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17 August 2020 - What's new

17 August 2020

‘I'm always interested in trying to use whodunit and murder mystery forms to do something a bit more profound than, after 400 pages, saying the butler did it, thank you, goodbye. Effectively, I didn't just want to write ordinary detective stories... They are the only form of literature that deals in absolute truths. When you read a whodunit, the joy of it is that you know that at the last chapter every ‘i' will be dotted, every ‘t' will be crossed, everything will be solved...' Anthony Horowitz, author of 73 books, including the Alex Rider series, the just-published Moonflower Murders, Magpie Murders and 14 TV series, in the Sunday Times Culture. Our Comment.

An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Manuscript presentation, Dialogue, Doing further drafts and Planning: 'The idea of planning doesn't fit well with the idea of the writer as inspired genius, frantically scribbling away. However, I am willing to bet that, no matter what they would have you think, most successful writers plan as much as they write. They just don't tell you about it. The biggest objection that most inexperienced writers raise when someone broaches the delicate matter of planning is that it will get in the way of their inventive powers. A plan will be like a straitjacket. They'll be stuck with this plan and if they come up with a good idea along the way, they will not be able to use it. They are genuinely horrified at the thought...'

Mslexia Fiction & Memoir Competition 2020 is open to women writers only from across the world with unpublished manuscripts (self-published work allowed) in four categories: Flash Fiction, Short Story, Children's & YA Novel and Memoir & Life Writing, with various entry fees and prizes. Closing 21 September.

Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want - or even if you need any help? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service can help you work out which service is right for you. Or email us to ask about your requirements.

Our links: how readers are most engaged Maybe We Read Crime Fiction Because Deep Down, We All Know We're Complicit in Crime | CrimeReads; writers who find themselves mired in procrastination would do well to take a page from Marcel Proust's most famous book, Surprising secrets of writers' first book drafts - BBC Culture; an amalgamation of swashbuckling detective, political activist, and Catholic theologian, The Evolution of Dave Robicheaux and the Incredible Career of James Lee Burke | CrimeReads; from a writer, poet and editor from London, Will Harris on the Idea of Poetry as Interconnectedness | Literary Hub; and at least ten times a day I ask myself, "What the f*ck is wrong with people?" Why Writing About Psychopaths Keeps Me Sane | CrimeReads.

If you are trying to get your work into shape for publication, or for self-publishing, there's plenty of advice on the WritersServices website which may help. Advice for writers

More links: if Amazon's power is left unchecked, competition within publishing could diminish even more, Publishing Leaders Issuing Warning over Amazon's Market Power; it's now roughly halfway through a series of virtual meetings with publishers, Black Writers' Guild reports progress as publishers start to confront diversity deficit | The Bookseller; a sad side-effect of the success of charity bookshops, The demise of the second-hand bookshop | Alexander Larman | The Critic Magazine; until quite recently, I hadn't finished a book since the end of January, Get Happier by Rereading Your Favorite Books From Childhood.

Have you been working on your book over the holidays? Are you now ready to submit to publishers or to self-publish? We offer the widest range of editorial services on the web, tailored to writers' requirements and carried out by our professional editors, Our Services for writers.

Our final set of links are all about the Women's Prize for Fiction Reclaim Her Name programme and show just how a well-intentioned initiative can go wrong: ‘George Eliot' joins 24 female authors making debuts under their real names | Books | The Guardian; next, apologies, 'Sloppy': Baileys under fire over Reclaim Her Name books for Women's prize | Books | The Guardian; and then a more serious challenge to the whole idea of this list, The #ReclaimHerName initiative ignores the authorial choices of the writers it represents. | Literary Hub.

From our Writers' Quotes: 'Make no mistake, those who write long books have nothing to say. Of course those who write short books have even less to say.'

If quotes are your thing we have a  very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.