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Getting to Grips with Self-Publishing

April 3rd, 2017

As usual, I’d like to thank Simon for last week’s blog. The advice given is really worth taking. If you’ve got an interest, or a hobby, then why not start out small and try writing articles about it for magazines and websites. Not a huge project – something you can fit in around your other work. But there will come a time when you can look back at what you’ve written and you may realise that there’s enough accumulated knowledge to actually make the basics for a book.

Obviously it would be great if you could get a publisher interested in this. It would be even better if they were willing to give you an advance and ensure that there was plenty of publicity after publication, but these days perhaps that’s expecting too much! The other – and increasing popular – way forward is self-publishing. If you are interested in going down this route then an ideal opportunity to find out more about it is at The 5th Self-Publishing Conference. It’s being held on  Saturday 22nd April from 9am to 6pm at the University of Leicester. The registration fee is £65 per person and this includes a delegate’s pack, morning coffee, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, a drinks reception and a choice from more than 16 sessions on different aspects of self-publishing. To me, that sounds great value for money! Read the rest of this entry »




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Don’t Ignore The Small Press Magazines

March 17th, 2017

First, thanks to Julia for last week’s blog. After reading it, and the very polished entry that she submitted to the recent AFW poetry competition, I think she should stop being tempted to say ‘poetry isn’t really my thing’ – it most definitely is!

However, I definitely know what my thing is, and I’m not sure I should be boasting about it: collecting snippets of useless (but, in my defense, interesting) information. I recently read an article about Milton and Paradise Lost. Apparently, it’s been estimated that he introduced 630 new words into the English Language (Will Shakespeare was a laggard by comparison with only 229). Examples include pandemonium, fragrance, didactic, stunning, impassive, debauchery, self-delusion and terrific. Read the rest of this entry »




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Last Call for Competition Entries!

November 27th, 2015

manga-boy-blogI’ve just got back from a holiday in Japan – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was a terrific experience:  wonderful autumn colours in the mountains and forests; imposing Shogun castles and enough temples and shrines to keep you going for a lifetime (and who can argue with people who are so relaxed about their religion that when you find a Buddhist temple it often has a Shinto shrine in the same complex). Read the rest of this entry »




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Could You Be Our Writer Of The Year?

November 20th, 2015

Jacqueline_Jeynes_200The time has come round once again when we’re looking for Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2016.  We have been holding this event since 2006 and in that time we’ve heard some wonderful stories.

Last year’s winner was Jacqueline Jeynes (pictured) who, amongst other things, now writes for Silver Travel Advisor website and has started to get the kind of all-expenses-paid trips that every travel writer dreams of.

In 2014 it was Martin Read who took The Award. He now regularly sees his name in magazines and newspapers, travelling to sporting events around the country and interviewing a diverse range of people. He says, “In the last few months I’ve interviewed a cabinet minister, a senior official at Westminster Abbey, two rugby internationals, professional cricketers, a top cricket umpire and a professional, international football referee. It’s a dream job for me.” Read the rest of this entry »




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July 24th, 2015

National-Literacy-Trust-blogFirst, thanks to Simon for last week’s blog. I really like the idea of ‘Demented Optimism’ – as a writer I don’t think you ever get anywhere unless you believe in yourself and your creations. Such optimism may be demented, but it’s essential!

I read an article recently in the Sunday Times Magazine. It was about a man called Denis Pethebridge – and his 30 years of literary failure! In a leather-bound scrap book he had amassed 338 rejection letters. Starting in 1937 he had sent out articles, stories and novels to just about every newspaper, magazine, agent and publisher in the UK…and had rejections from them all. But did that stop him? No. By 1967 he was planning to start a new volume of rejection letters because the first was overflowing. Apparently he eventually self-published a novel in 1996 at the age of 77 and went on to live until he was 94. In his case optimism, however unfounded, was no detriment to his health. You’ve got to have staying power if you really want to be a writer, and not let rejection get you down. Read the rest of this entry »




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