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August 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • In what the UK reckons to be the dog days of summer, the most extraordinary dispute looks headed for open warfare...  News Review looks at W H Smith's v the publishers.
  • News Review looks at the wonderful 'books for babies' scheme: Bookstart youngsters were six times more likely to be library members and confirmed that the effect of the early exposure to books lasts and helps with the children's attitudes to reading throughout their schooldays.'
  • 'It's not surprising that many publishers now rate Amazon as their most important outlet as far as backlist is concerned.  It is believed to account for up to 75% of Amazon's book sales.' News Review looks at the latest from the Internet giant.


  • 'So, in 2004, do we need science fiction? Some features of the world of 2004 resemble science fictional dreams of the past; some science fiction scenarios are obsolete.'      Stephen Baxter in The Times
  • ‘In America, there’s a huge schism between literary and commercial, created largely by marketing and by chain bookstores. '  Jodi Picoult  in Publishing News
  • 'I feel that anyone who wants to write historical fiction needs to love the genre, rather than be tempted to have a go at historical novels just because they seem to be fashionable right now...  But most of all, new novelists need to enjoy what they are doing, because this enjoyment will show in their writing.’  Jude Morgan, author of Passion in Writers’ Forum
  • 'The business is so f***ing hard now, and there's so much pressure on those working inside it, that either they don't have the time for (shall we say) pro bono discourse about (say) how to do some of the little things better; or they feel that giving away what few secrets they possess will put them at the sort of competitive disadvantage that might, soon, cost them their jobs.’ Mad Max Perkins of BookAngst 101


Writers' Quotes

‘God has a great sense of humour.  If I hadn’t got my book deal, I’d be living off £400 a month pension.’
G P Taylor, who has a 9-book deal with Faber

Writing Handbooks

Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

The second excerpt from this title from the A & C Black Writing Handbooks series looks at beginning to define your lead and developing your 'Suppose' through wht literary agent Even Marshall calls 'the three three crisis criteria':  'The situation the crisis creates must intrigue you. You’ll be with this novel a long time. If you get bored while you’re writing it, you may not finish it...'

Magazine - St Michel

Review of Mslexia magazine

The fourth in our series of magazine reviews

This month the focus is on Mslexia magazine:

'for women writers who take their writing quite seriously and are aiming at the more literary end of the spectrum but who want good practical advice, offered in an accessible and friendly way, Mslexia is perfect.'

For reviews of Writers' Forum, Writer's Digest and Writers' News, see our writers' magazine review section.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 15 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting. Our latest new service is Synopsis-writing.

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob on whether writers should reflect the new culture since 9/11 - and whether he's persona non grata at EasterEnders because of his article in the 2006 Writer's Handbook

'A novelist only engages with real life in order to tidy it up... Should never forget that novels, no matter how ‘engaged’, are primarily works of the imagination.'

This week

Praise for WritersServices

Check out WritersServices' wonderful review in ArtsProfessional magazine: 'this site was set up specifically to help writers prepare for publication. It has a great resource section...'

Report from the Annual Writers' Conference in Winchester

Fay Weldon on the writer's role: ‘The reader is looking to you to provide some meaning and shape to the chaos of real life... The writer’s job is to provide a pattern.'

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Writers' Forum Column

John Jenkins looks at the star-studded line-up at the Cheltenham  Festival and what judges of writing competitions are looking for, and asks whether media studies are more important than Eng.Lit? 

'So are the characters memorable? Is the dialogue crisp? Could the beginning and ending of the story be polished?'

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

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