October 5th, 2015
A funny thing’s been happening here at the Writers Bureau. As many of you know, students on our courses send in assignments either as typed manuscripts by post, or as RTF files attached to emails. Over the past few months though a number of people have asked to submit hand-written pieces instead.
Now, the main aim of all WB work is to GET YOU PUBLISHED, so we positively discourage the submission of hand-written script. No publisher, agent or writing competition would accept it, which means it’s vital to learn the presentation techniques our industry sees as ‘standard.’ Nonetheless, it’s been intriguing to get not just one, but several requests for hand-written work. Read the rest of this entry »
October 2nd, 2015
Thanks to Lawrence and Paul for last Friday’s blog; it’s great when people acknowledge that we’ve helped them get their work into print. But in this case, it’s their own enthusiasm for their subject – and the ability to get this across to a publisher – that has really earned them their success!
This week’s post is going to be a celebration of all things poetic as it’s National Poetry Day next Thursday (8th October). Time really seems to fly as it doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing about last year’s event and it has now been a regular fixture on the calendar since 1994. Read the rest of this entry »
September 28th, 2015
Once a month I write a piece for this blog about ‘useful websites,’ and over the past year I’ve covered a lot of stuff: online dictionaries; international associations; writing competitions; self-publishing; website building … it’s become quite a list. But one thing I’ve never mentioned is the blog itself.
The Writers Bureau blog has been running for six years now, and though I’ve already put up seventy posts since starting in August 2014, I’m still just the new kid in town. Diana Nadin (our Director of Studies) has been posting since day one, and many of our tutors and successful students have posts going right back to the early days. Generally these pieces are short, anecdotal essays, but they’re also a good source of practical advice and information, with links to numerous articles and external sites providing all sorts of resources for writers. Read the rest of this entry »
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September 25th, 2015
Lawrence Pagett begins the story:
I had writer stamped all over my hands (and face) from age eight.
My silver-haired grandfather revealed his old mechanical typewriter and set me down to learn the art of touch typing. My first short story suitably followed telling the tale of the Swiss skiing boy, Jan.
“Clack, clack, clack. Ding!”
At the end of each line a silver bell would chime as you pushed the lever to descend the page.
The heavy slate metal contraption’s smudgy ink-soaked ribbon printed in a slightly irregular fashion. Black smudgy hands and face were common place.
If you tapped the keyboard inaccurately your finger would get stuck between the keys and on occasion you would accidentally hit two keys at once causing the thin metal strips, each containing a letter, to vie for position on the page and even get tangled together. Read the rest of this entry »
September 21st, 2015
Looking back through some old copies of E-Zee Writer, I spotted an article about editing by Janie Slater – The Gentle Art Of Surgery. Now, I know editing isn’t everyone’s favourite subject, but don’t go falling asleep just yet because … I love it. It’s like out in the garden, taking on a raggedy border full of weeds and dead stalks then, after a couple of hours graft, standing back, completely satisfied. It really makes a difference, and it’s never wasted time.
Course, I understand, most people don’t ‘get’ the editing thing. I’ve been having a running argument about it with one old friend for over a decade. She keeps a note book by the bed so that, if an idea pops into her mind at two in the morning, she can write it down (it drives her husband nuts.) But as far as she’s concerned, that’s it – job done. She never re-writes because: “What comes out at two in the morning is the truth.” To which I say: “That doesn’t mean it’s any good.” Read the rest of this entry »