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Getting the Write Course for You

December 16th, 2016

iStock_000001353753Large-blogThis year really seems to have gone quickly and I’m sure that many of you are already starting to mull over how you intend to push your writing career forward in 2017. For some this will involve trying to find more ‘me time’, or networking and attending writing events. For others it might involve enrolling on a writing course – either face-to-face or by distance learning.

I’m no expert on the face-to-face variety, but I do have years of experience with distance learning so I’d just like to offer some tips that you might want to consider before taking the plunge, as some courses on offer are incredibly expensive and you don’t want to make a mistake. Read the rest of this entry »




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Around The World With The Writers Bureau

November 4th, 2016

WorldHi folks,

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here. So, how y’all keeping? Everybody well?

Things have changed a bit for me. Most notably – our youngest has started high school (and, fingers crossed, he seems to be alright). So, with a view to keeping the wolf from the door, I’ve said farewell to my days as a house-husband and started work here at the Writers Bureau – in the office.

Now, I’ve never worked in an office before, and maybe in a couple of months the novelty will wear off. But for now, I’m enjoying it. They’re a nice crew, the Writers Bureau team. We all celebrate each others birthdays, everyone brings treats back from their holidays, and we have cream cakes on Fridays, so I’m having to watch my waist-line. Read the rest of this entry »




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There’s More To Being An Author Than Just Writing

October 21st, 2016

kitty-cat-kitten-pet-45201-medium-blogFirst 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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Sex-And-Shopping Novels

April 29th, 2016

maestra-blogIf you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while you may already be familiar with my views on 50 Shades of Grey. I found the first book not particularly well written, not particularly interesting and not particularly erotic – and soon decided that life was too short to read the sequels or watch the film. So why, you might ask, have I now downloaded the latest heavily publicised erotic thriller Maestra, by L S Hilton. The truth is, I couldn’t resist the hype in the Guardian and The Sunday Times.

I’m now half way through and so far I can report that it goes along at a cracking pace with a reasonably interesting plot. It’s well written and isn’t all about sex – but where it does crop up I suspect the terms used to describe it would certainly make Anastasia Steele’s ‘Inner Goddess’ blush. The main negative:  I’m finding the constant lists of what the ‘heroine’, Judith, buys and the designer name-dropping incredibly irritating. At the end of the day, it’s a glorified sex-and-shopping novel and I suspect I won’t be panting to read the proposed sequel. Read the rest of this entry »




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Beating Writer’s Block

March 18th, 2016

writersblock2-blogFirst, thanks to Esther for last week’s blog and we wish her well with her competitions – we’ll obviously let you know about the winners when they’re announced.

Unfortunately, at some point in their career many writers suffer from the dreaded ‘writer’s block’.  Other writers claim that there’s no such thing!  They say that you don’t get ‘plumber’s block’ or ‘bank manager’s block’ and if you were a staff journalist on a newspaper and complained of writers’ block you’d soon find yourself out of a job. Read the rest of this entry »




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