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What's New in 2019

2019

 

10 June 2019 - What's new

June 2019
  • ‘First the length. In an age of ever-shortening attention spans, you have to have a pretty powerful message to keep anyone's interest for much over 75,000 words (about 300 pages). In fact, if you can't present your proposition in 300 pages, then you may have a problem with excessive verbiage you should deal with...' David Craig, management consultant and author of The Great Charity Scandal and Don't Buy It! in an article on the Andrew Lownie Agency website. This week's Comment is on Writing your first non-fiction book.
  • If you are not a native English speaker but you want to publish your book in English to make it available to the international market, what do you do? If your English is good enough, what about writing it in English or translating your book into English yourself, and then getting your translation polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker? The result should be a publishable manuscript at a relatively low cost, provided by our English Language Editing Service. How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth).
  • An endorsement from Anthony Fitzgerald for our English Language Editing Service: 'The result? A book that reads like it's written by a native speaker for only 13% of the price a complete translation would have costed. Thank you, writersservices.'
  • Closing on 31 August, The Kindle Storyteller Award 2019 is open to writers of 18 or over publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing between 1st May and 31 August 2019. There's no entry fee and the Grand Prize is £20,000 cash, a publishing agreement with Amazon Publishing and an Amazon launch.
  • Other competitions and prizes
  • Our links: although there have been reports of a competing bid for Barnes & Noble from Readerlink, these seem to have come to nothing, Daunt Relishes Challenge of Leading B&N; for many years regarded as a low-appeal format, audiobooks continue to boom, Fifth of book buyers consume audiobooks, PA survey reveals | The Bookseller; and - it sounds healthy - every day more than 1.8 million books are sold in the US and another half a million books are sold in the UK, BBC - Future - Does reading fiction make us better people?
  • Are you struggling to get someone to look at your poetry? Our Poetry Critique service for 150 lines of poetry can help. Our Poetry Collection Editing service, unique to WritersServices, edits your collection to prepare it for submission or self-publishing. Both can provide the professional editorial input you need.
  • More links: Guardian research shows that the top 100 illustrated children's books last year showed growing marginalisation of female and minority ethnic characters, 'Highly concerning': picture books bias worsens as female characters stay silent | Books | The Guardian; "There's no replacement for beginning to build a relationship in person; once you make that connection, your later follow-ups, via email or social media, are much more likely to be successful." Smart Indie Authors Connect at Writers' Conferences; and a digital launch from the International Publishers Association‘s (IPA) "Africa Rising" seminar in Nairobi, Nigerian Entrepreneurs Chidi and Chika Nwaogu: Publiseer.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? 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.
  • Stephen King in our Writers' Quotes: 'If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.'

3 June 2019 - What's new

June 2019

13 May 2019 - What's new

May 2019

6 May 2019 - What's new

May 2019
  • ‘Why would anybody be intimidated by mere words? I mean, neither I nor any other atheist that I know ever threatens violence. We never threaten to fly planes into skyscrapers. We never threaten suicide bombs. We are very gentle people... It's just an opinion.' Richard Dawkins, ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The Enemies of Reason, River out of Eden, The God Delusion and 9 other books. Our Comment.
  • 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 you may find useful. Advice for Writers gives a rundown of what's on the site.
  • The Curtis Brown First Novel Prize is open to unpublished writers of 18 or over, writing a novel in English and resident in the UK or Ireland. There's no entry fee. First Prize is representation by Curtis Brown plus a prize of £3,000, and there are five generous runners-up prizes. It's closing on 1 August.
  • Other live competitions and prizes.
  • If you are looking for copy editing online, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript. Let WritersServices help you. Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing and it is in any case notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish. Getting your manuscript copy edited.
  • Our links: new figures show that many authors are being subsidised by their partners or a second job in order to stay afloat, Writing at risk of becoming an 'elitist' profession, report warns | Books | The Guardian; a desperate industry increasingly addicted to quick takes for fast profit, Book Publishers Have a Trump Problem | The New Republic; "I realized if I did not trust myself enough to write it, it would never be written." From Trauma to Triumph: An Indie Success Story; and - more on memoir - The New Toolkit For Opening Up Your Memoir Writing | Literary Hub.
  • Health Hazards is our special series about the various health risks for writers, including the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you know you're spending too much time at a keyboard, it's worth making sure you're being careful about how you're sitting, your eyes and your wrists.
  • More links: Do disturbing novels reflect an extreme reality or are they just titillation? Would American Psycho be published today? How shocking books have changed with their readers | Books | The Guardian; the author hasn't made a single mention of HBO's Game of Thrones on his Twitter or blog since the April 14 premiere of the show's final season, George R.R. Martin can still fix this shit | The Outline; this year, the Mellon Foundation provided $2.2 million in funding for poets, Funding the Poets: PW Talks with Elizabeth Alexander; a new publisher planning to put a robust rights strategy at the heart of its business model by seeking - and exploiting - world English language rights, Interview: Amanda Ridout on Her Boldwood Books' Rights Strategy.
  • A new page which gives an editor's take on using pdfs, So what's wrong with PDFs? '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...'
  • 'Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums?"' A less serious note from Connie Willis in our Writers' Quotes.

29 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • ‘I knew it had to be a long book. That was partly because I guess I was thinking that the one thing that the novel as an art form has over other art forms is time. I think I got this from those 19th century books I read when I was younger. One of the great pleasures I used to get was sort of living in a novel for ages. And I suspect that with a first novel you are unconscious of your influences, so what I grew up reading is still kind of in me... Isabella Hammad, whose highly-praised nearly 600 page first novel The Parisian was published in April. Our Comment.
  • Closing on 15 June, the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award is open to a published or self-published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged 18-35 years. The Prize is £5,000 with three awards of £500 for runners-up.
  • If you have ever wondered why you don't win any of those competitions, our check-list gives you tips on Entering Competitions.
  • Bob's Journal is a long-running column from writer Bob Ritchie described by fellow EastEnders script-writer Pippa McCarthy: 'Just discovered your web page... I've just spent the last hour crying with laughter with periodic yelps of 'been there!'... I'm going to make my entire family read your diary. Then perhaps they will understand own bizarre behaviour every time I start a script... Anyway, will shut up now but just wanted to say you have cheered me up no end. It's brilliant.'
  • The Children's Poetry Summit has just launched a weekly blog about children's poetry, starting with an encouraging overview from Michael Rosen, https://childrenspoetrysummit.com/
  • Our links: one of the biggest names in American trade fiction is suing the Brazilian writer Cristiane Serruya for what Roberts alleges is "multi-plagiarism", US Authors Guild Praises Nora Roberts' Legal Action on Digital Plagiarism; where there are books, there are errors, How to Publish a Perfect Book; part of the perennial fascination of the publishing business, for any book lover, is the ringside seat it provides of the creative process, Lunch with Mr Eliot and Kazuo Ishiguro with a guitar: untold tales from a lost literary Britain | Books | The Guardian; and once again, the Edgar Awards are upon us - that august night of crime and mystery when honors are bestowed, traditions celebrated, and champions of the genre feted, The State of the Mystery: Part 1 of a Roundtable Discussion | CrimeReads.
  • 'It's a common enough fantasy for writers: maybe now I can leave that dreary job and devote myself wholeheartedly to writing... 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? Don't give up the day job.
  • More links: I'm glad I didn't let this question stop me from writing my first novel, Should Writers Write What They Don't Know? literature is "morphing into a giant quilting exercise", Creative writing graduates will 'never make a living as novelists', says Self | The Bookseller; What is it about the Tudors that attracts us so? Pomp, Excess, and Murder with The Tudor Dynasty | CrimeReads; and for many authors, live readings and events are the best part about writing books, The Indie Authors Guide to Organizing Author Events.
  • Are you writing for children? Our Children's Editorial Services can help you get your work ready for publication or self-publishing. 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? Three reports and copy editing are available from our highly-skilled children's editors, including essential advice on age groups and vocabulary.
  • 'Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.' Katherine Mansfield in our Writers' Quotes.

22 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • ‘Ten or 15 years ago, (literary estates) were dead. There were a few classic books that will always be with us, and the rest was dust. Then e-books provided the mechanism of making old things timeless - there was no such thing as backlist or frontlist any more. We, like a lot of people, worked hard and scrambled to make these books available again...' Bill Hamilton, MD of the A M Heath Literary Agency, which celebrates its centenary this year, in the Bookseller. Our Comment.
  • 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.
  • It's closing on 1 May but there's still time to enter the Poetry London Clore Prize 2019. It's open to all poets for unpublished poems in English with an entry fee of £7 or £3 for subscribers. 1st prize £5,000, 2nd prize £2,000, 3rd prize £1,000. Four commendations get £500 plus publication in the magazine.
  • Other competitions and prizes which are still open.
  • Read More than You Write."If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." - Stephen King. 'Author opinion falls into two camps on this one, with some writers maintaining that reading fiction while writing is a very bad thing. To this I might say that if you have been working for years as a published author, and you have that degree of sophistication, dexterity and confidence, then maybe sometimes yes. But for the majority of us who are not at that level...' Sarah Taylor-Fergusson in Rule Number One on Writing for Children.
  • Our links: being an author is hard. There's no way around it, Beat the Author Blues: How to Manage Writer's Doubt - Written Word Media; an absorbing account of a writer's career, Amy Tan Reflects on 30 Years Since The Joy Luck Club | Literary Hub; almost anyone who has spent time in the query trenches knows how challenging it is to capture the attention of a literary agent, Beyond Good Writing: Two Literary Agents Discuss What Matters Most | Jane Friedman; and we've all been there. We send a piece of ourselves out into the world and then wait to see what happens, Is Anybody Out There? One Writer on the Purgatory of Submission - The Millions.
  • The Web as a Research tool - there are some sensational research resources for writers on the web. The search engines and other directories have made these accessible. But it helps to understand a little about how they work.
  • More links: a useful page for traditionally published and self-publishers alike, Author Photo Basics; and a generous gift to fund poets, Inaugural Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships Announced.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 20 editorial services for writers, the biggest range you can find on the internet.
  • 'Just set one day's work in front of the last day's work. That's the way it comes out. And that's the only way it does.' John Steinbeck in our Writers' Quotes.

15 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • ‘I'm a great believer in turning up still. No forgiving yourself because you are tired. I try to get there before 10, not too early. On those magical writing days you forget you exist and you surface an hour later and you have 400 words you were not expecting to write. But turning up is certainly the first condition...' Ian McEwan, author of Machines Like Me, The Children Act, Atonement, Amsterdam, Enduring Love, The Child in Time and many other celebrated novels in the Guardian. Our Comment.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘Absolutely first class job! Very professional. Thank you very much indeed. Wish I'd found you before, it would certainly have saved me a lot of unnecessary headaches. I'll now bin the rest of the editors I've so far dealt with, and hope to keep contact with you.' Steven Kocsis.
  • A new page which gives an editor's take on using pdfs, So what's wrong with PDFs? '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...'
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Natasha Mostert on typing 'The End', Mary Garden on writers' block, Timothy Hallinan on The Writing Session and Dominae Primus on WritersServices. Other contributions to the series.
  • Do you have something to say? Contributions should ideally be 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Our links: "There's just no other substitute for the amount of work and creativity that goes into a book," said Matt Thunell, v-p of original series at Netflix, The Netflix Literary Connection; why the genre retains its outsider status; 'It drives writers mad': why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi? | Books | The Guardian; does the hunger for new authors mean some publishers were no longer spending enough time building enduring relationships with their existing list? Authors told to write under pseudonyms to fuel debut obsession, claims Harris | The Bookseller; and fans of the show and novels are still wondering when George R.R. Martin will finally release the series' sixth book, Game of Thrones Books: Why Winds of Winter Isn't Coming Soon | Fortune.
  • Our new page Copy editing services covers our six services working on writers' manuscripts, a range which includes our top of the range Writer's Edit and English Language Editing. We have just introduced free samples and free short written assessments on most of these services, which are provided by our skilled professional editors. We are transparent about our rates and our high quality copy editing services are also very good value.
  • More links: from a writer with 'a very structured and disciplined writing routine', Cecelia Ahern on How She Writes a Novel a Year | Literary Hub; the traditional advice for aspiring novelists is to write about what you know, but what about Writing about what you don't know; I read somewhere that you need to write a million words before you know what you're doing, Five Writing Tips from Tana French; and helping you to choose who to go with, DIY: How to Self-Publish an E-book.
  • Here's a detailed article on how to prepare Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript...'
  • 'It's a feeling of happiness that knocks me clean out of adjectives. I think sometimes that the best reason for writing novels is to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word.' Zadie Smith in our Writers' Quotes.

8 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • 'Whatever happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays. I'd fall in love, or fall in lust. And at the height of my passion, I would think, 'So this is how it feels,' and I would tie it up in pretty words. I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else...' Neil Gaiman, author of Adventures in the Screen Trade, American Gods, Neverwhere, The Sandman: Book of Dreams and 41 other books. Our Comment.
  • We've just relaunched our English Language Editing service, formerly Translation editing. This is a polishing service for writers writing in English who are not native English speakers. If you've written your work in English but it is not your native language, or you've translated your work into English, you might need to make sure it's good enough to publish, or send to a publisher. Our service will make sure the English is perfect.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth). 'If your English is good enough, what about writing it in English or translating your book into English yourself, and then getting your translation polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker? The result should be a publishable manuscript at a relatively low cost, ready for you to publish or submit to publishers. This genuinely opens up a whole range of possibilities to authors who want to get their book out in English but can't afford the considerable cost of employing a translator.
  • The fiction part of The Booklife Prize 2019 is open to authors from all over the world with unpublished or self-published novels in 5 categories. Entry fee $99. The Grand Prize is $5,000 and 5 category finalists will win a social media marketing package from BookBaby worth $1,000. All submissons get a free critique.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • Our links: finishing a book is a monumental accomplishment, and for some authors, deciding to self-publish is not simple, Self-Publish Like a Pro: Setting Goals for Your Book and Career; "Online piracy of books, music, and other expressions of the human spirit needs to be properly understood: it's an offence against moral justice," Philip Pullman leads call for UK government action on ebook piracy | Books | The Guardian; all the good advice in the world doesn't matter if the writer isn't ready, and I wish someone would have said to me, "It's okay you're not ready now. You'll get there in your own time." When You're Just Not Ready for Rejection | Jane Friedman; and the Atlantic assured us that "far from ‘going extinct,' as it was once predicted, poems are viral, vital-and invincible," What Happens When Verse Goes Viral?
  • Authors often find it difficult to write their own synopsis for submission to publishers, which is where our Synopsis-writing service can help. If you're preparing to self-publish and having difficulty with your blurb, our Blurb-writing service from a professional copy-writer will make your book stand out.
  • More links: the subtext of the event was clear: it was not just a celebration of romance novels, but a celebration of diversity, Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels | Books | The Guardian; how to tackle poor literacy, Reaching one community at a time; the nature of legally binding agreements is the same, 3 Types of Contracts Every Writer Should Understand | Jane Friedman; and bringing authors to a worldwide audience, Publishers Form Partnership to Promote African Children's Book Authors.
  • From our Writers' Quotes 'I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.' from Edgar Rice Burroughs.

1 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • New on the site and written exclusively for WritersServices - Trident Media Group Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb explains how literary agencies work. It's no surprise that they do a lot more than you think and that they bring a lot of expertise in a range of different areas to bear on behalf of their authors. How Literary Agents Work.
  • Working with an agent explains how to get the best out of the relationship with your agent: 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...'
  • 'It may be exaggerating to say that all completely successful short stories, especially fantastic stories, are products of neurosis, nightmares or hallucination neutralized through objectification and translated to a medium outside the neurotic terrain...' Our Comment is from Julio Cortázar, Argentinian author of Hopscotch, A Manual for Manuel and 4 other novels, as well as 11 short story collections.
  • 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 you may find useful. Advice for Writers provides a summary.
  • Writers' stories - they're just a bit of fun, but in a rare moment of inspiration we wrote some fictionalised stories of how the services could turn out to give you a better idea of how they might work for you. Joe's fantasy novel benefited from some professional editing, when he signed up for an Editor's Report Plus. Tony needed Copy editing to get his manuscript into shape for publication or self-publishing.
  • Our links: Nora Roberts is one of the world's most popular authors. She's written more than 200 novels, tackled topics from romance to murder and sold more than 500m books around the world. And now she's really, really angry, Plagiarism, ‘book-stuffing', clickfarms ... the rotten side of self-publishing | Books | The Guardian; I think we all can agree that mysteries are hard to write, Soap Operas Taught Me How To Write Crime Fiction | CrimeReads; sharing this publicly, even as the author of a book about our emotional relationship with money, was initially petrifying, I was paid £12,500 to write my book. Here's why I'm revealing that | Alex Holder | Books | The Guardian; and (a slightly dull piece but with some useful figures and an upbeat message), A Profitable Year for Trade Publishers.
  • 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, our new Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • More links: with our offices in the city, we couldn't resist this affectionate piece, 5 Reasons a Writer Should Move to London | Literary Hub; when the claim is that 55% of YA is bought by adults, Do Teens Get Pushed Out of YA Books When It's Called A Genre? For a children's favourite, the 25th book, 25 years, 100th story, Francesca Simon on 25 years of Horrid Henry | The Bookseller; and eight years as a corporate lawyer and then True Romance: An Indie Success Story.
  • Why has your manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. To put it into perspective, you may find it helpful to go through some of the reasons why this happens and to see what we suggest you can do about it. Avoid rejection.
  • 'You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.' Octavia E Butler in our Writers' Quotes.

25 March 2019 - What's new

March 2019
  • 'I've been sitting at a desk writing history books for something over ten years. It's been engrossing, demanding and occasionally exhausting. This is a good moment to take stock. What does it add up to? Four books in various languages (the last still in proof), thousands of pages of handwritten notes. Despite the impressive number of different language versions it's been a modest living, not a handsome one - I'm still waiting for the film rights...' Roger Crowley, author of Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, Empires of the Sea and three other books on Andrew Lownie's site. Our Comment.
  • The Inside Publishing series consists of 19 articles giving you an insider's view of publishing. The English Language Publishing World looks at the traditional way in which the international English-language publishing has been split between UK and US publishers. Why does the world get divided up into publishing territories? How has this come about? How does it affect authors? Then there's The Writer/Publisher Financial Relationship: 'There's no escaping the fact that publishers and authors are essentially in an adversarial position. Even in the very best and most supportive publisher/writer relationships there is the tension caused by the fact that authors would like to earn as much as possible from their writing and publishers to pay as little as they can get away with...'
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher and self-publishing may make a lot of sense. Getting your poetry published.
  • Our links: 'novel-writing is a choice - you can always stop, always keep going. You are free to do whatever you want', Writing Advice From Jane Smiley; the mere thought is at once repulsive and terrifying: books as commodities. After all, a book is the original divine creation of its author, right? How to Fight the Commoditization of Books; moving from a social-media hashtag to courtrooms and classrooms around the world, The literary world of Me Too; and Y.A.'s callout-and-cancel culture, In Y.A., Where Is the Line Between Criticism and Cancel Culture? | The New Yorker.
  • Literary magazines with one week's response time is Sandeep Kumar Mishra's useful list, which we added to the site. They range from literary fiction to non-fiction and include science fiction and fantasy, popular non-fiction, politics, flash fiction, reviews, humour, social issues, the economy, lifestyle, horror, artwork and much more. If you've ever despaired at how long magazine submissions can take, or wanted to extend your range, this is the list you need.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? This article will show you how to work out which is the right editorial service for you. Choosing a service. Alternatively, email us and we'll do our best to help.
  • More links: hiring independent publicists to supplement publishers' publicity campaigns, What to Expect from Independent Publicists; from the celebrated children's author, who is translated into 28 languages and counting, Katherine Rundell | 'I will be writing children's books until I am old' | The Bookseller; "As authors, we recognise the vital role booksellers play in our literary culture and industry." Waterstones says it can't pay living wage, as 1,300 authors support staff appeal | Books | The Guardian; and, with Bologna coming up fast, the crossover from adult readers to children's books, Not Your Kid's Picture Book Anymore | ShelfTalker.
  • 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.
  • 'Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.' E B White in our Writer' Quotes.

18 March 2019 - What's new

March 2019
  • ‘I do think that sometimes the seed that sets you off on the process of writing a novel can have been around for many years, even decades, before it actually - for some mysterious reason - comes to fruition . I think it's almost a good sign if an idea has been fermenting for quite a long time in a sort of semi-conscious way...' Our Comment is from Pat Barker, author of The Silence of the Girls, the Regeneration trilogy, The Eye in the Door and five other novels.
  • New information revealed by The Insights People at the London Book Fair shows that reading is the most popular hobby amongst teenage girls. Girls aged 13-18 have named reading as their favourite hobby, followed by swimming, listening to music, and dancing. News Review reports.
  • Our 6-part Editor's Advice series from one of our editors deals with subjects such as further drafts: 'I have just finished writing a report on a novel. I've pinpointed various areas of weakness and made various suggestions that the writer may or may not wish to follow. But the nub of the report is a recommendation that the writer produce a further draft of the novel rather than trying to submit it to a publisher now. I wonder sometimes how writers feel when they get my reports and see that recommendation. It must be very disheartening, when you've spent eighteen months sweating buckets over 150,000 words of fiction to have a report coming winging back, effectively saying "do it again"...'
  • Closing on 31 July, the fabulous Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 is now open to poets from anywhere in the world aged 11-17 years and there's no entry fee. There are a wide range of prizes, opportunities and resources including a week-long intensive residential Arvon course. For young poets, this is a great way to launch their writing career.
  • WritersServices can provide a range of services working on your manuscript, to help you get it ready for submission or self-publishing. We are UK-based, offer exceptional value and our skilled professional editors have been working on writers' manuscripts for 17 years. We have just introduced free samples and free assessments on most of these services, please see the individual service page. Copy editing services.
  • Our links: the Bologna Book Fair is coming up fast and here are some useful pointers on what's going on in children's and YA publishing from agents and publishers, Trends to Watch for at Bologna 2019; Stephen Page of Faber urged publishers to pay attention not only to their individual bottom lines but also to the vital role that publishers collectively play in the cultural ecosystem, This Year's London Book Fair Wraps; for many indie authors, printing remains a crucial aspect of the self-publishing process, DIY: Print-on-Demand 101; and "My job as a crime writer is to thrill and entertain and to keep you turning the page", Crime author AA Dhand: Life and death on Bradford's 'forgotten' streets - BBC News.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which service? offers a quick rundown on all the services we offer, but Which Report? covers just our reports.
  • In 2013, at an age past which most people live, W.S. Merwin published three books. One of them was a 1,500-page Collected Poems with Library of America, which even as it landed was out of date, On the Poetic Legacy of W.S. Merwin | Literary Hub; just as important for authors as for publishers, Holding their attention; Toby Faber on the pleasures and surprises of writing the history of the firm founded by his grandfather, Telling the Faber story; and a fascinating conversation involving three children's authors, Reality Meets Fiction at Children's Books Boston Panel.
  • 'We have such a young culture that there is an opportunity to contribute wonderful new myths to it, which will be accepted.' Kurt Vonnegut, in another wonderful quote.
  • For quotes fans we have superb collections in More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

11 March 2019 - What's new

March 2019
  • 'No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better... No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.' Erin Bow, Canadian YA writer, whose books include Stand on the Sky, The Scorpion Rules and Plain Kate. Our Comment.
  • Last year we launched the Writer's edit, a top-level new service for writers who want line-editing as well as copy editing. Does your manuscript need high-level input from an editor to help you get it into the best possible shape for submission or self-publishing? This may be the service for you, offering the kind of editing which publishers' senior editors used to do in-house on their authors' manuscripts and which is now hard to find.
  • Veteran publisher Michael Legat's 19 Factsheets provide a pithy introduction to many topics of interest to writers, from Copyright to Revision, with writing advice on Plotting the novel and The First and Last Pages.
  • Our links: now it's becoming a major problem for writers, 'I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds': can book piracy be stopped? | Books | The Guardian; our first report from this week's LBF, London Book Fair 2019: Audiobooks Stay Hot; rape, infighting, secrets, financial malpractice; the scandal surrounding the Prize, Do We Still Need the Nobel Prize in Literature? - Electric Literature; and the list of too-hot-to-handle topics (as described by Ms Shriver) include "anything to do with gender, sex, race, immigration, disability, social class, obesity and Islam", Would any publisher dare to print Lolita now? | The Spectator.
  • Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript'. Here's a page on what you should send.
  • More links: digital books were once heralded as being a replacement for print and everyone in the bookselling and publishing industry was scared, but Our love affair with ebooks is over; this famous poet is 100 on 24 March, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, American Maverick; just hours before Prime Minister Theresa May's latest Brexit deal was heavily defeated in the U.K. House of Commons, writers at the London Book Fair criticized the decision to abandon the E.U. London Book Fair 2019: Ian McEwan Leads Writers Against Brexit; and writing a book is not what it used to be even 20 years ago, Council Post: Everything You Wanted To Know About Publishing Your First Book.
  • 'Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.' Aldous Huxley in our Writers' Quotes.

4 March 2019 - What's new

March 2019
  • 'It was only after two years' work that it occurred to me that I was a writer. I had no particular expectation that the novel would ever be published, because it was sort of a mess. It was only when I found myself writing things I didn't realise I knew that I said, 'I'm a writer now.' The novel had become an incentive to deeper thinking. That's really what writing is-an intense form of thought.' Don DeLillo, author of Running Dog, White Noise, Falling Man, Zero K and 13 other novels. Our Comment.
  • 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague...' A useful checklist on Working with an Agent.
  • If you haven't got to this stage yet, try our page on Finding an Agent: 'Make sure that your work is in the best possible shape before you send it to an agent. In the past an agent might have taken you on even if your manuscript needed work. These days most won't do so because the publishing houses in their turn are unwilling to commit to the editorial time required to get the manuscript into shape...'
  • An opportunity for young writers of all ages - The Author of Tomorrow. It's open to young people of any nationality writing short stories in English in three different age groups. The Prizes are: 16-21 years £1,000, 12-15 years and 11 and under £100 plus £150 in book tokens for their school, library or charity of choice.
  • Other available Writing Opportunities.
  • The most recent addition to our range of reports is the Editor's Report Plus, a substantial report which offers chapter-by-chapter commentary on your manuscript, with a helpful blueprint for any further work which is recommended. It gives you the kind of expert advice which is usually only available from an in-house editor, which is why it has quickly become our most popular report.
  • Our links: showing someone stole your idea is close to impossible, Secondhand books: the murky world of literary plagiarism | Books | The Guardian; "there's the real belief that we have a responsibility to our society, to the cultures we're part of", Faber's Stephen Page Opens London Book Fair's Quantum: 'Cultural Responsibility'; for indie authors, few free marketing efforts match the power of book reviews and blurbs, The Art of the Book Review Query; and some of these beloved children's classics have been criticized for the way they portray people of color, Dr. Seuss Books Can Be Racist, But We Still Keep Reading Them : Code Switch : NPR.
  • Our Services for Writers, just a list of our 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: female writers have responded to the #MeToo movement by taking difficult themes such as rape and gaslighting and exploring them in some of this year's most anticipated novels, Women's battles become page-turners as #MeToo inspires novelists | Books | The Guardian; Nicola Solomon says writers are increasingly complaining of not being paid or credited where books had formed the basis of hit shows or for research they provided to producers, Society of Authors renews calls for TV shows to pay authors | The Bookseller; big numbers from commercial authors, UK sales of translated fiction grows by 5% | The Bookseller; and finding the right book is by far the most important thing, but getting the small things right is vital and unbelievably hard work, says veteran publisher with new start-up, Richard Charkin: Nine Lessons From a Small Indie Publisher.
  • ‘I've always liked journeys, journeys where people meet sea monsters, or human monsters. There's something about people leaving everything they know and going into what they don't know where you actually learn a lot about people.' Marlon James in our Writers' Quotes.

25 February 2019 - What's new

February 2019

11 February 2019 - What's new

February 2019
  • ‘I never planned to be a writer. It is a very odd way to make a living. Just telling lies... I do have a visceral sense of breaking through the shell of something when I walk into my study in the morning. Now I just go and do it. Sometimes it doesn't go well, but most often, I'll look up and it's time for lunch and I don't know what happened...' Anne Tyler, author of 22 novels, including Clock Dance, The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Back When We Were Grownups in The Times. Our Comment.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series, Subsidiary Rights: 'My first job in publishing was in a subsidiary rights department. I'm ashamed to admit that I accepted the job without having much idea what subsidiary rights were. Many writers may feel just as vague about this part of publishing, so here's a quick breakdown...' and Vanity Publishing: 'It is natural for writers to be eager to get published but it pays to be wary of the vanity publishers who will take your money and give you very little in return...' Vanity publishing is quite distinct from Self-publishing, you need to be aware of the differences.
  • The Moth Short Story Prize 2019 is open to any writer over 16 from anywhere in the world. The entry fee is €15 per story and the 1st prize is €3,000, 2nd prize a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend and 3rd prize €1,000. There's plenty of time as it's not closing till 30 June.
  • 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: it should come as no surprise that the long literary con of Dan Mallory began with a fake memoir. Fabricating pain for profit is, after all, a time-honored publishing tradition, All the sad young literary fakes | The Outline; before indie authors can market their book to foreign publishers or to agents and producers working in film, TV, and theater, they need know their rights, The Indie Author's Guide to Rights; line editors are not readers in the public sense; they are private practitioners, whose profession operates on a sense of both trust and authority, Is Line Editing a Lost Art? | Literary Hub; and from one of the the English language's finest crime writers-and finest writers, Christobel Kent on Murder, Morality, and Survival | CrimeReads.
  • Finding an agent, our tips for this key search: 'There are two types of agency: purely literary and multi-media agents. Look carefully at the entries and consider whether you would prefer to be represented by a big professional agency with all-singing, all-dancing film and TV departments to back up the book agents, or whether you would be better served by a small independent agency...'
  • More links: "It's always important to me, when I'm writing a book, that these characters have a pre-novel life," Marlon James Spins a Tale of Tales; the practice, known as Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), has come under fire from authors' groups in several countries including the US, SoA open letter demanding Internet Archive stops 'unlawful' lending gets 750 signatures | The Bookseller; the New York Times reviewer wrote: "Rosamunde Pilcher, where have you been all my life?" The Shell Seekers sat in the bestseller list for 49 weeks in hardback and was translated into more than 40 languages, selling around 10m copies, Rosamunde Pilcher obituary | Books | The Guardian; and "I found some of the scenes so unpalatable that I had to keep putting it down, Why are so many women writing about rough sex? | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett | Opinion | The Guardian.
  • Our new page Copy editing services covers our six services working on writers' manuscripts, a range which includes our top of the range Writer's Edit and Translation editing. We have just introduced free samples and free short written assessments on most of these services, which are provided by our skilled professional editors. We are transparent about our rates and our high quality copy editing services are also very good value.
  • 'Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.' Anne Lamott in our Writers' Quotes.

4 February 2019 - What's new

February 2019
  • 'I've wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember, and along with that came a very clear vision of where I'd write. Though I read many books in which people wrote in secret, magical places - nooks in elderly oak trees, in wardrobes, while stowed away at sea - my own vision was rather more grand. As a child, I would write in exercise books, at the kitchen table, and sometimes I'd dream of being a proper writer, and how, when I was, I would write where a proper writer would. I would write in a big house, set high over parkland (I was reading a lot of Jane Austen), and would pick out my words on a kick-ass, hefty typewriter (they hadn't invented computers yet, of course) which would sit in the centre of an enormous mahogany desk...' Lynne Barrrett-Lee, author of 8 novels, including Julia Gets a Life and Barefoot in the Dark. Our Comment.
  • 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. 'Your research into publishers and agencies should encompass what they say about submissions. Even if you think it makes no sense for them to bar you in this way, there's no point in sending your manuscript to a publisher which does not read its slush-pile or an agent who specifies that no unsolicited material should be submitted...'
  • Calling young poets! Our latest Writing Opportunity is The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2019, which is open to 16-19 year-olds resident in the UK. There's no entry fee and the prize is a very attractive £5,000. Closing on 1 March.
  • Several other competitions are still open.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 20 editorial services for writers, which is the biggest you can find on the internet.
  • Our links: this may be the question you really want answered, How Long Should You Keep Trying to Get Published? | Jane Friedman; the extraordinary story of a prize-winning writer who couldn't attend his award ceremony, Behrouz Boochani: detained asylum seeker wins Australia's richest literary prize | World news | The Guardian; and the latest trends in book covers, Dazzling, Blocky Book Covers Designed for Amazon, Instagram.
  • A recent Endorsement of our services: 'I've used two services with this company: The Editor's Plus Report and the Writer's Edit. I am completely satisfied with the service I received and said service has led to the completion and publication of my first novel: Lightforce. I would recommend any of these services to any aspiring author.' Jason Handleman, author of Lightforce.
  • More links: this author is confident that, as long as authors put out the best versions of the best books they can write, readers will come, The Fans Are Out There; the amazing story of a successful editor who became an even more successful author and has now been exposed as a fraud, What Will Happen to Dan Mallory? and a famous writer with a very unusual point of view, Someday, Joyce Carol Oates Will Curl Up with a Cat and Read Finnegans Wake | Literary Hub.
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. She is also a practising homeopath and her website is www.twickenhamhomeopathy.co.uk on The Slush pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned..'
  • From our Writers Quotes 'If you wish to be a writer, write.' from Epictetus.

28 January 2019 - What's new

January 2019
  • ‘I go through a very intense process when I'm writing a book, so the idea of repeating that for a film seems exhausting. You want to have a point where you are really done with something, you know? Much better to let other people do it and then occasionally you show up and eat their food on set or come to their gala premieres and, you know, excitedly meet everyone. For me, that's a good role...' Meg Wolitzer, author of The Wife, The Uncoupling and The Female Persuasion, in the Observer. Our Comment.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide by Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'In this series of articles we'll be looking in more detail at the various self-publishing routes currently available to new indie authors. When you first start out on your indie journey, the array of options can be overwhelming...'
  • From the same author, The Business of Writing for Self-publishing authors offers terrific advice for all writers: 'Self-publishing authors - also known as ‘indie' authors or author-publishers - have had a steep learning curve these past few years. Getting to grips with the various sales channels available to them, producing top quality ebooks and paperbacks, and finding a place in mainstream outlets have left many writers struggling to keep up with the paperwork. What follows is a brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • Our links: The Authors' Guild have labelled it 'a crisis of epic proportions', Breaking Down Financial Woes for Writers; The Man Group have pulled out of sponsoring the world-famous £50,000 prize, might this mean a rule change? No more Americans? What a new sponsor could mean for the Man Booker prize | Books | The Guardian; the multiple award-winning author who burst on the scene three decades ago, when his genre-defying Sandman took the comic-book world by storm, Neil Gaiman on His New Storytelling MasterClass, Good Omens, and the Upside of Twitter | Vanity Fair; and the Toronto-based online reading and writing community which says it has received 565 million story uploads since its launch, Wattpad Launches Publishing Division.
  • WritersServices can provide a range of services working on your manuscript, to help you get it ready for submission or self-publishing. We are UK-based, offer exceptional value and our skilled professional editors have been working on writers' manuscripts for 17 years. We have just introduced free samples and free assessments on most of these services, please see the individual service page. Copy editing services.
  • More links: UK Children's Laureate Lauren Child thinks children's book publishing still gets a bad deal, 'We need to talk about children's books in a grown-up way' | London Evening Standard (mind the intrusive video ad); many poets still need part time jobs to fund their passion, but The rock stars of poetry explain why the art is in demand - BBC News; he might be the most successful author you might not have heard of, Adam Croft: Meet the independent author who at one point was outselling JK Rowling | Books | Entertainment | Express.co.uk; and crowdfunding can be a fun and creative way to raise money to support a new book, DIY: Crowdfunding 101.
  • Are you ready to self-publish your poetry? Have you concluded that, given the scarcity of publishers taking on new work, it's too difficult to find a poetry publisher who will take on your collection? You can get your poetry collection edited for self-publishing or submission to publishers using our unique Poetry Collection Editing Service.
  • 'I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.' Kurt Vonnegut in our Writers' Quotes.

21 January 2019 - What's new

January 2019

14 January 2019 - What's new

January 2019