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Putting the Emphasis on Non-fiction

June 9th, 2017

First, thanks to Sarah for last week’s blog.  I found it fascinating and very useful because, as you know, it’s becoming increasingly rare for small publishers to offer writers an advance. And if you do get one, it is often small (unless you’re one of those famous/infamous celebrities that can command a six figure deal). If you’re self-publishing, then you simply have to fund the full process yourself and in these cash-strapped times it’s not always easy. This is where crowdfunding can come in useful – but before you embark on anything like this make sure you take on board Sarah’s advice. It’s not easy, and you might find yourself spending more time raising funds than actually writing. You have been warned!

In the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Course we have a section on writing readers’ letters and fillers. Writing letters is pretty obvious, but some students struggle with the idea of ‘fillers’. At one time magazines needed very short articles that they could use to fill blank spaces on a page. Hence the name – ‘fillers’. This is no longer necessary, with electronic setting, as articles and photos can be re-shaped and re-sized so that they fill the appropriate space without any difficulty. Read the rest of this entry »




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Giving Your Readers That Little Extra ‘Something’

May 26th, 2017

First, thanks to Pam Fish for last week’s blog. I haven’t been the NAWGFest for a while but when I did attend, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was on my own, but did know one or two of the people giving presentations as they were WB tutors. What struck me most, though, was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. So, if you want to attend, but you’re travelling solo, don’t worry that you’ll spend the weekend feeling lonely. I can promise – you won’t!

I was listening to an interview with the author, Michel Faber, recently. He’s the author of The Crimson Petal and the White (a fantastic, noirish book that was made into a TV series); Under the Skin (made into a film) and his latest novel The Book of Strange New Things, which I’ve just started reading. But in the interview he was reading from his latest project Undying: a Love Story – a collection of poems which he wrote while he was coming to terms with the death of his wife from cancer. Read the rest of this entry »




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Travelling Back In Time

September 18th, 2015

The-Portico-Manchester-blogThanks to Simon for last Friday’s blog. That’s one of the great things about writing – you never know where it will take you and what doors it will open for you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s crafting an article for your favourite magazine, plucking up the courage to self-publish your book or trying your hand with a competition entry – there could be a pleasant surprise waiting for you. Read the rest of this entry »




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Long Live The Book!

January 16th, 2015

Jacqueline_Jeynes_200By now I’m sure that all of you have heard of Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year resolution to read more books. But he’s also launched an online book club and the first title on his reading list is The End of Power by Moises Naim. Needless to say, the book has rocketed into the Amazon bestseller list and sold out.  Had you heard of it? No, me neither. And I won’t be taking any bets on the number of people who download it but never quite reach the end!

Apparently, after announcing his New Year resolution Zuckerberg said: “Books allow you to explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today”.  Nothing like stating the obvious! Read the rest of this entry »




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Writing for Fiction Feast

July 21st, 2014

Hello All!

If you’re a fiction writer and you’re more in to short stories than novels, it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re looking for markets for your work. Take a Break’s “Fiction Feast” is a great place to get started, and we have a really helpful article from one of their regular contributors, Linda Lewis!

Writing for Take a Break Fiction Feast

Have a great week!




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