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21 March 2016 - What's new

21 March 2016
  • ‘I tend to do what I want to do. For a long time I did not write fiction. Then suddenly a fictional world was in my imagination, so I wrote it. It's ridiculous to say I'm passive in relation to these things, because obviously I do exactly what I want to do...' Marilynne Robinson, author of The Givenness of Things and Housekeeping, in the Observer provides this week's Comment.
  • Our Writing Opportunity is the Winchester Writing Festival which has no less than eleven competitions, including two poetry ones, three by and for children, flash fiction, short story, crime, memoir and the first three pages of a novel, all closing on 13 May - and you don't need to attend the festival to enter!
  • An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Dialogue, Manuscript presentation and Doing further drafts: 'I have just finished writing a report on a novel. I've pinpointed various areas of weakness and made various suggestions that the writer may or may not wish to follow. But the nub of the report is a recommendation that the writer produce a further draft of the novel rather than trying to submit it to a publisher now. I wonder sometimes how writers feel when they get my reports and see that recommendation...'
  • 'One of our links this week points the way to a final article from Digital Book World about hybrid authors, those who manage to combine the benefits of self-publishing in terms of control with the advantages of being published by a traditional publisher. Not every author wants to market their own book and many are not comfortable or confident about their ability to do so...' News Review
  • Links of the week: a highly practical approach to the writing of fiction, 9 Reasons To Index-Card Your Manuscript | You Write Fiction; exploring a new approach to getting published, How Publishers and 'Hybrid' Authors Are Working Together | Digital Book World; and the story of one successful small poetry press, BookBrunch - Poetry, and the rest is noise: An interview with Jenny Swann from Candlestick Press.
  • Getting your poetry published can be quite hard, but here are a few general pointers: '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. It's hard therefore to achieve any sales for first collections and the publishers have to be realistic about this...'
  • Our Poetry Critique service and Poetry Collection Editing service might help you to work out where you've got to with your poetry. Do you want to make sure that your poetry is as good as it can be before you go ahead with submitting to competitions, magazines or websites, or do you want help to prepare a collection? Our Poetry Collection Editing service is unique and is a real help when what you need is editorial advice on preparing your collection for self-publishing or submission.
  • More links: some amazing insights into reader analytics, with worrying implications for authors, Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read - The New York Times; can reading and listening at the same time prove really attractive? Why Podcasts Like 'Serial' Are Helping English Teachers Encourage Literacy - The Atlantic; and the 2016 winner of the Bookseller's entertaining prize Too Naked For the Nazis claims 38th Diagram Prize | The Bookseller.
  • 'If you do not have an alert and curious interest in character and dramatic situation, if you have no visual imagination and are unable to distinguish between honest emotional reactions and sentimental approaches to life, you will never write a competent short story.' Edward J O'Brien in our Writers' Quotes.