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22 January 2018 - What's new

22 January 2018
  • 'If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads...' Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes gives us this week's Comment.
  • An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Manuscript presentation, Dialogue, Doing further drafts and Planning: 'The idea of planning doesn't fit well with the idea of the writer as inspired genius, frantically scribbling away. However, I am willing to bet that, no matter what they would have you think, most successful writers plan as much as they write. They just don't tell you about it. The biggest objection that most inexperienced writers raise when someone broaches the delicate matter of planning is that it will get in the way of their inventive powers. A plan will be like a straitjacket. They'll be stuck with this plan and if they come up with a good idea along the way, they will not be able to use it. They are genuinely horrified at the thought...'
  • The Big Idea Competition 2018 is open to UK residents age 13 and over with no entry fee. It's unusual in that it's for an idea rather than a piece of writing. The winner gets £1,000 plus the promise that their idea will become a complete story written by a successful children's author, 5 Runners-up get £1,000.
  • Are you getting ready to publish your book - perhaps planning to self-publish? WritersServices offers a suite of nine services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Services for Self-publishers.
  • Our links: a touching piece on the great writer who has just died - for the past 57 years, one of the most original imaginations ever to grace American letters has lived in a hundred-year-old house built from a kit from Sears, My Last Conversation with Ursula K. Le Guin; some of the most memorable quotes from the writer herself, A life in quotes: Ursula K Le Guin and Jane Friedman's take on the value of free content, Indie Authors and the Value of Free Content.
  • 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.
  • More links: giving a fresh meaning to the notion of a poetry slam, the august poetry journal PN Review has published a stinging critique, Poetry world split over polemic attacking 'amateur' work by 'young female poets'; looking at the question of how to make a living as a writer, What Are You Even For? and what's happening to a new generation of literary women writers? Women write literary fiction's big hitters. So where are their prizes?
  • 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 is what you need.
  • An empassioned William Faulkner in our Writers' Quotes: 'Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.'