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January 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review looks at Amazon's growth and stellar results for 2004 and concludes that the online retailer is unstoppable now.
  • Successful authors such as Michelle Paver and 13-year-old Emma Maree Urquhart make it look easy to make a fortune out of writing for children - but is it really such a doddle?
  • 'Children’s books are booming... the children of today are reaping the benefit of a flowering of children’s writing of all kinds, such as we have never seen before.'
  • News Review looks at World Book Day plans. 'Current statistics show that there are over five million adults in the UK who have limited literacy skills. They are effectively excluded from the pleasures that reading can bring - whether from a novel, a cookery book or a travel guide.' Gail Rebuck


  • 'I think one should respect someone like mad while they're alive and write what you like once they're dead... Books should not be written to be cathartic for the author but to ring bells with and be entertaining for an audience.' Virginia Ironside, author of Janey and Me, quoted in the Observer
  • ''I'll probably be completely forgotten...  History is like some giant beast - it simply wriggles its back and throws off whatever is on it.'  Arthur Miller, quoted in the Independent.
  • 'The whole industry is built around writing one book a year, so the next hardcover comes out with the mass market paperback of your previous one... It's not enough time to write a good book.'  Greg Iles in the Bookseller
  • 'There is something about the contemporary scene that has made competitiveness, doing the next person down, a central part of the writing business rather than just a sideshow.' Terence Blacker in the Independent

Writers' Quotes

'First a mistress you dally and play with, then she becomes your master and finally your tyrant.' Winston Churchill on writing a book

How Not to Write a Novel; Confessions of a Midlist Author

Our tenth excerpt from David Armstrong's entertaining book:

This month the author turns to the dreaded subject of the Slush Pile, quoting the American author Jacob Epstein, who says that 81 % of Americans feel they have a book in them and that they should write it. 

'Fact is, it's a highly subjective business, and there’s no science involved at all. While the ads in the books pages might tell us that we’re all writers, publishers appear more sceptical about these claims.'

International Book Fairs

A new list, updated to include the 2005 dates for book fairs all over the world.

Magazine - Books shelf box

The 2004 Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year

Check out this year's peculiar winner!

What new writers need survey

(see below) 

Our latest survey results provide a fascinating insight into what new writers want to help them get started.  More help from big publishers is a top choice.   

Plus many interesting comments, such as: ‘publishing is like an impregnable mountain fortress that has to be broken into by force’

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob is still confined to bed, recovering from his accident: 

'Although mine is the name that appears at the top of the script, I know that nearly all the names that follow make a contribution. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working on EE, it’s that writers can’t be precious. 

So am I offended? No, I’m not.'

This week

Newsletter statistics

Recent figures show that half our newsletter subscribers have been signed up for two years and over half are 'workers' or in education.

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Book Aid International

We're extending our Christmas support for this charity to publicise their Tsunami initiative to help replenish the 52 school and community libraries destroyed in Sri Lanka.

Our latest new survey - see below

Writers' Forum Column

John Jenkins on the readability of the Booker list, John Humphrys' campaign for correct use of English and The Times going tabloid.

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

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 13 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 13 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting.


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.

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