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September 2006 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review on Oxfam's new bookshop: 'For many people, donating unwanted books to an international charity which will use them to raise money is a good way of dealing with the stacks of books they are never going to read again. Supporting Oxfam makes them feel good too.'

  • News Review looks at prospects for the autumn in the book world and quotes from the Bookseller: ‘It is publishers who have the most to fear this Christmas. With so many high six-figure and seven-figure sums already gambled, expectations are perilously over-inflated.'

  • 'The Beijing International Book Fair... has provided a fascinating window on a booming book market...  This vast market is of particular interest to international publishers because of the thirst to learn and read in English, and to adopt Western culture and patterns of consumption.' News Review investigates

  • 'It had become a bestseller thanks to direct, personal communication with potential readers that has been made possible by the Internet.'  News Review looks at Anthony Thornton's account of how he promoted his bestselling book online.


  • 'Whoever originally came up with the idea of putting writers in front of readers must've been taking a real punt.' Graham Marks, Publishing News' Children's Editor and author of Zoo

  • 'One can argue critically from entrenched positions with an open mind. One can compromise. One can agree, gracefully, to go with majority opinion. So it was.’ John Sutherland on chairing last year's Man Booker.

  • 'We have reached a point where many big publishers source 95 per cent of their new books from agents and many of those agents will no longer view unsolicited work. When you have such a rich seam of new writing in this country, much of it just a few clicks away on the internet, this is a travesty.' Scott Pack, former buying manager at Waterstone's and now with the Friday Project, in The Times

Writers' Quote

'My relatives say that they are glad I'm rich, but that they simply cannot read me.'
Kurt Vonnegut

The view from a publisher's desk

This is the first in a series of articles by Tom Chalmers, MD of Legend Press, giving a publisher's view of the submission process and what a publisher is looking for.

This month: What a publisher wants from submissions and what a writer can do about it:

'While editors may well do some later tinkering, it shouldn’t be sent in unless the writer feels it is a manuscript ready for publication, in terms of both grammar and content. Lines like ‘I know it needs some work’, or ‘I think it’s nearly there’ show admirable humility but are an immediate put-off!'

Enter our Competition to win a free pass to Screenwriting Expo 5!

There's still time to  get to Los Angeles for Screenwriting Expo 5, the world's biggest convention for screenwriters, running from 19 to 22 October 2006, so enter now!

Some compliments from those who have used the site

‘I love visiting your web site each week for updates - there is just so much fantastic information there.’
  Megan from Australia

Review of the Art of Punctuation

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. reviews Noah Lukeman's interesting book:

'He invites writers to look at the way in which they construct sentences, and to do so with minute attention... Lukeman has an extremely keen and sensitive eye for sentence structure and a neat way of explaining things.'

Magazine - Colourful globe

Working with an agent

It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner. Our new page shows you how to get the most out of this key relationship.

See also Finding an agent for how to go about getting someone to represent you.

Your submission package

Our new page shows you how to put your package together and what you should send.  Essential reading to make sure you give your work its best chance.

You might also like to consider using our Submission Critique service.

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 Coaching.

Bob's Journal goes into its 6th volume

Bob has lived to write another day and ruminates on places, and how writers have insulted them:

'And the lack of any confirmed descendants of Shakespeare shouldn’t prevent the Stratford-on-Avon town council from apologising on his behalf to Denmark for Hamlet, to Verona for Romeo and Juliet, to Venice for Othello...'

This week

New agency listings

New on the site - the bang up-to-date 2007 Writers' and Artists' Yearbook worldwide agency listings. Check out the UK and Ireland, US and international agencies lists

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2007

This is the 100th edition of this extremely useful book, which the Society of Authors calls 'A must for established and aspiring writers.'

Ian Rankin's Foreword

Shows how the bestselling crime writer used the book to help him find a publisher:

'Getting into print requires nerve, stamina, luck, stubbornness and talent. Even established authors can feel as though they’re climbing a mountain. Think of the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook as your sherpa.'


Our new competition spirits you into the the world of poetry.  Enter now and win a copy of the brand-new Poetry Writers' Yearbook.

Writers' ForumBritish writers' magazine which is highly recommended for all writers. It features wide range of news and articles which help writers to improve their work and get published: Column

John Jenkins on Anthony Horowitz's success; Penguin's list of the top 100 classics; and the Crime Writers' AssociationA networking society for some 400 British crime writers (widely defined) and links to their sites. Membership for published writers only, but award a Debut Dagger for the best unpublished crime novel. Some articles from their magazine Red Herrings are posted on the site and there are links to many individual crime writers' websites.'s assertion that it does not benefit from the Duncan Lawrie awards:

'No gain to the CWA? What’s the value of the publicity? You could probably measure it in thousands of pounds... The £20,000 Duncan Lawrie dagger is said to be the world’s biggest prize for crime fiction.'

The Editor's View

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

Review of ScriptWriter magazine

'So if you’re serious about writing scripts and want a thoughtful magazine which will help you achieve your goal - whilst providing food for thought and some wide-ranging and interesting articles - this magazine could be the one for you.'

Our latest survey results

We investigated your book-buying habits, and found that the author's name is still the most important factor influencing book purchase.