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28 March 2016 - What's new

28 March 2016
  • There's a great Writing Opportunity this week with the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, open to UK and Irish writers of 16 and over and has no entry fee. Prizes include a £20,000 advance, the services of a top literary agent - and guaranteed publication by Penguin Random House UKPenguin Random House have more than 50 creative and autonomous imprints, publishing the very best books for all audiences, covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, autobiographies and much more. Click for Random House UK Publishers References listing.
  • 'The battle rages on about whether self-publishing or traditional publishing is best from the author's point of view and it all seems to come down to your own experience. If you're happily settled with a publisher and content with what they're doing for you, then of course you'll advocate that...' News Review this week - To self-publish or be traditionally published?
  • Our 19-part Inside Publishing series gives you an insider's take on the publishing world, covering everything from subsidiary rights to the world English language market, from advances and royalties to 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. Understanding this is part of working your way through the relationship so as to come out of it in the way that best suits you as the writer...'
  • ‘The debate about whether you can teach creative writing is a funny one. Nobody ever says to a pianist, "Oh, you don't need a conservatoire, why don't you just practice your piano, then you'll get good." Good creative writing courses provide discipline, advice and criticism... But there is that extra magic fairy dust that good writers have that can't be taught...' Tracy Chevalier, author of At the Edge of the Orchard and Girl with a Pearl Earring, in the Sunday Telegraph's Stella provides this week's Comment.
  • Kevin Morley on how he turned to writing to support the Saltergate Children's Home: 'One of the things I have set up here in Addis Ababa is a small children's home - you need to start somewhere. It is a tiny place but it provides food and shelter for a few kids. Tsege is getting on a bit but she manages the day to day running of the place and makes sure the children behave themselves. Abel, Filimon and Daniel might be too proud to ask for hand-outs but I'm not. Simple request - if you can help with a donation that would be great....'
  • Our links: one writer with strong views about publishing herself, For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way | Books | The Guardian; a concerted campaign against writers being asked to work without payment is gathering pace on a number of fronts, Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society - The Price Still Ain't Right; there isn't a company that more directly affects book publishing than Amazon, Why Are Amazon and KDP So Weird? | Digital Book World; and the saddening story of Canada's recent copyright reforms, Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society - Oh Canada! How Not to Reform Copyright.
  • If you are looking for copy editing online, it is 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. Getting your manuscript copy edited.
  • More links: the amazing story of the publishing factory that works on the bestselling author's work, It Takes 16 People Working Full Time to Publish All of James Patterson's Books; an interesting plan from the same source for getting non-readers reading - rather like Quick Books, James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books - The New York Times; and, also featured this week as a competition but containing some great advice for writers from an agent, author and publisher, Your chance to become a novelist! The winner gets a book deal with £20k advance! | Daily Mail Online.
  • And from Booker Prize-winning Anita Brokner, who died recently, 'If I were happy, married with six children, I wouldn't be writing. And I doubt if I should want to.' from our Writers' Quotes.