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November 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • '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.
  • The Da Vinci Code has sold 8 million copies sold worldwide, 2.7 million of them in the UK, and has been translated into 42 languages.  Now Dan Brown is being sued for plagiarism.  News Review investigates.
  • News Review looks at the 'Google Wars' and how publishers are seizing the initiative in the face of huge schemes capitalising on book digitisation from Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
  • Seven million adults in the UK have serious problems with reading and two million can barely read. News Review looks at the new World Book Day Quick Reads initiative.


  • ‘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
  • 'I cannot abide those writers who go out of their way to make what we do sound deeply magical; who, in doing so, mystify the craft of writing, going so far as to suggest that it is a vocation rather than a job.'        Mark Billingham, in the Bookseller
  • 'As a retailer you are not just competing against other bookstores, you are competing against everyone else on the high street. It is about how you can convince someone to buy a book rather than a pair of jeans.'  Scott Pack of Waterstone's
  • 'But there's another kind of block, which is structural, when you've written tens of thousands of words, but can't figure out which are superfluous and what goes where.  Something's wrong, but you don't know what it is, and that can make you desperate…' Blake Morrison on why editors can help in the Guardian

Writers' Quote

  • 'A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.'  John Milton


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 (see this page).

Writing Handbooks

Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

The fifth very helpful excerpt from this title from the A & C Black Writing Handbooks series deals with Surprising the Reader - the importance of introducing surprises into your storyline: 

'For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of reading a novel is being surprised. I love nothing more than to be shocked by a revelation or story development. I think most readers feel this way.'

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.

Magazine - Red Rose

'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.

New Coaching Service

Julia McCutchen, author of The Writer's Journey: From Inspiration to Publication joins WritersServices this week with the launch of our new Coaching service. This new service offers you the opportunity to develop your writing with the benefit of individual feedback, personal guidance and practical advice.

How coaching can help writers

If you're wondering what exactly coaching is, Julia article shows you how individual coaching can help a writer by giving the opportunity to work with a publishing professional who has inside knowledge of what publishers and agents are looking for.

Julia believes that given the right circumstances, we can all access our true writer’s voice and have a deeply rewarding experience of writing.

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

There is a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it when it come to writing Bob confides in his diary. And now the government is inventing 'virtual crime' how can real fiction compete. 

'We are in the world of intending to commit a crime, the world of Minority Report, the world of pre-crime.'

This week


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.

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

See below

Writers' Forum Column

John Jenkins on why women writers are already widely read, especially the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, and why, in spite of all the doomsaying and grumbling, conditions have improved for writers: 

'Research is now much easier with the World Wide Web, the agony of editing and re-typing is no longer the problem it once was and the number of books published each year continues to increase.'

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