor spoke of a “black brain drain” to the United States, where opportunities are perceived to be more numerous. So those of us on this side of the Atlantic can be happy that for once we’re at least thought to be less white-male-centric than somewhere else.
Speaking of diversity in literature, take a few minutes out of your day to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nobel acceptance speech from last week. Ishiguro describes various snippets of his life that helped develop and define his writing, and ends with the argument that only by embracing more diversity in literature, both human and formal, will we be able to experience the best that writing has to offer. Check it out here.