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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Finding Words – A New Writing Initiative


Calling all young playwrights… 

 The Ashton Group is searching for a new stage play with which to tour the North West, professionally produced by its acclaimed Apprenticed Actors Company. 

The one act play should have a running time of 60 minutes.

The play should be written for four young actors: 2 male, 2 female. These four actors can play any number of different characters.  

 The writer should be no older than 25.

 The play can be upon any theme or subject.

 The Apprenticed Actors Company

 Selection Process:

 All writers should submit before the deadline below a synopsis including plot and character outline, and the first ten pages of their play. 

 Four writers will then be given the opportunity to expand their work into a full length piece with the support and guidance of a professional mentor.

 One of these plays will then be selected to go into development for production by the Apprenticed Actors Company.

 There is a prize …

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What An Editor Looks For In A Poem

The Great British Write Off

Here at The Great British Write Off, a competition designed to hep writers and poets showcase their work, we asked four of our editors what they look for in a poem. Keep this advice in mind when you're entering!

Jenni Bannister 

The first part of a poem to grab me will always be the rhythm. If a poem has a good flow, whether it’s fast, slow, gentle or punchy, it will always stand out. Read your poem aloud to see how it sounds, if there are any places where it loses its rhythm. 

 I find the length of a poem irrelevant. A three line haiku can be just as effective as a 50 line epic. However, if a poem isn’t compelling it can be easy to lose interest by line 30. You have to get me to care about your subject if you want me to stay with you for that long. 

Thirdly: surprise. I like a poem to surprise me. Whether it catches me off guard with its emotion, has a funny twist at the end or switches up the rhythm or rhyme for effect, anything that is away from the …

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The Right Ways To Monetise Your Content

Being a self-published or indie author is akin to running a small business; the problem is that some do not truly appreciate this fact. It’s easy to get embroiled in the creative process and then once this is finished to consider it ‘job done’. But this is only the start. And, as we will focus on in this two part blog, an often misunderstood but vital component within this small business to help maximise revenue streams and reach a wider audience is rights and licensing.

The reality is that monetising works can be difficult. Immediate obstacles appear to be marketing, PR and distribution - with all too many ignoring rights and licensing. And I don’t say this lightly. Our team have had all too many conversations with authors who:

  • a) Have no idea what rights and licensing actually means
  • b) Don’t know what rights they actually hold
  • c) Don’t realise how valuable they are
  • d) Fail to protect them, never mind monetise them

Not that it’s necessarily their fault. Historically, the …

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Why writers should embrace the digital age

New Writing North - Do It Yourself conference

For all the writers eagerly setting up their blogs and tweeting away to their readerships, there are just as many shuddering at the very thought of developing an ‘online presence’. Although some writers may find their occupation a lonely business, let’s face it – if you chose a job that involves sitting in a room on your own for a large part of the day, then you might not be the sort of person who really wants to do any engaging or, God forbid, promoting.

However, the benefits of entering the digital world could be more than just increased sales figures. In a traditional publishing set up you might once have felt that your work was done after submitting your manuscript. Embracing the opportunities technology has to offer, however, enables you to make positive choices about the direction your career can take, from finding an agent to crowdfunding your own book.

The publishing world is in flux. And New Writing North’s chief executive Claire Malcolm wants to inspire writers to …

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Be part of the story: how crowdfunding is revolutionising writing


There is no denying the impact the internet has had on our professional and private lives; entire industries have been forced to rethink the way in which they do business, and publishing is no exception. Back in the day, writing used to be a solitary exercise. Writers would retreat to a cabin in the woods somewhere, taking only their typewriter with them, and stay there until the job was done and their book was complete.

Not so today. With the advent of the internet and the proliferation of social media, you are never alone. This makes for a whole new creative process, but also a new way in which writers can fund their writing and make a living from their talent.

How publishing lost its way

The internet offered aspiring writers the opportunity to surpass the gatekeepers – to make their content available online to an audience of millions – but many of the important traditional processes were forgotten along the way. Processes such as editing, proofreading and cover design.

Here at

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