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What's New

1 July 2024 - What's new

July 2024
  • ‘I've been thinking for some time that science fiction, as a genre, is finished. The world it once imagined has arrived, and interest in the future and new technologies is widespread. Instead of appealing only to a niche audience, sci-fi has been absorbed into the mainstream of fiction. And as fantasy enjoys a boom in popularity - the "Romantasy" subgenre in particular - much of what is now published as science fiction has a fantasy element to it: space opera, alternate histories, sagas set on alien worlds...' Lisa Tuttle, author of 18 novels for adults and children, including My Death, A Nest of Nightmares, The Mysteries, The Bone and The Flute, Dolphin Diaries, a series for children, various short story collections and several works of non-fiction, in the Guardian.
  • This week we have another new article in the Ask the Editor series: 'A new writer, setting out on that curious and occasionally perilous journey that, sometimes, ends in publication, needs help getting there; very few writers get it all right without advice or intervention. The internet has made the task of finding appropriate help and advice much easier; if your ivory tower is connected, that is. Recently, however, the limpid waters of literary support have been muddied somewhat by the advent of a plethora of AI tools. In this article, I'll consider the advantages - and limitations - of editing software...' Ask the Editor 12: The limitations of editing software.
  • The 11 other articles in the Ask the Editor series cover subjects as diverse as Writing non-fiction, How I assess a manuscript and The submission letter.
  • Our 8 UK-based Copy editing services specialise in writers' needs, offering competitive rates and providing highly experienced professional editors. We offer a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you to bring your work to a professional level of excellence. Most of our editing services offer a free sample and they are all excellent value for money.
  • Our first set of links covers writers' stories and writers' craft: over the course of my life, I have chosen names for two real human beings and approximately 200 fictional ones. The processes are surprisingly similar, How Naming a Character Is Like Naming a Child | Jane Friedman; from the authors of a non-fiction series for children, The Selfies questions for 2024 children's book winners Jill Michelle Smith and Jennifer Watson; in selecting this, the author uses a narrator who knows everything about the story, Third-Person Omniscient Point of View: Explained & Defined - The Art of Narrative; 'Writing different books at different times allows me to stay creatively fresh and engaged, as well as reach various kinds of readers', The Selfies questions for 2024 non fiction winner J F Penn; an astonishing, deeply compelling story about what happened to them when they were 15, Turn Fact Into Fiction-Without Hurting Someone or Getting Sued | Jane Friedman; and Horrible Histories TV writer Gabby Hutchinson Crouch explains how she adapts her satirical writing from screen to the page, Writing comedy: start with a family.
  • Closing on 30 September is the The Bridport Prize Memoir Award 2024, which is open to unpublished work from any writer writing in English over 16. Entry fee: £24 per entry. 1st Prize £1,500 + a year's mentoring, Runner-up £750 and Highly Commended 3 awards £150. Please read the details carefully.
  • Our new seven-part Worldbuilding series is designed to help fantasy and science fiction writers think about the various things they need to consider when constructing the world in their novel: 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. In this article, I will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction...' This series is just what you need if you want to write in these exciting genres. The titles are: 1: Character names in fantasy novels, 2: The basics of writing fantasy fiction, 3: Geography and physical location, 4: Technology, 5: Culture, 6: Magic and 7: It's a kind of magic.
  • WritersServices offers a comprehensive range of editorial services for authors writing for the children's book market. All our services are carried out to the highest professional standard, and offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. Writing for children is not an easy option. It requires sound writing skills, originality, a clear understanding of the target audience and a good grasp of the market. Our expert editors are specialists in writing for children, and they will help you make your work the best it can be. Children's Editorial Services.
  • Links from the publishing world: in this exclusive interview, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency's Vice Head of Books Juliet Pickering shares her advice for aspiring romance writers, Agent Q&A with Juliet Pickering | National Centre for Writing | NCW; the latest news on UK book festivals funding, The Bookseller - News - Nine UK literary festivals have released a joint statement calling for 'increased support', as Bloomsbury donates £100,000; indie author Mo Fanning questions how he can help booksellers sell more copies than the online giants, Why indie bookshops and indie authors need to work together; rebuilding from a fire, competing with Amazon and launching during lockdown - how these indies continue to thrive, Meet the people behind three of the UK's brilliant independent bookshops | Books | The Guardian.
  • ‘Thank you again for all your wonderful work. I really appreciate it and feel very blessed to have benefited from your services.' Cissi Williams on our Endorsements page.
  • Are you having difficulty writing a blurb for the cover of your book? Our Blurb-writing service can give your book a professional look. What about your synopsis - often a tricky task for a writer? Our Synopsis-writing service can provide a synopsis of whatever length you need for your submissions.
  • So you want to be a romance writer? You've made an interesting choice because, although a lot of people scoff at romance, it is the most stable genre of all and has continued to keep its faithful readers when other categories have changed radically and sometimes lost their audiences. Romance has changed a bit in recent years and embraced a more complex story, sometimes with more explicit sex in it, but essentially this is a category which marches on, providing happy endings, when all around it the world has changed. Writing Romance
  • More links: the popular notion is that J.R.R. Tolkien single-handedly transformed the genre of modern fantasy. This is just plain wrong. Tolkien did not transform modern fantasy. He invented it, The Literary Power of Hobbits: How JRR Tolkien Shaped Modern Fantasy ‹ Literary Hub; reading screenplays is the latest book fashion, Hollywood's Newest Money-Making Scheme Is... Books; Maris Kreizman on Independent Publicists, Books Tours, and Vanishing Book Coverage, Do Authors Really Need to Spend Their Own Money to Make a Book Successful? ‹ Literary Hub; and thinking of defecting to the dark side? Here's what I've learnt, The Bookseller - Comment - Revelations of an editor-turned-agent.
  • For a down-to-earth and practical account, How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...'
  • PhD editing service - get your PhD edited by a professional editor to make sure you achieve the best result you can. Are you working to prepare your PhD for submission? Professional editing can help you improve the presentation of your work and iron out any grammar or spelling errors, so that you can achieve the best possible result.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are you now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is a helpful outline of the processes involved. Preparing for publication
  • This page provides a list of all 22 editorial services we offer - we think it's the largest range on the web.
  • 'Some novels known as the greatest works of literature are crime novels, and some crime novels are great works of literature.' Lynne Constantine in our Writers' Quotes.

17 June 2024 - What's new

June 2024

3 June 2024 - What's new

June 2024
  • 'How do you become a writer? Answer: you write. It's amazing how much resentment and disgust and evasion this answer can arouse. Even among writers, believe me. It is one of those Horrible Truths one would rather not face. The most frequent evasive tactic is for the would-be writer to say, But before I have anything to say, I must get experience... I'm rather sensitive on this point, because I write science fiction, or fantasy, or about imaginary countries, mostly - stuff that, by definition, involves times, places, events that I could not possibly experience in my own life. So when I was young and would submit one of these things about space voyages to Orion or dragons or something, I was told, at extremely regular intervals, "You should try to write about things you know about." And I would say, But I do; I know about Orion, and dragons, and imaginary countries. Who do you think knows about my own imaginary countries, if I don't?' Ursula K Le Guin, author of several SF novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Dispossessed.
  • The 11th article in the Ask the Editor series deals with English Language editing: 'English is the world's lingua franca. Over two billion people speak it as a first or second language. It is the official, or everyday, language in fifty-nine countries. Perhaps two billion more have considerable experience of English via movies, gaming, pop music, or (increasingly) social media. That's half the world. It's no surprise, then, that some authors from non-English speaking backgrounds take the leap of writing and publishing in English. In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of books and manuscripts from non-native speakers of English here at WritersServices. And the quality of those books has increased, impressively, year on year. It can sometimes seem as if the world is learning English by global osmosis. Writing in a language you don't speak as a native presents a range of challenges to the author...'
  • The 10 other articles in the Ask the Editor series cover subjects as diverse as Writing non-fiction, How I assess a manuscript and The submission letter.
  • Links from the publishing world: Bloomsbury's stellar results show how, yet again, they have benefited from a star author, Sarah J. Maas Flies Bloomsbury to Record Highs; despite only 8% of academic researchers trusting AI companies not to use their research data without permission, The Bookseller - News - More than three quarters of researchers use AI in their research, OUP survey suggests; annual national day of celebration for 'national treasure', Publishers combine for Michael Rosen day; at the US Book Show the energy was palpable; panels were sharper, more diverse, more geared to practical applications; and speakers were good, with costs, discoverability and AI under discussion, The Bookseller - Comment - The Association of American Publishers' a.g.m. raised calls for urgent action on AI; so what's happened in publishing in his three-quarters of a century? Richard Charkin From Readmagine: 'Will You Still Read Me?'
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting Edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Advice for writers gives you access to the huge amuont of information on the site.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I want to thank Chris and the team at Writers Services for their help and tolerance. My first submission of my rough draft came back with an extremely useful critique. I restructured, rewrote and resubmitted - and got an excellent feedback which has helped me to revise the book by highlighting the weaknesses and the development needed... the help received so far is already paying dividends. I have just signed with an agent on the strength of the latest draft.' Patrick Cox
  • Links to writers' stories and careers: for first-time writers, it's harder than ever to break out. That poses an existential crisis for publishing - and disturbing limits on your access to exciting new voices, Why Are Debut Novels Failing to Launch? Around the world, it's common for fiction writers to moonlight as translators, Want to Write Better Fiction? Become a Translator - The Millions; the bestselling author discusses his newest book, featuring sports agent turned lawyer, Myron Bolitar, Why Harlan Coben Decided Now Was the Time to Bring Back a Beloved Character ‹ CrimeReads; and "Every family has a child who was born to remember the family stories, and I was that child." How a Family Secret Inspired Author Maureen Marshall's New Historical Mystery ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024 closes on 8 July. All poets writing in English are eligible, no matter where they live. the entry fee is £6 per poem. The First prize is £1,000 cash and a week's poetry course at Arvon, Second Prize £500 and Third prize £250.
  • Improve your writing is the first in Tips for Writers, our 8 part series for writers who are starting out. Tips for Writers 7 is Keep up to date. Tips for Writers 4 asks Self-publishing - is it for you?  'Do you really want to get your book published? Self publishing offers the chance to control your own publication and, if you are successful, you will make more money. Have you tried agents and publishers, and made sure that your work is as good as you can get it before submitting it? If so, then you should consider self-publishing or indie publishing as it is often called...'
  • Which service? offers an overview of the editorial services we offer and Our Services for Writers offers links to all 22 of them - we think this is the biggest range on the internet.
  • Links on bookselling and book clubs: is opening a bookstore the answer? Independent booksellers continued to expand in 2023, with more than 200 new stores opening | AP News; and Why are some authors and books iconic? Why do other authors and books tank? Oprah's Book Club and... Dying? How Do Writers Get Famous ‹ Literary Hub.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • Are you having difficulty writing a blurb for the cover of your book? Our Blurb-writing service can give your book a professional look. What about your synopsis - often a tricky task for a writer? Our Synopsis-writing service can provide a synopsis of whatever length you need for your submissions.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market, using our English Language Editing service.
  • More links: an author who endured a traumatizing childhood and became a bestselling novelist, accomplished military historian and late-life memoirist, Caleb Carr, author of 'The Alienist,' dies at 68 | AP News; For decades, RWA served as a champion for the mostly female authors of one of the country's most popular - and denigrated - genres of fiction, but now Romance Writers of America files for bankruptcy amid bitter racism battle | Books | The Guardian; in the annual "What Kids Are Reading Report", The Bookseller - News - Reading declines for children for first time after pandemic, report says; a disaster of the war, The Bookseller - News - Trade condemns ‘heartbreaking' bombing on Ukrainian printer Factor-Druk and publisher Vivat.
  • Don't give up the day job. Perhaps you've even been indulging in thinking about it as you plan to lie on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel. But how practical is it? Is it something you can realistically aspire to, or just a distant fantasy? What are your chances of making your dream come true?
  • So what's wrong with PDFs? 'Well, nothing, if you use them in the way they are intended. PDFs (Portable Download Files) are designed to carry finished documents and forms. The idea is that the file does not deform or glitch when you download it... More to the point, you can't really tamper with the original content or format of the file. And there's the rub. If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file.'
  • 'I only write when I'm inspired, so I see to it that I'm inspired every morning at nine o'clock.' Peter De Vries in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.
  • If you enjoy keeping up with What's New, you can sign up for our newsletter to be emailed to you every two weeks.

20 May 2024 - What's new

May 2024
  • ‘I was very aware that because the manuscript has my name on it, people would just publish it, however bad it was, and I wanted honest feedback. I wanted to know that someone believed in the book and I truly enjoyed getting unvarnished feedback through my agent. There was one editor who did not like Strike having a famous father and made that point. And obviously because I can't break cover, I can't say: "but I know how important this will be in book eight". You can't say that as a first-time writer, and I was ostensibly in this situation a first-time writer. You can't say, now, look I know a series and I know this backstory is going to work out brilliantly in book seven, eight and nine. Who the hell are you to say you're going to get a seven, eight and nine-novel deal anyway? ' J K Rowling, mega-selling author of the Harry Potter books, on writing her first Robert Galbraith crime fiction title under a pseudonym, in The Times.
  • This week we have another new article in the Worldbuilding series, It's a kind of magic. 'In the first article on magic in fantasy writing we looked at power scaling, plot armour and plausibility. Here we will look at the different types of magic and, more importantly, the cost of magic. Like many other elements in a constructed world, magic is, effectively, a technology; and technology always has a cost...'
  • Our new seven-part Worldbuilding series is designed to help fantasy, romantasy and science fiction writers think about the various things they need to consider when constructing the world in their novel: 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades...' The other titles in the series are: 1: Character names in fantasy novels, 2: The basics of writing fantasy fiction, 3: Geography and physical location, 4: Technology, 5: Culture and 6: Magic.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. We also provide reports on manuscripts from children's writers from our skilled children's editors.
  • Links to writers' stories: in my new book, The Second Chance, Nell gets told the date on which she will die, and this affects every decision she makes thereafter, How a clairvoyant changed my life; conspiracy, manipulation, misplaced patriotism and bombs, Chasing America's dark side in 'Hunted', Abir Mukherjee on Writing a Conspiracy Thriller "From a Position of Anger" ‹ CrimeReads; and for me, the difference between writing for TV and writing books comes down to the difference between me and my father, Hart Hanson On Screenwriting Vs. Novel Writing ‹ CrimeReads.
  • The Moth Short Story Prize 2024 closes on 30 June. It is open to all writers over 16 with a word limit of 3,000 words. The entry fee is €15 per story. The 1st prize is €3,000, the 2nd prize a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus travel stipend, and the 3rd prize €1,000.
  • Three other writing competitions are still open.
  • Editor's advice 3 deals with Genre writing: 'Go into any high street bookstore and the shelves are heaving with genre novels. Most people read genre novels somewhere along the way, and genre novels are what most people, intentionally or not, set out to write. The intentional thought process goes something like this: there are loads of genre novels being published, ergo, there's a market for genre novels, so I'll read a couple of these, get a feel for what's needed, and hey presto, I too can knock out a few genre novels and make some money as well... I've been reading science fiction, fantasy and crime novels since I was a teenager, and I can spot when a writer doesn't fully understand the mechanics of their chosen genre. It may not matter to a casual reader but it really matters to the fans...'
  • Our Services for Writers is just a list of the 22 services we offer, which we think is the largest on the web.
  • Links from the publishing world: as Little, Brown's SFF imprint Orbit celebrates its 50th anniversary, publisher Anna Jackson reflects on its current record-breaking run and on building the brands of the future, The Bookseller - Features - Orbit reaches for the stars; a heartfelt plea for libraries and education from the incoming president of The Publishers Association in the UK, The Bookseller - Comment - Life-changing stories; launched in September 2023 by entrepreneur Nadim Sadek, Shimmr uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create automated marketing material for publishers to promote their backlists, The Bookseller - News - AI firm Shimmr welcomes publishing execs to advisory board; and a new survey revealing that three-quarters of readers of books for teens are over 18 has one message: read anything you like - but read, The Guardian view on YA literature: an adventure for teenagers, a comfort blanket for adults | Editorial | The Guardian.
  • From our Endorsements page, 'Thank you! I received the comments - most eagerly awaited - and just speed-read through now. When everyone is off to school I will go back to read through all of the details. It gives me much to think about. I'm most grateful for the thoughtful and articulate response. It's fantastic!' Nancy Jarzombek, Belmont, Massachusetts.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne. In the first excerpt, 'Managing the matters of truth and objectivity', the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • The Writer's Edit is an enhanced editing package that offers you all the benefits of our expert copy editing service, plus an extra level of advice and support to help you take your writing to a new level. We will copy edit your manuscript to our usual professional standard, but in addition we will offer you a line-by-line edit specifically designed to improve your style, structure and form, and a set of guidance notes, giving commentary and advice.
  • More links: acclaimed for her accounts of the darkness and desire found in everyday life, Alice Munro, Nobel winner and titan of the short story, dies aged 92 | Alice Munro | The Guardian; in April of this year, Timothy Garton Ash collected his reward money for winning the prestigious 2024 Lionel Gelber Prize, Historian uses Canadian prize money to buy drones for Ukraine | CBC Radio; and debut author Alina Khawaja on writing seven books in five years, and what she learned from it, The best news at the beach.
  • Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Your submission package
  • If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance. Making submissions
  • If you are Writing for the web, you have to grab your readers online. Writing effectively for the web is quite different from writing for the printed page. Writers intending to write web pages should observe some simple rules if they want to attract and keep visitors to their pages.
  • With thanks to Bookbrunch, our final set of links are from debut writers: 'My theatre background has probably helped me be a braver writer and maybe more rigorous, too', Q&A: debut novelist Ellie Keel; 'Without wishing to give too much away, many years ago I stumbled across a thoroughly harrowing Guardian Long Read about a true crime case that had haunted Germany', Q&A: author AE Gauntlett; 'You can't be best friends with a dragon in the real world. So writing fantasy is the next best thing', Q&A: author John Wiswell; and Roxie Key knows what it's like to feel you're not good enough - and how to get over it, Debut author? You're not an imposter.
  • Get your poetry assessed before submitting it or entering it for competitions with our Poetry Critique service. If you're planning to submit a collection to publish or to self-publish, our unique Poetry Collection Editing service can help to get your work to a publishable standard.
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher and self-publishing may make a lot of sense. Getting your poetry published.
  • 'Maybe I should say that memory interests me a great deal, because I think we all tell stories of our lives to ourselves as well as to other people. Well, women do, anyway. Women do this a lot. And I think when men get older, they do this too, but maybe in slightly different terms.' Alice Munro, who died last week, in our Writers' Quotes.

6 May 2024 - What's new

May 2024
  • 'I'm very reassuringly honest. It's a job as well as a calling. It's my living - I'm the chief breadwinner in my house. My husband is retired, he supported me through the two decades while I wasn't making enough to live on, and was doing all kinds of things to do with writing to survive - judging competitions, running workshops, appraising manuscripts. When he wanted to retire, I was very happy to change places - it all worked out well... I work for a big publisher, Avon is a very commercial imprint. When I first started talking to my agent, she said: What are you hoping for? And I told her I really wanted a publisher that would get right behind me, and get me in supermarkets. And that's exactly what happened...' Sue Moorcroft, the bestselling author of 25 romantic fiction titles, including One Summer in Italy, The Christmas Promise, A Summer to Remember, Starting Over and Is This Love? and President of the UK Romantic Novelists' Association, in Bookbrunch.
  • Our 8 UK-based Copy editing services specialise in writers' needs, offering competitive rates and providing highly experienced professional editors. We offer a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you to bring your work to a professional level of excellence. Most of our editing services offer a free sample and they are all excellent value for money.
  • Our 19 part Inside Publishing series explores how the publishing business works. I have spent my whole working life in publishing. I take for granted the inside knowledge which you absorb in any business or profession, but the truth is that some of this information is really quite esoteric. This can make it tough for a writer trying to get their work published. It is not easy to understand how publishing works, let alone why it works the way it does. Inside Publishing provides an insider's guide.
  • Inside Publishing on Copyright: 'Copyright has evolved over the centuries to protect rights in intellectual property. It provides a basis for trading in these rights and a means whereby they can be exploited commercially. Rights holders are able to license the rights in their work to be exploited in different ways (e.g. in book form or to be made into a film) and also in different territories, in a system of exclusive sublicensing...'
  • Our links to writers' stories: this author is exactly where you'd expect him to be - hunkered down at his desk, toiling away at the next novel even as his newest is hitting bookshelves around the world, Anthony Horowitz on Giving Himself a New Role in His Latest Mystery ‹ CrimeReads; after a successful career as a talent agent, Melanie Cantor became disillusioned with TV. So she took up writing - and refused to give up on her passion, A new start after 60: after a decade of rejections, I got my first novel published. Now I've got my dream, I won't stop! | Creative writing | The Guardian; psychotherapist Vicky Reynal on writing about attitudes to money for a general audience, Money therapy; the novelist reflects on reaching the end of a series, Heather Graham on Ancient Texts and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ‹ CrimeReads; 'The one thing I take with me into my writing every single day, is that no one is ever really who you think they are. We're all projections of the person we think we should be', Q&A: author Helen Fields: and the obituary of C J Sansom, lawyer turned novelist who enjoyed huge success with his bestselling Shardlake historical novels, CJ Sansom obituary | CJ Sansom | The Guardian.
  • Closing on 1 June, The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2024 is open to unpublished, unagented children's writers based anywhere in the world. The entry fee is £20. First Prize is a publishing contract with Chicken House with an advance of £10,000, plus the offer of representation from literary agent Lydia Silver of Darley Anderson Children's Book Agency.
  • The Business of Writing shows you how to look after the business side of being a writer. Writing is undoubtedly a creative art. Whether we are working on the next Booker Prize winner or ghostwriting blog posts, writers need to be original, imaginative and inspired. But writing is also a business, with invoices to raise, accounts to be submitted and records to be kept. Writers, like artists, can find themselves floundering when it comes to the ‘business end' of the job.
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for your publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Links from publishing: typesetting is one of the unglamorous, unsung heroes of the publishing process, Awards season for the supporting cast: the battle for publishing freelancers; the market contracted overall-with non-fiction struggling in particular - but romantasy and crime sent fiction to a Q1 record high, The Bookseller - Features - First quarter review: a novel experience; criticism from the UK Publishers' Association, The Bookseller - News - PA boss slams government response to Lords AI report; and another international publishing acquisition The Bookseller - News - Simon & Schuster acquires Dutch publisher Veen Bosch & Keuning.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'Thank you for forwarding the Editor's report containing the excellent professional advice and observations which I, as a first-time writer, sorely needed. I will re-work the novel as suggested and would like to resubmit it for another editing overview in due course. Please thank the Editor for her supportive comments and again thanks to you for providing a superb service with the best value I have had for £180 in many a long year.' Den Harding, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, UK.
  • Writing for Children: Rule No One - Read More than You Write 'To this I might say that if you have been working for years as a published author, and you have that degree of sophistication, dexterity and confidence, then maybe sometimes yes (you don't need to read). But for the majority of us who are not at that level... Many other authors, however, believe the opposite to be true, that reading and being well-read is essential to good writing, and it is this argument that I am exploring here...'
  • Our 21 Frequently asked questions will help to answer questions such as Why do I need a report on my manuscript? and How do I know WritersServices aren't going to rip me off, by praising my work just to get me to pay for their services?
  • Our Services for Writers is just a list of the 22 services we offer, which we think is the largest on the web.
  • Links for children's and YA writers: Nikkolas Smith knows a thing or two about book bans. The illustrator has created five picture books over the last three years - four of which have been yanked off library shelves, How publishers response to book bans is boosting the industry - Fast Company; publishers, agents and authors assess readers' all-consuming passion for YA romantasy, YA Romantasy: True Love or Passing Fancy? And 'Britain's most-followed poet on social media', Viral Poet Nikita Gill Reimagines Greek Goddess in Debut YA Trilogy.
  • An excerpt from Bob Ritchie's Journal of a Virtually Unpublised Writer, written exclusively for WritersServices: 'Worrying about money. In The Observer Julie Myerson writes about swanning off to Milan for a five-star shopping and eating weekend. Jealously wonder if her novels really earn that kind of money or if she lives with a banker. John Updike once said that no one ever wrote for any reason other than to make money. Suspect on the contrary that in my case I made more out of writing when I was what the Japanese call a salaryman. As an employee in IT I once had to write a massive technical manual with a total intended readership of six. A depressing calculation tells me I was paid about £5000 a copy. Think maybe I should go back to a proper job...'
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • More links: now I encounter nearly every written work, regardless of its length, quality, and difficulty, on the small screen of my iPhone, What Phones Are Doing to Reading | The New Yorker; listen up, Potterheads: J.K. Rowling's seven original Harry Potter books are getting a massive new audiobook series, Harry Potter Books Full-Cast Audiobooks to Be Exclusively on Audible; and last week the article "No One Buys Books," by Ellie Griffin, went viral, topping Substack categories and being shared widely on social media, Book sales: What that viral Substack post gets wrong.
  • Our Editor's Report Plus was introduced by popular demand to provide helpful detail, as well as an overview. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detailed framework helps them to get their book right.
  • Why has my manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. Here are some of the reasons why this happens and suggestions of what you can do about it. Avoiding rejection.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.' Stephen King

15 April 2024 - What's new

April 2024

1 April 2024 - What's new

April 2024
  • 'Some writers start with a sentence and have no idea where it's going. Others know every character's biography. I'm in between. I know the beginning and the end before I start. I recommend you know where you're going. You're a lot freer to twist and turn if you know your destination. Always ask "What if?" What if you put spyware on your kid's computer, discover something and then your kid disappears? What if you saw your dead husband cuddling your child on your nannycam?' Harlan Coben, who has has over 80 million books in print and has written 35 novels, in the Sunday Times' Culture.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting Edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • The Bridport Prize 2024 has a range of different competitions, look carefully at their site for the details. The Poetry, Short Story and Flash Fiction prizes are open to unpublished work from any writer writing in English over 16. The Novel Award is restricted to UK writers, and to British and American writers living abroad. The entry fees are £12 per poem, £14 per story, £11 for flash fiction and £24 per novel. There are a range of prizes, including Poetry and Short Story 1st Prize £5,000, and Flash Fiction 1st Prize £1,000. The Novel Award's prize is a year's mentoring and a critique. The closing date is 31 May.
  • Veteran editor Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor.'s 7-part series An Editor's Advice includes Points of View: 'Not so long ago, I read what ought to have been a really exciting novel filled with drama, action, treachery and romance. Or it would have been but for one thing. I saw none of this drama, I only heard about it later. Why was that? It was because the author had decided to use a first-person viewpoint character and, unfortunately ‘I' was nowhere near any of the action... In fact, ‘I' was in a bunker halfway up a mountainside, having rather a dull time of it all while mayhem broke out elsewhere. As the reader, I had to stick with ‘I' and likewise, I had a pretty boring time. It is a great temptation for the inexperienced author to write from the first-person viewpoint because it somehow seems easier to imagine oneself directly into a situation and to write about how things might seem from that point of view...'
  • It's been a quiet time for links, but here are some about writers' craft: 'In 2023, for the first time in my writing career, I stopped writing for myself, The First Rule of Writing Is Writer's Block Does Not Exist | Jane Friedman; a summary is when you take a longer piece of writing, fiction or nonfiction, and you write a brief explanation of only its vital parts, How to Write a Summary: An Essential Guide - The Art of Narrative; much to my astonishment, writes Lesley Fernandez-Armesto, I appear to have written a novel, Blowing up the truth; "You need to cut all this setting stuff. Thriller fans don't care about setting. They want to get to the action, quick." The Importance of a Great Setting in Crime Fiction ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 22 editorial services for writers, which we think is the biggest and most comprehensive you can find on the internet.
  • Our 19 Factsheets from the legendary Michael Legat are full of tips for the new writer or anyone who is trying to get their book published. From Literary agents to Copyright, from Libel to Submissions, this series is full of essential background information.
  • This newsletter's Endorsement is from Alison Chaplin in Manchester: 'Hi, I'm on your email list and just wanted to say thanks for the great emails you put out. I've entered one or two competitions as a result of seeing them on your email and, although I haven't won yet I have come close! But the information you give out is brilliant - so I just wanted to say thanks. Your efforts are appreciated.'
  • You can join up as a member on the homepage and choose to have the newsletter, or you can choose to receive just the newsletter at any time, and of course you can Unsubscribe from either whenever you want.
  • Links to writers' stories: saying that romance is a genre the literati love to hate is a hackneyed truism, 3 Elements That Make Historical Romance Successful | Jane Friedman; despising the concept of genre, Genre Communicates a Contract with the Reader ‹ CrimeReads; and many years ago, we paid a visit to Jim Swire and his wife, Lifelong Trauma in a Psychological Thriller ‹ CrimeReads.
  • For a down-to-earth and practical account, How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...'
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. on The Slush Pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned...'
  • Are you having difficulty writing a blurb for the cover of your book? Our Blurb-writing service can give your book a professional look. What about your synopsis - often a tricky task for a writer? Our Synopsis-writing service can provide a synopsis of whatever length you need for your submissions.
  • Links on AI and social media: BookTok creators reflect on how authors fit into the BookTok ecosystem, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: an author platform? A week doesn't go by these days without AI coming up with new ways to amaze us and alarm us - sometimes both at the same time, Getting AI to Behave - and How We Can Find Out When It Doesn't; and OpenAI has claimed it's "impossible" to build good AI models without using copyrighted data, but Here's Proof You Can Train an AI Model Without Slurping Copyrighted Content | WIRED.
  • How do you go about Marketing your Book? This page will get you started.
  • What about Preparing for Publication? Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are you now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is a helpful outline of the processes involved.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • Links for children's writers: death of the painter and storyteller who revived his father's picture-book series about the elephant king, Laurent de Brunhoff, author of Babar children's books, dies at 98 | Books | The Guardian; and Teen Librarian on books targeting the golden age of children's reading, ages 8-12, The Importance of Middle Grade Fiction Today, a guest post by Dawn Dagger.
  • 'Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It's discouraging, but necessary to write those pages. I try to consider them pages -100 to zero of the novel.' Barbara Kingsolver in our Writers' Quotes.

18 March 2024 - What's new

March 2024

  • 'The creative process is open to all. I don't believe in some magical creative gift, the exclusive possession of a few, nor need it concern big or sophisticated ideas. On the contrary, creativity may depend upon the recognition that our own thoughts and ideas are as valid as anyone else's; something which we knew as children, and which we were taught to unlearn. Our confidence in our ability to create is thus often undermined in our early lives, when we tend to believe what we are told... A book that gets backed is one that sells a lot. As publishers get bigger and more powerful, they become more like supermarkets, and are much more interested in a lot of books by one person. It totally makes sense. But the problem is that our children are all different, so they're not all going to like the same kind of book...' Lauren Child, prolific children's author, former UK Children's Laureate, and the author of 12 Charlie and Lola books, 6 Clarence Bean books, 6 Ruby Redfort books, 6 Hubert Horatio books and 10 other children's books, in Bookbrunch.
  • Ask the Editor 10: Writing your blurb or cover copy is the new article in this series. 'It's not a pretty word, 'blurb'; it smacks of nonsense, or slightly less than entirely honest marketing. Which is unfortunate, because a blurb is a useful and necessary thing; without it, your book is at risk of being a blank text, what you might call a closed book. In this article, I will look at what makes a good blurb and how to go about writing one; and we will consider the difficulties for authors in writing such material...'
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Links to writers' stories: 'I theorize that we writers return to the same themes again and again, whether we try to or not', A Writer's Themes: Why and How Do They Keep Returning? ‹ CrimeReads; when people first meet authors, they always ask the same question - how did you get started in this business? Lisa Gardner: 10 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years of Writing Suspense ‹ CrimeReads; as BookTok goes, so goes publishing, ACOTAR: How Sarah J. Maas became romantasy's reigning queen - Vox; no one but her husband knew she'd started writing a novel, My First Thriller: Mary Kubica ‹ CrimeReads; the rise of the unreliable narrator in fiction has made a huge success of some bestsellers, Trust No One: Unreliable Narrators vs. Unreliable Secondary Characters ‹ CrimeReads; and on writing American characters realistically when English is your second language, Writing with a Mask: Language and Authenticity In Literature ‹ CrimeReads.
  • So you want to write fantasy or science fiction? You are in good company, as many of the writers who come to WritersServices are writing fantasy, with science fiction as a less popular choice. Science fiction was an important category during much of the twentieth century, with a growing cult audience, until it was overtaken by fantasy. It's often seen as more cerebral, a way of trying out new ideas of the future or other worlds. These days there's a relatively small demand for new science fiction writing, and you have to have a distinctive voice and something interesting to say to stand much chance of getting published. Writing science fiction and fantasy
  • Other titles in the Genre Writing series: Writing crime fiction, Writing romance, Writing non-fiction, Writing historical fiction and Writing memoir and autobiography.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: 'If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?' This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our English Language Editing Service is specially designed to help non-native speakers of English to find success in the international publishing market. With the rapid rise of English as a world language, an increasing number of authors who are not native English speakers, or who speak English as a second language, are writing in English. If English is not your native language, you may require extra help to take your work to a professional standard. Our specialist editors have years of experience working with authors writing in English as a second language. We can help you to bring your work to a native level of fluency, and a professional level of excellence.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I'd like to thank you so much for the reports on my work... I'm going to read the reports over and over, take the time to think and plan, and you can be sure you'll receive the revision a year from now, maybe less. You offer an excellent service for a very fair cost, and I'm grateful to have found you.' Bill Neenan
  • Links relating to an apparently very lively London Book Fair: commerce is good for the international book business at the 2024 London Book Fair, London Book Fair 2024: Big Crowds and Tech Talk as the Fair Kicks Off; "I think it's been the most exciting London Book Fair at least since Covid, if not before that", London Book Fair 2024: Many Faces, Old and New; a thought-provoking panel discussion on audiobook developments, London Book Fair 2024: The State of Audiobooks, From AI to Ads; "We don't understand the consequences of AI with regards to copyright", London Book Fair 2024: Trust, Innovation, and the Freedom to Publish; with English as a shared language, there is a natural relationship between the American and British publishing industries, U.K. Publishing Spotlight: Building Bridges Between the U.K. and U.S. Book Businesses; and the view from this side of the Big Pond, U.K. Publishing Spotlight: Why the Publishers Association Sees the U.K. and U.S. as Friendly Rivals.
  • This week's competition is a new one - the Fern Academy Prize for essays is open to unpublished and unagented writers writing in English from around the world and there are no entry fees. The winner gets a prize of £3,000, publication with Tortoise Media, literary representation by RCW literary agent Laurence Laluyaux and other prizes. Closes 23 April.
  • Top Ten Tips for Nonfiction Writers from Julie Wheelwright, Programme Director, MA Creative Writing Nonfiction, City University, London: 'Story, story, story. Make sure that your story can sustain several chapters and tens of thousands of words. Keep asking yourself: Why would anyone want to read this story? Show rather than tell. With narrative nonfiction writing you should have plenty of opportunities to develop drama...'
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • More links from the publishing world: if you read the recently unsealed materials from the federal antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, you'll see why the company wanted to keep them under wraps; Amazon's Big Secret - The Atlantic; some of their books had zero sales, Fake Books Are a Real Problem, but a Solution May Be Near; Nadim Sadek argues that effective advertising is now feasible for everyone, and for all kinds of titles, How new advertising models can release value in publishing; and a new US start-up offers enviable royalties - for those who can afford to sign up, The Bookseller - Comment - Is this the equity authors need?
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Are you struggling to get someone to look at your poetry? Our Poetry Critique service for up to 150 lines of poetry can help. Our Poetry Collection Editing, unique to WritersServices, edits your collection to prepare it for submission or self-publishing. Both can provide the professional editorial input you may feel you need.
  • 'I was trained by poetry where you can just write ambience and atmosphere. But in a novel, if there's not a story that people are interested in, with characters that they care about, they'll close the book.' Dan Magers in our Writers' Quotes.

 

4 March 2024 - What's new

March 2024

 

12 February 2024 - What's new

February 2024
  • ‘I didn't set out to write a novel about the future. Most of my novels have been set in the past, which for me is the space of the greatest mystery and enlightenment. The future, if I thought about it, seemed by contrast thin and predictable. We know that people will be hotter, more opinionated and less well-informed; but in 30 years' time, I thought, they're also likely to still be preoccupied by money, sex and how their football team is getting on. So my new novel, The Seventh Son, didn't start out as "future-fi" or "near-fi", let alone as sci-fi. But the future crept up on me as I wrote, in terms intriguing, and sometimes more comic, than I'd imagined...' Sebastian Faulks, author of his new book The Seventh Sun, Birdsong, Charlotte Gray and 17 other novels and anthologies, in the Sunday Times.
  • Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk' revised version of the Writersservices Self-publishing Guide 4 is new on the site and shows you how to move on to ebooks: Formatting for Kindle: 'Last time we looked at KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and how self-publishing authors can upload their books to Amazon directly. Now we're going to focus on one key thing: formatting your ebook for Kindle. Once your book has been edited and proofread, it's time to create an ebook. Remember, ebooks have fluid, or ‘reflowable' text, which means there are no fixed pages and the reader - using the e-reading device of their choice - can change things like font size, orientation and line spacing...'
  • The BBC National Short Story Award 2024 closes on 18 March. This big award is open to British nationals and UK residents, aged 18 years or over. There is no entry fee. The winner gets £15,000 and 4 shortlisted authors are awarded £600. There's also considerable publicity.
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Writers' links: bagging a top literary agent is not always the golden key to success - I've had three of them, so I should know, Getting published: thirty years of hurt; print continues to serve both ends of the marketplace, but it's hard to see the wider digital market as a failure, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Premium print; it's 9:30 on a freezing Monday night in January and there's a line stretching down the block outside of the Book Club Bar in the East Village of Manhattan, How Sarah J. Maas Built a Sprawling Fantasy Multiverse | TIME; and a new posthumous picture book by by the great children's author - Mino the Magician waves his wand and, poof, a rabbit appears, Maurice Sendak's new children's picture book 'Ten Little Rabbits' : NPR
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I've used two services with this company: The Editor's Plus Report and the Writer's Edit. I am completely satisfied with the service I received and said service has led to the completion and publication of my first novel: Lightforce. I would recommend any of these services to any aspiring author.' Jason Handleman, author of Lightforce (Everything Changes Book 1)
  • An essential read for children's authors is Suzy Jenvey's special series for WritersServices, the four-part Essential Guide to Writing for Children. The first article looks at the all-important question of age groups and what you should be aware of in writing for each one. The second part is Before You Write: What is My Story Going to be? The third part deals with Starting to Write and the fourth part is about Submitting Your Work to Agents and Editors. This series by a hugely experienced children's editorial director and agent helps you get started on your own story or develop what you're already working on.
  • Our Children's Editorial Services offer three levels of report and copy editing from specialist children's editors. Use their expertise to help get your work ready for publication in this tricky but potentially huge market.
  • Links about tech developments: over millennia publishing has cycled through scepticism, experimentation, iteration, improvement and ultimate acceptance of new technologies, 10 ways AI is transforming book publishing for the better; George Walkley reports on a year of thinking about AI in publishing, Not such artificial innovation; did you know what the stats are about self-publishing? Self-Publishing Facts and Figures; and most agents say it is still too early to have a realistic sense of its impact on revenue, The Bookseller - News - Spotify's impact on author incomes uncertain, say trade insiders.
  • Our Services for Writers is just a list of the 22 services we offer, which we think is the largest on the web.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is an outline of the processes involved. Preparing for Publication
  • Writing Memoir - If you want to write a memoir or autobiography, you're in good company - lots of writers want to try their hand at this category. As with other non-fiction books, do give some thought to your market before you start, if you can. Although writers often actually write their memoir and then think about what to do with it later, it does help to know who you're writing it for, so it's a good thing to sort this out in your own mind at an early stage if you can...'
  • Links to writers stories: her first novel The City of Stardust (Hodderscape) bagged the number one spot in its launch week, The Bookseller - Bestsellers - Box clever: Georgia Summers' subscription-boosted The City of Stardust débuts at number one; 'I cherish this august institution. Moving with the times doesn't mean sidelining fellows - or devaluing the society's principles, I will defend the Royal Society of Literature against all attacks. It is more alive than ever | Bernardine Evaristo | The Guardian; last year ended #HEA (that's happily ever after) for Romance & Sagas, as sales continued an upward BookTok-boosted momentum to hit £62.4m, The Bookseller - Spotlight - Love is in the air as sales surge; and a fascinating study of why a good old-fashioned book is better for your mental health, The Case for Paper: Books vs. E-Readers | Psychology Today United Kingdom.
  • Advice for Writers is a really useful page which takes you into our archive and helps you explore our more than 9,000 pages of information for writers.
  • Our unique new service is The Cutting Edit. So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction, and it's a dual service - as we reduce the word count of your manuscript we also copy edit it as part of the job.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne published by A & C BlackClick for A & C Black Publishers Publishers References listing. In the first excerpt, Managing the matters of truth and objectivity, the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • Our last set of links are from the publishing world: book sales boom as readers escape the ‘oversaturation and noise of the wild west digital landscape', ‘Reading is so sexy': gen Z turns to physical books and libraries | Books | The Guardian; the trade has predicted a "far buzzier" London Book Fair (LBF) for 2024 with a return to pre-Covid attendance and a particularly strong American presence, with some major auctions already under way in the lead-up, The Bookseller - News - Bolstered US presence sees editors and agents excited for 'buzzier' London Book Fair 2024; driven by higher revenues as well as lower manufacturing, freight and distribution costs, The Bookseller - News - HarperCollins global revenues grow 4% driven by higher digital sales; and accusations of censorship in the voting process for the 2023 Hugo Awards, Resignations, Censures Follow in Wake of Hugo Awards Controversy.
  • Writing for Children: Rule No One - Read More than You Write 'To this I might say that if you have been working for years as a published author, and you have that degree of sophistication, dexterity and confidence, then maybe sometimes yes. But for the majority of us who are not at that level... Many other authors, however, believe the opposite to be true, that reading and being well-read is essential to good writing, and it is this argument that I am exploring here...'
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'The English language is an arsenal of weapons. If you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or not they are loaded, you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.'

29 January 2024 - What's new

January 2024
  • 'As for a tip, the one I always recommend is to set yourself a daily word count quota - mine is 1,000 words - and hit it every day you're writing. You can always write more, of course. But extra words don't count against tomorrow's quota; you have to hit it afresh every day. For example, just this morning I wrote 1,500 words, which is great. But tomorrow I'll write at least another 1,000. While it sounds simple and obvious, it takes discipline to put this into practice day after day, month after month, year after year. But if you do the results can be extraordinary...' Anthony Johnston, author of The Dogsitter Detective series, Atomic Blonde (a graphic novel), The Explosion Code and three other thrillers, and The Organised Writer in Bookbrunch.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting Edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Our new series by a seasoned editor, The Pedant: how to make your editor happy, covers a range of subject-matter if you want to improve your writing and avoid common errors. The series covers Accents and dialects, Dialogue tags, The use of bold, italics and capital letters, Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts, The trouble with ‘as' and What's all the fuss over hyphens?
  • Links on writers' craft: how to build a relationship that not only leads to book sales but creates fans that stay with you for the long-term, Avoid Random Acts of Content | Jane Friedman; these days it really is possible to get published as there are multiple routes to seeing your book in the shops, How to get your book published, according to a top UK agent - The Big Issue; and you're going to succeed with non-fiction by doing podcast interviews, To Get on Podcasts, Create a Media Kit | Jane Friedman.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I cannot thank you enough!! Your editor has worked her magic and I am delighted with the results!! Please thank her for me, I really appreciate what she has done!' Wendy White.
  • Are you struggling to get someone to look at your poetry? Our Poetry Critique service for 150 lines of poetry can help. Our Poetry Collection Editing service, unique to WritersServices, edits your collection to prepare it for submission or self-publishing. Both can provide the professional editorial input you need.
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher and self-publishing may make a lot of sense. Getting your poetry published.
  • Links about social media and online services: Spotify said: "It's early days, but we're incredibly excited about what we're seeing since launching Audiobooks in Premium in the UK, Australia and the US three months ago, The Bookseller - News - Spotify pays 'tens of millions' to audiobooks publishers with Britney Spears' memoir the most listened to; in Britain, Japanese novels in English translation are experiencing a boom in popularity among a new generation, with word-of-mouth on social media driving book sales, TikTok and YouTube fuel a Japanese literature boom in Britain - The Japan Times.
  • The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2024 for a children's poem closes on 31 March. It is open to all poets across the world over the age of 16, as long as the poem is original and previously unpublished. Entry fee €15 per poem. The First Prize is €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Circle of Misse in France, Second Prize €500 and Third Prize €250.
  • Other Competitions which are still open.
  • If you aren't sure which service you want, Choosing a service gives you a chance to browse through what is available.
  • The My Say series gives writers a chance to write about their writing lives, so we have: My Say 7: Timothy Hallinan on the Writing Session, My Say 11 by Natasha Mostert, There are few things as satisfying as typing THE END to a manuscript and My Say 12 by Richard Hall: "Write about what you know" - does this adage always make sense? 'For those planning a contemporary novel it may be sound advice to write about what you know. But what about writers of historical novels? They cannot have personal knowledge of anything before the recent past. So for historical fiction should we take the adage to mean ‘know' in the sense of having academic knowledge of the subject, from reading and other research?...' Contributions should ideally be 300 to 500 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Links to writers' stories: The Mediterranean Caper was the debut novel by my father Clive Cussler, and introduced the indomitable character of Dirk Pitt, 50 Years of High Seas Adventures with Dirk Pitt ‹ CrimeReads; as it does for many, my obsession with Agatha Christie started young. I was ten or so when I picked up my first Christie, fresh off a self-prescribed course of Greek mythology, Agatha Christie's Final Mystery ‹ CrimeReads; and a murder mystery needs a detective, of course, and for Guinevere 'Gwinny' Tuffel I drew inspiration from the many amazing women, particularly older women, I've known in my life, Q&A: author Antony Johnston. (Also in this week's Comment.)
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • How to prepare your prelim pages. There is a set order for the pages at the beginning of a book (known in the business as 'prelims') and you will need to send them to the designer with the rest of the manuscript for them to work on if you are self-publishing. Here we provide detailed instructions for preparing your prelim pages, according to standard publishing practice.
  • Our final set of links are from the publishing and reading world: for many parents and educators, reading aloud doesn't feel natural at all, The Bookseller - Comment - Crisis of confidence; an unabashed celebration of the bestseller, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Moneyball; and how publishers dealt with long Covid, The Bookseller - News - Michael Rosen and Suzie Dooré reveal Long Covid impact while publishers are praised for support.
  • 'If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance...' Making submissions.
  • 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...' Working with an agent
  • 'The importance of developing a daily writing habit cannot be overstated. Even if you can only spare twenty minutes daily, consistent writing is the key to honing your skills, overcoming writer's block, and unlocking your creative potential.' Keidi Keating in our Writers' Quotes

 

15 January 2024 - What's new

January 2024

 

1 January 2024 - What's new

January 2024
  • ‘When the first books came out, I loved them. They were so different and they had Lisbeth Salander - a character that I, and a lot of women, could really relate to... My take is not less violent than the others - maybe it's even more violent, because I use violence differently. I have the female eye on it. And writing is sort of revenge for me, to dig into what happens to people who are exposed to violence...' Karin Smirnoff, who has picked up the reins from Lagercrantz for the next Scandi-noir instalment of the era-defining Millennium series, The Girl in the Eagle's Talons in the Bookseller.
  • The latest new version of Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk' Writersservices Self-Publishing Guide covers Ebooks: How to Sell Your Books on Amazon Revised. 'As we enter into the second decade of the self-publishing revolution, Amazon stands as an indomitable force, particularly in the realm of ebooks. If you're an indie author looking to connect with readers, having a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account is not just beneficial but an essential first step. For the uninitiated, KDP is your gateway to getting ebooks onto Amazon. It's a straightforward process that empowers authors to upload their creations, set their prices, and fine-tune categories and keywords to enhance discoverability...'
  • WritersServices offers a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you bring your work to a professional level of excellence. All our editing services offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. If you are not sure which of our editing services you require, we can assess your manuscript, and recommend the service that is most appropriate to your needs. Copy editing services. Get in touch to let us know how we can help.
  • Advice for writers - if you want to delve into the wealth of information on our huge site, here's the page which will help you find what you're looking for.
  • Our first set of links is about writers' craft: screenwriter, script consultant, and NCW Academy tutor Christabelle Dilks shares the aspects of creating compelling characters for film or television drama, How to develop engaging characters for screen | National Centre for Writing | NCW; Eli Cranor talks with today's top crime writers about craft, routine, and what gets them through the writing day, Shop Talk: A Year of Writing Advice and Stories from the Trenches ‹ CrimeReads; is a degree course the only option for someone who wants to be a professional author? Everything I wish I'd learned on my creative writing course; learn how to use the Save the Cat Beat Sheet to outline your plot, How to Plot with Save the Cat - The Art of Narrative; and when solving a problem feels like revealing a hidden connection beneath the skin of the world, Historical Research as Procedural ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction, is the second in our new five-part series, 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. This article will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction.'
  • Here's a detailed article on how to prepare Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript...'
  • It's not always so straightforward though. Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • Our second set of links are from the publishing world: suing for the unauthorized use of its intellectual property in the training of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, 'New York Times' Sues OpenAI, Microsoft for Copyright Infringement; publishers are beginning to dive into the new AI tools, exploring the edges, How Publishers Can Navigate the AI Revolution; the romance publishing veteran has made a top-tier publishing career out of finding and putting out romance novels across a span of subgenres, PW Notables 2023: Monique Patterson; and 'Technology has transformed publishing in every conceivable way, from how books are acquired to how they are printed, marketed, discovered, and sold' says PW veteran, Some Parting Words for the Book Biz from Jim Milliot.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'Please extend my gratitude to the editor for his/her thoughtful and detailed edit. I could not ask for better work! Its value far exceeded the cost.' Jim, Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA)
  • The Rubery Prize 2024 is closing on 31 March. It is open to all writers internationally who have published their work through a small press or self-published their work. The entry fee is £45, varying internationally. The First Prize is £2,000 plus £200 for four category winners. Every winner receives a glass plaque and all winners & shortlisted authors receive a write up.
  • There are three other competitions we've listed which are still open.
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for your publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Links to writers' stories: from a new biography, The Secret History of John le Carré's Career in the Intelligence Services ‹ CrimeReads; the author discusses his latest thriller and a career writing detective and espionage stories, The Bookseller - Author Interviews - Mick Herron | 'There's something about frustration and failure and career despair that really appeals to me when I'm writing'; and she was 15 when she first thought she might write a novel, Melanie Price works in London publishing but chooses to go it alone in her novel debut.
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • Don't give up the day job. Perhaps you've even been indulging in thinking about it as you lay on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel. But how practical is it? Is it something you can realistically aspire to, or just a distant fantasy? What are your chances of making your dream come true?
  • Get your poetry assessed before submitting it or entering it for competitions with our Poetry Critique service. If you're planning to submit a collection to publish or to self-publish, our unique Poetry Collection Editing service can help to get your work to a publishable standard.
  • Our final set of links starts with an interesting blog from a top blogger, Agents and Editors Aren't Always Right About Market Potential | Jane Friedman; the UK's beleaguered public libraries have been let down by years of indecision and delays over how to spend millions of pounds in funding earmarked for a nationwide website, Millions wasted on attempt to create nationwide UK library website, campaigners claim | Libraries | The Guardian; and, on a lighter note, How to Be Photographed: 12 Tips for Putting Your Best Writerly Face Forward ‹ Literary Hub.
  • Why has my manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. Here are some of the reasons why this happens and suggestions of what you can do about it. Avoiding rejection
  • From our Writers Quotes, 'And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.' Sylvia Plath

18 December 2023 - What's new

December 2023

4 December 2023 - What's new

December 2023
  • 'When I started writing in about 1990, publishers were very keen on the teenage market. They knew kids were spending money on music and that there were films for kids that age, but books somehow weren't quite happening. The fuss when Junk came out was because it really was a book for teenagers. If you're 14 or 15 or 16, of course you're thinking about sex and drugs and rock'n'roll, but there was a gap in what kids wanted to read and what was being produced for them; it was all right to pinch stuff surreptitiously from the adult world, but no adult was allowed to present it to you...' Melvin Burgess, author of YA classic Junk, Hunger and 12 other YA novels and a just-published adult novel, Loki.
  • Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk has undertaken a complete revision of her Self-publishing Guide, starting with What is Self-publishing? 'The landscape of self-publishing has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, making it almost unrecognizable from the days when it was considered an almost desperate choice for those who couldn't land a publishing deal. Now, there are many authors who go this way out of preference. As of the current date (November 2023), the term 'indie author' is mainstream, reflecting a shift in mindset - the realization that achieving professional publishing standards no longer demands a traditional publishing house, and it also need not be an entirely solo endeavour...' This updated series will roll out every two weeks and is perfect if you are considering self-publishing but don't know how to go about it.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Links about children and children's writing: the books we read as kids often stick with us more than any others, Do You Believe in Magic? On The Timeless Charm of Children's Books ‹ Literary Hub; a third of children's books in the UK now 'feature a racially minoritised character', Children's publishers turning the tide on ethnic representation; and more on this story, The Bookseller - News - CLPE report shows 'remarkable' rise in inclusive representation in kids' books.
  • 'The outcome of my experience with Writerservices has far exceeded my expectation and I was amazed by their professionalism, hard work, knowledge and keenness to edit my manuscript of the novel, "Uncle Thesiger's Mashhuf", in every detail, thereby ensuring it will appeal to English readers. Their services are very helpful to all writers.' Ammar Al Thuwaini, an Iraqi novelist and translator in our Endorsements page.
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for your publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • Links for writers: genre is a confining madness; it says nothing about how writers write or readers read, and everything about how publishers, retailers and commentators would like them to, The big idea: should we abolish literary genres? | Publishing | The Guardian; a novel approach to social media, Why This Ghostwriter Loves His Haters; 'I'm a big planner, and before I start writing a novel I like to know how it's going to start and end, and the main twists and turns of the story', Nielsen Bestseller Award winner: Jackie Kabler, author of The Perfect Couple (One More Chapter); and how to write a blurb or brief description, Writing a Really Short Book Description Is Harder Than It Looks | Jane Friedman.
  • Are you having difficulty writing your own blurb for self-publishing or your synopsis for submission? A lot of writers have this is problem but our services can help.
  • 'So you want to write fantasy or science fiction? You are in good company, as many of the writers who come to WritersServices are writing fantasy, with science fiction as a less popular choice. Science fiction was an important category during much of the twentieth century, with a growing cult audience, until it was overtaken by fantasy. It's often seen as more cerebral, a way of trying out new ideas of the future or other worlds. These days there's a relatively small demand for new science fiction writing, and you have to have a distinctive voice and something interesting to say to stand much chance of getting published...' Writing science fiction and fantasy
  • Links from the publishing world: the UK books market's volume sales this autumn have slid 8% compared with 2022, The Bookseller - News - Missing ingredients: Christmas run-in hit by slumping big brands; publishing attracts people who love books, reading, and ideas, but for many Black professionals in publishing, there's a disconnect between the love of the medium and their work experiences, Fixing Racism in the Book Business; creators reflect on another year on the platform and look ahead to 2024, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: looking to the future; and, more on BookTok, how do booksellers keep up with the latest trends in a fast-changing world? BookTok: was the UAE first to catch on?
  • If you're aiming at traditional publishing, Finding an agent and Working with an agent are two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship: 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year, but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service helps you work out which is the right editorial service for you.
  • A miscellany of links: a book found at a bookshop café at the end of a single-track road near Ullapool in Scotland, Harry Potter book from Highland bookshop could sell for £60,000 - BBC News; you only have to look at the extent of the global reach of the winner the day after to see what a big deal it has become internationally, Booker Prize: onwards and upwards; and agent extraordinaire, with interviews a-go-go, reminding us that he's a risk-taker, a rebel, a renegade, a shocker, a rocker, defender of those who are big enough to defend themselves, picker of fights and settler of scores, Wearing purple: Andrew Wylie visionary, myth maker, game changer, maverick or irrelevance?
  • For a more down-to-earth and practical account, How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...'
  • Our latest new service, Developmental editing. If you are a new writer, setting out on your first book project, or a more experienced writer who wants to improve your skills, this service is for you. We will work with you to identify the areas where you need to develop new or better skills.
  • From our Quotes page, Paula Danziger: 'Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don't forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.'
  • If you enjoy keeping up with What's New, you can sign up for our newsletter to be emailed to you every two weeks.

20 November 2023 - What's new

November 2023
  • ‘My success, I believe, stems from a combination of factors. Firstly, the freedom of self-publishing allowed me to explore and cater to my niche without being constrained by traditional publishing expectations. This direct connexion to readers, without intermediaries, provided invaluable feedback, enabling me to refine and better my work. Secondly, being proactive in leveraging social media and other marketing tools has enabled me to build a strong reader community. Authenticity and a strong personal connection with my audience have been key...' L J Ross, author of 29 books, including 20 books in the J C Ryan series, 4 in the Dr Alex Gregory series and 4 in the Summer Suspense series, in an article entitled 'The Freedom of Self-publishing' in the Bookseller.
  • In the eighth article in our Ask the Editor series the editor writes: 'Assessing a manuscript for editing is a skill all of its own. Individual editors may have different routines for assessing a text but we are all aiming for the same goal; a realistic grasp of the work that's required to bring a book up to a professional finish. In this article, I'll explain how I go about assessing editing jobs, and why... The condition of the manuscript tends to influence an editor's assessment and, more to the point, it influences estimates of fees. If I know I have to spend a lot of time and effort fixing basic errors, that time will be reflected in the price. On the other hand, if I'm looking at a clean text, I know I can move on to a more advanced reading. I feel like I'm dealing with a more professional writer...'
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right.
  • Our first set of links are from the publishing world: on AI, the issue of the day, Self-Publishing Writers and Publishers Weigh In On the Use of A.I. | Observer; how listening to an audiobook compares with reading a physical book on the platform, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: the rise of audio? Amid historic disruption in the publishing industry, big questions are - rightfully - being asked, What's the Future of Books? The book-tracking platform is coming under fire for its decision to eliminate several categories, Goodreads Awards Category Removal Sparks Outcry.
  • The Selfies Book Awards UK 2024 have just opened. Authors who have self-published adult fiction, children's fiction or adult non-fiction in the UK between January and December 2023 are eligible. The entry fee is £35 per title to include a six-month subscription to Bookbrunch and there is a £750 cash prize for each category plus other prizes. Closing on 7 January 2024.
  • So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction. The Cutting edit is just one of our eight copy editing services.
  • The last part of our series An Editor's Advice deals with Manuscript Presentation: typefaces, layouts, page numbers, putting your material into one document and spell-checkers. 'So far, in these columns, I've been talking about the nuts and bolts of writing, and about the ways in which people come unstuck in terms of content. This time, I want to talk about the ways writers can make life easier for editors and readers like me. Considering the reams of advice that exist about how to lay out a manuscript I find it truly staggering that many writers still seem to have no clue about how to do it...'
  • Links relating to writers' issues: writers consider the threats and thrilling possibilities of artificial intelligence, ‘It is a beast that needs to be tamed': leading novelists on how AI could rewrite the future | Books | The Guardian; five important insights from the first cohort of Orion's debut writers' academy, The Bookseller - Comment - How to help debut writers fly; "If I'm not just supporting myself by writing, to those who don't know the reality of it, it seems like it's a failure in some way." Why It's Never Been Harder to Make a Living as a Writer; and a concern for all writers, NEA Finds Worrying Drop in Reading Participation.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘WritersServices editors are not just excellent professionals, they are persons of letters involved in helping the writers who are trying to enter in the world of British books... I am impressed. I am grateful. I'm delighted. Thank you so much.' Daniela Stanciulescu, Paris.
  • An essential read for children's authors is Suzy Jenvey's special series for WritersServices, the four-part Essential Guide to Writing for Children. The first article looks at the all-important question of age groups and what you should be aware of in writing for each one. The second part is Before You Write: What is My Story Going to be? The third part deals with Starting to Write and the fourth part is about Submitting Your Work to Agents and Editors. This series by a hugely experienced children's editorial director and agent helps you get started on your own story or develop what you're already working on.
  • Our Children's Editorial Services offer three levels of report and copy editing from specialist children's editors. Use their expertise to help get your work ready for publication in this tricky but potentially huge market.
  • Links on writers' craft: my friend insisted anyone can train themselves to discern fast speech, How to Read (and Retain) Research Material in Less than Half of Your Usual Time | Jane Friedman; it may just be a perfect antidote to these charged times, Why Historical Fiction Is Going Mainstream; what is it about true crime that keeps me coming back to the well again and again? Showing the Human in the Inhumane: Why Lindsay Hunter Loves True Crime ‹ Literary Hub; and a wonderful resource for British poets, providing details of small presses and poetry magazines you can submit your work to, Where to Submit Your Poetry in 2023-2024 • Poetry School.
  • If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance. Making submissions
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • Rotten Rejections provides a note of the things publishers wish they'd never said: on Animal Farm by George Orwell ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA' and Carrie by Stephen King 'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'
  • Our final set of links are to writers' stories: how one bestselling author rode the literary roller coaster through rejections and into a career, My First Thriller: Joseph Finder ‹ CrimeReads; my name has always felt, somehow, apart from me, M.C. Benner Dixon on Creating Persuasive Metaphors ‹ Literary Hub; Ashleigh Nugent on his transition from criminal with one GCSE to BA Hons, acclaimed writer and mentor, It all starts with your story; and three titles selling a million copies between them, Nielsen Bestseller Award winner: Mark Billingham.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are you now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is a helpful outline of the processes involved. Preparing for publication
  • 'Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.' Wise words from Anon in our Writers' Quotes.

6 November 2023 - What's new

November 2023
  • ‘There's a kind of uncertainty among young writers about what they're allowed to write about. Not only for political reasons but also for social and cultural reasons. And I worry about that because my view is that everybody can write about everything. If that's not true then the art of the novel ceases to exist. The question is whether they do it well or badly and to my mind that's the only question...' Salman Rushdie, author of 20 books, including Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, the Ground Beneath Her Feet and Quichotte, in The Times.
  • The next part in our new series Ask the Editor is Researching for a Book: 'Writing a non-fiction book is a very different project to writing a novel; the motivation, purpose, style and approach are quite distinct. ‘Non-fiction', of course, covers a wide range of genres and formats; however, there are some principles that apply across the board. In this article I will explore some of the basic requirements in writing a non-fiction book. The reasons for writing a non-fiction book fall into four broad categories...'
  • This is the seventh article in the Ask the Editor series, which has been written in response to queries from writers.
  • WritersServices offers a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you bring your work to a professional level of excellence. All our editing services offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. If you are not sure which of our editing services you require, we can assess your manuscript, and recommend the service that is most appropriate to your needs. Copy editing services. Get in touch to let us know how we can help.
  • Our publishing and printing glossary is a useful reference tool.
  • Our first set of links focus on writers' craft: from the king of anthologisers, Maxim Jakubowski, Confessions of a Serial Anthology Editor ‹ CrimeReads; the hyper-realistic, blood and guts style of novels about hard-bitten detectives with drink problems, broken marriages and potty mouths is giving way to something different, Cosy, but still crime; what JR, Alexis, and Domingue Taught this Mystery Writer, Finding Inspiration for Mystery Fiction in Soap Operas ‹ CrimeReads; and Louis Ferrante recalls the meeting with George Weidenfeld that led to a seven-year writing project, I was a mafioso. Now I'm a mafia historian.
  • Open to writers resident in the UK or Ireland, the new Prototype Publishing Prize has no entry fee. The prizes are £3,000 plus publication by Prototype for the the best book-length project and £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books for the best proposal for a short-form work. The Prize will be open and will close in January.
  • Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction is the second in our new five-part Worldbuilding series: 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. This article will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction.'
  • Other articles in the series cover character names in fantasy novels, geography and physical location, technology and culture.
  • Links from the publishing world: to protect the human creativity and knowledge that underpins safe and reliable AI, the UK's publishers, authors, agents, and ALCS join forces, Top UK Publishing Organizations on AI Protection; some 20 individuals have been accused of scamming authors by falsely claiming an affiliation with Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Sues Scammers Targeting Authors; the UK shadow chancellor's new book has come under scrutiny for lifting passages of text from other sources without acknowledgment, How common is plagiarism in the publishing industry? | Plagiarism | The Guardian; and private equity firm KKR emerged as the winning bidder after Penguin Random House's acquisition for S&S was blocked by the government in late 2022, now KKR Completes Purchase of Simon & Schuster.
  • This week's Endorsement comes from Sally Gibbins from Birmingham in the UK and is about her children's copy editing: 'I am delighted with the feedback and so pleased with all the great suggestions which were so much more than I expected. A really brilliant service.'
  • The fifth part in the series An Editor's advice deals with Points of view - who's telling this story? 'Not so long ago, I read what ought to have been a really exciting novel filled with drama, action, treachery and romance. Or it would have been but for one thing. I saw none of this drama, I only heard about it later. Why was that? It was because the author had decided to use a first-person viewpoint character and, unfortunately ‘I' was nowhere near any of the action. In fact, ‘I' was in a bunker halfway up a mountainside, having rather a dull time of it all while mayhem broke out elsewhere. As the reader, I had to stick with ‘I' and likewise, I had a pretty boring time...'
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. can help you work out which service is right for you. Choosing a service
  • Some links about reading and audiobooks: it feels like we live in an era of constant distraction, but the truth is more complex, The big idea: are our short attention spans really getting shorter? | Society books | The Guardian; and the prospect of reading a book filled me with anxiety and shame. But an ADHD diagnosis changed everything, Swapping books for audiobooks has reignited my love of literature | Verity Babbs | The Guardian.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our English Language Editing Service is specially designed to help non-native speakers of English to find success in the international publishing market. With the rapid rise of English as a world language, an increasing number of authors who are not native English speakers, or who speak English as a second language, are writing in English. If English is not your native language, you may require extra help to take your work to a professional standard. Our specialist editors have years of experience working with authors writing in English as a second language. We can help you to bring your work to a native level of fluency, and a professional level of excellence.
  • We all know that computers can do everything far better than mere humans, right? Those who argue the point are usually labelled as luddites or technophobes. In this computer age we are (understandably) turning more and more tasks over to computers... So where does this leave the humble index? Do we even need an index, some ask? In the days of full-text searching (the method by which a computer searches text for specific words, similar to a search engine such as Google), why do we need the human touch at all? Very few works of non-fiction can do without an index of some description. From the simple cookery book to the mammoth legal tome, each book has a reader, and each reader will at some point want to look something up in the book. The Ins and Outs of Indexing
  • Our final set of links is to writers' stories: whilst earning enough to pay the bills is a perfectly valid colloquialism for "an amount of money that emotionally balances the time and effort I've put in," why not aim for a life-changing amount of money? Earn Six Figures as a Writer With This One Weird Trick | Jane Friedman; two decades after Christopher Paolini self-published his debut book, Eragon, which launched The Inheritance Cycle, A New Fantasy and a 20th Anniversary for Christopher Paolini; celebrity memoir can still break all records, Britney Spears's 'The Woman in Me' Sells More Than 1 Million Copies; and 'My journey to publication was a rough one with tons of rejections (70+) along the way', Q&A: author Lola Akinmade Åkerström.
  • Writers' stories - they're just a bit of fun, but in a rare moment of inspiration we wrote some fictionalised stories of how the services could turn out, to give you a better idea of how they might work for you. Joe's fantasy novel benefited from some professional editing, when he signed up for an Editor's Report Plus. Tony needed Copy editing to get his manuscript into shape for publication or self-publishing.
  • In our Writers' Quotes, Margaret Atwood: 'Your job is to make your novel the best of its kind that it can be.'
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

23 October 2023 - What's new

October 2023


9 October 2023 - What's new

October 2023
  • ‘When you read as a child you are hungry for ideas and for books and for stories like no other time in your life and I think we have such a duty not to offer the hungry anything that is thin, or vapid or fishy or complacent or poorly thought out or lazy or careless. I am very happy to belong to a community that rises to that call...' Speaking about her latest children's novel Impossible Creatures, where all the creatures from myth and legend live on an archipelago. ‘It is about these creatures, it is about a cornucopia of wonder and about the idea of what it would be like, if it was really real... Fantasy can be such a beautiful way to talk to children about the biggest question of what it means to be alive...' Katherine Rundell, author of six children's novels, including Rooftoppers, The Explorer and recently published Impossible Creatures, at the Bookseller's Children's conference, in the Bookseller.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Ask the Editor 5: Non-fiction submissions is the new article in this series. 'Submitting a non-fiction book for publication is a broadly similar process to a fiction submission, but there are differences, and those differences are important to understand. In this article, I will look at non-fiction submissions and how they differ from their fictional counterparts. One fundamental difference is that non-fiction books are quite often submitted to a publisher when they are still unfinished! Some non-fiction publishers, particularly those that cater to new or amateur writers, prefer a proposal to a finished book...'
  • There are four other articles in this series: Ask the Editor 1: What genre is my book? Ask the Editor 2: the submission letter, Ask the Editor 3: Writing a synopsis and Ask the Editor 4: Why do I need you? (about editing services)
  • Links from the publishing world (quiet at the moment as publishers prepare for the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two.): all those wizards, ogres, and barely-clad elf queens in the bookstore? You have Lester del Rey to thank, Lester del Rey invented the fantasy genre in book publishing; in the UK 41.9 million children's books sold for £255.8m up to 9th September, The Bookseller - Bestsellers - Children's market heading for second biggest full year on record; and after nine years as MD of Atlantic Books, Questions for: Will Atkinson.
  • National Novel Writing Month 2023 is coming up! NaNoWriMo starts on 1 November and is open to all writers across the world. There's no entry fee and you win by writing a 50,000 word novel. Accept the challenge and for 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to silence your inner critic, let your imagination take over, and just create!
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • If you are Writing for the web, you have to grab your readers online. Writing effectively for the web is quite different from writing for the printed page. Writers intending to write web pages should observe some simple rules if they want to attract and keep visitors to their pages.
  • Links about writers' craft: a brief tour of the Churchill War Rooms, the underground bunker from which Churchill directed his war efforts, How a Trip to a Museum Turned into the Perfect Start to a Mystery ‹ CrimeReads; 'No two imaginations work in the same way. As I travel alongside each new student, I discover more about the myriad ways a mind can work, and where it can go', Q&A: novelist Maureen Freely; along with prologues, adverbs and semicolons, flashbacks may be the most vilified - and most misunderstood - of storytelling devices, The Flashback: A Greatly Misunderstood Storytelling Device | Jane Friedman; and writing an authorised biography, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub biography: the inside story.
  • Editor's advice 3 deals with Genre writing: 'Go into any high street bookstore and the shelves are heaving with genre novels. Most people read genre novels somewhere along the way, and genre novels are what most people, intentionally or not, set out to write. The intentional thought process goes something like this: there are loads of genre novels being published, ergo, there's a market for genre novels, so I'll read a couple of these, get a feel for what's needed, and hey presto, I too can knock out a few genre novels and make some money as well... I've been reading science fiction, fantasy and crime novels since I was a teenager, and I can spot when a writer doesn't fully understand the mechanics of their chosen genre. It may not matter to a casual reader but it really matters to the fans...'
  • From our Endorsements page: 'The outcome of my experience with Writerservices has far exceeded my expectation and I was amazed by their professionalism, hard work, knowledge and keenness to edit my manuscript of the novel, "Uncle Thesiger's Mashhuf", in every detail, thereby ensuring it will appeal to English readers. Their services are very helpful to all writers', Ammar Al Thuwaini, an Iraqi novelist and translator.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 22 editorial services for writers, which we think is the biggest and most comprehensive you can find on the internet.
  • Advice for writers - if you want to delve into the wealth of information on our huge site, here's the page which will help you find what you're looking for.
  • Links to articles about AI and social media: an attorney examines what artificial intelligence will mean for the publishing industry, Generative AI vs. Copyright; "We have to carefully navigate and regulate to protect authors," for "if we lose [the copyright protection battle], we lose everything". The Bookseller - Comment - 'Exciting and scary' world of AI explored in PW event; hoping to jump-start its push into audiobooks, Spotify Premium Subscribers Can Access 15 Hours of Audiobooks Monthly; and digital audio has been a bright spot for publishers, growing by double-digits year over year, Can Spotify Take Digital Audiobooks to the Next Level?
  • The Writer's Edit is an enhanced editing package that offers you all the benefits of our expert copy editing service, plus an extra level of advice and support to help you take your writing to a new level. We will copy edit your manuscript to our usual professional standard, but in addition we will offer you a line-by-line edit specifically designed to improve your style, structure and form, and a set of guidance notes, giving commentary and advice.
  • Our seven-part Health Hazards series deals with the dangers facing writers as they spend hours at their computer, including the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Prevention is better than cure, so it's worth making yourself aware of the risks as soon as you feel the first twinge and taking action to avoid things deteriorating.
  • Links to writers' stories: a bestselling crime novelist has been forced to deny claims that she tricked readers into buying books she didn't write herself, Sweden's ‘queen of Noir' Camilla Läckberg accused of using a ghostwriter | Publishing | The Guardian; following the posthumous release of his final few novels, there could never again be a new book from the master, until Terry Pratchett: Remarkable way lost stories were found by fans; in the eighth decade of my life I am pondering the wisdom of writing a very personal memoir, Is It Worthwhile to Write My Memoir, Especially If a Publishing Deal Is Unlikely? | Jane Friedman; and a shocking new US Authors Guild survey finds that median book and writing-related income for authors in 2022 was below the poverty level, Writing Books Remains a Tough Way to Make a Living.
  • So you want to be a romance writer? You've made an interesting choice because, although a lot of people scoff at romance, it is the most stable genre of all and has continued to keep its faithful readers when other categories have changed radically and sometimes lost their audiences. Romance has changed a bit in recent years and embraced a more complex story, sometimes with more explicit sex in it, but essentially this is a category which marches on, providing happy endings, when all around it the world has changed. Writing Romance
  • '[As a writer] you have to have the three D's: drive, discipline and desire. If you're missing any one of those three, you can have all the talent in the world, but it's going to be really hard to get anything done.' Nora Roberts in our Writers' Quotes.

25 September 2023 - What's new

September 2023

11 September 2023 - What's new

September 2023
  • ‘With the rise of a new genre, we've seen a lot of readers determined to label what qualifies as 'cosy fantasy'. Meanwhile, I'm out there writing dragon attacks that almost kill my main character, so... I really don't have a definition. This genre seems to be all about the vibes, and that's different for everyone. My goal when I write cosy is to focus on plots that wouldn't be 'exciting enough' if I were to write them in earnest: a satirical pirate romp, the chaos of a wedding, or just characters opening the shop of their dreams. A quiet cup of tea and a sweet love story can remind us to sit calmly and be quiet with our thoughts, which is something I feel is very needed in this chaotic world.' Rebecca Thorne, author of Can't Spell Treason Without Tea, A Pirate's Life for Tea, This Gilded Abyss and a children's book, The Secrets of Star Whales in Bookbrunch.
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our new top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • The Moth Nature Writing Prize 2023 is open to anyone over the age of 16 with an unpublished piece of nature writing. The entry fee is €15 per entry. The First Prize is €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Circle of Misse in France, the Second Prize is €500 and the Third Prize €250. This Prize closes on 30 September.
  • You'll have to be fast to enter the Mslexia Women's Fiction Competitions 2023, closing on 18 September.
  • Our editor Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor. offers An Editor's Advice on Dialogue: 'Picture the scene; I have just settled down to read a manuscript. Character A has come to visit Character B about an important matter. Character B is a friendly soul and offers A a cup of tea. Milk? Yes, please. Sugar? Just a small spoonful, thanks. Or would A prefer a cup of coffee, it wouldn't take a moment. Biscuit? Oh, go on then. Digestive or Rich Tea? A and B witter aimlessly for several pages about beverages and baked goods, while the fate of world peace hangs on B giving A a vital clue. Which clearly isn't going to happen for another four or five pages...'
  • Links from writers: the hard-boiled novel, James Ellroy Reveals the Real Reason He Writes ‹ CrimeReads; a project that now delivers thousands of books to British jails, How I turned prisoners' misery into reading pleasure: the brilliant story of Bang Up Books | Books | The Guardian; the author who spent the second half of his career fighting for authors' right to privacy, Phonies: J.D. Salinger and Wielding Copyright as Self-Protection ‹ CrimeReads; writers have more interaction with readers than ever before, and superfans aren't afraid to share their opinions online, ‘It's equal parts exciting and terrifying': how authors are being influenced by their fans | Books | The Guardian; and who is this American poet, born in San Francisco in 1942? The Paris Review - Apparently Personal: On Sharon Olds - The Paris Review.
  • Sally Gibbins in our Endorsements page: 'I am delighted with the feedback and so pleased with all the great suggestions which were so much more than I expected. A really brilliant service.' Sally Gibbins , Birmingham, UK, on her children's copy editing.'
  • If you are looking for copy editing online, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript... Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing or know much about what is involved. It is in any case notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish. Copy editing services
  • 'So you want to write historical fiction? Well, your timing is good, because historical fiction is fashionable again after many years in the doldrums. In fact it's so popular that it has virtually reinvented itself as a category... Older readers may have read Anya Seton, Rosemary Sutcliff, Henry Treece, Mary Renault, Norah Lofts and other stalwarts of historical fiction in their younger days, but many of their books have been out of print or just not very visible, replaced on booksellers' shelves by other categories such as fantasy and crime. The resurgence of historical fiction has been much appreciated by readers who have always enjoyed it and who for many years have had little new material to read...' Writing Historical Fiction.
  • Links from the publishing world: it's been a standout success for the book industry over the past few years, Thriving on Change: Current Developments in Audio; in a surprise move, The Bookseller - News - Amazon revises KDP guidelines to compel disclosure of AI content.
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for your publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Working with an agent: 'Don't ever take on an agent you don't like or don't trust, however desperate you may feel. You have to be able to work with them in what should be an extremely important relationship for you as a writer. You must also feel confident that they are competent, enthusiastic about your work and can be trusted, both in terms of the advice they offer and in relation to handling your money...'
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • More writers' links: a good deal of time is spent in writing workshops talking about first sentences, What Makes a Great First Sentence? ‹ Literary Hub; the industry body has spoken out against the practice, Society of Authors calls use of bad reviews for book blurbs ‘morally questionable' | Books | The Guardian; I am like a magpie when it comes to developing a story, shamelessly borrowing from and building on whatever I see and hear, The Writer as Magpie ‹ CrimeReads; gradually, things started to go off the rails, Goodreads Is Terrible for Books. Why Can't We All Quit It? | The Walrus; and we choose our spouses, but their families come as a package deal, The Mother-In-Law From Hell ‹ CrimeReads.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • A miscellany of links: an alarming survey The Bookseller - News - National Literacy Trust calls for urgent action as children's reading enjoyment at ‘record low'; a distinguished publisher and an embarassing subject, The plot to suppress the truth about Unity Mitford; across the US, books and lessons that represent different families and identities are increasingly the target of conservative pushback, Bans on diverse picture books? Young kids need to see their families represented, experts say | AP News; print has been dead for as long as I've been at The Bookseller, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Come the revolution; and the lowdown on literary estates from the co-head of Curtis BrownSee Curtis Brown listing Heritage, Questions for: Becky Brown.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market, using our English Language Editing service.
  • 'Part of writing a novel is being willing to leap into the blackness. You have very little idea, really, of what's going to happen. You have a broad sense, maybe, but it's this rash leap.' Chang-Rae Lee in our Writers' Quotes.

28 August 2023 - What's new

August 2023
  • ‘I think I'm a bit of an accidental short story writer... the model I absorbed for a writing career was that you hone your craft learning the art of the short story and then you, effectively, graduate to writing novels... What I like about short stories is that they offer infinite possibilities for play. Experimentation in a novel can get exhausting, but the brevity of the short form means you can attempt some zany things and not overstay your welcome in your readers' heads. That's kind of how they function for me: as playgrounds and laboratories to try things out, test ideas, discover answers I didn't expect, and explore.' Malachi McIntosh, former editor of the magazine Wasafiri, whose first collection of stories, Parables, Fables, Nightmares is published by The Emma Press in September, in the Bookseller.
  • Our new six-part series The Pedant: how to make your editor happy deals with dialogue tags, accents, formats and fonts, the trouble with 'as', the problems with hyphens and the use of bold, italics and capital letters: 'There are times when, no matter how well you write, you need typographical support to emphasise a point. English is a wonderfully flexible and suggestive language, but it can't do everything by itself, and replacing plain type with, for instance, italics, can really help the reader to understand what's happening in your story. In this article, we will look at the use of these non-standard fonts and suggest a few simple rules of thumb. Let's start with bold face type. In recent years, I've seen quite a lot of writing that incorporates bold type and, I have to say, I don't think it works...' If you want to improve your written English, this series is for you.
  • Here's an unusual competition: The First Graphic Novel Award is open to UK residents only. The entry fee is £10 and the Prize is first option for publication by SelfMadeHero. It closes on 14 September 2023, so you'll need to move fast to get your material together to enter this one.
  • Our 22 Services for Writers offers links to all our editorial services - the biggest range on the web.
  • Links on writers' craft: if you want to be the person who supports yourself with your writing career, then it's time to take a good look at money, Pay Yourself to Write | Jane Friedman; 'it's so tempting, after coming up with an idea, to immediately sit down and start to write, but writing the script isn't the work', The five hardest scriptwriting lessons to learn | National Centre for Writing | NCW; novelist Anita Frank on how she created the eerie setting in her new novel, Strange hostility and unsettling houses: how setting creates atmosphere; not everyone delights in blood and gore and that's where cozies come in, The Enduring Appeal of Cozy Mysteries ‹ CrimeReads.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘A wonderfully detailed and helpful report. The editorial advice and knowledge sharing is extensive and generous. Your editor has identified the points where and why my novel falls short and provided clear and practical advice on how to remedy the shortfalls... I would not hesitate to recommend your service to other writers both in terms of output and value for money.' Elspeth, UK
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...' A short but clear summary of what agents do.
  • More links on ChatGPt and social media: frustrated with my progress on a third full revision and still dancing around my novel's central story question, I turned to ChatGPT, I Hired ChatGPT As My Writing Coach | Jane Friedman; we don't just love books for their text, but for the complex humans behind them, The Bookseller - Comment - Why AI can't compete with authors; adult fiction has been publishing's steadiest-selling category for the past 18 months, BookTok Helped Book Sales Soar. How Long Will That Last? What do you get when you combine artificial intelligence with human stupidity? Can't decide which books to ban? Leave it to ChatGPT! | Arwa Mahdawi | The Guardian.
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Lynda Finn about the isolation of New Zealand writers and their problems with getting published, British author Eliza Graham, author of Playing with the Moon, on her route to publication and Zoe Jenny, who is Swiss, on writing in English and why it was liberating. Send us your contributions, ideally 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Advice for writers gives you access to the massive amount of information available on the site, which currently consists of 9,385 pages.
  • Don't give up the day job. Perhaps you've even been indulging in thinking about it as you lay on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel. But how practical is it? Is it something you can realistically aspire to, or just a distant fantasy? What are your chances of making your dream come true?
  • Links from the publishing world in its summer lull: The Knights Of editorial director on how the industry has changed since her first job, Questions for: Eishar Brar; and Amazon is already facing a potential lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, but now Authors call on FTC to investigate Amazon's alleged monopoly in the bookselling industry - The Verge.
  • So you want to write fantasy or science fiction? You are in good company, as many of the writers who come to WritersServices are writing fantasy, with science fiction as a less popular choice. Science fiction was an important category during much of the twentieth century, with a growing cult audience, until it was overtaken by fantasy. It's often seen as more cerebral, a way of trying out new ideas of the future or other worlds. These days there's a relatively small demand for new science fiction writing, and you have to have a distinctive voice and something interesting to say to stand much chance of getting published. Writing science fiction and fantasy
  • Choosing a service is our longer guide to what our different services offer.
  • In Writing for Children: Rule Number One a highly experienced children's editor explains why she thinks reading is so important for all authors. As Stephen King says: 'If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.'
  • Links to writers' stories: between 2010 and 2019, one of every seven crime novels published was by a single author - James Patterson, My First Thriller: James Patterson ‹ CrimeReads; the legend of King Arthur is to Britain what the Wild West is to the USA: our preeminent founding myth, Wherefore Art Thou Arthur?: On What Lies Behind Our National Myths and Legends ‹ Literary Hub; from the first two-time winner of the Selfies Awards, The Selfies questions for 2023 fiction winner Halima Khatun; and UK publishers donate to support libraries, Book Aid International to ship 25,000 books to Ukraine.
  • Prolific British crime-writer Elly Griffiths in our Writers' Quotes: ‘For me it always starts with the characters, and I hope that the characters take me to the plot - that's the plan, anyhow. I just start with a few ideas and hope it works out. I suppose if having written 28 books has taught me anything, it's that it might work out in the end.'

14 August 2023 - What's new

August 2023
  • 'Lots of people ask me for advice on getting published. All I can really offer however is what happened to me. I wrote my first novel while working full time as a journalist. The first draft took me about year to complete and while it was dreadful (it had characters changing name in the middle of a sentence and had plot holes you could drive an articulated lorry through) it was at the same time a complete novel, something I could work on, fix and improve, which is exactly what I did... After a long wait I received a rejection followed by another rejection and then just as I was beginning to lose hope the third agent got back to me and informed me that she loved the book. We worked on the manuscript together for three months ironing out the creases before sending it to seven publishers on a gloomy Friday afternoon in October...' Mike Gayle, author of 17 novels, including My Legendary Girlfriend, Wish You were Here and All the Lonely People, on his website.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Closing on 18 September and open only to women writers across the world, the Mslexia Women's Fiction Competitions 2023 are well worth entering. The prizes are various and entry is for Novels, Short Fiction and Flash Fiction.
  • Our first set of links are on tech, AI and social media: screenwriters, actors, authors, and artists are fighting to ensure that human beings are not shunted to the margins of our culture, Hollywood's Fight Against A.I. Will Affect Us All | The New Republic; what if AI could help us visualize what fairy tales for the climate crisis could actually look like? Orion Magazine - We Tried to Create AI Fairy Tale Art. Results Were Mixed; TikTok recommendations are driving sales and launching authors' careers as the social media app continues to reshape the industry, ‘I can't stress how much BookTok sells': teen literary influencers swaying publishers | Books | The Guardian; BookTok is beloved as a guerrilla democratizing force, but the platform's pivot risks killing the thing that makes it great, TikTok Is Becoming a Publisher. Will It Ruin the Book Industry? | The Walrus; and YouTube is the most popular way of discovering books online for young adults, The Bookseller - News - YouTube narrowly beats TikTok for young adults discovering books online, according to Nielsen report.
  • Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction, the second in our new series, 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. This article will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction.'
  • WritersServices offers a comprehensive range of editorial services for authors writing for the children's book market. All our services are carried out to the highest professional standard, and offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. Writing for children is not an easy option. It requires sound writing skills, originality, a clear understanding of the target audience and a good grasp of the market. Our expert editors are specialists in writing for children, and they will help you make your work the best it can be. Children's Editorial Services.
  • ‘A wonderfully detailed and helpful report. The editorial advice and knowledge sharing is extensive and generous. Your editor has identified the points where and why my novel falls short and provided clear and practical advice on how to remedy the shortfalls... I would not hesitate to recommend your service to other writers both in terms of output and value for money.' Elspeth, UK, on our Endorsements page.
  • Links to writers' stories: I'm a writer who also works in publishing, Seeing Novels from Both the Writing and Publishing Sides; a children's writer who's a legend, ‘I wanted to be No 1. But a certain JK Rowling came along': Jacqueline Wilson on rivalry, censorship - and love | Jacqueline Wilson | The Guardian; and now making her adult debut after YA success, The Bookseller - Author Interviews - Cassandra Clare| 'I want the characters to drive the story not the magic';
  • From Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk, The Business of Writing for Self-publishing authors offers terrific advice for all writers: 'Self-publishing authors - also known as ‘indie' authors or author-publishers - have had a steep learning curve these past few years. Getting to grips with the various sales channels available to them, producing top quality ebooks and paperbacks, and finding a place in mainstream outlets have left many writers struggling to keep up with the paperwork. What follows is a brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right.
  • Links from the publishing world: Paramount Global has agreed to sell S&S to one of the world's largest investment firms, The Bookseller - Comment - The questions raised by KKR's S&S buy; some in the industry will welcome it as putting at least a temporary stop to industry consolidation, KKR Wins S&S for $1.62 Billion; and copyright infringement case appears headed toward final phase of the litigation, Judgment Phase of Internet Archive Copyright Case Appears Imminent.
  • If you're aiming at traditional publishing, Finding an agent and Working with an agent are two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship: 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year, but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our final set of links from writers: "Are you a volunteer?" "No. I'm a passenger," I told her. She was mortified because it was clear to us both that she had assumed that I - a young brown woman - was a member of staff, Breaking into cliquey crime fiction; the independence of self-publishing, The Selfies questions for 2023 non fiction winner Sarah Ziegel; 'What strikes me after almost 25 years in the industry is that publishing and bookselling still attract enthusiastic, occasionally eccentric people who love and understand books', Q&A: bestselling novelist John Connolly; and writing for the golden age of childrens's writing, The Shifting Middle Grade Market.
  • 'Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.' Stephen King in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

31 July 2023 - What's new

July 2023
  • 'The statistics show us that it's now the world's most popular genre, and not just in print, but if you turn on the TV or streaming services, it's crime shows that seem to be the most popular. Although crime fiction was always popular, it's reached new heights in the last few years. It is very democratised around the world. Before it was purely a Western thing, but now if you turn on Netflix India there's a whole range of crime shows that were previously unheard of in India - it was all Bollywood and soap operas, but now crime thrillers are doing really well in these kinds of countries. Korea is another big market for crime fiction. It has become a global enterprise....' Vaseem Khan, Crime Writers Association chair and author of the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series and the Malabar House books in Bookbrunch.
  • 'President Woodrow Wilson once declared (heavens knows why) that the hyphen was "the most un-American thing in the world". Observant readers will have noticed that he couldn't have said this (and no one could have written a report of his words) without a hyphen; thus perhaps proving that the President was blithely unaware of grammatical irony. I was surprised that any non-nerd figure should express such animus towards a grammatical detail but, it appears, he was not alone. Hyphens, like apostrophes, are tricky little diacritical marks... But they certainly have their uses, even if it's only to show off your double-barrelled surname. In this article I will look at hyphen usage and how it may be changing; for the better or worse is a matter of opinion... The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 6: What's all the fuss over hyphens? is this week's new article.
  • Other articles in The Pedant series cover accents and dialects, dialogue tags, the use of bold, italic and capital letters, formats and fonts and the trouble with 'as'.
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Links to writers' stories: as long as there have been celebrity memoirs, there have been ghostwriters, ‘Does it really matter who wrote it?: the rise of ghostwritten celebrity fiction | Books | The Guardian; a book title has power to pique interest, crack open a gateway to readers, allowing the work to take it from there, Anita Gail Jones on Crafting Fiction From Family Heirlooms ‹ Literary Hub; events on Fire Island began to take a stranger turn, ‘Things started getting weird': why my novel caused a storm in my small town | Fiction | The Guardian; I never thought I'd be able to write a novel because it just seemed impossible to build the scaffolding for a whole book length work, For Ruth Madievsky, Voice Is Everything - The Millions; and writing about growing up in the old Foyles bookshop, The joy of self publishing.
  • Our unique new service is The Cutting Edit. So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction, and it's a dual service - as we reduce the word count of your manuscript we also copy edit it as part of the job.
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...' These articles also explain subidiary rights, which are important for any author.
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. on The Slush pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned...'
  • Links from the publishing world: last year, all of literature's big prizes went to small publishers, The indie publishing mavericks shaking up the UK books world | Publishing | The Guardian; the great American editor who died last month at the age of ninety-two, Jonathan Galassi Remembers His Friend, the Great Robert Gottlieb ‹ Literary Hub; and in 2009, two bookshops a week were closing in the UK and the days of physical books seemed numbered, My big Birmingham bookshop crawl: why booksellers are suddenly thriving | Books | The Guardian.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘This report is so incredibly helpful, both for improving Gone to the Sky and my future work. Absolutely worth its weight in gold.' Ada Fox, Virginia, US.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. can help you work out which service is right for you. Choosing a service. Do get in touch if you have any questions.
  • So what's wrong with PDFs? 'Well, nothing, if you use them in the way they are intended. PDFs (Portable Download Files) are designed to carry finished documents and forms. The idea is that the file does not deform or glitch when you download it... More to the point, you can't really tamper with the original content or format of the file. And there's the rub. If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file.'
  • Links on writers' craft: writers, magazines, readers, other creators all existed before Twitter and will exist again, but to make an extremely obvious statement: The world is different now, What Do We Want From the Bookish Internet? | Tor.com; how to refresh a long-running series without alienating the readers who love it just the way it is, Giving a Detective Series New Life ‹ CrimeReads; "Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw your name," she wrote, describing herself as "a fan of my newsletter", How My Newsletter Helped Me Land an Agent and a Big Five Book Deal | Jane Friedman; and since your first title sold 10,000 copies in its debut month, you've been able to quit your day job, but there's still The Difference Between a Successful and a Bestselling Author.
  • Get your poetry assessed before submitting it or entering it for competitions with our Poetry Critique service. If you're planning to submit a collection to publishers or to self-publish, our unique Poetry Collection Editing service can help to get your work to a publishable standard.
  • Advice for writers - if you want to delve into the wealth of information on our huge site, here's the page which will help you find what you're looking for.
  • More links on AI and social media: the power wielded by the collective reader communities of BookTok is catching the eye of TikTok itself, and they want some of it, TikTok's New Publishing House Feels Familiar And Not in a Good Way | The Mary Sue; thousands of writers have signed a letter asking artificial intelligence companies like OpenAI and Meta to stop using their work without permission or compensation, Nora Roberts, Margaret Atwood sign Authors Guild letter to fight AI : NPR; and the British view, The Bookseller - News - Thousands of authors including Atwood, Egan and Picoult sign AI open letter.
  • Some advice on preparing manuscripts: 'It's important to present your manuscript properly, as it's very off-putting if you submit something which looks a mess. So, whether you're thinking about submission, or not yet at that stage, bear in mind the following guidelines...'
  • From the late, great Isaac Asimov: 'If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.' Writers' Quotes
  • If you enjoy keeping up with What's New, you can sign up for our newsletter to be emailed to you every two weeks.

17 July 2023 - What's new

July 2023
  • ‘I not only know the beginning, middle and end of the book, but I know the beginning, middle and end of each chapter... I think it's important for my readers that there is a real sense of jeopardy for the characters. Sometimes when you read a particular genre, you get to know where things are going. But I feel it's really important that when readers meet the characters on the first page, they feel that "we can't take anything for granted here". Anything must feel possible, it's only when they get to the end of the book that they will know exactly where the story was going, and why...' Mike Gayle, author of 17 books, including his first novel My Legendary Girlfriend, Wish You Were Here and just-published All the Lonely People, in the Bookseller.
  • The latest new article in our Ask the Editor series is Ask the Editor 4: Why do I need you? 'Well yes, in the old days an editor was a necessary part of the writing process. But times change, right? Innovations in digital technology have produced handy editorial software that spots the errors in your writing and corrects or makes suggestions for amending them; online thesauruses offer you options for word and phrase choices to make your writing more exciting and impactful. So with all this new-fangled help just waiting online for your call, you don't need the intervention of an editor. Do you? Actually, it's not as simple as that. There is plenty of editing tech out there, and some of it may even be useful. But if you look elsewhere online, say at the reviews of self-published (and increasingly, commercially published) books, you will read a different story. A large proportion of reviews - and thus a large number of readers, presumably - express their dissatisfaction with the quality of the manuscripts...'
  • Other articles in the series deal with writing a synopsis, the submission letter and What genre is my book?
  • The 2023 Manchester Writing Competitions are open internationally to those aged 16 or over. The entry fee for both prizes is £18. These prestigious competitions, run by Manchester Metropolitan University, offer two £10,000 prizes: the Manchester Poetry Prize for best portfolio of poems and the Manchester Fiction Prize for best short story. Closing 1 September.
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • Links from writers: 'I love to write thrillers about creeps and coercive controllers, and about letting the wrong person in', Lisa Jewell Raced Through Writing Her Latest Novel; the ghostwriter on the extraordinary phenomenon of Flowers in the Attic and its successors, Becoming V.C. Andrews; after publishing more than forty books in half a century, How Samuel R. Delany Reimagined Sci-Fi, Sex, and the City | The New Yorker; 'I think the crime genre specifically has got ever more crowded and competitive', Q&A: bestselling novelist Ruth Ware.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I cannot emphasise enough my gratitude to writerservices.com. I more or less expected that they would treat me and my texts professionally - after all, this is what the site offers. What I haven't expected was the extra mile they were prepared to go on my behalf, their beautiful attention to both the letter and the spirit of what I had to say. My manuscript has now found an agent - a happy development in which they have definitely played a role. All I can say is that if I ever produce anything else, I will definitely be their client again.' Sveta, Windsor, UK.
  • Links to articles about AI, the subject of the moment: it was a indicative of how quick and simple (and tempting) it is to use AI to write a book, The Bookseller - Comment - Responsible AI in publishing; their books, which are copyrighted, were ‘used to train' ChatGPT, Authors file a lawsuit against OpenAI for unlawfully ‘ingesting' their books | Books | The Guardian; concerned creators suing tech developers over their much-hyped generative AI technology, Authors Join the Brewing Legal Battle Over AI; for better or worse, artificial intelligence is poised to shake up the publishing industry, Seven Ways AI Will Impact Authors And The Publishing Industry; and the results of a survey about artificial intelligence, Writers' Guild of Great Britain Publishes Report on AI.
  • Bob's Journal is a long-running column from writer Bob Ritchie described by fellow EastEnders script-writer Pippa McCarthy: 'Just discovered your web page... I've just spent the last hour crying with laughter with periodic yelps of 'been there!'... I'm going to make my entire family read your diary. Then perhaps they will understand my own bizarre behaviour every time I start a script... Anyway, will shut up now but just wanted to say you have cheered me up no end. It's brilliant.'
  • Our Children's Editorial Services help you to get your children's book ready for publication or self-publishing. Have you found it difficult to get expert editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it might find a publisher? Or are you planning to self-publish?
  • Links from publishing: the amalgamation of brilliant minds, innovative ideas, and, most importantly, emerging technologies have encouraged its huge growth, 4 Publishing Trends to Stay in & Beyond 2023 - Good e-Reader; interest seems to be back to pre-lockdown levels, The Bookseller - News - Frankfurt Book Fair agents and scouts centre sold out after 'record interest'; the latest on book-banning, Obama speaks out against ‘profoundly misguided' book bans in school libraries | Books | The Guardian; we know throughout our 50 years of research just how essential poetry is as a genre for children, The Bookseller - Features - CLPE reflects on changing children's poetry scene ahead of CLiPPA's 20th anniversary; and social media enters a new phase, The Influence of BookTok and Bookstagram on Book Publishing Merch.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service helps you work out which is the right editorial service for you.
  • More writers' links: 'most of the recent books I've abandoned are around 350-400 pages', It's Not Me, It's You: An Argument for Shorter Middle Grade Books; how becoming an author has changed the way I approach my publishing day job, The Bookseller - Comment - Swapping sides; the best children's fiction "helps us refind things we may not even know we have lost", Why adults should read children's books - BBC Culture; and charity aims to give 10 million young people across the continent the books they need by 2030, Book Aid seeks £4m for African campaign.
  • Rotten Rejections - The Letters that Publishers Wish they'd never Sent by Andre Bernard is full of the absurd things publishers said when rejecting writers' work: on Carrie by Stephen King 'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.' On Animal Farm by George Orwell ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA'.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.' Barbara Kingsolver

3 July 2023 - What's new

July 2023
  • ‘After finishing the 1st draft of a novel, I have the characters, dialogue, scenes, and a plotline. I used to think this meant I knew where the story was going, and what the book was about. I have learned over the years, this ain't so. As I work through its 2nd draft, characters start to nudge each other. The story itself takes its first soft and shallow breath, and one could imagine he hears a little bit of a heartbeat. Passions deepen, and emotional threads start to weave through what had earlier just been little more than a sequence of events...' Edward Fahey, author of The Morning After, The Gardens of Ailana and The Soul Hides in Shadows.
  • The third new article in our Ask the Editor series is about Writing a synopsis. 'The synopsis is a strange document; it is at once the dullest, and perhaps the most important, part of the submission package. It reduces your book, your creative project, to a few lines of plain, unadorned narration; yet it allows a publisher to see the book as a whole, to get a feel for the narrative arc and the development of the plot. In this article, I will examine the synopsis, and consider some of the problems in writing it...'
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • If you're intending to stick to traditional publishing, Inside Publishing on Subsidiary Rights will explain what they are: 'When an author signs a contract with a publishing house, they generally grant the publisher 'volume rights' within certain territories. This gives the publisher the right to publish the book in certain formats. The royalties relating to hardback, paperback and sometimes trade paperback (a larger paperback format) editions will be spelt out. There will be clauses in the contract covering all the other rights. These are the 'subsidiary' rights granted to publishers and can also be referred to as sub-leases.'
  • Links on the craft of writing and what you can earn from it: earnings up 50% in a year as income for self-published writers outstrips traditional publishing models, according to research, Income booms for self published authors; the most important element you need to develop for your story is a theme! How to Write a Theme for your Story - The Art of Narrative; a solid story, compelling characters, and strong writing are a great start, What Makes a Novel Stand Out on Submission? | Jane Friedman; I only allow my journalism brain and my fiction brain to communicate as little as possible, Clémence Michallon On the Ethics of Writing Violence and the Banality of Serial Killers ‹ CrimeReads; and 'I simply couldn't think of what else to write...' Writer's Block? Maybe You're Writing in the Wrong Format | Jane Friedman.
  • UK small publisher The Emma Press has an open submissions window from 1-8 August. Non-agented submissions in English from anywhere in the world are accepted. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction pamphlets can be submitted, as well as children's fiction and children's poetry. There's no entry fee. The prizes are small advances and publication by The Emma Press.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 22 editorial services for writers, which we think is the biggest and most comprehensive you can find on the internet.
  • Why has my manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. Here are some of the reasons why this happens and suggestions of what you can do about it. Avoiding rejection.
  • Links from the publishing world: although this is mainly about newspaper editors, it gets to the heart of the problem, The importance of editors in the age of (highly unreliable) AI | What's New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News; how the book industry can work together to be more sustainable, A Book Wide Web? The latest on the banning of books from the celebrated American author, ALA 2023: Judy Blume Offers a Rousing Defense of the Freedom to Read; and social media is encouraging a new generation of readers to pick up and read books in English in Europe, The Bookseller - News - Publishers hail 'excellent growth' of English language exports to Europe thanks to BookTok; and I ask my peers in real life what they're reading, because young people love sharing their discoveries, The Bookseller - Comment - Beyond the BookTok loop.
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher. This is because most poetry lists are pretty small. Poetry is not in general given much space in bookshops and it is difficult to achieve any sales for first collections. Self-publishing offers a good approach and the live poetry scene is much livelier than it used to be. Getting your poetry published
  • An enthusiastic new addition to our Endorsements page is from a newsletter subscriber: 'Hi, I'm on your email list and just wanted to say thanks for the great emails you put out. I've entered one or two competitions as a result of seeing them on your email and, although I haven't won yet I have come close! But the information you give out is brilliant - so I just wanted to say thanks. Your efforts are appreciated.' Alison Chaplin, Manchester.
  • 'So you want to be a crime writer? This is probably a good choice. Crime writing has long been popular with readers across the English-speaking world but it had a real resurgence a few years ago. Although publishers have reined back from the subsequent tendency towards over-production, there is still a solid market for good crime writing and many bestselling writers, such as Richard Osman, write in this category. As well as being a long term publishing staple in the main English-speaking markets, the US and UK, crime novels are much in demand in translation, especially in Europe...' Writing crime fiction in our Genre writing series.
  • More links from writers: was this because of 'a new ideology of identity authorship'? Richard North Patterson's Trial was rejected by the big publishing houses. Why? Who'd go to the Cayman Islands and attend a literary event of mine? On the Pitfalls of Book Promotion in the Internet Age ‹ Literary Hub; and 'A good historical novel is just like any novel', Q&A: debut novelist Lucy Barker.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • There are some sensational research resources for writers on the web. The search engines and other directories have made these accessible. But it helps to understand a little about how they work. The web as a research tool
  • ‘Writing fiction is fun. Writing non-fiction is life-changing.' Adrienne Posey in our Writers' Quotes.

19 June 2023 - What's new

June 2023

‘From my perspective, in general producers and studios find content from the world of books highly attractive for development due to established storytelling, inspiration, quality recognition, and a built-in audience. While there may be instances of preferring original content, book adaptations hold significant appeal... In the best properties we grow to know the characters, and the story pays due respect to their complexities and needs. There's always the sense that they exist in the now and not at some point along a predetermined continuum....' Kamran Sardar Khan of Stuttgart's East End Film has produced some 150 feature films and - being a great reader - has included literary adaptations in that body of work, in Publishing Perspectives.

If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.

This week we have a new article in our Ask the Editor series. The submission letter: practice and pitfalls. 'Your submission letter (also known as the query letter) is the first thing a publisher will read; that makes it an important document. Get it right, and you have captured their attention; get it wrong, and your book may be rejected without being read. In this article, I will look at the ground rules for the letter, and the pitfalls you should try to avoid...' The first article in the series was entitled What genre is my book?

If you are looking for copy editing online, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript... Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing or know much about what is involved. It is in any case notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish. Copy editing services

Links for writers: guidance for authors on how they can protect themselves and their work from "the impact of new technologies", The Bookseller - News - SoA urges vigilance in new AI guidance for authors; L. Ron Hubbard's Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests, Top voices in science fiction and fantasy hail from the UK; everyone always says to "write what you know", So, when drafting my debut thriller The Dive, that's what I did, A deadly island and a quarter life crisis; 'I try not to worry too much about what other authors are writing, and just focus on what's in my control.' Q&A: bestselling novelist Clare Mackintosh; should this author have stopped publication? Pundits Weigh in on Gilbert's Decision to Pull Russian-Set Novel Over Ukrainian Backlash; and "Put that on your website." "I don't have one," she replied. "Sometimes I post stuff on Facebook. Do you think anyone reads it?" When Do You Need an Author Website? | Jane Friedman.

An essential read for children's authors is Suzy Jenvey's special series for WritersServices, the four-part Essential Guide to Writing for Children. The first article looks at the all-important question of age groups and what you should be aware of in writing for each one. The second part is Before You Write: What is My Story Going to be? The third part deals with Starting to Write and the fourth part is about Submitting Your Work to Agents and Editors. This series by a hugely experienced children's editorial director and agent helps you get started on your own story or develop what you're already working on.

Advice for Writers is a really useful page which takes you into our archive and helps you explore our more than 9,000 pages of information for writers.

The Writer's Edit is an enhanced editing package that offers you all the benefits of our expert copy editing service, plus an extra level of advice and support to help you take your writing to a new level. We will copy edit your manuscript to our usual professional standard, but in addition we will offer you a line-by-line edit specifically designed to improve your style, structure and form, and a set of guidance notes, giving commentary and advice.

Links from publishing: this week the Guardian suggested that books could continue to outperform other entertainment goods as the wider economy faces financial uncertainty, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Editor's letter: Brought to book; they are designed to mislead the casual onlooker into thinking that they are books, Cooking the books: the rise of fake libraries | The Spectator; problems in the world of literary festivals, The Bookseller - Features - Festivals boom post-Covid but struggle with big names amid theatre tours; talking to Emily Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st-Century America, about the 'huge surge' in book banning today, ALA 2023: Behind the Book Bans; we were hauled up into the light and sent abroad to appear before live audiences and pretend to be a more or less plausible and if possible entertaining version of ourselves, The Casual Ignominy of the Book Tours of Yore; and an alarming 26.6% year-on-year increase in visits to Pirate websites, Pandemic drives piracy.

The Ledbury Poetry Competition 2023 is open to all poets writing in English, no matter where they live. The entry fee is £6 per poem and the First prize is £1,000 cash and a week's poetry course at Arvon, the Second Prize is £500 and Third prize £250. The Competition closes on 10 July.

Two other competitions close at the end of June.

From our Endorsements page: 'The copy-editor perfectly captured the spirit of my story, making not only pertinent corrections, but also a string of brilliant suggestions and comments that inspired me to improve the text on my own. So happy I chose Writers Services. Rasmus, Chile.'

More on writers: bestselling authors are still getting major multi-book deals, Baldacci Re-Ups at Grand Central with Eight-Book Deal; Stephen King called him "maybe the greatest American novelist of my time", Cormac McCarthy: Tributes to 'unique' author of The Road and No Country for Old Men - BBC News; links to intriguing articles on McCarthy they've published over the years, Remembering Cormac McCarthy ‹ Literary Hub; and finally a tribute to one of the most eminent literary editors in publishing history, Legendary Knopf Editor Robert Gottlieb Dies at 92.

The eighth and final set of our new pages of Tips for Writers deals with submitting to publishers and agents: 'Look for agents who are trying to build up their lists, rather than those with established client lists. It may be wonderful to think of being represented by the agents who act for Stephen King or Ian Rankin, but you're much more likely to get taken on by someone who's just set up, or a hungry young agent in a bigger agency...'

A typically minimalist comment from the late Cormac McCarthy in our Writers' Quotes: 'I don't know why I started writing. I don't know why anybody does it. Maybe they're bored, or failures at something else.'

5 June 2023 - What's new

June 2023

 

22 May 2023 - What's new

May 2023

8 May 2023 - What's new

May 2023
  • 'There isn't always a correlation between the greatest works of fiction and the biggest sellers. If that was the case, David Almond would be selling a million copies. Sometimes it's a happy coincidence that something you're working on seems to be doing well elsewhere. But I try not to join the dots, because the single most important thing is writing the book that you want. That's what I try and do, first and foremost... I'm obsessed with underdogs. The kids I was working with had been written off, and they had experienced horrific things that the vast majority of the population won't go through as long as they live. That is something that fundamentally really drives my writing...' Phil Earle, author of When the Sky Falls, While the Storm Rages, Demolition Dad and 16 other books for children, and 6 for older readers, in Bookbrunch.
  • This week we have the first in a new series, Ask the Editor 1: What genre is my book? 'I am asked this question surprisingly often. I say surprising because one might assume, most of the time, that the genre of a book is obvious. And, most of the time, it is relatively obvious; authors tend to aim their efforts at specific markets. But once in a while, you come across a book that defies simple classification. In this article, I will look briefly at the main genre categories in fiction, and then zoom in on the problem of books that cross genre boundaries or don't neatly fit the criteria of the publishing industry...'
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right.
  • Links from the tech world: a huge and growing headache for human authors, Amazon Is Being Flooded With Books Entirely Written by AI; will computers supplant audiobook readers? Unlikely, says Nicholas Jones, The art of the pause; after aggressively promoting its new lifestyle social media platform Lemon8 in the US, TikTok's parent ByteDance eyes a new chapter in book publishing | TechCrunch; and this week BookTok creators considered how many self-published authors are on the platform, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: how prevalent are self-published authors?
  • The 2023 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition is open to unpublished, unagented children's writers based anywhere in the world. Entry fee £20. The prize is a publishing contract with Chicken House with an advance of £10,000, plus the offer of representation from literary agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch of Andlyn. This year also sees the introduction of the Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award, a bespoke prize sponsored by leading TV production company Lime Pictures, awarded to the submission which shows the greatest TV development potential. The winner will receive a £7,500 publishing contract plus an offer of representation. Lime Pictures will receive an exclusive first look at all shortlisted manuscripts
  • Authors often find it difficult to write their own synopsis for submission to agents and publishers, which is where our Synopsis-writing service can help. If you're preparing to self-publish and having difficulty with your blurb, our Blurb-writing service will make your book stand out.
  • 'I want to thank Chris and the team at Writers Services for their help and tolerance. My first submission of my rough draft came back with an extremely useful critique. I restructured, rewrote and resubmitted - and got excellent feedback which has helped me to revise the book by highlighting the weaknesses and the development needed... the help received so far is already paying dividends. I have just signed with an agent on the strength of the latest draft.' Patrick Cox in our Endorsements.
  • Links from writers: their union represents approximately 11,500 people who write the Hollywood shows and movies we watch in theaters and at home, WGA strike 2023: Hollywood's writers walked off the job. What happens now? - Vox; was it hard, writing your first real book? Stop Acting Like YA Writers Aren't Real Authors ‹ CrimeReads; so I thought I'd put the app to the test against my usual internet searches, Using ChatGPT for Book Research? Take Exceeding Care | Jane Friedman; and attempts to suppress works of literature tend to have the opposite effect, The big idea: what if censoring books only makes them more popular? | Books | The Guardian.
  • WritersServices offers a comprehensive range of editorial services for authors writing for the children's book market. All our services are carried out to the highest professional standard and offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. Writing for children is not an easy option. It requires sound writing skills, originality, a clear understanding of the target audience and a good grasp of the market. Our expert editors are specialists in writing for children, and they will help you make your work the best it can be. Children's Editorial Services.
  • How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...' A short but clear summary of what agents do.
  • Working with an agent: 'Don't ever take on an agent you don't like or don't trust, however desperate you may feel. You have to be able to work with them in what should be an extremely important relationship for you as a writer. You must also feel confident that they are competent, enthusiastic about your work and can be trusted, both in terms of the advice they offer and in relation to handling your money...'
  • Links from publishing: a round-up from the London book fair, taking in the essentials of what the publishing landscape will look like for the next 12 months, Meals and deals: five biggest trends from London book fair 2023 | London book fair | The Guardian; publishers are not hiring enough people - or quickly enough, The Bookseller - Comment - Publishing's hiring problem: the agent's view; haven't we always been stretched? The Bookseller - Comment - Publishing's hiring problem: the editor's view; book prices have not kept pace with inflation and earnings, RRPs are rising but books have never been cheaper; and a new study of trends in children's reading, The Bookseller - News - Children reading more but enjoyment and comprehension on the decline, research suggests.
  • Have you ever wondered why you don't win any of those competitions? What can you do to improve your chances? Our tipsheet on Entering Competitions.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne published by A & C BlackClick for A & C Black Publishers Publishers References listing. In the first excerpt, 'Managing the matters of truth and objectivity', the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • Our 5th Tips for Writers focuses on How to promote your book (and yourself): 'These days social media offer a huge opportunity to publicise your book. Facebook and Twitter have been good places to publicise your work for some years, but it's increasingly important to think about BookTok, TikTok and Instragram as well. Even if social media don't come naturally to you, it's really worth giving them a go...'
  • Links to writers' stories: all told, he completed 34 books, 31 of them either Inspector Banks novels or related short story collections, Peter Robinson, Remembered ‹ CrimeReads; how her boookshop marketing manager has leveraged the platform to promote the bookstore - and what a microcelebrity Patchett herself has become on the app, Ann Patchett: Author, Bookstore Owner, and BookTok Influencer; it's not just hard to get published, but also hard staying published, Q&A: author Jo Thomas; and bringing her own long-running series to an end and reflecting on how other authors have done it, Elly Griffiths on Knowing When to Say Goodbye ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Our 22 Services for Writers is just a list of our writers' editorial services, which we think is the most comprehensive in the world.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • 'If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.' Charles Darwin in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If you enjoy keeping up with What's New, you can sign up for our newsletter to be emailed to you every two weeks.

24 April 2023 - What's new

April 2023

10 April 2023 - What's new

April 2023
  • 'Stories stay with us: tales of bravery visit us when fear peeps round the corner, comedies sprinkle us in smiles on a train ride to work. Characters become our friends and our confidantes, and worlds explored through the imagination, incredibly, share space with our memories. A story shared transports reader and listeners alike on a joint adventure never to be forgotten. When we open a book there's no telling where it may take us... Joseph Coelho, UK Children's Laureate and author of Werewolf Club Rules, the Luna Loves series Overheard in a Tower Block and How To Write Poems, in Bookbrunch.
  • Our unique new service is The Cutting Edit. So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction, and it's a dual service - as we reduce the word count of your manuscript we also copy edit it as part of the job.
  • This new service sits alongside our existing range of Copy editing services.
  • The 2023 Page Turner Awards are open to all writers over 18. Entry fees. The £35,000 prize fund is spread over the Writing, Young Writer, Screenplay and Book Awards and the Writing Mentorship. Closing on 31 May.
  • The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is closing on 16 April, so there's still time to enter if you're fast.
  • Tips for Writers offers easy access to information for writers. Tips for Writers 3 covers New Technology and the Internet: 'Sites such as WritersServices offer a vast amount of free information which can help you develop your writing and get published. Our 9,000+ pages can be accessed through the homepage or through Advice for Writers, which gives a breakdown of what is on the site. Look for other useful sites on the web.'
  • Links from publishing and social media: there's a sea change in book publishing that has seen women surge ahead of men in almost every part of the industry in recent years, Women now dominate the book business. Why there and not other creative industries? : Planet Money : NPR; writers are the lifeblood of the publishing industry. Agents and publishers, who work with them every day, should understand and respect them, Writers Can Handle the Truth from Editors; this week, as #booktok hit over 121 billion views on TikTok, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: real-world impact; and from talking rabbits to schoolboy wizards, the greatest sellers of the last half-century have never been predictable, From Richard Charkin's 'My Back Pages': 'Accidental Successes'.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I've used two services with this company: The Editor's Plus Report and the Writer's Edit. I am completely satisfied with the service I received and said service has led to the completion and publication of my first novel: Lightforce. I would recommend any of these services to any aspiring author.' Jason Handleman, author of Lightforce (Everything Changes Book 1)
  • 'So you want to be a crime writer? This is probably a good choice. Crime writing has long been popular with readers across the English-speaking world but it had a real resurgence a few years ago. Although publishers have reined back from the subsequent tendency towards over-production, there is still a solid market for good crime writing and many bestselling writers, such as Richard Osman, write in this category. As well as being a long term publishing staple in the main English-speaking markets, the US and UK, crime novels are much in demand in translation, especially in Europe...' Writing Crime Fiction in our Genre writing series.
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique can help you get your submission package into the best possible shape, giving you a professional view of your submission material and clear suggestions for any improvements.
  • Is your synopsis proving tricky? Our Synopsis-writing service can help.
  • Links on writers' craft: more on the rapid and troubling progress of AI, On AI and the Intrinsic Value of Writing - The Millions; so often, a writer has spent years of their life working on a novel that runs to 300+ pages before they seek out qualified feedback, 3 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Draft (or Revise!) a Novel | Jane Friedman; the decisions historical novelists have to make to create a compelling narrative overlap with memoir more than you'd think, What Memoirists Can Learn from Historical Novelists | Jane Friedman; "I undertake a significant amount of research - then I let it go and just write my story from the heart." Jacqueline Winspear Considers the Art of Historical Fiction ‹ CrimeReads; the increasingly tricky role of translators, Spokesperson, Intellectual, and... More? On the New and Shifting Role of the Translator ‹ Literary Hub.
  • From Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk, The Business of Writing for Self-publishing authors offers terrific advice for all writers: 'Self-publishing authors - also known as ‘indie' authors or author-publishers - have had a steep learning curve these past few years. Getting to grips with the various sales channels available to them, producing top quality ebooks and paperbacks, and finding a place in mainstream outlets have left many writers struggling to keep up with the paperwork. What follows is a brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • Choosing a service gives a rundown on all our services, in case you're not sure what you want.
  • Are you hoping to submit your book to publishers? Will you plan to do this through an agent? Finding an agent shows you how to go about this: 'Many writers see being taken on by an agent as the first step in getting taken on by a publisher, because it is so difficult to get publishers to pay attention to unagented writers...'
  • Our final set of links are to writers' own stories: there were stretches when I made so little money writing or editing that I couldn't blame my parents for assuming they were hobbies, The Costs of Becoming a Writer - Does It Pay to Be a Writer? From one of the most widely banned authors in American history, Judy Blume on Roald Dahl Censorship, Book Bans and Best Queer Books - Variety; two successful authors, ‘We want to read about people falling in love': Curtis Sittenfeld and Marian Keyes on the romcom revival | Books | The Guardian; I am drawn to the first half of the Twentieth Century because it is connected to my own time through my parents, grandparents and their stories, Rhys Bowen on Historical Fiction and Memorable Heroines ‹ CrimeReads; and my amateur pursuit of literary titans, When Literary Legends Meet ‹ CrimeReads.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'You reach deep down and bring up what feels absolutely authentic to you as you move along with the book, but you don't know everything about it. You can't.' Anne Rice

27 March 2023 - What's new

March 2023

13 March 2023 - What's new

March 2023

 

27 February 2023 - What's new

February 2023

13 February 2023 - What's new

February 2023

30 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023

16 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023

2 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023

19 December 2022 - What's new

December 2022

5 December 2022 - What's new

December 2022

21 November 2022 - What's new

November 2022
  • ‘The TikTok success stories of Colleen Hoover and Emily Henry have done the genre a wonderful favour by putting romance firmly in a spotlight so bright that their popularity cannot be ignored... Romance books are often as deftly plotted as books in other genres, they can be as challenging, the prose as beautiful and yet they're judged harshly by comparison and there is no logic to it when readers buy them in their millions and those sales figures do a lot of talking. A Happy Ever After does not a lesser book make.' Milly Johnson, author of 28 romances, including Together Again and The Woman in the Middle in Bookbrunch.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series, Subsidiary Rights: 'My first job in publishing was in a subsidiary rights department. I'm ashamed to admit that I accepted the job without having much idea what subsidiary rights were. Many writers may feel just as vague about this part of publishing, so here's a quick breakdown...' and Vanity Publishing: 'It is natural for writers to be eager to get published but it pays to be wary of the vanity publishers who will take your money and give you very little in return...' Vanity publishing is quite distinct from Self-publishing, you need to be aware of the differences.
  • One of the more rewarding - and difficult - things about writing a fantasy novel is having the opportunity to create and describe a world different from our own; one where magic is real, where non-human beings interact with us, and where reality has a shape and texture that is anything but mundane. In this article I'm going to look at one aspect of that process: describing, and more importantly naming, the characters that inhabit the new world you have created in your novel. The first in a new series - Worldbuilding 1: Character names in fantasy novels.
  • Our 22 Services for Writers offers links to all our editorial services - the biggest range on the web.
  • Here's a detailed article on how to prepare Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript...'
  • Links from the publishing world: members of the Society of Authors (SoA) have overwhelmingly voted to keep Joanne Harris as chair of the management committee, The Bookseller - News - Bid to unseat SoA chair Joanne Harris fails after members' vote; thousands of office jobs to be cut amid slowing sales and concerns about an economic downturn, Amazon layoffs 'being prepared' as sales slow - reports - BBC News; Paramount Global has decided not to extend its purchase agreement, PRH, S&S Deal Likely Dead; more fallout from Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, A Twitter Exodus Could Mean the End of Some Online Magazines; and a hugely influential community that has the power to pluck authors out of relative obscurity and propel them into the bestsellers charts, Inspirational passion or paid-for promotion: can BookTok be taken on face value? | Books | The Guardian.
  • 'I'd like to thank you so much for the reports on my work... I'm going to read the reports over and over, take the time to think and plan, and you can be sure you'll receive the revision a year from now, maybe less. You offer an excellent service for a very fair cost, and I'm grateful to have found you.' Bill Neenan in our Endorsements.
  • Our Developmental editing service: Writing is a continual learning process. The best authors develop their skills over time and constantly strive to improve. And there is a lot to learn: plotting; dialogue; action scenes and set pieces; character development; continuity and consistency; style, language and tone. Our developmental edit is specifically designed to help you bring your writing to the next level. Our experienced team of editors will guide and support you, helping you to grow as a writer, as you take your book project from draft manuscript to finished product.
  • Links from writers and about writing: 75 emerging authors from around the US gathered on October 30 and 31 to tape the pilot for a reality show, 'America's Next Great Author' Competition Films Pilot; how on earth do three people write a novel together? How to Write a Novel with Three of Your Friends ‹ Literary Hub; good news on children's books, The Bookseller - News - CLPE data shows sustained 
rise of ethnic minority representation in kids' books; the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the kidnapping and death of Charles Lindbergh Jr. was a national spectacle, Mariah Fredericks on The Heartbreaking Details of Historical Fiction ‹ CrimeReads.
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our new top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Rotten Rejections is an extraordinary collection of rejection letters sent by publishers to writers - many delivered to now famous authors of classic books - which will make you laugh and provide comfort if you're having a struggle to get published. 'I regret we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we could not publish it with commercial success...' An unnamed editor at Constable and Robinson, in turning down J K Rowling's first Harry Potter book.
  • More links from writers: given London's rich history, it's not surprising that the metropolis has been the setting for many classic novels, The Magic of London ‹ CrimeReads; when it comes to the practical act of writing, use whatever works for you, 11 Digital Essentials Tips for Creative Writing - National Centre for Writing; victims of a drive-by shooting, Threats Around Every Corner-Or, On The What If Questions of Storytelling ‹ CrimeReads; and (with thanks to CrimeReads) how I deal with writing about violence, The Probable and the Personal: How I Grapple With Writing Violent Fiction ‹ CrimeReads.
  • We have developed a special suite of Services for Self-publishers to help get your manuscript ready for self-publishing.
  • 'What makes you a poet is a gift for language, an ability to see into the heart of things, and an ability to deal with important unconscious material. When all these things come together, you're a poet. But there isn't one little gimmick that makes you a poet. There isn't any formula for it.' Erica Jong in our Writers Quotes.

7 November 2022 - What's new

November 2022

24 October 2022 - What's new

October 2022
  • ‘Does a dramatist have a duty of care to a public figure and to the audience for whom this imagined version might be their first or only contact with the historical material? (Hilary) Mantel thought it did: "You can select, elide, highlight, omit. Just don't cheat," she advised. I tend to agree - up to a point. When I started writing historical crime novels featuring the 16th century Italian philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno, I was conscious that, for many English readers, these stories might be their first introduction to Bruno's life and work, and I wanted to do justice to a man who was - as I saw it - charismatic, flawed but ultimately courageous in his defence of free thought... Stephanie Merritt, author of four novels under her own name and ten Giordano Bruno novels under the pseudonym S J Parris, including Heresy, Treachery and Prophecy, in the Observer.
  • Tips for writers is our 8-part crash course for writers who are starting out, taking you from Promoting your writing to Self-publishing: is it for you? to Keep up to date and Submission to publishers and agents. 'Be prepared to redraft your work and to rethink it. Many new writers assume that their work will immediately be ready for publication, but the truth is that many highly successful writers produced several drafts of their first work before they got it published.' and 'When you've got your work into the best state you can, put it on one side for a few weeks and then look at it afresh. You'll be amazed what difference a fresh eye will make.'
  • The next in The Pedant series is Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts. 'Since the advent of home computing and the easy availability of word processing and publishing software (is it really only a generation ago?), the budding writer has been faced with a wonderland of possibilities; or a tyranny of choices, depending on your point of view. In this article we'll look at the vast range of formats and fonts available and suggest a few tips for negotiating the minefield and avoiding elephant traps...'
  • There's still time to enter the most prestigious international competition for a single poem, the UK Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition 2022, before it closes on 31 October.  It's open to anyone 18 or over from all over the world to enter an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines. Entry fee £7 for first entry, £5 for unlimited subsequent entries. First Prize: £5,000, Second Prize £2,000 and Third Prize £1,000, Commendations £200.
  • Our first set of links cover the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two., the biggest international gathering of publishers: now back at full force for the first time in three years, Frankfurt Book Fair 2022: Current Events Make an Impact; a new category was riding high, Frankfurt Book Fair 2022: 'Romantasy' and Revelry on the Fair Floor; the numbers are going back up, The Bookseller - News - Frankfurt Book Fair attracted 93,000 trade visitors; there were a good number of members of the public too, Frankfurt Book Fair Attracts 180,000 Attendees; and the crashing of the pound in recent weeks has hit costs for Frankfurt Book Fair attendees this week, but UK publishers and agents insist there is a silver lining for rights and export sales to the US, The Bookseller - News - Pound's plummet hits Frankfurt costs, but trade finds silver lining in rights and export sales.
  • Writing Memoir - If you want to write a memoir or autobiography you're in good company - lots of writers want to try their hand at this category. As with other non-fiction books, do give some thought to your market before you start, if you can. Although writers often actually write their memoir and then think about what to do with it later, it does help to know who you're writing it for, so it' s a good thing to sort this out in your own mind at an early stage if you can...'
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, our Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. There are also two unique new services, The Cutting edit and Development editing. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Links from the publishing world: "we built ourselves to a certain size where we could go no further without a partner." The Bookseller - News - Geller warns ‘tired' publishing model threatens to ‘dry itself out' if role of agent not reimagined; sales of books for young readers on violence, grief, and emotions have increased for nine straight years, Demand soars for kids' books addressing violence, trauma | AP News; and the staggeringly rapid rise of artificial intelligence over the past few decades, from pipe dream to reality, The real threat from artificial intelligence isn't superintelligence. It's gullibility.
  • 'I cannot thank you enough!! Your editor has worked her magic and I am delighted with the results!! Please thank her for me, I really appreciate what she has done!' Wendy White in our Endorsements page.
  • If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance. Making submissions.
  • Links from the ook world: I've resolved to only read the books I really want to read, The Truth About Fiction; the bestseller list is not mathematically objective; it is editorial content, which is protected by the First Amendment, What Counts as a Bestseller? - Public Books; What's new in the translation sector? Travelling through reading; and one of the UK's most successful children's authors says schools should teach black history all year round, Malorie Blackman calls for year-round black history in schools - BBC News.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is an outline of the processes involved. Preparing for Publication
  • Get your manuscript typed up! Do you need to get your material typed up, but can't face doing the job yourself? We can provide a clean typed version of your work at very competitive rates. Our Typing manuscripts service offers help for writers who have an old or handwritten manuscript which needs re-typing before the writer can proceed with revision, submission or publication.
  • 'A writer who isn't writing isn't really alive' is from Robin Mckinley in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

10 October 2022 - What's new

October 2022
  • ‘When you write something down you pretty well kill it. Leave it loose and knocking around up there and you never know - it might turn into something... My hands do the thinking. It is not a conscious process... I can't explain how one creates a novel. It's like jazz. They create as they play, and maybe only those who can do it can understand it.' Cormac McCarthy, author of The Passenger, The Road, No Country for Old Men, The Border Trilogy and five other novels, in interviews with local papers early in his career, reprinted in the New York Times.
  • So you want to write historical fiction? Well, your timing is good, because historical fiction is fashionable again after many years in the doldrums. In fact it's so popular that it has virtually reinvented itself as a category. There have of course always been historical novels being published, but what has changed is that there is now a definable market for them, which means that publishers are looking for historical fiction and are much more open to taking it on. The result has been big reissue programmes involving many old-established favourites but also publishers looking out for authors working in this genre. Writing historical fiction
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Lynda Finn about the isolation of New Zealand writers and their problems with getting published, British author Eliza Graham, author of Playing with the Moon, on her route to publication and Zoe Jenny, who is Swiss, on writing in English and why it was liberating. Send us your contributions, ideally 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Links from publishers: three-quarters of UK bookshop customers intend to sustain their spending on books, The Bookseller - News - Shoppers keen to support bookshops despite cost of living, BA survey shows; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos knew size was crucial to exacting ever lower prices from suppliers, "Get Big Fast." How Amazon Accelerated the Commodification of Literature ‹ Literary Hub; for an increasing number of people, reading means listening to streamed audio files through a smartphone, Audiobooks: Every Minute Counts - Public Books; redundancy in publishing, The Bookseller - Comment - Brain drain; a new promotion feature on the social media platform, which creators are calling a cash grab, TikTok's Penguin Random House Collab Has BookTok Creators Worried - Rolling Stone; and showing just how effective a small press can be, Four Nobels and counting: Fitzcarraldo, the little publisher that could | Books | The Guardian.
  • Writing is a continual learning process. The best authors develop their skills over time and constantly strive to improve. And there is a lot to learn: plotting; dialogue; action scenes and set pieces; character development; continuity and consistency; style, language and tone. Our developmental edit is specifically designed to help you bring your writing to the next level. Our experienced team of editors will guide and support you, helping you to grow as a writer, as you take your book project from draft manuscript to finished product. Our brand-new Developmental editing service.
  • Other editing services.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • Links from writers: independent authors are changing the face of publishing with figures suggesting they now make up around a third of e-book sales in the largest English-language markets, WGGB launches new guide to self-publishing - Writers' Guild of Great Britain; Jude O'Reilly on her obsession with her protagonist, and on researching the tech that drives her plots, Not the forgiving kind; I wanted to know what books people were turning to in the early days of the pandemic for comfort, distraction, hope, guidance, Where Is All the Book Data? - Public Books; and top tips for creating brilliant non-fiction writing, How to craft creative non-fiction - National Centre for Writing.
  • Get your manuscript typed up! Do you need to get your material typed up, but can't face doing the job yourself? We can provide a clean typed version of your work at very competitive rates. Our Typing manuscripts service offers help for writers who have an old or handwritten manuscript which needs re-typing before the writer can proceed with revision, submission or publication.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? Which service do you want? Our editorial services have been added in response to demand, so whatever you want we've probably got it covered with our 22 different services.
  • From our Endorsements page 'The outcome of my experience with Writerservices has far exceeded my expectation and I was amazed by their professionalism, hard work, knowledge and keenness to edit my manuscript of the novel, Uncle Thesiger's Mashhuf, in every detail, thereby ensuring it will appeal to English readers. Their services are very helpful to all writers', Ammar Al Thuwaini, an Iraqi novelist and translator.
  • More writers' links: death of well-known British crime-writer, The Bookseller - News - Peter Robinson, creator of the Inspector Banks novels, dies aged 72; Nobel Prize for Literature announced, Annie Ernaux: the 2022 Nobel literature laureate's greatest works | Annie Ernaux | The Guardian; the first time an award-winning novelist gave me feedback on my writing, I was seven. Growing up with a famous writer, Lessons in Writing and Life from My Grandfather, E.L. Doctorow ‹ Literary Hub; and a strangely compelling account, How Jackie O Helped Bring 'Sally Hemings' to Life - The Millions.
  • Making submissions gives you the lowdown on making an effective submission.
  • 'What makes you a poet is a gift for language, an ability to see into the heart of things, and an ability to deal with important unconscious material. When all these things come together, you're a poet. But there isn't one little gimmick that makes you a poet. There isn't any formula for it.' Erica Jong in our Writers' Quotes.

3 October 2022 - What's new

October 2022
  • ‘Poetry Prompts is my invitation to the nation, young and old, to become poets. We turn to poetry at weddings, funerals and births because it goes beyond mere words and translates the soul. But there is baggage associated with poetry that I want everyone to put down - to allow everyone to reclaim the birth right of poet. So often I've met children and adults scared to put pen to paper, terrified of 'getting it wrong' - this has repercussions in all aspects of life. I want to show everyone that poetry is for them, that we can enjoy the rules and break the rules.' Joseph Coelho, UK Children's Laureate, on the launch of Poetry Prompts. His books are Werewolf Club Rules, the Luna Loves series, If All the World Were, Overheard in a Tower Block and The Girl Who Became a Tree.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series - on Copyright: 'Many writers worry about losing their copyright. Before sending out your manuscript it is always advisable to put a copyright line consisting of the copyright sign ©, the year and your name on the title page...' On The Writer/Publisher Financial Relationship: 'There's no escaping the fact that publishers and authors are essentially in an adversarial position. Even in the very best and most supportive publisher/writer relationships there is the tension caused by the fact that authors would like to earn as much as possible from their writing and publishers to pay as little as they can get away with...'
  • WritersServices can provide a range of services working on your manuscript, to help you get it ready for submission or self-publishing. We are UK-based, offer exceptional value and our skilled professional editors have been working on writers' manuscripts for 21 years. We have introduced free samples and free assessments on most of these services, please see the individual service page. Copy editing services.
  • Our third new article in The Pedant series is Bells and Whistles? The use of bold, italics and capital letters in prose fiction. There are times when, no matter how well you write, you need typographical support to emphasise a point. English is a wonderfully flexible and suggestive language, but it can't do everything by itself, and replacing plain type with, for instance, italics, can really help the reader to understand what's happening in your story. In this article, we will look at the use of these non-standard fonts and suggest a few simple rules of thumb.
  • Links about publishing: demand for books slowed this year, Big Publishers Hit a Rough Patch; back to pre-pandemic figures, Frankfurt Preview: Frankfurt Welcomes Back the World; and offering a "lovely, welcoming, independent bookstore kind of vibe", New audiobook platforms are launched to rival Amazon's Audible | Books | The Guardian.
  • Poetry publisher Carcanet Press has announced a rare open submissions window in January. Now's the time to prepare your work. Poets with full-length poetry manuscripts in English, or translation can send their work and there's no entry fee. Publication is offered by Carcanet Press.
  • Advice for Writers is a really useful page which takes you into our archive and helps you explore our more than 8,000 pages of information for writers.
  • Links abut the craft of writing: a book surfaced. All because of the power of incremental writing, a kind of compound investment, Persistence Pays the Weary Writer | Jane Friedman; the hours were gruelling. There were countless cancelled weekends, holidays, dates and family events, How writing adverts helped me write children's books; how to escape the everyday, Denise Mina: ‘All my reading is comfort reading' | Denise Mina | The Guardian; and if there's one thing we love here, it's plot structures! A Definitive Guide to the Seven-Point Story Structure - The Art of Narrative.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'Please extend my gratitude to the editor for his/her thoughtful and detailed edit. I could not ask for better work! Its value far exceeded the cost.' Jim, Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA)
  • The Writer's Edit is an enhanced editing package that offers you all the benefits of our expert copy editing service, plus an extra level of advice and support to help you take your writing to a new level. We will copy edit your manuscript to our usual professional standard, but in addition we will offer you a line-by-line edit specifically designed to improve your style, structure and form, and a set of guidance notes, giving commentary and advice.
  • Written exclusively for WritersServices - Trident Media Group Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb explains how literary agencies work. It's no surprise that they do a lot more than you think and that they bring a lot of expertise in a range of different areas to bear on behalf of their authors. How Literary Agents Work.
  • Links from writers: controversy continues, Philip Pullman calls for inquiry into writers' trade union the Society of Authors | Books | The Guardian; the author on his latest ‘whole-life' novel, the brutal realities of modern publishing and the inspirational influence of Catch-22, William Boyd: ‘The books world is much tougher now' | William Boyd | The Guardian; crime writer and former policewoman, Clare Mackintosh Finds the Life of the Party; and leading contemporaries pay tribute, Hilary Mantel remembered: ‘She was the queen of literature' | Hilary Mantel | The Guardian.
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher. This is because most poetry lists are pretty small. Poetry is not in general given much space in bookshops and it is difficult to achieve any sales for first collections. Self-publishing offers a good approach and the live poetry scene is much livelier than it used to be. Getting your poetry published
  • Our Poetry Collection Editing Service - are you ready to self-publish your poetry? Have you concluded that, given the scarcity of publishers taking on new work, it's too difficult to find a poetry publisher who will take on your collection? Are you ready to go ahead on your own, but want to make sure that your poetry is as good as it can be before you publish? Or would you like to get your work into as good a state as possible before you submit it to publishers?
  • 'People say, "What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?" I say, they don't really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they're gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.' R L Stine in our Writers' Quotes.

19 September 2022 - What's new

September 2022

5 September 2022 - What's new

September 2022

22 August 2022 - What's new

August 2022

8 August 2022 - What's new

August 2022
  • ‘Gone are the days when authors could afford to be reclusive, knowing that their publishers would be active on their behalf. Nowadays, authors are routinely expected to be performers, salespeople and marketers all at the same time. And to do that, we need to let go of certain toxic narratives, not least the myth that artists shouldn't care about money or sales, or sully their art by trying to make a living... I've had to face the fact that a certain amount of online self-promotion is not only necessary but that sometimes it's the only promotion an author is likely to get...' Joanne Harris, author of 27 books, including the bestselling Chocolat, current Chair of the Society of Authors in the UK in the Bookseller.
  • So you want to write fantasy or science fiction? You are in good company, as many of the writers who come to WritersServices are writing fantasy, with science fiction as a less popular choice. Science fiction was an important category during much of the twentieth century, with a growing cult audience, until it was overtaken by fantasy. It's often seen as more cerebral, a way of trying out new ideas of the future or other worlds. These days there's a relatively small demand for new science fiction writing, and you have to have a distinctive voice and something interesting to say to stand much chance of getting published. Writing science fiction and fantasy
  • Our unique new service is The Cutting Edit. So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction, and it's a dual service - as we reduce the word count of your manuscript we also copy edit it as part of the job.
  • This new service sits alongside our existing range of Copy editing services.
  • Closing on 9 September, this generous new prize is from London publisher Faber. The Imagined Futures is open to YA writers resident in the UK or Ireland and there's no entry fee. The first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Faber and a £15,000 advance, while the second and third prizes also receive publishing contracts with advances of £8,000 and £5,000 respectively.
  • Links from the publishing world: the US government's bid to block Penguin Random House's acquisition of rival Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster, DOJ Trial to Block PRH/S&S Merger Begins; Evidence Dispute Looms; the second day, DOJ v. PRH: Jonathan Karp and Stephen King Take the Stand; a UK perspective, Stephen King testifies against merger of publishing giants - BBC News; and "We aren't banning books. Anyone can buy it on Amazon if they want." Book Banners Don't Know What a Book Ban Is.
  • Our 19 Factsheets from the legendary Michael Legat are full of tips for the new writer or anyone who is trying to get their book published. From Literary agents to Copyright, from Libel to Submissions, this succinct series is full of essential background information.
  • Links for writers trying to improve their work: a superb and informative article, 25 essential tips for writing gripping crime fiction from the experts; do you struggle to make time for reading? How to get back in the habit of reading - Vox; have you spent years or even decades trying to write a book on your own and floundering? 7 Questions to Reboot a Nonfiction Book You've Been Writing Forever | Jane Friedman; and if you've never tried before, ignite a passion for poetry! How to Write a Poem: In 7 Practical Steps with Examples - The Art of Narrative.
  • Choosing a service - How to work out which is the right editorial service for you. 'Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? If you have finished writing your manuscript and don't know how to proceed, I would strongly recommend considering having a report done on it first. Most writers need to do further work on their manuscripts before submitting or publishing them...'
  • Links about writers' lives and opinions: why readers on TikTok love this sentimental slop, The Good Little Pig Problem (a great title!); the beloved creator of Fungus the Bogeyman and Father Christmas brought a distinctive strain of melancholy to the genre, Snowman author Raymond Briggs dies aged 88 | Raymond Briggs | The Guardian; from the author of the Alex Rider series as well as numerous other successful series, The Bookseller - News - Horowitz says authors ‘running scared' of halving sales by sharing opinions; in 1978, Bill Grose, editor-in-chief at Dell, decided to make a star of a young author from San Francisco, The Sublime Danielle Steel: For the Love of Supermarket Schlock; and her touching verses about heartbreak, fat-shaming and body hair have made her Britain's most-followed poet on social media, Poet Nikita Gill: ‘I worry about people getting tattoos of my work. What if I made a typo?' | Poetry | The Guardian.
  • Getting your poetry published. 'Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher... Poetry is not in general given much space in bookshops and it is difficult to find poetry sections that go much beyond some bestselling backlist and a few new volumes from well-known names. It's hard therefore to achieve any sales for first collections and the publishers are cautious about who they take on...'
  • 'Nothing annoys a writer who doesn't write as much as being asked what he's writing.' Javier Cercas in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your bag, we have substantial collections in More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

25 July 2022 - What's new

July 2022

 

11 July 2022 - What's new

July 2022