October 21st, 2016
First thanks to Sophia for last week’s blog. I found her list of online tools fascinating, but confess to being a bit worried by Write or Die. When I came to have a closer look, however, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. They’ve even introduced a ‘Reward Mode’. A picture of a cuddly kitten? Images of the designer shoes you’re lusting after? Mug-shot of your favourite author? You choose if you hit your word target. That sounds decidedly less scary than the ‘consequenses’ which they originally threatened if you dared to procrastinate!
This week I’m going to revisit a subject I’ve mentioned before – literary festivals. According to a London Book Fair report there are now more than 340 of them held each year in Britain and Ireland alone. It makes you wonder whether some authors are now spending longer attending literary festivals and beavering away on social media to drum up sales than they are on their writing. If you’re considering giving up the day job to become a full time writer it might be worth considering all the other ‘obligations’ that you’ll need to fulfil. With publishers’ promotional budgets being slashed there’s definitely more required of an author than just being able to turn a good phrase. Read the rest of this entry »
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October 14th, 2016
Being a freelance writer comes with many perks. Flexible hours, the ability to choose who you work with, and even your own paycheck. However, despite these advantages, freelance writing can be more challenging than it might appear. Here are some online tools that can make your job a lot easier.
Despite flexibility, you still need to keep track of all your errands and obligations, not to mention important deadlines. Todoist is a powerful task manager that can save you both time and effort.
- Writer’s Residence
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October 7th, 2016
Yesterday was National Poetry Day – if you took part in any way I hope you enjoyed yourself. To mark the event we’ve been offering £25 off our Art of Writing Poetry course and this offer will be available until 16th October. So if you fancy brushing up your poetry skills, now’s the time to do it.
I live in Rochdale, near Manchester. It doesn’t often get good press. Some parts come very high on the list of most deprived areas in the UK, there was the grooming scandal involving young girls and who could miss the allegations against Cyril Smith the former Liberal MP.
But it’s a town that’s set amidst beautiful Pennine countryside, it has some truly outstanding Victorian buildings and it’s really trying to put all that behind it and move on. One of the many ways it’s doing this is by holding an annual literary festival later in the month. Read the rest of this entry »
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September 28th, 2016
First, thanks to Jacqueline for her blog earlier this month. I must apologise for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks, but I’ve been away on holiday. I love the Italian lakes and having already visited the three most well-known ones – Garda, Maggiore and Como – we decided to try Iseo. It’s quieter and less geared up to English tourists but the scenery is fantastic, the walking/cycling is great and there’s so much to see and do using the local trains.
But I had to smile when we arrived at a little station, in the middle of nowhere, after a long walk. The train was delayed, the man in the ticket office had gone off to lunch (obligatory in Italy) and the ticket machine was broken. But there, in pride of place, was a stand containing lots of books with a notice asking readers to leave the books they’d read and feel free to take a replacement. The UK’s obviously not the only country pushing this scheme! Read the rest of this entry »
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September 9th, 2016
Still got that secret novel you’ve always wanted to write stuffed away in a notebook? Then consider being inspired to actually get it started (if not completed) at a week- long Writer’s Summer School in Swanwick, Derbyshire. This has been going for over 60 years now so clearly provides the right environment for everyone who has the urge to write, whatever genre that might be. The week is made up of workshops, presentations, talks by well-known authors plus one-to-one sessions with a tutor if you prefer.
Interested in crime writing? You can meet published and aspiring authors, chat about fascinating ways to dispose of a corpse during breakfast, and hear about real detective work from police officers themselves. Love poetry? Join the sessions with other poets, working on new themes in a supportive group setting. If you yearn to write books for children, experts are here to help you identify the best way to structure and illustrate a book that children, and a publisher of course, will love. Read the rest of this entry »
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