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18 September 2017 - What's new

18 September 2017
  • A new article we've just added to the site, Eleni Cotton's Fact to Fiction is about how she used her own family history as the basis for her novel set in Malawi: 'I had managed to remain fairly objective about the story but, quite suddenly, it hit me that these people I was writing about, whose lives I was describing, were my ancestors - the parents and grandparents of my own parents. For a while, this thought paralysed me. Feelings of loyalty and love strangled the blazing need to tell the story as it was...'
  • ‘Write for your audience. By that I mean don't create something that is unfathomable, self-indulgent dross then be surprised when nobody watches. You need to take your audience with you, to help them to understand the world you've created and the characters that inhabit that world. Let them see what your characters are striving for and give them a reason to care if they succeed or not...' Tony Jordan, whose scriptwriting credits include EastEnders, Life on Mars and Dickensian in The Times provides this week's Comment.
  • Have you got something you'd like to say to our community of writers? My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Natasha Mostert, 'There are few things as satisfying as typing THE END to a manuscript.' And there's British author Eliza Graham, author of Playing with the Moon and The One I Was, on her route to publication and Richard Hall "Write about what you know" - does this adage always make sense? Contributions should ideally be 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Next Thursday, 28 September, is National Poetry Day in the UK and a good template of how a national celebration for poetry can achieve real reach. The BBC, schools, poets, publishers, bookshops and readers are uniting to bring about a real celebration of poetry. Poets in particular will be very much in evidence, with a mass of events and school visits to celebrate the day. News Review
  • Still avalilable on the Salt Publishing backlist, a book we reviewed a while back entitled 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell, which does just that.
  • Our links: what I didn't expect was the internet. Of all the technological developments that have changed the way modern society functions, perhaps none has presented such a disruptive challenge to society, Why science-fiction writers couldn't imagine the internet; some magical people manage to do it all: write incredible books and also edit them, 7 Writers Who Were Also Editors (And the Books They Edited) | Literary Hub; how a multi-million-pound selling writer has hit out after finding fraudulent books that she did not write being sold on Amazon under her name, Milly Johnson condemns fraudulent sales on Amazon | The Bookseller; and, criticized for its imperialist overtones, its unwillingness to take risks, and, above all, its corrupt insularity, Americans Didn't Ruin the Man Booker Prize. Book Publishers Did. | New Republic.
  • 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. Services for Self-publishers.
  • More links: as I wind through the pages of miniscule print, zooming in on articles and reading them only to discover their irrelevance, I feel familiar threads of anxiety knot in the depths of my stomach, How Much Actual History Do You Need for a Historical Novel? | Literary Hub; how do poets make money? The answer, a lot of the time, is: not through poetry, ALCS | Poetry cornered; a few years ago I wrote an article for the Guardian on ageism in the literary world, about the predilection of publications like Granta, the New Yorker and Buzzfeed for authors under the age of 40, All the awards for young writers amount to discrimination | Joanna Walsh | Books | The Guardian; and, from the guru, What's More Important: Author Websites or Social Media? | Jane Friedman.
  • 'I think a writer's job is to provoke questions. I like to think that if someone's read a book of mine, they've had - I don't know what - the literary equivalent of a shower. Something that would start them thinking in a slightly different way, perhaps. That's what I think writers are for.' Doris Lessing in our Writers' Quotes.
  • For quotes fans we have More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.