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May 2007 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • Following on from last week's look at the audiobook market, News Review investigates how downloads will lead the audio revolution.

  • News Review looks at whether audiobooks are in decline, or staging a comeback and becoming sexy at last.

  • 'The romance genre has traditionally been rather looked down on by the publishing industry and thought to have an ageing market, but there are signs that it is rapidly reinventing itself for the Internet world.' News Review investigates

  • News Review on the London and Bologna book fairs: 'both of these key spring fairs show the extent to which the book business is increasingly reaching out across the world'.


  • 'I never liked that tradition of post-feminist writing which is all celebrating periods and pregnancy. I'm much more interested in the real nuts and bolts of how women experience their bodies.' Sarah Waters in the Independent on Sunday

  • 'Biographies have become the standard-bearers of Western culture, the lives by which we measure our lives.' Ben Macintrye in The Times

  • 'The idea that those of us who blog about books and reading might somehow be degrading literary taste is a patronising and ridiculous one…' Susan Hill in her blog

  • 'As you start writing a short story there's the sense that perfection is just beyond your reach' Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl on the difference between short stories and novels.

  • 'The past?  I don't want to see the past. I want to see the future. I get very jealous of the future, because I know I'm not going to be around.' Douglas Coupland in the Observer magazine

Writers' Quote

  • 'Just because you go somewhere it doesn't mean you have a peculiar or vivid or insightful take on the place.  Any story takes place in the landscape of the imagination.'
    Stef Penney on her refusal to visit the northern Ontario location for her Costa-winning novel, The Tenderness of Wolves.


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.

In the third article Maureen deals with genre writing and answers the supremely important question: How do you become a successful genre writer?

An Editor's Advice 1: Dialogue An Editor's Advice 2: why you need to do further drafts 

My Say

Our latest contribution is from Eliza Graham on how she finally got her novel, Playing with the Moon, published as part of the Macmillan New Writing programme

Booktrust and Writers

This is the first in an occasional series about organisations of interest to writers. The first article is by Chris Meade, the Director of the British book promotion charity Booktrust, whose work provides a model for new initiatives to promote books all over the world.

Diagram Prize Winner announced

Check out the 2006 winner of the Prize for the oddest title of the year.

Magazine - Lake 

How to Write a Novel

Author Donna Grisanti offers some advice on getting started:

'Before starting the exciting journey of writing a novel, check the true level of your enthusiasm.... On average, writing a novel is a 2+ year task, which requires a strong positive attitude...'

Preparing for submission

It is important to think hard about whether your manuscript is ready for submission before you start submitting your work to agents and publishers. Here are some tips on how to go about it.

Bob's Journal goes into its 7th volume

Bob muses on England and Englishness:

'In fact, according to E M Forster, Englishmen aren’t really allowed to feel anything at all; fun, joy, anger, grief: "It is not that the Englishman can’t feel…he has been taught that feeling is bad form."'

This week

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, editor of Writers Forum magazine, on real people in novels and whether creative writing courses should be directed towards publication:

'the phrase which worried me most was that the object of the course was not publication... If Miss Student is not studying to get published what’s she doing there for 90 weeks spread over three years?'

Check out The Best of Writers' Forum for a collection of useful articles.  

Our Editorial Services for writers

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

WritersServices powers ahead

WritersServices goes from strength to strength.  Every week over 60,000 visitors come to the site, with over 3 million in 2006 and 4 million expected this year. And there's a big new launch to come...

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

Which service?

Do you think you need some help with getting your manuscript into good shape for submission, but don't know which service to go for? Our new page helps you work out what's best for you.