- 'New research carried out by DJS Research Ltd on behalf of the book charity Booktrust has found a divide in the UK between readers and non-readers, linked to wellbeing and deprivation. A significant number of adults have negative attitudes to reading - despite the fact that people who regularly pick up a book are, on average, more satisfied with life and are more likely to think that what they do in life is worthwhile.' This week's News Review looks at trends affecting readers.
- Our Writing Opportunity this week needs swift action, it's closing on 30 April. The Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all published and unpublished writers, UK and non-UK based, over 16 years of age, with an entry fee of £8 per short story. 1st Prize is £1,000 plus £150 Waterstone's gift card + 19 other prizes.
- 'The world of spying is my genre. My struggle is to demystify, to de-romanticise the spook world, but at the same time harness it as a good story. As someone once said, the definition of genius - not that I'm a genius - is to have two conflicting opinions about any one subject and that's what I do all the time. Some call it ambiguity. I call it lack of resolution...' Our Comment this week is from John le Carré, author of A Delicate Truth and nineteen other novels, in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven.
- Our Health Hazards series looks at all the particular dangers faced by writers, from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Looking after your eyes and advises on how to position your desk and chair.
- This week's links: Innovation is in the blood | FutureBook; Why Do Celebrities Think They Can Write Children's Books? | Publishing Perspectives; more on reading in Reading Agency survey finds 63% of men rarely read | The Bookseller; the latest thoughts on self-publishing from Hugh Howey London Book Fair 2014: Howey Champions DIY Publishing; and Is There a Formula for an International Bestseller? | Publishing Perspectives.
- Our My Say column offers you a chance to put your own point of view: Jae Watson on the magic formula which enables writers to 'cross that fine, elusive line dividing unpublished and published writers' and Natasha Mostert, 'There are few things as satisfying as typing THE END to a manuscript' are just two from our archives. Send us your own contributions to this column.
- And finally, from Dr Samuel Johnson in our Writers' Quotes: 'It is advantageous to an author that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends.'