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The Places It takes You

November 12th, 2014

lawnmowers-blogA few years ago I wrote the most boring article ever: The History Of The Lawn from Roman times to the present day. But don’t fall asleep just yet, because, though the subject was as dull as ditchwater, putting the article together was a fascinating journey and, at one point, it got really exciting. Read the rest of this entry »




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Come on ladies – send those letters!

July 25th, 2014

On my way to work this morning I was listening to the ‘Today’ programme on Radio 4.  They were debating the fact that only 1 in 15 letters printed by the main newspapers are written by women.  So, is there a bias in favour of men? Do women tend to send their views to the magazines that they read rather than to the daily papers? Or is it just a case that men are more opinionated and have more time to spare for airing their views?

If I’m being honest I would dismiss the first suggestion (newspapers don’t care who they publish providing the material is topical, well-expressed or humorous).  I think there’s something to be said for the second, but lack of time is probably the real reason.  Many women are so busy these days that they might have time to dash off a ‘Reader’s Tip’ to Bella magazine but sitting down to polish an article for The Times takes much more concentration and effort.

Incidentally – I think I heard this correctly – Iain Hollingshead (formerly of the Daily Telegraph) said that they receive up to 700 letters a day but print only 20.  So, you can see how fierce the competition is!

Continuing with the daily broadsheets, the Guardian has recently introduced a monthly competition for self-published novelists.  They say:

As DIY publishing gains respectability and established authors join the throng, the Guardian is joining forces with Legend Times to find the best self-published novels, in any genre, every month.

You can submit during the first two weeks of each calendar month, your book should be no less than 40,000 words and should never have been published by a traditional publisher. The latest winner is The Right of the Subjects by Jude Starling.

And while you’re waiting for the winners of our 2014 Short Story competition to be announced (not long now!) why not take a look at the NAWG Poetry and Short Story Competitions.  The entry fee in both categories is £5 and the winners will receive: 1st £250; 2nd £100; 3rd £50.  The closing date is 31st October and you can send your entries by post or email.

My guest next week is Vanessa Couchman who used to tutor the Writers Bureau Complete Copywriter Course.  She’s about to have her historical novel The House of Zaronza published and she’ll be telling you something about the research involved in its writing.

 




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How Do I Find Work as a Freelance Journalist?

June 4th, 2014

This is a question we are asked almost every day, and to begin to answer it we first need to look at what a freelancer actually does.

Working as a freelancer essentially means working for yourself. You will be self-employed and responsible for finding your own work. It’s no good sitting at home and waiting for editors to contact you and beg you to write for them – that’s not quite how it works! Read the rest of this entry »




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A Really Useful Article

January 20th, 2014

Hello All,

We’ve had a lot of queries about getting started in journalism this week – new year, new career and all that! Read the rest of this entry »




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How to Add Gravitas to Your Writing

May 22nd, 2013

One of the oldest sayings about writing is ‘Write what you know’, which I agree with in principle. When you write about what you know it’s quicker and easier as you don’t have to spend hours researching facts and figures about your chosen subject – you should know how to put your hands on what you want quickly and efficiently. Plus, if the subject is something you know a lot about or are qualified in, you can use your own quotes to add gravitas to the piece. Read the rest of this entry »




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