Skip to Content

4 December 2017 - What's new

4 December 2017
  • ‘My students at Columbia I teach to read. If you can be a good reader and can think that reading and literature are great pursuits, you can perhaps teach yourself to write. For every ‘lesson' one would try to propound there'd be a wonderful story or novel that violated any rule. But that's about all. I use myself as something like a specimen to them...' Richard Ford, author of The Sportswriter and Let Me Be Frank with You, talking about writing in the Guardian provides this week's Comment, Most books don't last.
  • Get moving quickly to submit to the lively and effective Emma Press's poetry and prose open submission for poetry and prose pamphlets, adult and children's prose by 10 December. No entry fee and it's open to all writers internationally but you have to join the Emma Press Club. The prize is publication. Our Writing Opportunity
  • A must-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.
  • 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, Translation editing for those for whom English is not a native language and our new Writer's edit, providing line-editing. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Our links: successful authors work their butts off either way. There is no such thing as a lazy successful author, The Myth of the Lazy Writer; I had beyond-exciting fantasy plans for my latest novel, The Age of the Child, and first among them was that it would not be self-published, Why Pursue Traditional Publishing? (Are There Enough Good Reasons?); it might feature such thought-stretching concepts as time travel and warp drives, but Science fiction triggers 'poorer reading', study finds; and sales are flat, or down. There have been no market-defining breakout hits, no hot new genres to plump up the annual earnings statement, The Year in Best-Sellers.
  • 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 (this figure came from two agents I spoke to about this), 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...'
  • More links: do we like reading about fictional rape? On Rape Culture in Crime Fiction; so how much does your author pic matter, An Author Photo Is Worth a Thousand Words; and it's managed to surprise us, by its rapid evolution into a self-sustained industry on its own, 6 Things About Self-Publishing You Will Be Tempted To Overlook, But Shouldn't.
  • 'The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.' Mark Twain in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.