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February 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review looks at Amazon's growth and stellar results for 2004 and concludes that the online retailer is unstoppable now.
  • Successful authors such as Michelle Paver and 13-year-old Emma Maree Urquhart make it look easy to make a fortune out of writing for children - but is it really such a doddle?
  • 'Children’s books are booming... the children of today are reaping the benefit of a flowering of children’s writing of all kinds, such as we have never seen before.'
  • News Review looks at World Book Day plans. 'Current statistics show that there are over five million adults in the UK who have limited literacy skills. They are effectively excluded from the pleasures that reading can bring - whether from a novel, a cookery book or a travel guide.' Gail Rebuck


  • 'I think one should respect someone like mad while they're alive and write what you like once they're dead... Books should not be written to be cathartic for the author but to ring bells with and be entertaining for an audience.' Virginia Ironside, author of Janey and Me, quoted in the Observer
  • ''I'll probably be completely forgotten...  History is like some giant beast - it simply wriggles its back and throws off whatever is on it.'  Arthur Miller, quoted in the Independent.
  • 'The whole industry is built around writing one book a year, so the next hardcover comes out with the mass market paperback of your previous one... It's not enough time to write a good book.'  Greg Iles in the Bookseller
  • 'There is something about the contemporary scene that has made competitiveness, doing the next person down, a central part of the writing business rather than just a sideshow.' Terence Blacker in the Independent

Writers' Quotes

'First a mistress you dally and play with, then she becomes your master and finally your tyrant.' Winston Churchill on writing a book

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

Our eleventh excerpt from David Armstrong's entertaining book:

This month the author looks at vanity publishing and self-publishing, warning writers about the pitfalls of each, whilst showing that self-publishing has an honourable tradition, having been practised by authors from Jill Paton Walsh to Virginia Woolf.

'So, if you have a spare few thousand pounds, if you are desperate to see your book in print and want to give copies to friends and family and try to sell a few to your mates at the pub or squash club, then go ahead... ' concluding 'As a last resort; if you can't get anyone to buy (or even read) your book, consider self- or vanity-publishing it.

New links

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

Magazine - Mask

2005 London Book Fair Masterclasses

Book now for the Masterclasses to be held on 12th and 13 March at the London Book Fair.  Organised in association with English PEN and involving many well-known authors, these cover:

  • How to get published
  • The Daily Mail Book Club Fiction Masterclass
  • How to  write Historical Fiction
  • How to write popular poetry

New poster

Here's our new poster in the Writers on Writing series, which includes gems such as:

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

The 2005 Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year

Check out this year's peculiar winner!

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob is still recovering from his accident, but, mercifully, has a new exec producer in charge at EastEnders:

'Can finally reveal I was actually thrown off my last but one episode, somewhere around the sixth draft, I think, though my memory’s hazy...  (and there's)) a promise that schedules will be back to sensible levels by April'

My Say

Mary Garden shares her experiences with writer's block and how Stephen King and her anger helped her to overcome it.

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Writers' Forum Column

In masterly style, John Jenkins shows you how to use the Da Vinci Code as a masterclass in writing a blockbuster.

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

Our Editorial Services for writers

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

Our Editorial Services for writers

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


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.

International Book Fairs

A new list, updated to include the 2005 dates for book fairs all over the world.