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The Homemade Tart

June 16th, 2017

The Writers Bureau memoirs course helped me produce the draft for my first book, The Storm Within the Rose: My Family and Alzheimer’s. My next task was to turn this mass of words into a book people would want to read. With no publishing experience whatsoever I decided to self-publish completing each step of the process myself. It seemed slightly less crazy than trying to convince a publisher or agent that I, an unestablished author, had written a book that would sell.

So l started to create my book which I affectionately nicknamed my homemade tart. The filling was to be a mixture of sadness, humour, nostalgia, information and pictures, poured into a casing of chapters, headings, indented paragraphs, page numbers and front section before topping with an eye-catching book cover. Read the rest of this entry »




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Putting the Emphasis on Non-fiction

June 9th, 2017

First, thanks to Sarah for last week’s blog.  I found it fascinating and very useful because, as you know, it’s becoming increasingly rare for small publishers to offer writers an advance. And if you do get one, it is often small (unless you’re one of those famous/infamous celebrities that can command a six figure deal). If you’re self-publishing, then you simply have to fund the full process yourself and in these cash-strapped times it’s not always easy. This is where crowdfunding can come in useful – but before you embark on anything like this make sure you take on board Sarah’s advice. It’s not easy, and you might find yourself spending more time raising funds than actually writing. You have been warned!

In the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Course we have a section on writing readers’ letters and fillers. Writing letters is pretty obvious, but some students struggle with the idea of ‘fillers’. At one time magazines needed very short articles that they could use to fill blank spaces on a page. Hence the name – ‘fillers’. This is no longer necessary, with electronic setting, as articles and photos can be re-shaped and re-sized so that they fill the appropriate space without any difficulty. Read the rest of this entry »




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Crowdfunding: How to publish your book by getting other people to pay upfront for it

June 2nd, 2017

Crowdfunding means asking potential readers to pledge money towards your book now, with the expectation that they will receive specific rewards when it is finished. That means you keep control, while your future customers cover your costs of creating the work.

If you haven’t written it yet, crowdfunding also allows you to test the demand for your book before investing a lot of time, energy and money into creating it.

Despite already being a published author via the traditional route, I decided to use crowdfunding to raise money for my latest book idea: a collection of sleep tips for people who struggle to switch off at night. Happily, I managed to raise 120% of my target, and am now spending my evenings packing books to go to all the backers that contributed!

I learned a lot during the process, and these are my top four tips if you want to run a successful crowdfunding campaign: Read the rest of this entry »




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Giving Your Readers That Little Extra ‘Something’

May 26th, 2017

First, thanks to Pam Fish for last week’s blog. I haven’t been the NAWGFest for a while but when I did attend, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was on my own, but did know one or two of the people giving presentations as they were WB tutors. What struck me most, though, was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. So, if you want to attend, but you’re travelling solo, don’t worry that you’ll spend the weekend feeling lonely. I can promise – you won’t!

I was listening to an interview with the author, Michel Faber, recently. He’s the author of The Crimson Petal and the White (a fantastic, noirish book that was made into a TV series); Under the Skin (made into a film) and his latest novel The Book of Strange New Things, which I’ve just started reading. But in the interview he was reading from his latest project Undying: a Love Story – a collection of poems which he wrote while he was coming to terms with the death of his wife from cancer. Read the rest of this entry »




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Is Splashing Out for a Writing Weekend Good Value For Aspiring Writers?

May 19th, 2017

It is coming to that time of the year when we, as writers, start reading about residential writing courses – Festivals, Schools and Weekends. Are they worth it? Some appear to be quite expensive. Will I gain anything for my writing? Who goes? And, aren’t they mainly recreational? What exactly do you get out of it?

If you are new to the game choosing represents a rather daunting prospect. They are varied in what they offer, but I can assure you that some are with experienced, professional tutors and they will work you very hard. So, how will you find the right one for you?

I went to my first Writing Festival in 2002 – the NAWG Festival of Writing at Durham University. And now, thirteen years later, I have two novels published and I am the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Writers Groups (NAWG) and heavily involved with the planning of their annual writing festivals, which has been re-branded NAWGFest 2017. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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