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Short Story Competition winners now online

September 21st, 2012

First, thanks to Shuchi for last week’s blog – I told you that you’d find it interesting.  All the points she made are useful, but I’d like to stress the final one about polishing your query letter before sending it off to an editor or publisher.  It’s a cliché, I know, but first impressions really do count.

As I write this we’ve just got to the end of our Facebook event to announce the winners of our 2012 Short Story Competition.  Thank you to everyone who joined us and commented on the winning stories, and to those who entered the prize draw and competition.  The four winning stories can now be read on our website – so why not have a look at them and see what you think?

Incidentally, if you’re a short story writer and feel you need some feedback on your work there is currently a 10% discount off the price of our Review and Appraisal service for short stories.

Hope for first-time novelists

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize 2012 was announced last week.  It includes two debut novels, three small independent publishers, two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner. Of the six writers, three are men and three are women; four are British, one Indian and one Malaysian.  Quite an eclectic bunch, which should give hope to us all.  I’m going to enjoy working my way through their entries and look forward to finding out who wins in October.

Pushing up the quality of e-publishing

I’ve noticed a real change in the content of readers’ letters in writing magazines over the last twelve months.  Instead of moaning about how dreadful publishers are – ignoring their work or taking ages to reject it – they’ve moved on the telling other writers how liberating it is to publish their own e-books and patting themselves on the back for finally having introduced their work to an unsuspecting public.

It might be liberating, but few of them say how much they are actually earning.  I was talking to a friend this morning who said he tended to download about half a dozen books at a time to his Kindle.  If he was familiar with the author he was prepared to pay a reasonable price but he would only take a punt on a new author if the book was cheap.  Most telling, though, was the fact that he usually deleted half of those books after only a few chapters as the quality of the writing was so bad!  I’m all for e-publishing but let’s give the conventional publishers a run for their money on quality as well as quantity!

My guest next week is Michelle Higgs – writer and tutor here at Writers Bureau.  She’ll be telling you how to follow up from that exciting first sale so that it becomes the first of many!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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