Everything you need to know about writing a book - then selling it.

How to get an agent

Step one, write a good book. Step two, take our advice!

We help writers get book deals. We've got everything you need to know right here.

 

Improve your plotting.

Plots matter! Make sure yours is amazing.

Getting a taut plot and a strong concept means your battle is already half won. Plot and structure.

 

Characters with bite

Are your characters up to scratch? We tell you what you need to know.

Strong characters sell books - and you can learn the techniques which will enrich your characters and your novel. Details

Take a course

We've got online courses suitable for every stage.

Just starting? Take our Creative Writing Flying Start. Already written a novel? Try our (amazing) self-editing course. More options here.

From prose style to publishing: your questions answered.

We've got advice on everything from writing style to honing your dialogue and adding atmosphere to your sense of place. Follow our hints and your book will get better. More on writing style etc.

Different genres need different approaches. We've asked authors and editors with different background to offer their hints and tips, on everything from fantasy fiction to misery memoir. Genre advice library.
The traditional route requires that you get a literary agent who will sell your work to large, integrated publishers. Although the industry is changing fast, that is still the best course for most would-be authors. Agent advice centre.
To locate a literary agent who is right for you and your work, visit our sister site, Agent Hunter. The site enables you to set search filters (eg: according to genre and agent experience) and see rich data on the agents you select.
On the other hand, it is now possible to self-publish or e-publish relatively cheaply and to a very high standard. Depending on what your manuscript is, and depending on your own skills and ambitions, this could well be the right course of action for you. Publishing advice guide.
Most of the rules apply no matter what age group you're writing for - but we've put together a collection of our best advice for children's authors, including help on how to get a literary agent who's right for you and your work. Writing for children advice.
If you want a super-short summary though, then we suggest:
You write clearly. If your style isn't instantly clear, kids won't have the patience to stay with you. If in doubt, keep it simple.
You write economically. Same thing here. If you waste words, if a chapter doesn't immediately drive the story forwards, you'll lose readers. Keep it taut.
You write warmly. Children flocked to Harry Potter for JK Rowling's ideas and inventiveness, but they stayed with her because of her warmth. Follow her example!
You write with humour and a bit of mischief. Kids want humour and they want books to break rules that they wouldn't dream of breaking in real life. Think of your favourite children's books and you'll almost certainly smile.
We can help everyone, including you. Just pop along to our screenwriting advice centre.
How nice of you to ask. The WW boss, Harry Bingham, has written the industry leading guides to Getting Published and How to Write. More broadly, we also recommend the Bookseller and Publishers Weekly for useful updates on the British and American markets respectively.