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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Getting Published: Andy Stanton on the Yearbook

Andy Stanton, award-winning writer of the Mr Gum series and all-round funny man, waxes lyrical about the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook in this archived extract from his Foreword to the eight edition of the Yearbook.

As Andy will be speaking at our children's fiction writing course Your Children's Book, we thought we would share his inspirational advice on the importance of finishing what you write, and just where an idea on paper can take you...

You are holding in your hands one of two things. You are either holding one of the most powerful little books on the planet, a book which has the potential to CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR EVER; or you are holding a cool little lifestyle accessory, a book which you can keep on your shelf to announce to yourself and others: ‘Oh, I’m a writer-sort of person, I’m sure I’ll use this book one day. But in the meantime, doesn’t it look professional.’ For years before I got published I would frequently buy the latest copy of the

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The Writer's Constant Companion

'The Yearbook remains an indispensable companion for anyone seriously committed to the profession of author, whether full or part-time.' David Lodge

In his Foreword to this year’s 2018 edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, veteran novelist, critic and literary savant, David Lodge reflects on his lengthy writing career. In his eyes, since his first novel was published in 1960 at the age of 25, ‘the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is just about the only thing that is common to that world and the world of the writer today.’

And we agree with him.

In an ever-changing landscape, the Yearbook still remains the writer’s constant companion after 111 years. Publishers come and go, imprints close and new ones prosper, and literary agents go it alone after years at larger, established agencies.  There are more ways than ever before in which your writing can be shared, more outlets for your genre fiction, screenplay or poetry to reach their target market, and a …

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What Is A Writer's Conference?

Linda Strachan, Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland discusses their exciting new conference ScotsWrite and what writers attending can expect...

The Society of Authors in Scotland has created what is expected to be one of the most exciting events in the 2017 writing calendar. ScotsWrite is a weekend conference for all writers at all stages in their writing life. 

But you may be wondering what is a conference for writers and why is it an exciting place to be?

There’s nothing quite like listening to someone speak passionately about the job they love, especially if they’re experts in their field. At ScotsWrite you can expect to hear from experts talking about writing and publishing, because that is what they do - but we think that’s not enough!

We know there are so many different kinds of writers out there, writing in a whole range of field from translation to poetry, from graphic novels to crime fiction, writing for children and young adults. So, we've brought together …

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Writing When Time Runs From You



I'm in my bed in the dark, a snoring one year old squashed into my side, a crick in my neck, and the sound of a rainforest downpour echoing around the room (the baby won't sleep without it. Just one of his many Mariah-Carey-Dressing-Room-esque requests). This is how I write now. Not all the time - no, sometimes, I am lucky enough to sit in perfect silence, at a proper wooden surface, with notes and coffee and everything. But mostly, this is how I write. On my phone, in the notes app, in a window of time I have grabbed with two hands from a speeding conveyer belt, and wherever I may find myself in that moment, however inconvenient, however far from ideal.

Before my life got as busy as it is now – before three kids, I suppose – I wrote at my laptop in uninterrupted silence, on that proper wooden surface I mentioned, feeling almost like a real writer – you know, the ones who sit at walnut desks, listening to Mozart and drinking coffee from tiny mugs with tiny handles. I’d …

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Debut Dagger Longlisted

Last Friday, bestselling authors from around the globe gathered at CrimeFest in Bristol to hear the announcement of the Debut Dagger long list...

For fifteen years the CWA has been encouraging new writers with its Debut Daggers; a crime novel competition that attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world. Last year’s winner was from Australia and previous short lists have included authors from India, Canada and New Zealand- so it really is very much an international competition.

This year I plucked up the courage to put myself forward.

‘Believe in yourself,’ my husband said. ‘What have you got to lose?’

The entry fee of £36 is steep compared to other writing contests but I wanted to know if my book was good enough to stand out from the crowd. And given the reputed quality and quantity of the entries, not to mention the judges themselves (most of whom are linked to major publishing houses) I figured it would be a good test of my manuscript’s …

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