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The Value of Keeping Everything You Write

March 12th, 2012

All tutors tell their students to put work away for a while, in order to read it again with fresh eyes before submitting or, if necessary, rewriting. Usually the advice is to leave the writing for a couple of weeks – and very good advice it is too! However, I bet I hold the record for putting work to one side before making a submission. Read the rest of this entry »

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Writing Rules Rule!

December 2nd, 2011

Lorraine Mace (2)I wear many hats in the writing industry, but first and foremost I’m a writer. This means I know what it feels like to invest time, effort and emotion in a piece of writing. I know what it feels like to send my work off to be accepted or rejected according to the whims of some faceless (and, quite often, nameless) person. Read the rest of this entry »

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Easy Does It by Lorraine Mace

May 12th, 2011

ALorraine Mace - Connexions a tutor, I am always amazed when I receive an assignment and realise the student hasn’t bothered to analyse the market. I know tutors keep on about it, but there is a very good reason for labouring the point – if you want to sell work, you have to write what people want to read.

There are two ways to deal with market research. One is easy and the other is hard. Actually there are three ways, but the third is really only for those who want to spend their time writing articles that will most probably never get published.

The Easy Approach

It sounds simple and it is – all you have to do is to read several copies of a magazine. You can then come up with an idea of interest to the editor – taking into account the publication’s style and content. An editor is far more likely to accept your idea if he or she can see that the publication’s readers would find it interesting.

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Going Once, Going Twice, Going as Many Times as Possible

May 14th, 2010

This month it’s my turn to guest post here on the Writers Bureau blog. I pondered for quite a while over what to write, but then I realised in these financially uncertain times, one thing we are all interested in is making as much money as we can from our writing.

I have a golden rule with regard to my articles and it’s this: if I only sell something once, then I need to try harder because that simply isn’t good enough.

Let me explain what I mean by this. I have just sold a humour article for reprint rights in the UK. Although I only received fifty percent of what the original fee was when the piece was first published (way back in 2005), I am still thrilled to bits.

The reason for my glee is that this is the fourth time I’ve sold this particular article. It was originally published in the UK as part of a series of humour pieces I wrote for a regular column. I subsequently sold First North American Serial Rights to a magazine in the US and First Australian and New Zealand Rights to an Australian magazine. Now, three years since it last appeared in print, it’s being published again in the UK under Second British Serial Rights.

My reason for sharing this with you is to remind you of the benefits of recycling your work. If something is good enough to be accepted for publication in one country, it is entirely possible that an editor in another country might like it too. Even though you will most probably need to make some changes for the magazine’s style and tone in each country, that would still involve far less work than writing a completely new article.

Obviously, you should be aiming at magazines and newspapers in your country of residence first, but once something has been published there, you should consider selling it again and again. So how do you find markets in other countries?

First and foremost, subscribe to magazines which give details of available markets, such as Freelance Market News.

You might also find the following websites of benefit, but they do require registration and payment of a small fee to access the information. However, one resale of an article or short story would more than cover the cost.

UK: http://www.writersandartists.co.uk
USA: http://www.writersmarket.com
Australia: http://www.awmonline.com.au

Next, make sure you research your overseas titles as carefully as you would your home publications. Many editors are happy to supply sample issues to prospective contributors via a PDF version as an e-mail attachment. If that isn’t possible, most magazines now have websites where a selection of previously published material can be studied.

Good luck and happy reselling.

Lorraine MaceLorraine Mace is a columnist with Writing Magazine and deputy editor and writing agony aunt for Words with JAM. As well as being a writing competition judge, she runs Flash 500, a quarterly flash fiction competition, www.flash500.com. Lorraine, a tutor for Writers Bureau, is the co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s ABC Checklist (Accent Press). www.lorrainemace.com

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Writers Bureau tutors revealed!

December 18th, 2009

When we had our tutors’ annual meeting in October we took the opportunity to make short film clips of some of them talking about their writing – these are now available on our website.

There’s Simon Whaley talking about non-fiction writing; Alison Chisholm discussing poetry; Lorraine Mace explaining how to put humour into your writing and Stephanie Baudet giving tips on writing picture books for children.  They’re all different – but all equally interesting and informative.

I’ve decided that every few weeks I’m going to ask one of our tutors to do a guest blog – at least you’ll get a break from my witterings!  So, next week it’s the turn of Penny Legg.  Penny is also one of our tutors and fits this between her own writing and editing ‘The Woman Writer’ the magazine of The Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

So, all that remains is for me to wish you a very happy Christmas.  But before I leave you, bear in mind the results of a recent survey suggesting that the average time for the first row to start in homes around the country on Christmas Day is 9.58am.  So, be prepared!  Make sure you’ve put a few good books on our Christmas list. And as soon as the present opening is over – even before the wrapping paper has been disposed of – head for the smallest room in the house with your stash of books and lock yourself in.  By doing this there’s a chance you will still be speaking to your loved ones by the time Dr Who comes on the TV and you may even enjoy Christmas day.  Bah humbug to you all!

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