April 3rd, 2017
As usual, I’d like to thank Simon for last week’s blog. The advice given is really worth taking. If you’ve got an interest, or a hobby, then why not start out small and try writing articles about it for magazines and websites. Not a huge project – something you can fit in around your other work. But there will come a time when you can look back at what you’ve written and you may realise that there’s enough accumulated knowledge to actually make the basics for a book.
Obviously it would be great if you could get a publisher interested in this. It would be even better if they were willing to give you an advance and ensure that there was plenty of publicity after publication, but these days perhaps that’s expecting too much! The other – and increasing popular – way forward is self-publishing. If you are interested in going down this route then an ideal opportunity to find out more about it is at The 5th Self-Publishing Conference. It’s being held on Saturday 22nd April from 9am to 6pm at the University of Leicester. The registration fee is £65 per person and this includes a delegate’s pack, morning coffee, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, a drinks reception and a choice from more than 16 sessions on different aspects of self-publishing. To me, that sounds great value for money! Read the rest of this entry »
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March 3rd, 2017
First, thanks to Kym for last week’s blog. I must confess to envying her the fact that she has a fully-fitted writing shed. I’ve always loved the idea of having a comfy little snug in the back garden where you can sit and listen to the rain on the roof, watch the birds (and cats!) and get on with your writing in peace and quiet. Perhaps it’s something I should put on my Christmas list – but I doubt Santa, or my long-suffering husband, will humour me.
Yesterday, when I was writing this, it was World Book Day. I always think this is a great idea because it gets children thinking about the books that they have read and their favourite characters. For those of you who are not familiar with World Book Day, it’s when children in schools around the country are encouraged to go to school dressed as their favourite book character. They pay £1 for this privilege and the money raised is used by Book Aid to send children’s books to third world countries where they may be in short supply and literacy levels need a boost. Last year over 60,000 books were sent to Africa alone. Read the rest of this entry »
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February 17th, 2017
First, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog. It really is important that you proof your work thoroughly before you send it out to an editor or a publisher. If you’ve not bothered to correct silly typing mistakes then they might wonder just how carefully you’ve checked your facts. I’ve done a lot of proofreading in my time and I actually find it quite enjoyable. If you’re interested in knowing more about what’s involved – either to check your own work, or to take it up as a freelance career – then you might want to consider our Proofreading and Copy Editing Course.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, our 2017 Short Story Competition is now open for entries until 31st March. If you’re thinking about sending in your work, why not have a look at how some of the modern masters write their stories. Every year the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Competition is held with a prize of £30,000. As you can imagine, with prize money at that level, the standard of entries is pretty high. Read the rest of this entry »
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February 2nd, 2017
First, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog. I’ve been on holiday; so it was great not to have to think up something to post while I was away. I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica and despite the trip down to Gatwick (no flights direct from Manchester) and 11 hours in the air it was terrific. Blue skies, lush greenery and animals galore. At the top of my wish list of beasties to see was the sloth! I wasn’t bothered about the monkeys, the crocodiles, the kinkajou… or even the rather attractive tarantula that popped up near the path one day. All I wanted was a real, live sloth. And, dear reader, I got plenty of them, hanging high in the trees. They might be slow but they’re not daft; so they stay high enough not to get caught which makes taking good photos difficult unless you’ve got a very high spec camera! Read the rest of this entry »
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January 12th, 2017
As I write this, I’m watching the snow come down, settle and then melt away. It’s a very half-hearted attempt! But it’s certainly miserable for anyone out in it and it’s times like this that tempt even the most industrious writer to have a ‘duvet day’.
My advice is: don’t fight it. The odd day’s loss of production can soon be made up and it’s the ideal time to curl up and have a good read. Most successful authors agree that if you don’t read, you’ll never by a competent writer. Stephen King is quoted as saying: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Read the rest of this entry »
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