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What's New in 2020

2020

 

18 May 2020 - What's new

May 2020

11 May 2020 - What's new

May 2020

4 May 2020 - What's new

May 2020
  • ‘I think this period, if it's doing nothing else, is probably making reading a more central part of people's lives than before. Reading is always, in one sense, a form of escape. It's escaping into a life which is not the life that you're actually having to live. That's why we do it.' Penelope Lively, author of Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger, Family Album and more than 38 other books for adults and children in the Observer. Escaping the Lockdown.
  • An Editor's advice on planning, part of our 7-part series, 'Some people like to know exactly what they're doing before they start writing. They make very elaborate diagrams of the plot, note what each character is doing and when - this is particularly useful if you're writing a story which depends very heavily on a complex series of events coming together at just the right moment. Some writers focus on building detailed descriptions of their characters, so they know how they will react in any given situation, and then put them into the action. Once they've made a plan, they stick to it, but they then make a note of the ideas they have as they work, and then go back later and see if they can be incorporated into the story. If not, they might be worth using elsewhere...'
  • The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2020 is open to all. The entry fee for Poetry entries is £12, with £18 for Short Fiction entries, but hurry because there's an offer if you enter by 10 May. £1,000 is awarded to both the Poetry and Short Fiction winners, plus publication the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, which is awarded to 60 writers shortlisted by the judging panel. Closing 31 August.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our new top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Our links: A Portable Paradise, which has already won the T S Eliot prize, moves from the Grenfell Tower fire to the Windrush generation and the legacy of slavery, Roger Robinson's poems of Trinidad and London win Ondaatje prize | Books | The Guardian; ever since early March independent booksellers have been tweaking their business models in an attempt to remain solvent, Virtual Author Events Are the Next Big Thing; a significant proportion of the UK and Ireland's smallest independent presses say their businesses are at risk as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown, Small presses fear being 'wiped out' by autumn | The Bookseller; if you're in any way a member of the independent publishing community, welcome, What Can Independent Presses Do to Survive These Uncertain Times? and another really thorough article, How to Write a Novel Synopsis | Jane Friedman.
  • If, in spite of Jane Friedman's help, you find it difficult to write your own synopsis for submission to agents and publishers, our Synopsis-writing service can help. If you're preparing to self-publish and having difficulty with your blurb, our Blurb-writing service from a professional copy-writer will make your book stand out.
  • More links: 'I miss writing stories in which a life lived online does not figure, On the Relief of Ignoring the Internet in Fiction | Literary Hub; on publishing when bookshops are closed, being an ‘exercise nut' and the dangers posed to writers by mob rule, Lionel Shriver: 'Some people think I'm evil incarnate' | Books | The Guardian; the Queens of Crime who dominated the Golden Age of British detective writing, Christie & Sayers & Allingham & Tey | CrimeReads; and, from a fan of the great poet who left it too late, Dear Eavan Boland, I Wanted to Send You a Letter | Literary Hub.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) - for non-native English speakers wanting to reach the international English language market. If your English is good enough, what about writing your book in English or translating it into English yourself, and then getting your translation polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker? The result should be a publishable manuscript at a relatively low cost, ready for you to publish or submit to publishers.
  • From our Writers' Quotes, Stephen King on audiobooks: ‘I listen to my own books. The reason why is because you can hear everything you did right and everything you did wrong. This is the most honourable form of storytelling there is.'

27 April 2020 - What's new

April 2020

20 April 2020 - What's new

April 2020

13 April 2020 - What's new

April 2020

6 April 2020 - What's new

April 2020

30 March 2020 - What's new

March 2020

9 March 2020 - What's new

March 2020

2 March 2020 - What's new

March 2020

24 February 2020 - What's new

February 2020

17 February 2020 - What's new

February 2020
  • Modern children have ‘a yearning for a world without screens. Yes it's rough and Torak and Renn go through some difficult times, but it's this amazing world where there's no climate change, lots of animals, no pollution. It doesn't matter what you look like. What matters is you don't make any noise when you're hunting... Michelle Paver, author of Wolf Brother, Dark Matter and Spirit Walker, talking about her new book Viper's Daughter, published next month, in the Bookseller. Our Comment.
  • Advice for Writers is a really useful page which takes you into our archive and helps you explore our more than 7,000 pages of information for writers.
  • If you have written a poem you think would appeal to 7-11-year olds, then why not enter the The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2020? It is open to all poets across the world over the age of 16. Entry fee €14 per poem and the prize is €1,000. Closing date 31 March and the Prize will be judged by Roger McGough.
  • 'Professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish. But how are you supposed to tell who will do a good job, when the editorial services on the web all sound pretty much the same and it's tempting to go for the cheapest?' Getting your manuscript copy edited
  • Our links:"What did you find to be the biggest difference between writing crime and writing fantasy?" Worldbuilding: Crime and Fantasy Books Have More in Common Than You Might Think | CrimeReads; not for everyone perhaps, but 'I use a systematic and business-like approach to help take the sting out of rejections and keep me focused on moving forward with querying', Here's a System and Template for Tracking Your Submissions; 'You ask yourself if you are a writer if there is no novel to prove that you are what you say you are,' Brandon Taylor, Reluctant Novelist | Literary Hub; erased from my zine's page, Did Amazon Throttle My Sales After I Criticized Them in the New York Times? | Literary Hub; and Fanny Blake reports on the crucial contribution of the Quick Reads programme to improving adult literacy, Making a difference - quickly.
  • Working with an agent: 'Don't ever take on an agent you don't like or don't trust, however desperate you may feel. You have to be able to work with them in what should be an extremely important relationship for you as a writer. You must also feel confident that they are competent, enthusiastic about your work and can be trusted, both in terms of the advice they offer and in relation to handling your money...
  • 'We have a new page which gives an editor's take on using pdfs, So what's wrong with PDFs? 'If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file...'
  • More links: political books are selling like Donald Trump merchandise at Mar-a-Lago, dominating nonfiction bestseller lists for the past few years, John Bolton's $2 million book deal about the Trump administration isn't brave - Vox; finally moving into the limelight, Asian American Writers Are Finally Breaking Out on Their Own Terms; cover presentations designed by Amazon Publishing did by far the best job of luring in prospective buyers, Judging a Book by Its Title; and it's pretty clear what's unfair. Not paying on time. Breaking the terms of an agreement between publishers, booksellers, authors, agents. But fairness is more difficult to pin down, Opinion: Richard Charkin on Fairness in Book Publishing.
  • Our 20 Services for writers - just a list of what we offer at WritersServices.
  • From Tom Clancy in our Writers' Quotes: 'The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.'

10 February 2020 - What's new

February 2020

27 January 2020 - What's new

January 2020

20 January 2020 - What's new

January 2020
  • ‘The biggest kick is reading something new and exciting and then getting other people to share your enthusiasm... Beyond all the cant and hypocrisy in publishing, that's what it's all about... I have always found comfort in the confines of a book or a manuscript, Reading is how I spend most of my time and is still the most joyful aspect of my day. I want to be remembered not as an editor or publisher, but as a reader...' Sonny Mehta, Publisher of Knopf, who died recently. Our Comment.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series: on Copyright 'Many writers worry about losing their copyright. Before sending out your manuscript it is always advisable to put a copyright line consisting of the copyright sign ©, the year and your name on the title page...'
    On The Writer/Publisher Financial Relationship: 'There's no escaping the fact that publishers and authors are essentially in an adversarial position. Even in the very best and most supportive publisher/writer relationships there is the tension caused by the fact that authors would like to earn as much as possible from their writing and publishers to pay as little as they can get away with...'
  • The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2020 represents a brilliant opportunity for writers. It's open to writers of any nationality writing in English and the entry fee is £20 but there are two prizes with £15,000 for the winner of each prize, plus a publishing deal with Bonnier for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Closing 2 March.
  • Our copy editing services for writers. WritersServices can provide a range of services working on your manuscript, to help you get it ready for submission or self-publishing. We are UK-based and our skilled professional editors have been working on writers' manuscripts for 17 years. We have just introduced free samples and free assessments on most of these services, please see the individual service page.
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. on The Slush pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned..'
  • Our links: now the giant retailer is breaking into publishing with bestselling authors, Can Amazon Finally Crack the Bestseller Code? | The New Republic; from the doyenne of a particular type of black women's lit, Terry McMillan, Thwarter of Book Biz Gatekeepers, Has a New Novel; should the subject matter, & their titles, be treated with a little more thought & consideration? Can a work of fiction about the Holocaust be inaccurate? Romance narratives served as a kind of template for my own early love-affairs, Thrillers Pick Up Where Romance Leaves Off | CrimeReads; and 32 years of writing V.C. Andrews, How to Be a Ghostwriter.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "if your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • More links: the dominance of women in the book trade is most apparent in fiction... It wasn't always thus - obviously, In Publishing, Women Routinely Make Blockbusters - The Atlantic; a new spate of science-fiction and fantasy novels are quietly and gracefully opting instead to imagine worlds where homophobia does not exist, 'Why would I close the door to a queer person?' LGBTQ fantasy comes of age | Books | The Guardian; in more than 40 years as a journalist, I've interviewed some terrifying people, The True Crime Story That Changed My Life | CrimeReads.
  • 'Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It's a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.' J K Rowling in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

13 January 2020 - What's new

January 2020

6 January 2020 - What's new

January 2020