Skip to Content

September 2008 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • '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
  • 'After what many are calling the most extraordinary week on the stock market since the Great Crash, how is publishing faring? Can we even begin to guess what the terrifying events dominating the world’s financial stage might mean for the international book trade?' News Review investigates.
  • News Review on Stephenie Meyer's decision to halt her Midnight series because her unpublished manuscript has been pirated on the web, and the Daily Telegraph's serialisation of Alexander McCall Smith's new novel online.
  • 'Bloomsbury has dipped into its reputed £50m ($88.32m) Harry Potter war chest to set up an innovative new publishing venture, Bloomsbury Academic. The new business will publish a new list online for free, with the venture sustained by sales to libraries and academic institutions. News Review reports.


  • '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
  • 'What's most exciting about ebooks is not what they can do at the moment but what they may do in the future... What we're seeing isn't the death of the book, but the creation of a new art form.'  Naomi Alderman, author of Disobedience, in the Observer

Writers' Quote

'The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.'
William Faulkner

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.

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.

We've added Manuscript Polishing to the fictionalised stories which show how our Services can help writers get their work into shape.

Services stories index

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

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.'

Magazine - Poppies

Review of Writers and Artists' Yearbook 2009

Our reviewer concluded that what makes this book an outstandingly good buy is the many articles about every aspect of getting published and called it: 'an essential companion for all writers'.

Review of The Self-Publishing Magazine

Our reviewer concluded:'You wouldn’t really compare it to the other magazines reviewed here, but for anyone who is thinking about self-publishing it provides advice and reassurance.’

Writers' magazines reviews index

Tips for Writers 2

The second set of our new pages of tips for writers deals with 'learning on the job' - writers' groups, classes, university courses and books for writers.

Tips for Writers 1: Improving your writing

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 at copyright under pressure.

Poetry Writers' Yearbook 2008 Competition winner

Read 'Did You Dream of Me Last Night?', the 2008 winner by Angela Gloker.

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.

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.

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.