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December 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • Author of six unpublished novels Sarah Wray has hit the jackpot by winning the WOW competition. Her book, The Forbidden Room, sounds a bit of an unlikely winner, but perhaps that’s precisely why it beat off the opposition. News Review investigates.
  • The Waterstone’s bid for Ottakar’s has been referred to the Competition Commission by the Office of Fair Trading.  News Review looks at this surprising turn of events.
  • News Review looks at deep discounting in the high street, and layoffs and cuts in publishers' output in the run-up to Christmas.
  • 'Recent events at the Crime Writers Association read a bit like the plot of a conspiracy thriller but behind it all may lurk no more than a preference to support British – or at least English language - talent.' News Review investigates.
  • Irish writers' tax exemption is under threat.  But is it justified for writers and other artists to escape paying taxes, so they are subsidised by everyone else?  News Review looks at the issues.


  • 'I don't begin a book until I have an idea that really excites me.  I open my imagination and wait for it to come.  Up till now, it always has.   But I never get a new idea when I'm writing.          P D James
  • 'Huge financial investments are staked on the gut feelings of one or two people who sometimes get it right but more often get it wrong... sooner or later, the money men will demand a better strike rate, which will trigger a rush to understand what consumers really want from their reading.'  Damian Horner in the Bookseller
  • 'I think they're just considered too subversive.  But it's a very conservative climate there now and children's books are invested with great power; there's this idea the child might copy something.'   Francesca Simon, American author of the Horrid Henry series, on why her books have been published in 20 countries but not in the States, in the Observer.
  • ‘Supporting young people as they find their creative voice is an inspiring business. All of us - writers, teachers, and project co-ordinators - are thrilled by the sheer adventure of it.  Mandy Coe and Jean Sprackland in the foreword to their book Our thoughts are Bees: Writers Working with Schools

Writers' Quote

  • 'i never think at all when i write nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well.'            Don Marquis

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 15 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting. Our latest new service is Coaching

Writing Handbooks

Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

Offering advice which is useful to any writer, the sixth excerpt from this title from the A & C Black Writing Handbooks series deals with finding the time to write and managing the creative flow: 

'Make a promise to yourself that, whenever possible, you’ll take advantage of the pieces of writing time you’ve carved out for yourself throughout the day.'

Copy editing and proof-reading

'Perhaps, as an author, you feel you do not understand what copy editing is, or why you should need it.'  The 16th article in the Inside Publishing series looks at copy editing and proof-reading and when writers need them.

Magazine - Dove 2005

Press releases and how to write them 

Chas Jones's Writers' Forum article helps you understand how the media works and gives guidelines for producing an effective press release which will get coverage for your book.

Rave review of WritersServices

Philippa Johnston, Director of,  chose WritersServices as her top website.

'Trained to murder standard'

Andrew Barrett, Scenes of Crime Officer turned writer, offers free help for crime writers wanting to make sure that the SOCO descriptions in their novels are correct.

The Writer's Journey: From Inspiration to Publication

Buy Julia's book online through WritersServices. For more details.


Our design, print and distribution service for self-publishers.  The latest addition to the service is our WritersPrintShop online bookshop, which will sell your book for you on the Internet as soon as it's published.

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob on noms de plume, using other people's identities and the way newspaper articles are, well, based on other people's newpaper articles - a tendency which proliferates on the web: 

'A TV programme about how to use eBay actually recommended creating a false identity for oneself. That way no one can get hold of your real email address, personal details, credit card, etc.'

This week

T S Eliot Prize Readings

Poetry lovers who are within reach of London can look forward to an annual treat on January 15th, when the shortlisted poets will read from their work 

The launch of the Poetry Archive

The world's premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work goes live with 80 poets already recorded.

New agents' listing

The agents' listings from the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2006 go up on the site this week.  There's the usual fully updated list of UK agents and also a new list of international agents, which range from Australia to Russia, from Germany to South Africa, and naturally includes a large section on American agents.

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2006

The new edition has the latest listings of publishers around the world and 57 articles about getting published, making it 'a must for established and aspiring writers'. (Society of Authors)

Try our new survey

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Writers' Forum Column

John Jenkins gives his view of this year's Booker winner, a plea for readable books and less literary snobbishness: 

'If you had won the Booker prize and your name had been plucked from relative obscurity to national prominence what is the last thing you would do? Answer: change it...'

The Editor's View, written by the Editor of Writers' Forum magazine.


We have revamped our WritersPrintShop website with lots more information. If you're thinking about self-publishing, this is the place to find out what's involved. If you're ready to go ahead, our high quality service is second to none and there's an economy version for those who want to tackle some of the work themselves. You can estimate the cost.