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23 November 2015 - What's new

23 November 2015
  • The new Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers' Award for literary fiction has been set up in memory of the distinguished literary agent. It is open to writers residing in the British Commonwealth and Eire. For this Writing Opportunity there's no entry fee, the prize is £10,000 and the closing date is 31 January 2016.
  • 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 is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'Self-publishing has changed so much over the past few years it's hard to believe it was once looked down upon by the publishing industry as the last resort of the vain and desperate. At the time of writing many self-publishing authors are identifying with the term ‘indie author', which acknowledges that to professionally publish today, you don't actually have to do everything yourself!...'
  • 'The news from the independent publishing sector is good. The UK Independent Publishers Guild has just published its first report into the independent sector in the UK. What it shows is a thriving picture, with 600 independent publishers and just 15% of the respondents saying that their business is contracting...' Our News Review looks at good news from indie publishers.
  • 'Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing. It is 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
  • ‘Short story is a terrible term, I much prefer the French term conte. I looked up the word "short" in the OED, and it is almost always used pejoratively. Short stories are nearer poetry than anything...' Jane Gardam, whose 10th short story collection The Stories recently won the Charleston-Chichester Award for a Lifetime's Excellence in' Short Fiction, in our Comment column.
  • Our links: Alison Waines didn't expect her two-year-old psychological thriller to hit it big, Loved the Novel About a Girl on a Train? You May Have Read the Wrong Book - WSJ; for many readers, no matter where they come from, the collective childhood experience begins with the line "Once upon a time", but what if you have no siblings? BookBrunch - China and the second child; whilst the journals market is seeing significant growth for open access publication, what about monographs? A manifesto for the open book | The Bookseller; and when you hear about networking platforms or building a presence on social media, authors generally talk about Facebook, Twitter, and blogging straight away. Sometimes podcasting and Pinterest are mentioned. But Instagram? 5 Ways to Use Instagram as an Author | Jane Friedman.
  • Have you ever wondered why you don't win any of those competitions? Our tips on Entering Competitions.
  • More links: a major effort to get people reading, BBC Launches Campaign Promoting Reading - Publishing Perspectives; The free "Future Visions" anthology imagines the implications of quantum computing, machine learning, and more, Microsoft gets into sci-fi publishing with research-inspired short stories | PCWorld; and the sweat, the groans, the spasming muscles, the licked ears and other bits, the pendulous breasts and other bits; it can only be time for the bad sex prize, Bad sex in fiction award 2015: Morrissey goes head to head with Erica Jong | Books | The Guardian.
  • 'I write because I cannot NOT write.' A styish double negative from Charlotte Bronte from our Writers' Quotes.