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2 July 2018 - What's new

2 July 2018
  • ‘Revision is absolutely necessary. If something is easily too good to alter, thank the gods, but don't expect it to happen again. Expect, rather, that you will need to improve upon the given, to continue the imperfect formation that your initial work has produced. Which is, after all, what making the poem is all about - to take the passion and, without cooling it, to put it into a form...' Mary Oliver, from Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet has also produced four books of poetry and Devotions, a definitive collection of her work. Our Comment.
  • The Winchester Poetry Prize 2018 is open to all poets worldwide aged 16 and over and entry fees are £5 for the first poem, £4 for subsequent poems. 1st Prize £1,000, 2nd Prize £500, 3rd Prize £250. Closing 31 July.
  • A Publisher's View is our four-part series from publisher Tom Chalmers on what publishers are looking for. What a publisher wants from submissions, Judging a book by its covering letter and synopsis, Making the submission and The changing face of publishing. 'While editors may well do some later tinkering, it shouldn't be sent in unless the writer feels it is a manuscript ready for publication, in terms of both grammar and content. Lines like ‘I know it needs some work', or ‘I think it's nearly there' show admirable humility but are an immediate put-off!...'
  • The February Magazine gives a round-up of News Reviews and Comments, as well as some useful links, including DIY: Essential Elements of an Author Website, A life in quotes: Ursula K Le Guin, Where are romance novels headed given the current state of women's issues? And there's Fifteen Poets on Revision.
  • Get some professional help. If you're self-publishing, you need good quality copy for the cover. Our Blurb-writing service can provide a professionally written piece of cover copy. Submitting to agents but finding it difficult to write your own synopsis? Commission a synopsis which will present your manuscript in the best possible light for submission.
  • Our links: an author and trade journalist's view of the row, Payments to authors: advances and discount clauses; The Society of AuthorsThe British authors’ organization, with a membership of over 7,000 writers. Membership is open to those who have had a book published, or who have an offer to publish (without subsidy by the author). Offers individual specialist advice and a range of publications to its members. Has also campaigned successfully on behalf of authors in general for improved terms and established a minimum terms agreement with many publishers. Recently campaigned to get the Public Lending Right fund increased from £5 million to £7 million for the year 2002/2003. Regularly uses input from members to produce comparative surveys of publishers’ royalty payment systems. has issued a sharply worded challenge to the UK's biggest publishers after the chief executive of the Publishers Association questioned new figures, Writers and publishers trade blows over plummeting author pay levels | Books | The Guardian; in the right hands, dialogue can move things along in a way that will leave you breathless,  Ask the Editor: Writing Dialogue; and perhaps the two most famous fantasy writers of the 20th century and an enthusiastic poet on Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, & Edmund Wilson on The Lord of the Rings | Book Marks.
  • Our Services for Writers, just a list of the 20 services to help you get your work ready for publication. We've been offering editing services for writers from our office in London since 2001 and have the widest and best-value range on the web. Get your work ready for publication or submission with the help of our team of skilled professional editors.
  • More links: how Melbourne author Christian White's life changed almost overnight, Australian author goes from editing porn to publishing sensation; has a US domain name and offers users free PDF or Epub downloads of many bestselling authors' books, Authors' fury at website offering free book downloads | The Bookseller; the world's self-styled premier English-language literary prize assessed by Rober McCrum, The Man Booker at 50: flawed - but still the best way to judge our literature | Books | The Guardian; and winning the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "Fanta Blackcurrant", Kenyan writer Onjerika scoops £10,000 Caine Prize | The Bookseller.
  • Our Printing and Publishing Glossary is a useful reference to all those arcane publishing terms.
  • 'Inside every fat book is a thin book trying to get out' from Unknown comes from our Writers' Quotes.