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The London Book Fair

April 24th, 2015

PuzzlebookblogLast week the London Book Fair was held at Olympia from Tuesday 14th to Thursday 16th April. I made several contacts at the LBF last year (the first time I’d ever attended), resulting in me getting contracts for five picture books. This year I attended on the Tuesday and one of my first meetings was with Ms Mudit Mohini, the director of Vishv Publishing, who have just published my picture book ‘Where’s the Puzzle’. Here she is giving me my author gratis copies. I had meetings with several other publishers too and found it a very useful day.

Even if you are a new writer, with no publishing contacts, I’d recommend that you attend next year, if only for a day. It’s a really interesting place for authors, writers or anyone interested in publishing or books. There’s so much to see and learn. Most of the major publishing companies have a stall there, so you can see their latest books and pick up a catalogue to browse through. Remember to take a notebook and pencil with you, to wear shoes you’re comfortable walking in and take a bottle of water. Refreshments are available if you want them, but the queues can be long. Read the rest of this entry »




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Questions Of Perspective

April 20th, 2015

perspective-BlogLooking through some old issues of E-Zee Writer last week, I came across an article by Heather Cooke called Points Of View. It’s about the different voices we use telling stories – a fine little piece. In it, Heather very succinctly describes universal, multiple and single viewpoints, as well as exploring the differing qualities of single and third person narration. Now, that stuff may all seem fairly obvious to you, but reading her article took me back to the early days of my (still unfinished) fantasy trilogy, and a particular problem … Read the rest of this entry »




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World Book Night

April 17th, 2015

AJVRG-blogFirst, I’ve got to say I loved Phil’s photo that accompanied Monday’s post. Keswick is one of my favourite places and it’s hard to beat Castlerigg stone circle early in the morning when you’ve got it all to yourself.

Next, Thursday is World Book Night when 20 books are selected and then 80,000 copies are distributed to people who wouldn’t normally read for pleasure or own books.  It’s run by The Reading Agency, a national charity, and an army of volunteers distribute books in their communities.

Have a look at the books that will be given out – they’re quite an eclectic mix. So why have these particular books been chosen? According to the organisers they have been selected because they are all ‘good, enjoyable, highly readable books with a strong compelling narrative’. Just the sort of thing to get someone who’s not a regular reader hooked!

Incidentally, you might win yourself a set of all 20 if you tweet them (@worldbooknight   #reading journey) and tell them about your own reading journey – the book that first turned you on to reading, the books that have inspired you and how reading has shaped you. Read the rest of this entry »




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Take a Break

April 13th, 2015

Castle.Rigg-blogHow’s the writing going? Sometimes I love that question – not always though. Take the past few weeks. Since early March I’ve been working on a story for the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize (closing date 22 June.) Putting together the first draft was great, but it ran to 7,500 words and the competition maximum is 4,000 so when I started editing, things got tough. I lived under a little cloud for the best part of a week – ask my wife. Read the rest of this entry »




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Is Your Dialogue Letting You Down?

April 9th, 2015

comic-book-graphic-elements-vector_23-2147493621-blog First, thanks to Esther for stepping into the breach last Friday. As you can see, she’s another Writers Bureau tutor that started as a student and now thoroughly enjoys helping to develop new writing talent.

Last month Esther wrote an article on the ‘Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue’ for Freelance Market News. We got a great response to this, so I thought that you might also be interested in some tips. Many novels and short stories get rejected because they don’t include enough dialogue – or the speech their characters use sounds stilted and unrealistic. So here are some suggestions to help you make the most of what your characters say: Read the rest of this entry »




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