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August 2004 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'It was a dark and stormy night'  News Review on this year's winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

    Coming from the University of San Jose, this entertaining competition challenges the writer to compose the opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels. Follow its 'childishly simple' rules, 'wretched writers welcome'.

  • ‘Before this experience I was thinking: "Independent publishing is hopeless; I'm a terrible publisher; it's not working; I should give up". Now I think I'm a genius. But I'm still doing the same thing.’ Andrew Franklin

  • 'He's the author of one of the top-selling books of all time, but the chances are that you’ve never heard of him.'  Check out a 20 million copy bestseller .

  • The Hodder Headline sale: 'The next step for Hachette will be the world. As it positions itself for the global English language publishing market the group will have to look for an American acquisition.'

  • Poetry and politics - how John Kerry has used Langston Hughes' poem Let America be America again to rally American voters


  • 'That's what I've tried to do as a biographer: to keep death in its place, and not to let it have the final word.'     Michael Holroyd

  • 'The very words "creative writing course" can trigger a prolonged bilious attack ' Rowan Pelling's controversial view

  • 'The meat of the matter is to be had sitting down and reading the books - not by meeting the author.'            John Updike

  • ‘I think that the perception of genre in this country is an unconscious extension of the class system.  Graham Joyce in Publishing News

  • 'It's both wonderful and troubling to me to see how we all read the same books, but we all read a completely different book. '  Karen Joy Fowler on Jane Austen and what people read.

Writers' Quotes

  • 'Every time I read a Jane Austen novel, I feel like a bartender at the gates of heaven.'  Mark Twain

How Not to Write a Novel: Confessions of a Midlist Author

Our fifth excerpt from David Armstrong's entertaining book:

This offers a vital piece of advice for writers, which can avoid many problems when you're starting out:

 'Try to write every day... if you don't write, you'll lose the habit.'

Magazine - Foal

The Golden Rules for Starting a Small Business

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Do you want to know what it's like? I mean, what it`s really like? Check out the White Ladder Press's 35 Golden Rules, gleaned from their publishing start-up.

Links update

Our latest update to our selected Links provides 25 new sites of interest to writers from Guardian Unlimited

Not just for writers, but a must for anyone interested in books, this is quite simply one of the best places for keeping up with the literary world on the net.

to Ask about Writing and the rather entertaining Book Forager

Branching Out, a UK librarians' site, offers highly innovative way of finding the book you would like to read, using the happy/sad, conventional/weird and other spectrums.


This month's new poster is More Wisdom from the Experts, including Murphy’s Fourth Law:

'If it is possible for several things to go wrong, the one that will cause the most damage is the one that will actually go wrong.'

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob's now on his seventh EastEnders script.

'I also rediscover something I was taught by my father and have known most of my life, but of which I have always to keep reminding myself...  In fact, we are all heroes and we all deserve to have our stories told.'

 This week

Writers' ForumBritish writers' magazine which is highly recommended for all writers. It features wide range of news and articles which help writers to improve their work and get published:  Column

'Go easy on the hooptedoodle.'

John Jenkins's terrific advice to writers:  rewrite and rewrite, following his checklist.  Plus also Elmore Leonard's ten tips on writing and on cutting out the hooptedoodle.

All in the Editor's View from the Editor of Writers' Forum magazine.