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23 November 2020 - What's new

23 November 2020
  • ‘Growing up as the boy I was and now the man that I am in New York, they feel like two very different people. And so, though this is on-the-back-of-a-cornflakes-box psychology, it was a good way for me to make sense of the whole of me and to sort of stitch myself together. I love the boy I was. It wasn't always easy but I wanted to conjure that world. Fiction allows you take control of a situation that you might not have control over in real life. On the west coast of Scotland, we are never allowed to think of ourselves as exceptional - never exceptionally great or exceptionally hard done to. And a memoir is thinking there's an exception there that is worth sharing... Douglas Stuart, author of debut novel Shuggie Bain, which has just won the 2020 Booker Prize, in the Guardian.
  • From our 7-part series An Editor's Advice, on writing genre novels: 'How do you become a successful genre writer? You do it by getting to know your chosen genre intimately. You do it by writing, of course, but you also do it by reading a lot of genre novels. And I do mean "a lot". You read a lot of genre novels in order to get the overall ‘feel' of things. You read modern genre to understand what's currently ‘hot' so you can play with the ideas and extend them, rather than simply regurgitating the same old ideas. You read the back catalogue to understand what the current writers read before they got started. You can look for ideas, yes, but you've still got to do something new with them. You see, like all literature, genre has history...'
  • '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. But how are you supposed to tell who will do a good job, when the editorial services on the web all sound pretty much the same and it's tempting to go for the cheapest?' Getting your manuscript copy edited
  • Our links about writers: a very popular winner with a history of being turned down by publishers, Douglas Stuart's Booker win heralds arrival of a fully formed voice | Booker prize | The Guardian; editor Peter Blackstock was behind last year's winner too, Talking to the Editor Behind Back-to-Back Booker Prizes | Literary Hub; the second oldest profession, The Evolution of Espionage Fiction | CrimeReads; metafiction, sex, feminism, death, and the end of the world in her latest poetic masterpiece, Welcoming Disillusionment: PW Talks with Margaret Atwood; and already it's on track to become the bestselling presidential memoir of all time, How Barack Obama's Book Sales Stack Up Against Other Big Memoirs.
  • 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 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?...'
  • Get some professional help. If you're self-publishing, you need good quality copy for the cover. Our Blurb-writing service can provide a professionally written piece of cover copy. Submitting to agents but finding it difficult to write your own synopsis? Commission a Synopsis which will present your manuscript in the best possible light for submission.
  • More links on what's going on in publishing: Penguin Random House purchasing Simon & Schuster is not the gravest danger to the publishing business, The Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster Merger's About Amazon - The Atlantic; avoiding  'traditional writer' think, Business Musings: Trainwreck November Edition - Kristine Kathryn Rusch; do we need new marketing strategies after Covid? How Do We Market Books Now? So how is printing being affected? As book publishing shrinks during the pandemic, how are India's printing presses coping? And a very sad story for poets, poetry readers and poetry, Poets House Suspends Operations Amid Pandemic; Employees Cry Foul.
  • 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.
  • 'Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. I have 10 or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.' Gore Vidal in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If Quotes are you bag, we have substantial collections in More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.