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May 2008 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'Amazon has dominated the headlines in the book trade press over the last few months, as it has taken a more aggressive approach to its plans for growth.' News Review has the (quite alarming) story.
  • News Review looks at Susie Dent's forthcoming Words of the Year and concludes that: 'Writers for whom English is their native language have a huge advantage in reaching a worldwide market'.
  • Are print encyclopedias dead? It rather looks as if they might be. News Review looks at Brockhaus and Britannica.
  • J K Rowling's recent appearance in court to protect her copyright raises key issues relating to infringement and 'passing off'.  News Review investigates.
  • News Review on the Bologna and London Book Fairs: 'In summary, these were two lively and upbeat book fairs, showing that the global book business is in surprisingly strong shape.'
  • Agent Pat Kavanagh: 'You can’t be thinking about what’s happening to the share price, or whether shareholders are going to be cross with you. All that matters is doing the right job for your writers, even if it means turning something down that’s very lucrative.’ News Review focuses on the agency world.


  • 'Book lovers are financially astute. They have appropriate levels of borrowing and have kept their credit cards under control.' Polly Jaffe at the London Book Fair, in the Bookseller.
  • ‘I try to write so much a day. I set myself a small target, ie to write for an hour or perhaps 250 words and not to do anything else. You find once you start that you’ve written for hours or 1,000 words.'  Celia Rees, author of Sovay in the Bookseller
  • 'When it comes to women's fiction, critics have a condescension chromosome.  The demeaning label chick-lit says it all.'  Kathy Lette in The Times
  • ‘All prizes have eligibility criteria: nationality, or ethnic origin, or language, or country of residence, or subject matter, or religion. For those who see the world in negative terms, prizes celebrate the achievements of one group at the expense of another.' Kate Mosse defends the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction
  • 'Done badly, fantasy is more risible than any other genre, perhaps because there is such a fine line between heroic endeavour and bathos.' Amanda Craig in The Times

Writers' Quote

''To be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.'
William Shakespeare

Top Ten Tips for nonfiction writers

Julie Wheelwright, programme director, MA Creative Writing Nonfiction, City University, London gives a helpful checklist for nonfiction writers.

The ABC Checklist for New Writers: Professionalism

We've published six extracts from The ABC Checklist for New Writers: How to Open Doors and Get Noticed the First Time Around by Lorraine Mace and Maureen Vincent-Northam, published by Orana Publishing. This useful book gives succinct answers to the many problems writers face, making it an indispensable reference for the budding writer.

The ABC Checklist For New Writers

1: Agents - when and how to approach them
2: Editors - who they are and what they do
3: Keeping Records
4: Marketing
5: Professionalism
6: Titles

National Poetry Competition winner

Sinead Morrissey is the winner of this year's Competition. Read the winning poem here.

Magazine - Road at night

An Editor's Advice

This new series is based on the advice Maureen Kincaid Speller, a long-serving WritersServices freelance editor, has given writers over the years.  The series covers dialogue, doing further drafts, genre writing, planning, points of view, autobiography and presentation.

Choosing a Service

Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you? This useful new article by Chris Holifield offers advice on what to go for, depending on what stage you are at with your writing.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 16 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.

Changes in the book trade

This new series by Chris Holifield looks at the book trade and investigates how fundamental changes in how it works are affecting writers.

The fourth article deals with Print on demand and the Long Tail.  It looks at how POD is changing the economics of publishing, enabling backlist to be kept in print and book buyers to source a vast range of books.

The first article is on: Bookselling, the second on Publishing and the third on Print on demand

Success story

Our latest success story looks at Colin Cotterill's unusual route to authorship and his entertaining website.

Rotten Rejections

We've added some new quotes from publishers' rejections to this record of how they got it wrong. On Jack Kerouac:

'His frenetic and scrambled prose perfectly express the feverish travels of the Beat Generation.  But is that enough?  I don't think so.'

Creative Commons explained

When WritersServices first covered Creative Commons in Inside Publishing, we felt that we hadn't explained how it worked as clearly as we'd hoped to do.  Now Frances Pinter, who works as a consultant on the project, explains this highly significant new approach to the licensing of rights.

Writer's success story

Russell Ash's entertaining book Potty, Fartwell and Knob, Extraordinary but True Names of British People has been promoted by a website which shows how the admittedly amusing material in the book can be used to good effect online.

The 2007 Diagram Prize

Here is the announcement of the winner for the oddest book title of the year - a barmy winner from a vintage crop.

WritersServices Self-publishing

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 for yourself.

Help for Writers

Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site.