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Romance is in the Air

April 1st, 2016

winter's-fairytale-blogI’ve just been reading about one of our students, Maxine Morrey, who has secured a two-book deal with Carina UK, the digital printing arm of publishing giant HarperCollins.

I must admit that I hadn’t come across them before, but do go and have a look at their site as they are open to new writers, and you don’t need an agent to approach them. Plus there’s a really clear Question and Answer section on anything you want to know about them.

Something else I learned while looking into this is that Harlequin Mills and Boon is now also part of HarperCollins, so they’re teamed up with Carina too. Each month, Mills & Boon publish 120 new titles, with manuscripts from 200 authors living in the UK and a further 1,300 worldwide. Every five seconds there’s a new Mills & Boon book sold in the UK! (Watch that exclamation mark – we’ll be coming back to it later.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Top Tips for Proofreading and Editing

January 12th, 2015

First-Draft-blogOkay, here we are, just twelve days in and it feels like the new year was months ago. How are your resolutions getting on? Mine are … just about alive. I did two workouts last week, though I lapsed when it came to the chocolate. Writing came off best – I managed some time on fiction every day, writing or editing (research doesn’t count).

I’ve been working on a short story which, some of you may recall, came out of missing a competition deadline back in November. It’s called ‘The Little People,’ and I’m now at the ‘whittling’ stage – shaving out words, shifting, checking and tidying things up so that, hopefully, it’ll become a publishable manuscript.

So, as much for myself as anyone else, here’s some handy hints to spruce up your scribblings: Read the rest of this entry »

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etymology |,etə’mäləjē|

November 24th, 2014

Stop-Arret-blogStop! – just think. Where does that word come from? If you’ve ever driven in France you’ll know not to jump in with an answer because on French road signs it doesn’t say ‘Arretez-Vous’ or ‘Cesser,’ it says ‘Stop,’ just like on ours. ‘Stopper’ is a verb in French dictionaries, and you know how fussy those Galls can be. They even have a government institution keeping tabs on their language – the Académie Française, which is almost as intimidating as the British W.I.* Read the rest of this entry »

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? Woz-orl dis Gramma stuff anyhow

November 5th, 2014

Grammar-blogBack in the 1970s something strange happened in British schools – they stopped the formal teaching of grammar. Why? Well, not being a linguist … I’m not absolutely sure. All I know is that, having left school in 1979 with a very sketchy knowledge of the subject, it’s caused me a number of problems over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Great Grammar

August 5th, 2014

I know that lots of you have concerns about grammar – for some it’s feeling insecure about whether what you write is correct. Should it be its or it’s? Should the possessive apostrophe come before or after the final ‘s’ in a word?

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