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April 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • ‘The 55 to 74s are buying less romance, cookery, health, business and DIY, and more crime, travel, sport, fitness and diet, humour and entertainment books.’ Richard Samson.  News Review looks at the rise of the grey market.
  • Do you think when you write about work in your blog or your novel it's private?  Your employer may not think so - and you may find yourself getting fired. News Review investigates.
  • Martin Ellis of Zymurgy Publishing:  'Customers in bookshops do not know - or even less care - if a book is published by a large multinational or a small independent...  Small can be beautiful, innovative, entertaining, informative - and is almost always more passionate.'  News Review looks at small publishers.
  • Are big publishers going to get bigger?  News Review looks at increasing conglomeratisation in publishing and what it means for writers.


  • 'America needs a strong voice that addresses everyone who can read, a voice that will say, "Let's explore the books that are coming out today.  Let's see what moves us, what delights us, what speaks to us in a way that only fiction does."' A letter to Oprah Winfrey from the Association of Women Authors in the US.
  • 'Being an unpublished author is a bit like being an asylum seeker. You know this is where you belong - your Promised Land - but the gate is guarded.'  Marina Lewycka, on writing her first novel A Short History of Tractors, in the Observer
  • 'We are creating a generation of children who might be able to make the right noises when they see print, but who hate reading and feel nothing but hostility for literature.’           Philip Pullman
  • Literary agents once functioned primarily as salespeople. Today, they're taking on the additional roles of editor and marketer...  With fewer editors forced to handle more books, agents must do more to promote aspiring authors.'   Washington Post

Writers' Quotes

'Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children, life is the other way round.'
David Lodge

 Synopsis-writing service  Are you struggling to get your submission package right?  Our new service is introduced by public demand.  Now you can commission our editor to  produce a synopsis for your manuscript which will enable you to make a professional submission of your project to an agent or publisher.

Writing Biography and Autobiography by Brian D Osborne

The first of three excerpts from this title from the A & C Black Writing Handbooks series looks at research: 

'Always ask yourself why a document was written, why it says what it says, whether its statements are internally consistent and whether they can be backed up by other sources.'

Masterclasses at the London Book Fair


Sophie Hannah: you can ‘improve your chances by being as fully informed as possible.’ ‘Know as much as you can about the scene… the more knowledge you have about the poetry world the better.’

Historical Fiction

‘How lucky can we be. I don’t have a problem, I have pleasure after pleasure… I’m the luckiest person alive.’ 

Bernard Cornwall and Philippa Gregory on writing historical fiction.

How to get published

'You have to work out a way of finding an audience for your book...  If you don't know where it's going to go in a bookshop, it's going to be a problem... The message is that whatever you're writing... you have to be aware of what is going on in the book trade.' Jonny Geller

Magazine - Rainbow

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 13 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting.

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob ruminates on the amazing development at Oxford's Sackler Library, where scholars have at last worked out how to read 2,500-year old papyrus documents, including long-lost works by Aeschylus and Ovid, which have been stored in the library for a century.

'The ability still to read 2,500-year old texts is, of course, a wonderful thing. Suspect, however, in another 2,500 years our descendants may be unable to read the great works of today – if, indeed, they read anything at all by then.'

This week

Inside Publishing series

Inside Publishing turns its attention to what has long been regarded as the Cinderella of the publishing world. Children’s publishing has enjoyed a remarkable rate of growth and is now seen by many as one of the most exciting areas to work in.

Our latest new survey - see below

Writers' Forum Column

John Jenkins: 'All we have to do is ask our readers for a few ideas of what they would like to see in the magazine and the suggestions pour in...  Listening to what your readers want is not new but few publications seem to bother today.'

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


Our design, print and distribution service for self-publishers.  The latest addition to the service is our WritersPrintShop online bookshop, which will sell your book for you on the Internet as soon as it's published.

New links

A major review of our recommended links has just added 20 new ones, including a new listing for book group links.