Skip to Content

22 July 2019 - What's new

22 July 2019
  • 'I write for myself first and foremost, but as I write, I imagine I am speaking to a friend who has just walked in, to whom I'm recounting a story already known, but for whom I am trying to make it worthwhile to listen again. Sometimes the "friend" here is one I have never met, but who I am confident will be cool with me. I write with that assumed familiarity. Sometimes I write song lyrics, sometimes lyric poems, always they are lyrical; and sometimes I write plays.' Inua Ellams, poet, playwright, author of six poetry pamphlets, including Candy Coated All Stars and Thirteen Fairy Negro Fairy Tales, and seventeen plays, in the Sunday Times Culture. Our Comment
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Lynda Finn about the isolation of New Zealand writers and their problems with getting published, British author Eliza Graham, author of Playing with the Moon, on her route to publication and Zoe Jenny, who is Swiss, on writing in English and why it was liberating. Send us your contributions, ideally 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • The Tony Lothian Prize 2019 is open to all writers with a proposal for a first biography. The entry fee is £15 and the prize is £2,000. Closing 30 August.
  • 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 offer 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.
  • Our links: a longlist packed with big names - but notable for its exclusion of well-received novels and for the fact that no American authors are included, Handmaid's Tale sequel leads 'exacting' 2019 Booker prize longlist | Books | The Guardian; a quick guide to the shortlist, Not read them yet? A cheat's guide to the 2019 Booker prize longlist | Books | The Guardian; the notion of being taught language has always been oxymoronic because language is in a constant state of flux, Style and Grammar Guides Won't Help You Write Better; and a useful article for all authors, Fourteen Kinds of Content Your Readers Will Want to Share.
  • 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.
  • More links: sometimes you just want to sit back with a book that's engaging, ingeniously plotted, and populated by memorable characters. In nineteen novels from 1959 to 1993, she gave you exactly that, Patricia Moyes: A Crime Reader's Guide to the Classics | CrimeReads; books are generally presented as the work of one person, but almost 60 others worked on mine, Should books include credits like films? | Books | The Guardian; a lively and varied "biography", 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Semicolon; and a useful list of pitfalls self-publishers face when doing their own book formatting, Top Five DIY Book Layout Mistakes.
  • 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.
  • 'The books we think we ought to read are poky, dull, and dry
    The books that we would like to read we are ashamed to buy
    The books that people talk about we never can recall
    And the books that people give us, oh, they're the worst of all.'
    Carolyn Wells casts a sardonic eye on books in our Writers' Quotes.