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What's New in 2017

December 2017

18 December 2017 - What's new

December 2017

11 December 2017 - What's new

December 2017
  • 'The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way...' Stephen King provides this week's Comment.
  • For one day only on 8 January Pushkin Children's Books open submission 2018, open to all unpublished authors of middle-grade books with the prize of publication.
  • Tips for writers is our 8-part crash course for writers who are starting out, taking you from Promoting Your Writing (and Yourself), from Self-publishing: is it for you? to Keep up to date and Submission to publishers and agents. 'Think about the market for your book. Research the category and read widely to see what other published writers in this area are doing. Which writers are successful and why? Visit bookshops and analyse what you find there. If you are reading this you are probably already writing, but it really is worth thinking right from the beginning about your readers, as that makes it far more likely you'll eventually find them...'
  • There's bad news from the US, where reading scores are declining, just when they are making real improvements in many countries across the world. Basic literacy is at an all-time high around the world and most countries have seen steadily rising reading achievements in the last decade, as is shown by the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. News Review.
  • Are you writing for the children's market? Have you found it difficult to get expert editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it has real commercial potential? Or are you planning to self-publish? Our Children's Editorial Services provide three levels of report, so you can get your work assessed, and Copy editing by specialist children's editors.
  • Our links: we're an odd lot, novelists. Obsessive. Why else does someone launch a project that consumes so much time and holds out such a wavering promise of reward? HOW IMPORTANT IS THE FIRST DRAFT TO YOUR NOVEL? A writer who waits for the ideal conditions under which to write will die without putting a word on paper," E.B. White said, The Right Writing Routine; advice from a veteran writer who died this week, WILLIAM H. GASS'S ADVICE FOR WRITERS: "YOU HAVE TO BE GRIMLY DETERMINED." and diversity, what's done and still to do, Breaking down the barriers - a new chapter in publishing.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'Today I only want to say, "thank you". DM has done a truly great job. I have worked with her suggestions which have brought clarity and depth to my subject. Her work on my punctuation is brilliant. As I read through the manuscript now, it is like gliding on silk.' Helena Dodds.
  • More links: we often feature this author but it's hard to resist her tough-minded critique, URSULA K. LE GUIN: WHO CARES ABOUT THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL? The plagiarism allegations against The Girls author Emma Cline, How We Eclipse Women's Literary Brilliance With 'Scandal'; a substantial article about this important writer, Louise Erdrich, Great American Novelist, Is Just Getting Started; and, just for fun, 'He began to eat Hermione's family': bot tries to write Harry Potter book - and fails in magic ways.
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish, which includes Copy editing, Blurb-writing, Poetry Collection Editing, Typing manuscripts. Our Services for Self-publishers are just a few of the 20 services on offer.
  • 'And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.' Sylvia Plath in our Writers' Quotes.

4 December 2017 - What's new

December 2017
  • ‘My students at Columbia I teach to read. If you can be a good reader and can think that reading and literature are great pursuits, you can perhaps teach yourself to write. For every ‘lesson' one would try to propound there'd be a wonderful story or novel that violated any rule. But that's about all. I use myself as something like a specimen to them...' Richard Ford, author of The Sportswriter and Let Me Be Frank with You, talking about writing in the Guardian provides this week's Comment, Most books don't last.
  • Get moving quickly to submit to the lively and effective Emma Press's poetry and prose open submission for poetry and prose pamphlets, adult and children's prose by 10 December. No entry fee and it's open to all writers internationally but you have to join the Emma Press Club. The prize is publication. Our Writing Opportunity
  • A must-read for children's authors is Suzy Jenvey's special series for WritersServices, the four-part 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. This series by a hugely experienced children's editorial director and agent helps you get started on your own story or develop what you're already working on.
  • 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, Translation editing for those for whom English is not a native language and our new Writer's edit, providing line-editing. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Our links: successful authors work their butts off either way. There is no such thing as a lazy successful author, The Myth of the Lazy Writer; I had beyond-exciting fantasy plans for my latest novel, The Age of the Child, and first among them was that it would not be self-published, Why Pursue Traditional Publishing? (Are There Enough Good Reasons?); it might feature such thought-stretching concepts as time travel and warp drives, but Science fiction triggers 'poorer reading', study finds; and sales are flat, or down. There have been no market-defining breakout hits, no hot new genres to plump up the annual earnings statement, The Year in Best-Sellers.
  • If you're aiming at traditional publishing, Finding an agent and Working with an agent are two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship. 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year (this figure came from two agents I spoke to about this), but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • More links: do we like reading about fictional rape? On Rape Culture in Crime Fiction; so how much does your author pic matter, An Author Photo Is Worth a Thousand Words; and it's managed to surprise us, by its rapid evolution into a self-sustained industry on its own, 6 Things About Self-Publishing You Will Be Tempted To Overlook, But Shouldn't.
  • 'The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.' Mark Twain in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.