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What's New in 2019

April 2019

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,
  • 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 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.