Writers in conversation: Ava Marsh & Marnie Riches

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We’re running a new, occasional series of writers in conversation. We ask those writers to talk about things of mutual interest to them, but otherwise don’t set parameters for those conversations at all. Ava and Marnie are both crime writers, … Continue reading

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The fuckety index: how much bad language is allowed in your novel?

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Just for fun, I recently measured how often I used the word “Fuck” and its derivatives in my most recent novel. I also asked a bunch of other crime writers to see how potty-mouthed they were . . . and … Continue reading

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Story structure in the novel: enrich your fiction with Hollywood tips

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A guest post by novelist & screenwriter, Alexandra Solokoff. A fuller biography and links to her work can be found at the end of this post. There is a rhythm to dramatic storytelling, just as there’s a rhythm to every … Continue reading

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Festival Success and overcoming Big Scary Things: Jo Cannon’s story

This blog is written by the lovely Joanna Cannon who attended Festival of Writing 2014. Having won the Friday Night Live competition Jo walked away with seven offers from literary agents and eventually signed with Susan Armstrong from Conville and Walsh.

Soon to be published, Joanna Cannon

Published author Joanna Cannon

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Amanda Saint: How the Writers’ Workshop helped me write a novel that got a publisher

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Recently I had my dream come true of getting a publisher for my debut novel. Once I’d calmed down enough to start making some sense again one of the first things I did was email the team at the Writers’ … Continue reading

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How to build a writing habit. A guest post from Bec Evans

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How to build a writing habit I first met novelist Rosie Garland ten years after she’d started writing fiction. With four and a half completed novels – none of which had had been published – she was on the verge … Continue reading

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Me and My Literary Agent – Getting an Agent and the Deal you Really Want

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Those who have been to the Festival of Writing will know James Law – the author of this guest post – very well. Here James tells us about his journey to the top and what it took for him to … Continue reading

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Kerry Fisher: My top five reasons for coming to the Festival of Writing.

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Kerry Fisher is doing a workshop with her agent, Clare Wallace from Darley Anderson, about the all-important agent/author relationship at this year’s Festival of Writing. Kerry knows about life on both sides of the publishing fence. Her debut novel, The … Continue reading

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Social media & social reading – an author’s view

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A guest post by M.K. Tod author and blogger at A Writer of History. A longer bio (with links) follows at the end of this piece We’ve been socializing over reading for centuries, book clubs being one example, salons being … Continue reading

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How to create characters in a novel

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Today’s pearls of wisdom come from Cal Moriarty: a novelist and screenwriter, the only European screenwriter chosen for the prestigious Hollywood Blacklist Labs through which she is developing her feature Katherine & Virginia. Her debut novel, The Killing of Bobbi … Continue reading

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How crime writers can research police procedure

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This is a guest post from crime author and former police officer, Clare Mackintosh. Clare’s I Let You Go is published in paperback by Sphere today. Whether you’re a published crime writer or an aspiring one, you’ll need to know … Continue reading

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The future of Ebook prices: a history lesson from the app industry

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Fergus McNeill – thriller author and app developer – has spent years watching the app industry race to the bottom on pricing. Here are his thoughts on what that experience can teach us about ebook pricing. Fergus’s most recent thriller, … Continue reading

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What authors really think of their publishers

Our sister site, Agent Hunter, has just published the fruits of its 800+ author survey. You can see the full write up here, and obtain the full dataset here.

The authors concerned were 40% British/Irish, 60% North American. They were typically:

  • highly experienced
  • recently published
  • and allied with big publishing.

We had over 800 responses and got some damned interesting responses back. You should really truly take a look at that Agent Hunter post but, to get you salivating, just take a look at these little lovelies:

Our comment: not surprising, but a very impressive performance. Well done trad publishing!

Our comment: Yikes! This is not so great. And other questions on communications / marketing were also dispiriting.

Our comment: not nearly good enough. We hope this improves!

Our comment: this data is for agented authors only and goes to show that agents are on the whole doing a terrific job. It also goes to show that authors are perfectly capable of being content . . . but that publishers have a good bit further to go before they earn that author loyalty.

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Why you don’t need a big idea to start your novel

Anyone who’s ever published a novel has had, or will have, this experience: you’ll be at a party, or some other public gathering, and someone you barely know will approach you and say, “So you’re a writer. I’ve an idea … Continue reading

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Social Media for Writers: Puzzles & Solutions

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Our guest-blogger today is Laurence O’Bryan – a novelist with HarperCollins (more) but also a pioneer in the field of using social media for book promotion. His BooksGoSocial site offers a range of promotional tools to help (primarily) self-pub work … Continue reading

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