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Getting Ready To Pitch Your Book

September 15th, 2021

Whenever new writers consider writing a book, many think about the great novel which they hope will be turned into a blockbuster film.

However, for every novel published there are at least five non-fiction books. Statistically, there is more chance of getting a non-fiction book published than a novel. In the UK alone, over 140,000 new books are published every year, and in the USA this figure is double. Of the UK’s 140,000 books, approximately 25,000 are novels, which means the remaining 115,000 are non-fiction titles.

It’s often easier for a publisher to quantify the potential market for a non-fiction book. Publishing a novel is riskier. It’s an unknown quantity, because publishers have no idea how many people will buy the book. However, with a non-fiction book it’s possible to identify how many people might, potentially, be interested in the subject matter. Read the rest of this entry »




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Getting Out And About Again

September 5th, 2021

Now that (at least some) of the world is opening up again, I thought we’d take a look at what it takes to be a travel writer. I know that some of you out there (just like me) are itching to hop on a plane and go adventuring again. Or you’ve got notes on fascinating places in the UK that you’ve visiting during your ‘staycation’.

But I’m going to do it the easy way by directing you to a post by Rachel Newcombe on the Writing World site. The advice she gives is concise and sensible and there is a useful list of sites that you can visit for further information at the bottom of her piece.

If you are interested in this type of writing then you might also want to have a look at an article entitled 36 Travel Magazines and Websites that Pay Freelance Writers. The markets are predominantly American, with payment in dollars, but there may be opportunities for pieces about other parts of the world that are of interest to American readers. And 21 Magazines That Pay for Travel Writing is worth checking out. They mention Wanderlust magazine which has a useful page giving guidelines for writers who are interested in working with them. Read the rest of this entry »




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A Flash In The Pan

August 28th, 2021

Before I go any further this week, I’d just like to remind you that we are now accepting entries for our current Flash Fiction Competition. As usual, there are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice, plus publication on our website. The entry fee is £5 for one story or £10 for three (£4 for one story or £8 for three if you are a member of the Association of Freelance Writers). Your story should be no longer than 500 words and the closing date is 30th November.

But if you’re trying to decide whether to enter and you’re a Flash Fiction novice, here are some simple guidelines to help you stand a better chance of writing the kind of story our judges are looking for.

There are many forms of flash fiction, and stories can range from thirty up to a thousand words. Read the rest of this entry »




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Spies, Thieves and Liars

August 20th, 2021

I was reading an interview with the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani recently (author of Adele and Lullaby, and winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize).  She said that her inspiration comes from the outside; so she always carries a notebook with her and because of this her children think she is a spy.  She goes on “I try to explain that a writer is a kind of spy, but also a thief and a liar. They have a very bad opinion of me”.

That might sound a very odd thing to say, but I think it’s true. If you’re going to make it as a writer, you’ve got to be attuned to everything that’s going on around you and people-watch constantly. Then you’ve got to surreptitiously take what you see and transmute it into material for your books and short stories – but you can only do this by giving it enough of a twist to turn it into something that’s out of the ordinary and gripping. So raise your glasses to the spies, the thieves and the liars amongst us! Read the rest of this entry »




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Online Inspiration

August 14th, 2021

As you probably know, our 2021 Poetry Competition closed on 31st July. We are currently involved in the judging process and I’m amazed by how many first-class poems we have read so far. It really will be difficult to make a decision this year! But, we’ll try and let you have the results as soon as possible.

When one door closes another always opens – so you might want to start considering your entry for this year’s Flash Fiction Competition which has now been launched.  As usual your entry must not exceed 500 words. The entry fee is £5 per story or £10 for three (there’s a discount for subscribers to the Association of Freelance Writers). There are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice. The closing date is 30 November 2021. Read the rest of this entry »




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