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Effective Time Management for Writers

September 24th, 2010

The winners of the Writers Bureau Poetry and Short Story Competition 2010 have now been announced and their entries are available on the website . If you are reading this and are one of those talented winners – congratulations – you deserve it!

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Where do you get your ideas from?

August 6th, 2010

Elizabeth Ashworth

One of the pleasant things about being a published author is that you are sometimes invited to give a talk at local libraries or book festivals.  I always invite questions and one that is invariably asked is ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’

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Can writers make a living from writing short stories?

June 25th, 2010

It’s hot, and although I love summer weather I can’t help feeling it’s largely a waste of time for those of us cooped-up in a city-centre office.  You don’t get to enjoy the benefits and when you go home you have to face the tedium of filling and re-filling a degging can, just to keep those precious plants you bought alive and perky.

But let’s not be negative.  Apparently if you think happy, positive thoughts, your whole life will be happier and more successful – well that’s the theory, anyway!  So let’s be positive, instead.  According to the Press Gazette over a billion consumer magazines were sold in 2009 and sales dropped just 1.3% in the second half of the year – despite the recession.  So, if you’re a writer there’s still a huge market out there for your work.

I suspect the reason for the buoyancy is that magazines are still considered comparatively cheap – a small indulgence that can be justified even when times are hard and finances tight.

If you’re interested in writing fiction you could do worse than check out Fiction Factor where there are hundreds of useful articles on all aspects of the craft and links on book promotions and marketing.

Or, you might like to see what Ty Johnston has to say at Local Misanthropy, his blog on writing.  A recent post considers whether writers really can make a living from writing only short stories.

So, now that we’re all feeling much more up-beat, I’m off to watch England’s third World Cup match, against Slovenia.  But I’m wondering whether I’ll still be feeling as optimistic in a couple of hours’ time!

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Send your Twitter review and win a Writers Bureau course

April 23rd, 2010


First, thanks to Alex for last week’s blog.  I found it quite reassuring – no-one makes more mistakes than me.  I can never decide whether it’s old age creeping up or simply that I’ve not got to grips successfully with multi-tasking!

Over the past few weeks, the more writing magazines I read, the more people seem to be moaning about markets for short stories drying up in print-based magazines.  This might be true, but this certainly isn’t the case on the Internet.  Yes, I know it doesn’t usually pay as well – sometimes not at all – but it does help you to hone your skills.

According to Samuel Johnson ‘Nobody but a blockhead ever wrote for anything but money’.  But I suspect that if Sam were alive and writing today he’d take a rather different view.  What about the personal satisfaction?  And more important, what about using it as a means to an end?  If it helps to build up your portfolio of published work it’s not a waste of effort.  It takes you a valuable step nearer being in a position to earn from your writing.

OK, down from my soapbox and onto the lighter side.  Do visit our website and look at the winner of March’s 21st birthday competition.  It made me smile, but Anthea also sent in some other ambiguous notices that were almost as good.  Here are a couple:

Don’t let worry kill you off.  Let the church help.

(Church noticeboard)

Place your donations in the envelope along with the deceased person you want to remember.

(Church newsletter)

And don’t forget this month’s 21st Birthday competition – write a twitter review to be in with a chance of winning one of our Writing for Profit Using the Internet Course.

The weather’s forecast to be glorious again this weekend so I’ve every intention of avoiding the election propaganda and making the most of it while it lasts. Easier said than done!

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