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Category: Non-Fiction

Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

I help administer a short story competition on behalf of a writers’ group I go, and last week I had to send a copy of an anthology to one of last year’s successful entrants. I didn’t have their postal address, so I went back through our emails to find the entrant’s original submission, and then got in touch to ask for a postal address. I was horrified when Gmail returned my search results. There was the email with the competition…

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Success Is Built On Habits

Success Is Built On Habits

As writers, it’s important that we come up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis. However, we’re wasting our time if we don’t do anything with them. Much better to have a habit of developing ideas and then either writing them up (if it’s fiction) or pitching them (if they’re non-fiction).

Tandem Teamwork

Tandem Teamwork

Inside the May 2019 issue of Writing Magazine is my Business of Writing piece about Writing Tandem. We know that writing partnerships can work well in some writing formats, such as comedy (particularly sitcoms), films and even theatre work. But what about books?

2019 London Book Fair

2019 London Book Fair

This year’s London Book Fair takes place between 12th and 14th March at Olympia. Like many of these events, if you’ve never been before it’s worth making some preparations to ensure you get the most from your visit. Time will fly!

Business Means Respect

Business Means Respect

Twice last week, I came across posts in two different private social media groups where people in the writing business had experienced rudeness from novice writers submitting work. Now, I’m not going to share any specific details, because they are private groups. But there’s no excuse for rudeness at any time, and it made me realise how some novice writers still don’t understand that writing is a business. It’s all about professional, business relationships, and for those relationships to function successfully there needs…

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The All-New Kit-Kat-Crunchie-Creme-Egg Mash Up

The All-New Kit-Kat-Crunchie-Creme-Egg Mash Up

I know I’m getting old when I see an advert on television for a popular confectionary treat that’s got a new added twist (Peanut butter flavoured Kit Kat Chunky, anyone?) and I think to myself, ”Why can’t they leave products alone? Why do they have to keep messing about with stuff?” However, there are times when an update is needed, and I’ve been working on two over the Christmas period (one is still under wraps at the moment). 

Do We Really Need MS Word?

Do We Really Need MS Word?

When it comes to the business of writing, one of the most important tools is the software we use to collect our words and thoughts and put them into some sort of order. For years, this has been Microsoft Word, and its .doc and .docx file types are the industry standard when it comes to submitting to publishers. So I was interested to read this post on the Guardian’s website, about how Word is losing its shine, even in large…

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Writing Naked

Writing Naked

Have you ever written naked? No, I’m not talking about those times when you can’t being bothered to get dressed in the morning (although, perhaps that might influence what you write). Instead, I’m talking about being free to write what you want to write. SJ (Sarah) Banham has just published a book of writing prompts, which she’s called Writing Naked, that are designed to undress writers from the fashionable constraints we sometimes put ourselves under, if not the constraints of…

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Virtually Touring

Virtually Touring

Write book. Publish Book. Go on book tour in nightwear. Simon Whaley explores the modern way to promote books. Gone are the days when publishers organised country-wide book tours for every author, dropping them into every major town and city bookstore to promote their latest offering. Many authors are probably thankful for this, for such events were frequently gruelling and exhausting. Today, a good book tour still requires energy and effort on an author’s part, but the modern virtual book…

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Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

The annual short story competition run by one of the writers’ circles I go to has just closed, and once again I’m staggered by the number of entrants who failed to read the rules. I just don’t understand it. I deal with the administration of some of the entries before they are passed on to the judges, and part of that admin work involves checking that entrants have met all of the competition’s rules. The two most commonly broken rules…

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Commissioning Conundrum

Commissioning Conundrum

When is a commission not a commission? Well, it all depends upon when in the writing process you make the sale. Patsy Collins of the Womagwriters blog asked me to write a guest post about the latest confusion concerning some of the fiction markets using the word commission when accepting (or rejecting) a story, and I thought I’d also publish it on my own Business of Writing blog here. Firstly, here’s the get-out clause: I’m not a solicitor, therefore this…

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The 0.01% Copyright Conundrum

The 0.01% Copyright Conundrum

Pretty much every book on writing urges writers NOT to sign away their copyright in a project. And I would agree that, in 99.99% of cases, that is definitely the right step to take. However, there are times when doing the unthinkable can work out useful.

There’s Only One You

There’s Only One You

When it comes to the business of writing, it’s not necessarily our ideas that are important but the way we interpret them. As individuals, we are unique. We’ve all had different upbringings and influences upon our lives. We’ve all had different experiences. Even when we’re at the same event, our experience will influence how we interpret that event. That’s what makes us writers. Our interpretation.

POP Implications

POP Implications

Getting published is one thing, but getting paid can be an entirely different matter. Historically, many magazines have paid for items on publication. So if you write an article for the August issue of a magazine (back in March, and submit it in April) you will be paid for it in August. Some magazines pay 30 days after publication, which could mean payment may not arrive until September. There’s a growing trend for newspapers to do this, which is causing…

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Know Your CLAEU From Your ERA Or LCI

Know Your CLAEU From Your ERA Or LCI

Last week I posted a copy of my article from Writing Magazine about how to interpret and understand your ALCS statement. Payments are due soon – 21st March – which means that over the coming weeks, if you’ve registered eligible published work with the ALCS and are due a payment, you’ll receive an email notifying you that your statement is ready to download.