Skip to Content

October 2008 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review looks at this year's winner and the tradition of controversy surrounding the Booker - plus its increasingly global reach.
  • 'In the midst of all the gloom and doom, the Frankfurt Book Fair has been pretty much business as usual. Writing on the last day of the Fair, visitor figures are so far up 8.1% on last year, although there has been a slight drop in exhibitor numbers'. News Review's report shows how Frankfurt is going global.
  • Amidst plunging publishers' and booksellers' share prices, are book sales holding up? News Review looks at the figures on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
  • 'The launch of a new website which encourages everyone to upload videos of themselves delivering their own definitions of their favourite words could offer freedom from the dead hand of the past or be the last straw for pedants, depending on your point of view.' News Review reports on the launch of


  • 'At the end of the day, the writer herself is a more valuable brand than the publishing house and it's time for writers to wake up to this fact.' Kate Pullinger on Guardian Online
  • 'In such times it is much better to be selling books than higher ticket items...  As domestic budgets are squeezed, books benefit from being an inexpensive form of recreation and indeed a necessity for priorities like education.  Alan Giles, former CEO of HMV, in the Bookseller
  • 'First, is the writing truly brilliant?  Second, will the market be accepting of it?  And, finally, am I the right person to make the connections for the book? Simon Trewin in the Bookseller on what makes an agent say yes.
  • 'Publishing has always been accused of being desperately inefficient and often that it's run like a summer fete, but there is something to be said for the entrepreneurial spirit of the likes of Peter Usborne and Brenda Gardner, and Barry Cunningham - without whose eye for a good story, of course, this would be a very different business.' Graham Marks on the Potter phenomenon in the final issue of Publishing News.
  • 'In literary fiction, the big awards definitely translate to sales...  If you win the Booker, the Costa or the Orange, your name will be known.  But for some reason the Nobel doesn't sell books.' Matt Bates, W H Smith Fiction Buyer, in Writers' Forum

Writers' Quote

'Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can.'
Jane Austen

New Categories series

Writing Crime Fiction

This is the first article in a new series by Chris Holifield which will cover the major writing genres. 

Writing Crime Fiction looks at the international market for crime novels and shows what is working for this readership and how you can give your own crime fiction its best chance of getting published.

Review of the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook updated for 2009

Our reviewer thought this was: 'a fantastically valuable resource for anyone who wants to venture into this highly specialised area of publishing'.  Now updated with new articles and a foreword by UK Children's Laureate Michael  Rosen.

Story - Submission Critique

In our latest fictionalised story Australian journalist Ben finds that a Submission Critique helps him get his submission package into good enough shape to get his novel taken on by a London agent.

Our Submission Critique service.

Services stories index

Also available, stories on the Reader's Report, the Editor's Report, Editing, Contract vetting, Private publishing, Manuscript Polishing and Self-publishing.

Magazine - Feeling Blue Globe

Success story: Brian McGilloway

Crime writer Brian McGilloway has made it at last.  After lots of rejections he had the good fortune to be taken on by Macmillan New Writing and now has a two-book contract with the main Macmillan imprint.

Review of The Writer's Handbook

Our reviewer said: 'The Writer’s Handbook does what it says on the tin. It is a useful book for helping writers to find what they want, and a helpful volume to accompany you in your search for a writer or agent.'

Writing for the web 

Writing effectively for the web is quite different from writing for the printed page. Our latest new checklist shows you how to write web pages to attract and keep visitors.


Tips for writers 4

The fourth set of our new pages of tips for writers deals with self-publishing and asks: is it for you? Print on demand has transformed self-publishing, making it possible to print one copy at a time. Self-publishing is much more cost-effective, but is it right for you?

Tips for Writers 1: Improving your writing

Tips for Writers 2: Learning on the job

Tips for writers 3: New technology and the Internet

The Poetry Archive

The Poetry Archive was launched in 2005 to record living poets for posterity and to bring poetry to a wider audience. It has recently released its 100th recording and also added 14 distinguished American poets to its roster. Visit their website to listen to the  voices of living poets.

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 seventh deals with Creative Commons, an innovative new way of licensing material which makes it widely available and also protects and controls the license given.

The first article is on Bookselling, the second on Publishing, the third on Print on demand, the fourth on Self-publishing - 'really great' or career suicide?, the fifth on Writers' routes to their audiences, the sixth at copyright under pressure.


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.

Our Editorial Services for writers

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

Help for Writers

Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site, including Finding an Agent and Making Submissions.


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.