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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Social Media and the Art of Promotion

Helen Jones

So you’ve written your book, edited it, sweated and slaved and fretted over it. And now it’s published. Time to sit back and watch those royalties rolling in, right?

Um, no. Now you need to promote it.

Dun dun dun! *cue scary music* What? But I’m a writer. I don’t need to promote anything. Do I?

Well, actually you do. And, to make things even scarier, you really need to start promoting yourself months before your book is finished. Whether you’re traditionally or self published, having your own media platform is part of being a modern writer, as well as a useful tool for promotion. However, it can also be a massive time waster, so be selective and work with what appeals to you – for example, I blog regularly, have a public FB page and dabble with Twitter. I know I’ve made sales through these platforms and, just as importantly, have also made some nice connections with readers and bloggers, so it’s worth the time spent to maintain …

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Writers and the Dreaded R-Word

Farheen Khan

No one likes rejection.

I’m not sure about you, but rejection leads me straight to the cookie tin. I’m not ashamed to admit I stay in there for a good twenty minutes, devouring as much sugar as humanly possible. In those moments, I am a savage and manage to recollect every rejection I’ve ever had (every short story submitted, agent rejection, all the jobs I’ve ever applied to, even the singing role I never landed in the school play). My mind, which can never remember anything useful when required, is suddenly able to recall lines of rejection letters (with vivid detail) received from universities ten years earlier. So, if I wasn’t already feeling like an insecure-useless-worthless-waste-of-space-failure-with-no-prospects, my mind has conjured up enough images to ensure that label remains.

As a writer of a novel being reviewed by publishers, it is near-impossible not to take rejections personally. When publishers say ‘we don’t sign many psychological thrillers’ my …

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Editing and the Invisible Gorilla

Your book is now complete. You tell yourself that it is a masterpiece. So, why on earth do you need an editor? Isn’t that overkill? Surely the editor will only pick holes in your work and, possibly, expect you to rewrite whole sections?

I would like to show you why an editor is a critical part of the end-to-end process of producing a book and I would like to demonstrate why by citing the case of the Invisible Gorilla.

The Invisible Gorilla refers to an experiment that was run by two academics, Simons & Chabris, at Harvard University in 1999. This can be found on their website and is called the Original Selective Attention task. A group of individuals were asked to look at a video and count the number of passes that the basketball players, dressed in white, made to each other during the clip. Only at the end were they asked whether anyone had seen the gorilla. Surely, you think, the participants would see something that obvious. But, …

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The Rollercoaster Relationship I Have With My Writing

There was a girl and boy in the top year of my school that had been together since the last year of primary school. Everyone knew them, everyone was used to seeing them nuzzling each other’s necks, and equally as often, wringing them. One week they were in love, snuggled up on a bench, feeding each other crisps, giggling, whispering “I love you”, and the next, they’d be on opposite sides of the dining hall, glaring at one another, until one would storm off shouting “I hate you!” It was a cycle. Sulk, kiss, make up, declare love to world, disagree, scream, shout, declare hatred, and repeat. A rollercoaster, really, and the type of relationship my 13-year-old self vowed to avoid. And I did, very successfully... Until I decided I wanted to be a writer. While so far I may have managed to avoid a tumultuous love-hate relationship with another person, the truth is, I have one with everything I write, and everything I have ever written. In between the initial idea and submitting …

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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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