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December 2007 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review on the clash of the titans, as Wikipedia squares up to Google and they both announce major new plans to dominate the delivery of information on the web.
  • As Chinese author Jian Rong  wins the inaugural $10,000 Man Asian Literary prize for his novel Wolf Totem, News Review focuses on the breathtakingly big Chinese book market.
  • 'Ghostwriting has been very much in the news recently, with the host of celebrity memoirs fuelled by the public desire to read the inside story of the lives of the rich and famous.'  News Review investigates the secrets of the ghostwriting fraternity.
  • 'So have we arrived at what Evan Schnittman, Oxford University Press’s VP of Business Development, called in this week's Publishing News ‘the most significant moment in the history of e-books’?  News Review on Amazon's Kindle.
  • 'We are no longer trying to entice people who don’t really want to buy the hardback to do so.’ Is this the paperback revolution at last? News Review investigates Picador's move to paperback. 


  • 'The most important job of a writer is to tell the truth and I feel I've done that… ' James Lee Burke on Katrina in Publishing News
  • 'The best consequence of a novel selling well is that it gives you the freedom to carry on writing for a while longer and, hey, it's a great problem to have.' Kate Mosse on life after Labyrinth in Publishing News
  • 'I'm here to answer reader expectations and my readers want a good feeling at the end of a book… Having grown up in category romance, you have to build an audience and then keep your name in front of it.' Debbie Macomber, whose latest book is Old Boyfriends, in Publishing News
  • 'There is no scientific proof that you will become a better, wiser person if you plough your way through Dostoevsky...' Nick Hornby in The Times
  • 'A great irony of creative nonfiction is that one of its chief assets is also one of its chief liabilities. The fact is that in nonfiction, everything actually happened. It’s all true.'  Richard Goodman on writing creative nonfiction in The Writer’s Chronicle.
  • '"You're quite good are telling stories - why don't you make one up?" So I screwed my courage to the sticking place. At the end of the session they all shouted: 'Oh, sir!'  They wanted more.  In one afternoon I understood what it is to be a storyteller.' Michael Morpurgo

Writers' Quote

'Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.'
T S Eliot


Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 16 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.


Enter our new Poetry Writers' Yearbook competition, with copies of the book for the winners.

There's also an article from the book - 'a useful and practical guide to the fast-growing world of the poetry ezine and epoetry' - (see below).

Early entries for the 2007 Diagram Prize

Including How to Write a How to Write Book (for those self help fanatics) andIf You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs.

Poetry Writers' Yearbook

The new 2008 edition of this essential book for poets gives detailed listings of publishing companies, events and competitions, and helps you to survive and thrive as a poet.

The Internet provides poets with an exciting new outlet for their poetry. with the publisher's permission we are reprinting an excellent article from the new edition.

Kostas Hrisos, founder and editor of poetry ezine, Interpoetry, provides a useful and practical guide to the fast-growing world of the poetry ezine and epoetry.

Magazine - Tree

Review of The Handbook of Creative Writing

Our reviewer concluded on this ambitious book:

'This is a serious handbook for people who approach the business of writing in a particular fashion, for whom simply ‘doing’ isn’t quite enough; it’s for people who need to know ‘why’ as well as ‘how’. On that basis, I have no hesitation in recommending it.'

An Editor's Advice

This new series is based on the advice 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., a long-serving WritersServices freelance editor, has given writers over the years.  It deals with the most common problems she has encountered in the fiction manuscripts which cross her desk.

The series covers Dialogue, Doing further drafts, genre writing, planning, points of view, autobiography and presentation. 

An Editor's Advice 1: on Dialogue

An Editor's Advice 2: on doing further drafts

An Editor's Advice 3: on genre writing

An Editor's Advice 4: on planning

An Editor's Advice 5: on points of view

An Editor's Advice 6: on autobiography

An Editor's Advice 7: on presentation

Bob's Journal goes into its 7th volume

Bob on correct English, writers' rooms, tv toga docu-dramas, endings and writers' motivation:

'Why do aspiring writers want to write? Because we want to give up our jobs, because we want to be rich, because we want to be famous, because we have a burning need to entertain – lots of reasons, of course, but they all essentially boil down to one: we think it will make us happier.' But he concludes: 'Maybe we aspiring writers should spend more time reading psychology books. And be more careful what we wish for.'

This week

The Writer/Publisher Financial Relationship

The latest new article in our 19-part Inside Publishing series deals with the tricky financial relationship between writers and publishers and gives useful advice on how to approach it.

Macmillan New Writing

'With around 80 submissions a week and 7,000 manuscripts sent in to date, MNW is not short of material but is still looking for more good manuscripts.'

Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. takes a look at this ground-breaking imprint which is looking for submissions from unpublished writers.

Choosing a Service

Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful new article by Chris Holifield offers advice on what to go for, depending on what stage you are at with your writing.

Help for Writers

Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site.

See also Making submissions for how to approach publishers and agents.

Getting your poetry published

Are you keen to get your poetry published but don't know where to start?  Our new article helps you to look at the best approach to help you make your way into print.