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November 2004 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review looks at how the romantic novel has been forced to change, giving a new twist to the ‘boy meets girl’ plot - 'Girl saves the world and also meets boy’
  • Edinburgh's proud title of first World City of Literature looks like providing something to live up to. See News Review.
  • ‘In this climate of fear, the only way I can find the courage to continue speaking is from the knowledge that I belong to a community of writers' Sara Paretsky inspires News Review to ask if there really is a community of writers.
  • ‘Public libraries are on the verge of extinction. Action is needed now to halt their decline and renew their role in cultural life.’ Tim Coates
  • Will authors threaten legal action? News Review looks at the unprecedented situation in which Penguin may be asked to compensate authors for loss of sales due to the publisher's acute warehouse problems.


  • 'Children's writing is the Zeitgeist...  When I was a child, the choice of titles was really limited. It's important that children like reading and the more choice there is for them, the better.' Philip Kerr, author of The Children of the Lamp in the Bookseller.
  • 'We really must get wise to what the supermarkets are doing.'  Richard Barker in the Bookseller
  • 'People think they can knock off a few words and watch them transform, like magic, into something they call a poem.' Christina Patterson on the craft of poetry in the Independent
  • 'It’s a Catch 22 situation. The more successful you are, the less time you have to write.' Ian Rankin on author tours, in the Bookseller.
  • 'The investment in an illustrated book, the picture acquisition cost, the production, the design, is much, much greater than, let's say, a novel.' Jamie Camplin of Thames & Hudson, in Publishing News, on publishing illustrated books.

Writers' Quotes

  • 'It would be no loss to the world if most of the writers now writing had been strangled at birth.'       Rebecca West (at the 1962 Edinburgh Festival Writers' conference)

Print on Demand self-publishing

'An author willing to gamble on this self-publishing model can make ten times as much per book sold as compared with royalty income from a major trade house.' We reprint an article from Foner Books showing how, unless your books are bestsellers, publishing your own book can make much more money for you.

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

Our eighth excerpt from David Armstrong's entertaining book:

This month the author deals with the subject of names.  'The best approach is to give your main character a name that feels comfortable to you, that you're at ease with, and that you aren't going to mind typing a thousand times.'

What new writers need survey (see below)

Our latest survey results provide a fascinating insight into what new writers want to help them get started.  More help from big publishers is a top choice.  

Plus many interesting comments, such as: ‘publishing is like an impregnable mountain fortress that has to be broken into by force’


Magazine - Sunset


More work for writers

Kevan Manwaring's storytelling tour round the UK for his book The Long Woman shows how writers can get out there and sell their own work. Catch his tour now!

Ordinary Heroes

Working through WritersPrintshop, Chas Jones of WritersServices has just self-published a book using their own diaries and recollections to reveal the extraordinary true story of a group of British rail workers and miners sent to France right at the beginning of the war.

Picture libraries

Sourcing pictures for your book and links to the online picture libraries which allow you to find what you want quickly and easily.

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

It's sad not to be writing for Eastenders any more...

'Non-fans, on the other hand, now feel free to tell me what they really think about the show... I spring to its defence. I did, after all, write for it.'

This week

My Say

Phyllis McDuff's piece for My Say offers her practical tips on Speaking for Writers and why it is so important as a way of publicising your book.

Agency listings

New this month - the UK, US and international agents' listings from the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook

Review of the new Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook

Our reviewer Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor. said this was 'a fantastically valuable resource for anyone who wants to venture into this highly specialised area of publishing'

Writers' Forum Column

John Johnson recommends Christopher Booker's The Seven Basic Plots: 'his is a book you should put at the top of your list.'

From the Editor's View, written by the Editor of Writers' Forum magazine.

We Watch the web for writers

Our latest article updates our piece on Trojan horses with the latest scams


Our latest article updates our piece on Trojan horses with the latest scams

Next Generation Poets London event

If you can get to London on 28th November, don't miss this celebratory gala event.