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5 June 2017 - What's new

5 June 2017
  • 'I think the themes that I am interested in writing about are similar in my crime fiction and in my poetry. I want to write about people, the way they behave, their psychology, the whole gamut of relationships - romantic partnerships, family, friendships. Even formally, I think poetry and crime fiction have a lot in common. In a tightly plotted crime novel and a highly metrical poem, for instance, structure is crucially important...' Sophie Hannah, author of Did You See Melody? plus 18 other novels and 5 poetry collections, provides our Comment from the Guardian.
  • If you're quick, there's still time to enter the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize 2017 for a short story of 2,000 to 4,000 words by 14 June but it's open to UK residents only. There's an entry fee of £5 and a prize of £1,000.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide by 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 is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'Self-publishing has changed so much over the past few years it's hard to believe it was once looked down upon by the publishing industry as the last resort of the vain and desperate. At the time of writing many self-publishing authors are identifying with the term ‘indie author', which acknowledges that to professionally publish today, you don't actually have to do everything yourself!' Articles include Formatting your book for Kindle and Marketing and Promotion for Indie Authors: Online.
  • BookExpo and the appointment of a new UK Children's Laureate have dominated the book trade news agenda this week. BEABookExpo America, commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA. The largest annual book trade fair in the United States's move to New York last week was reckoned to be a great improvement over Chicago and Lauren Child said she wanted: 'to inspire children to believe in their own creative potential, to make their own stories and drawings and ignite in them the delight of reading for pleasure. In an increasingly fast paced world, children need the freedom to dream and imagine; to enjoy reading, drawing and telling their own stories without value judgement or restraint.' News Review
  • Our links: If there's one thing most writers agree upon, it's the fact that creating something original is hard, but choosing to unleash it into big, wide world is even harder, So, You Want To Be A Writer? There's Never Been A Better Time Than Right Now... | HuffPost UK; News of the writer's death sparked a moving reminiscence, Denis Johnson's Lasting Advice - The New Yorker; in many ways, the worst thing to happen to book publishing has been the persistent strength of print books and the drop in sales of ebooks, Print sales might be rallying, but don't get complacent | The Bookseller; and from a tribute to the author, 'The best historical fiction delivers emotional truth through the lives of imaginary but ordinary people,' Remembering Helen Dunmore's The Siege | Literary Hub.
  • See also this link to a story about her last book. Helen Dunmore: facing mortality and what we leave behind | Books | The Guardian.
  • Earlier this year we launched our latest new service, the Writer's edit, a top-level new service for writers who want line-editing as well as copy editing. Does your manuscript need high-level input from an editor to help you get it into the best possible shape for submission or self-publishing? This may be the service for you, offering the kind of editing which publishers' senior editors used to do in-house on their authors' manuscripts - and which is now hard to find.
  • More links: after you have a draft, the work is still just beginning because for most novels revision is the key to success - as is finding enthusiasm for revision to make your manuscript everything you want it to be, 5 Writing Tips: Jeff VanderMeer; the idea of the country's best fiction writers - specifically, its most refined stylists - writing only hard-core erotica in a new quarterly, Tour de Raunch - / current issue; what Rushdie has called "a significant public stand against racism and xenophobia", Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood lead campaign for displaced writers | Books | The Guardian; and, making it all sound very straightforward, John Grisham's Do's and Don'ts for Writing Popular Fiction - The New York Times.
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. on The Slush pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned..'
  • And from Helen Dunmore, who died this week, two quotes in our Writers' Quotes, one about writing novels and the other about poetry: 'A novel, in the end, is a container, a shape which you are trying to pour your story into.' and 'I have learned so much from working with other poets, travelling and reading with them, spending days discussing poems in progress. There is the sense that we are all, as writers, part of something which is more powerful than any of us.'