Skip to Content

What's New in 2023

September 2023

25 September 2023 - What's new

September 2023

11 September 2023 - What's new

September 2023
  • ‘With the rise of a new genre, we've seen a lot of readers determined to label what qualifies as 'cosy fantasy'. Meanwhile, I'm out there writing dragon attacks that almost kill my main character, so... I really don't have a definition. This genre seems to be all about the vibes, and that's different for everyone. My goal when I write cosy is to focus on plots that wouldn't be 'exciting enough' if I were to write them in earnest: a satirical pirate romp, the chaos of a wedding, or just characters opening the shop of their dreams. A quiet cup of tea and a sweet love story can remind us to sit calmly and be quiet with our thoughts, which is something I feel is very needed in this chaotic world.' Rebecca Thorne, author of Can't Spell Treason Without Tea, A Pirate's Life for Tea, This Gilded Abyss and a children's book, The Secrets of Star Whales in Bookbrunch.
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our new top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • The Moth Nature Writing Prize 2023 is open to anyone over the age of 16 with an unpublished piece of nature writing. The entry fee is €15 per entry. The First Prize is €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Circle of Misse in France, the Second Prize is €500 and the Third Prize €250. This Prize closes on 30 September.
  • You'll have to be fast to enter the Mslexia Women's Fiction Competitions 2023, closing on 18 September.
  • Our editor Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor. offers An Editor's Advice on Dialogue: 'Picture the scene; I have just settled down to read a manuscript. Character A has come to visit Character B about an important matter. Character B is a friendly soul and offers A a cup of tea. Milk? Yes, please. Sugar? Just a small spoonful, thanks. Or would A prefer a cup of coffee, it wouldn't take a moment. Biscuit? Oh, go on then. Digestive or Rich Tea? A and B witter aimlessly for several pages about beverages and baked goods, while the fate of world peace hangs on B giving A a vital clue. Which clearly isn't going to happen for another four or five pages...'
  • Links from writers: the hard-boiled novel, James Ellroy Reveals the Real Reason He Writes ‹ CrimeReads; a project that now delivers thousands of books to British jails, How I turned prisoners' misery into reading pleasure: the brilliant story of Bang Up Books | Books | The Guardian; the author who spent the second half of his career fighting for authors' right to privacy, Phonies: J.D. Salinger and Wielding Copyright as Self-Protection ‹ CrimeReads; writers have more interaction with readers than ever before, and superfans aren't afraid to share their opinions online, ‘It's equal parts exciting and terrifying': how authors are being influenced by their fans | Books | The Guardian; and who is this American poet, born in San Francisco in 1942? The Paris Review - Apparently Personal: On Sharon Olds - The Paris Review.
  • Sally Gibbins in our Endorsements page: 'I am delighted with the feedback and so pleased with all the great suggestions which were so much more than I expected. A really brilliant service.' Sally Gibbins , Birmingham, UK, on her children's copy editing.'
  • 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... Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing or know much about what is involved. 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. Copy editing services
  • 'So you want to write historical fiction? Well, your timing is good, because historical fiction is fashionable again after many years in the doldrums. In fact it's so popular that it has virtually reinvented itself as a category... Older readers may have read Anya Seton, Rosemary Sutcliff, Henry Treece, Mary Renault, Norah Lofts and other stalwarts of historical fiction in their younger days, but many of their books have been out of print or just not very visible, replaced on booksellers' shelves by other categories such as fantasy and crime. The resurgence of historical fiction has been much appreciated by readers who have always enjoyed it and who for many years have had little new material to read...' Writing Historical Fiction.
  • Links from the publishing world: it's been a standout success for the book industry over the past few years, Thriving on Change: Current Developments in Audio; in a surprise move, The Bookseller - News - Amazon revises KDP guidelines to compel disclosure of AI content.
  • 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. Get your manuscript ready for your publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Working with an agent: 'Don't ever take on an agent you don't like or don't trust, however desperate you may feel. You have to be able to work with them in what should be an extremely important relationship for you as a writer. You must also feel confident that they are competent, enthusiastic about your work and can be trusted, both in terms of the advice they offer and in relation to handling your money...'
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • More writers' links: a good deal of time is spent in writing workshops talking about first sentences, What Makes a Great First Sentence? ‹ Literary Hub; the industry body has spoken out against the practice, Society of Authors calls use of bad reviews for book blurbs ‘morally questionable' | Books | The Guardian; I am like a magpie when it comes to developing a story, shamelessly borrowing from and building on whatever I see and hear, The Writer as Magpie ‹ CrimeReads; gradually, things started to go off the rails, Goodreads Is Terrible for Books. Why Can't We All Quit It? | The Walrus; and we choose our spouses, but their families come as a package deal, The Mother-In-Law From Hell ‹ CrimeReads.
  • 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?...'
  • A miscellany of links: an alarming survey The Bookseller - News - National Literacy Trust calls for urgent action as children's reading enjoyment at ‘record low'; a distinguished publisher and an embarassing subject, The plot to suppress the truth about Unity Mitford; across the US, books and lessons that represent different families and identities are increasingly the target of conservative pushback, Bans on diverse picture books? Young kids need to see their families represented, experts say | AP News; print has been dead for as long as I've been at The Bookseller, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Come the revolution; and the lowdown on literary estates from the co-head of Curtis BrownSee Curtis Brown listing Heritage, Questions for: Becky Brown.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market, using our English Language Editing service.
  • 'Part of writing a novel is being willing to leap into the blackness. You have very little idea, really, of what's going to happen. You have a broad sense, maybe, but it's this rash leap.' Chang-Rae Lee in our Writers' Quotes.