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1 December 2014 - What's new

1 December 2014
  • ‘Twenty years as a teacher, ten years in educational research and five years of directing an educational charity, and in all that time, I hadn't published any fiction or poetry at all. I'd always had a feeling that if life ever did allow me a clear run at creative writing, I might just be able to do something with it. But by 2004, with the charity going nowhere fast, I decided to make my own opportunities rather than wait for them to come to me...' Bruce Harris's Writing Short Fiction: A Personal Journey is about how he worked his way towards setting up the fantastic new website Writing Short Fiction.
  • 'I hope I never condescend to the audience. I think you should write as if people who are smarter than you are will read it, because they are out there... I don't know where these great governing clichés (about writing) come from - that you have to follow a convention, or that the first sentence has to hook the reader in. That's just poison. So much of the time I spend teaching, I actually spend unteaching. I think my childhood made me very aware of language. I was interested in writing before I really had any conception that there were professional writers. I just did it for the pleasure of it...' Marilynne Robinson, author of Housekeeping and Lila, in the Sunday Telegraph's Stella, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Suzy Jenvey, vastly experienced children's editorial director and now agent, has written a special series for WritersServices, the four-part The Essential Guide to Writing for Children. The first article looks at the all-important question of age groups and what you should be aware of in writing for each one. The second part is - Before You Write: What is My Story Going to be? The third part deals with Starting to Write and the fourth part is about Submitting Your Work to Agents and Editors.
  • 'It is sad to read about the death at 94 of the highly-respected and much- loved P D James. Most people know her as an author and her body of work has given vast enjoyment to a great many people. At the age of 93, she said she wanted to write just one more crime novel. She will be remembered by many as a friend and I am one of those who had the privilege of knowing her from when I was her paperback editor many years ago...' News Review
  • P D James memorably said: 'What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.'
  • Links of the week: expert agents from the Committee of the Authors Agents Association give their views, BookBrunch - The advocacy of a good agent; authors offer book trade a helping hand, Authors Sign Up to Raise Barnes & Noble's Black Friday Sales -; a thought-provoking article on copyright, Why Copyright Needs to Be Defended - Publishing Perspectives; AAA's new guidelines 'promote good practice' for self-publishing | The Bookseller; and Kobo Sees Opportunities for Self-publishing in Europe - Publishing Perspectives.
  • ‘Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.' Anne McCaffrey in our Writers' Quotes.