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This month we have advice from a new expert, Margaret Adams, on Google Author Rankings, Ten Top Tips is about protecting yourself online, Useful Websites covers, freelancing, story writing and the dreaded grammar and Inspiration is as inspiring as I can make it!

Hello Lovely Readers,

So, what have you been up to this last month? Anything you can write an article about? Don’t forget that Summer fetes, holidays or days out to local attractions and historical places all make great ideas for articles.

Right! Over the next few months we’re having a ‘getting yourself online’ special. What I mean by this is we have a tryptic (What a great word!) of articles about getting yourself an online presence. The articles have been written by a new contributor, and expert in online marketing, Margaret Adams. So this month it’s a lesson on how to use Google Author Rank, next month it’s how to use Twitter and the final month is about utilising LinkedIn. By the time you’ve read all three, and the top tips I’ll be featuring over the next few months, you’ll be super savvy. So, to start with, this month’s Ten Top Tips is about what to look out for when considering online writing jobs.

There are some lovely student success stories and Useful Websites are a pretty random bunch – you’ll see what I mean – but hopefully as useful as ever. As inspiration is about December this month, I’ve given you some alternatives to Christmas to write about.

If you can, you should try to get to the Edinburgh Book Festival – it’ll be a great event. It takes place between the 10th and 26th August and is ‘the largest public celebration of the written word in the world’ – that’s some claim! But, seeing as there are over 800 writers and thinkers attending and 750 events to attend, I think they could be right. What is certain is that it’s going to be jam-packed with great stuff for writers of all kinds.

And finally, a telling off! I am sad to see that there are some people trolling in the forums – leaving nasty responses to genuine messages and queries from other students. This is not acceptable and, if an individual persists, they will be banned from the forums. Please abide by the old saying, ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. And, secondly, please don’t use the success section to plug vanity published books. I’ve noticed that people who’ve paid for their books to be published are posting what are, essentially, shameless plugs for their work in the success section. As most of you will already know, these publishers will accept any kind of work, regardless of the quality of the writing – they get paid for it after all, so why wouldn’t they? This is not the place to try and earn back in sales, what you’ve paid for in fees. Sorry! Remember, if a publisher feels your work is good enough, they’ll pay you for it – not the other way around! Enjoy and, until next month, keep writing!

Shelley P.S. Don’t forget to enter our Short Story Competition – it closes at the end of this month!