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June 2024

17 June 2024 - What's new

June 2024

3 June 2024 - What's new

June 2024
  • 'How do you become a writer? Answer: you write. It's amazing how much resentment and disgust and evasion this answer can arouse. Even among writers, believe me. It is one of those Horrible Truths one would rather not face. The most frequent evasive tactic is for the would-be writer to say, But before I have anything to say, I must get experience... I'm rather sensitive on this point, because I write science fiction, or fantasy, or about imaginary countries, mostly - stuff that, by definition, involves times, places, events that I could not possibly experience in my own life. So when I was young and would submit one of these things about space voyages to Orion or dragons or something, I was told, at extremely regular intervals, "You should try to write about things you know about." And I would say, But I do; I know about Orion, and dragons, and imaginary countries. Who do you think knows about my own imaginary countries, if I don't?' Ursula K Le Guin, author of several SF novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Dispossessed.
  • The 11th article in the Ask the Editor series deals with English Language editing: 'English is the world's lingua franca. Over two billion people speak it as a first or second language. It is the official, or everyday, language in fifty-nine countries. Perhaps two billion more have considerable experience of English via movies, gaming, pop music, or (increasingly) social media. That's half the world. It's no surprise, then, that some authors from non-English speaking backgrounds take the leap of writing and publishing in English. In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of books and manuscripts from non-native speakers of English here at WritersServices. And the quality of those books has increased, impressively, year on year. It can sometimes seem as if the world is learning English by global osmosis. Writing in a language you don't speak as a native presents a range of challenges to the author...'
  • The 10 other articles in the Ask the Editor series cover subjects as diverse as Writing non-fiction, How I assess a manuscript and The submission letter.
  • Links from the publishing world: Bloomsbury's stellar results show how, yet again, they have benefited from a star author, Sarah J. Maas Flies Bloomsbury to Record Highs; despite only 8% of academic researchers trusting AI companies not to use their research data without permission, The Bookseller - News - More than three quarters of researchers use AI in their research, OUP survey suggests; annual national day of celebration for 'national treasure', Publishers combine for Michael Rosen day; at the US Book Show the energy was palpable; panels were sharper, more diverse, more geared to practical applications; and speakers were good, with costs, discoverability and AI under discussion, The Bookseller - Comment - The Association of American Publishers' a.g.m. raised calls for urgent action on AI; so what's happened in publishing in his three-quarters of a century? Richard Charkin From Readmagine: 'Will You Still Read Me?'
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting Edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Advice for writers gives you access to the huge amuont of information on the site.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I want to thank Chris and the team at Writers Services for their help and tolerance. My first submission of my rough draft came back with an extremely useful critique. I restructured, rewrote and resubmitted - and got an excellent feedback which has helped me to revise the book by highlighting the weaknesses and the development needed... the help received so far is already paying dividends. I have just signed with an agent on the strength of the latest draft.' Patrick Cox
  • Links to writers' stories and careers: for first-time writers, it's harder than ever to break out. That poses an existential crisis for publishing - and disturbing limits on your access to exciting new voices, Why Are Debut Novels Failing to Launch? Around the world, it's common for fiction writers to moonlight as translators, Want to Write Better Fiction? Become a Translator - The Millions; the bestselling author discusses his newest book, featuring sports agent turned lawyer, Myron Bolitar, Why Harlan Coben Decided Now Was the Time to Bring Back a Beloved Character ‹ CrimeReads; and "Every family has a child who was born to remember the family stories, and I was that child." How a Family Secret Inspired Author Maureen Marshall's New Historical Mystery ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024 closes on 8 July. All poets writing in English are eligible, no matter where they live. the entry fee is £6 per poem. The First prize is £1,000 cash and a week's poetry course at Arvon, Second Prize £500 and Third prize £250.
  • Improve your writing is the first in Tips for Writers, our 8 part series for writers who are starting out. Tips for Writers 7 is Keep up to date. Tips for Writers 4 asks Self-publishing - is it for you?  'Do you really want to get your book published? Self publishing offers the chance to control your own publication and, if you are successful, you will make more money. Have you tried agents and publishers, and made sure that your work is as good as you can get it before submitting it? If so, then you should consider self-publishing or indie publishing as it is often called...'
  • Which service? offers an overview of the editorial services we offer and Our Services for Writers offers links to all 22 of them - we think this is the biggest range on the internet.
  • Links on bookselling and book clubs: is opening a bookstore the answer? Independent booksellers continued to expand in 2023, with more than 200 new stores opening | AP News; and Why are some authors and books iconic? Why do other authors and books tank? Oprah's Book Club and... Dying? How Do Writers Get Famous ‹ Literary Hub.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • Are you having difficulty writing a blurb for the cover of your book? Our Blurb-writing service can give your book a professional look. What about your synopsis - often a tricky task for a writer? Our Synopsis-writing service can provide a synopsis of whatever length you need for your submissions.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market, using our English Language Editing service.
  • More links: an author who endured a traumatizing childhood and became a bestselling novelist, accomplished military historian and late-life memoirist, Caleb Carr, author of 'The Alienist,' dies at 68 | AP News; For decades, RWA served as a champion for the mostly female authors of one of the country's most popular - and denigrated - genres of fiction, but now Romance Writers of America files for bankruptcy amid bitter racism battle | Books | The Guardian; in the annual "What Kids Are Reading Report", The Bookseller - News - Reading declines for children for first time after pandemic, report says; a disaster of the war, The Bookseller - News - Trade condemns ‘heartbreaking' bombing on Ukrainian printer Factor-Druk and publisher Vivat.
  • Don't give up the day job. Perhaps you've even been indulging in thinking about it as you plan to lie on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel. But how practical is it? Is it something you can realistically aspire to, or just a distant fantasy? What are your chances of making your dream come true?
  • So what's wrong with PDFs? 'Well, nothing, if you use them in the way they are intended. PDFs (Portable Download Files) are designed to carry finished documents and forms. The idea is that the file does not deform or glitch when you download it... More to the point, you can't really tamper with the original content or format of the file. And there's the rub. If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file.'
  • 'I only write when I'm inspired, so I see to it that I'm inspired every morning at nine o'clock.' Peter De Vries in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.
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