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May 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review assesses the Harry Potter phenomenon: 'Rowling has had many critics and many imitators, but none have managed to surpass the sheer page-turning quality of her books. This is the magic which keeps children coming back for more.'
  • News Review reports on how Londoners have got back to work after the bomb blasts: 'It’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks in London...  Londoners, hardened to terror by the IRA campaigns of the past and the clear knowledge that the city was a likely Al Qaeda target, were mostly stoical. '
  • Here comes Harry Potter! Outrage has been expressed in the book trade about the ‘wasted’ discount that all book retailers are giving away on a book which is so much in demand that many feel there is no need to cut the price.
  • News Review looks at the changing face of bookselling: 'the net effect is fewer bookshops and more power concentrated in the hands of fewer big groups, both booksellers and publishers. Books, like other businesses, are suffering from globalisation.'


  • '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
  • 'To an outsider the British publishing industry can seem like a conspiracy intent on depriving English-speaking readers of the majority of the good books written in languages other than their own.'  John Carey, Chair of the judges of the Man Booker International Prize
  • 'Book reviews should inspire reading.  They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books and avoid bad ones... But let's be honest. They don't, do they?…' Scott Pack of Waterstone's
  • 'Somebody once said that one's real life is often the life that one does not lead... the story of the boy and the wolf sat in my filing cabinet, and came to life only when I realised that this was the world I had lost. This was the life I hadn't led. Michelle Paver, author of Wolf Brother, in The Times


Writers' Quotes

'Well, great authors are great people, but I believe that they are best seen at a distance.' Mrs Mitford

Writing Handbooks

Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

The first excerpt from this title from the A & C Black Writing Handbooks series looks at working out which genre you want to write in:

'In today’s sophisticated market of superclassification, the midlist is gone, and every novel must fit into a niche... But a novel written without a genre in mind can be difficult if not impossible to sell. Challenge yourself to be creative within your genre’s conventions…'

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.

Magazine - viaduct


Check out our just-overhauled 18 pages of carefully-chosen links for writers, which range from Writers' Online Services to Web Resources.  Please email us with any good children's sites you recommend for our new section.

Review of Writers' News magazine

The third in our series of magazine reviews.

Our reviewer's view was that: 'Writers’ News two-in-one package also represents excellent value and is recommended for writers who want to keep in touch, find out about markets and improve their writing.'

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 language development in Big Brother, why he doesn't need to buy novels and Tom Stoppard's theory on what is true and what is good.  Plus:

'the most borrowed author from the UK’s 4,200 public libraries between 2002 and 2004 was Jacqueline Wilson. And I have absolutely no idea who she is.'

(check it out in News Review 12 April 2004 - Unofficial Laureate of the Sleepover Generation - who is also now the Children's Laureate)

Writing opportunity

There’s still just time to enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Award, Britain’s most prestigious prize for young writers between the ages of 11-17, but the closing date is 31 July!

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 creation of Penguin paperbacks: 'Penguins were an immediate success and sold a million copies in four months with sales climbing to 17 million in the first three years... IF YOU were Allen Lane starting today which 10 recent novels would you choose?'

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