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October 2007 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • Why is there a compulsive need to write about dreadful real-life murders? And why are their perpetrators sometimes so keen to unveil their crimes? News Review looks at O J Simpson and Krystian Bala.

  • News Review on the e-book: 'But when Amazon’s Kindle is launched we should see the answer to the questions which have been hanging in the air for several years: Will the e-book have a real impact on traditional book sales? Is this the future for books?'

  • News Review looks at a hugely successful children's book project, Bookstart, the new Booked Up and Richard and Judy’s Best Kids Books Ever

  • The Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two., which starts on Wednesday, is trying to broaden its appeal and secure its position as the global market place for content. News Review reports.

  • Writing has been rated the top job to dream of in a recent YouGov poll. But why? News Review investigates this surprising statistic.


  • ‘A poem is direct, and charged with energy. Its language is not clichéd nor second-hand. Its meaning, whether force or revelation, or slow truth, is something we can actually use.' Jeanette Winterson in her wonderful column in The Times.

  • 'Biography is still, all too often, viewed as the skill of finding as many facts as possible and assembling them into a definitive likeness, as if each piece of paper, each interview, were a clue leading to a solution.' Laura Thompson, author of Agatha Christie: An English Mystery

  • 'Books are different, as people have always argued through the ages... The amount of time a £6 ($12.19) book provides - 20 hours of entertainment? - means they are fantastic value.' Luke Johnson, whose company has just bought Borders UK, in the Observer

  • 'E-books will drive book demand: Amazon is expanding the market, not cannibalising it; print-on-demand will drive book production; and agents and publishers will both thrive because the cake itself, online and in print, will expand.' Bookseller editorial

Writers' Quote

'Contrary to what many of you may imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks - chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write.'

Fran Lebowitz

Our Editorial Services for writers

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

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.'

Oxfam Life Lines 2

Oxfam have just launched the second Life Lines CD featuring 56 poets reading their own work.

Review of the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2008

Our updated review of the new edition concluded that it provided 'superb listings of publishers and agents specialising in children's books across the world' and that it is still 'a fantastically valuable resource for anyone who wants to venture into this highly specialised area of publishing'.

Review of 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell

Our reviewer felt that this guide to selling your poetry by Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing does what it says on the tin:

'In effect it’s a self-help book for poets, providing 101 suggestions about how develop your career as a poet and sell your work.

If you’re serious about selling your poems, this book is a must.'

Magazine - Autumn leaves

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.

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 the strange power of language and his latest really good idea:

'In a smell-o-fiction novel certain pages, paragraphs, sentences or even individual words would be impregnated with an appropriate odour...'

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.

Choosing a Service

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

The long and winding road

WritersServices' freelance editor Colin MurrayColin MurrayColin joined Penguin Books after university. He has over the years worked for a number of the major publishing houses in senior editorial positions. His particular interests, apart from sailing, are science fiction, fantasy, crime and thrillers. on his own tortuous path to publication:

'My agent did arrange a meeting with an editor from the publishing house who told me that my book was one of the most accomplished first novels he’d ever come across...

No matter how jaded and cynical one pretends to be, there is nothing like holding a copy of your first book.'

Help for Writers

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