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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Why I Self-Published

Munir Bello

I am Munir Bello, author of, The Break Up Recipe. I self-published the book for many reasons. The first one was because I knew that I would struggle to find an established publisher that would be willing to take me on. The second reason was because I wanted to make sure that I had control over the marketing side of things. 

A publisher may have deeper pockets and a more established PR machine but they can't guarantee your sales. Since releasing the book, I've had a lot of success for an indie author. The book has featured in online and print publications all over the world, including The Mail Online, The New York Times, BUST magazine, The New York Daily News and The Voice Newspaper - to name a few. I achieved this by working incredibly hard and really, there's no other way to do it. 

The first thing that I did was get a very good graphic designer to do the book cover. It's very important that the cover looks professional. Next, I had to come up with marketing material to …

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Calling All Writers!


We’re two months away from the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and we’re looking for four writers to blog about their experiences here, on the Writers & Artists website. 

NaNoWriMo is the month where, if you’re a writer and up for a challenge, you’ll be giving up your free time, shutting the world out and devoting yourself completely to your writing. From 1st to the 30th November, you’ll be joining hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world as you work to complete the first draft of a novel - you have to reach 50,000 words - in just one month.  

As a writer, you’ve probably spent days agonising over that paragraph you just couldn’t get right, so you’ll appreciate that 50,000 words in one month is a very big mountain to climb. We want to help you stay motivated during that month and, with that in mind, we’d like to document the NaNoWriMo journeys of four writers, in a series of blogs. 

We’ll feature six guest blog posts …

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The Waiting Game

Helen Jones

Helen Jones, a writer currently seeking representation for her YA series, discusses her experiences of searching for an agent, developing a thick skin and not giving up.

I love to write, and in recent years have been lucky enough to get paid to write for other people. But now I’m making my first foray into fiction and am finding that this is a whole new ball game. Just over a year and a half ago, I sat down and started writing my first book, and about a year ago sent out that first effort to a small group of agents. Ha. What I discovered was that I have a great deal to learn so, being of an enquiring mind, thought I’d better get on with it. And here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Once you’ve written your story, you need to show it to people. Get used to it. It is, after all, why we’re writing. I’ve had work published in different magazines and, at the time, was very proud to show people, buying multiple copies for family and friends. …

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Kinsale Arts Festival 2014 - 20% off Tickets

Kinsale Arts Festival

This year, Kinsale Arts Festival is offering a 20% discount on ticket prices, excluding dining, for International patrons. Patrons will be required to present a flight boarding card and proof of booking with a local accommodation provider on collecting tickets. 

Festival Highlights:

Ten oak letters will ignite the night sky, as a fleet of boats take to the water - a fiery international premiere that will announce the opening of the tenth Kinsale Arts Festival in spectacular fashion. One of many large-scale artworks commissioned to mark this special anniversary year, from an underwater sculpture in the harbour, to an immersive theatre show inside the town’s industrial metal perforation factory, it’s the biggest, most ambitious festival to date, running for an extended 10 days.

Taking place in the new month of September, the 2014 programme boasts the first Irish showing of work by Heather and Ivan Morison, Mel Brimfield, Neville Gabie and London architects Something and Son, …

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Something Rhymed: Celebrating Female Literary Friendships

Something Rhymed

Coleridge and Wordsworth, Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway: we’ve all heard of the great male literary friendships. But who did Jane Austen turn to for encouragement with her writing? What about George Eliot? Or the mythically reclusive Emily Dickinson?

Conventional wisdom may have it that, for women at least, professional striving and supportiveness don’t easily go together but, as female pals who’ve relied on each other from the start of our writing careers, we’ve always been suspicious of that assumption.

We couldn’t help hoping that at least some of the most fêted female novelists and poets must have had significant literary relationships of their own. Still, since only Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell came to mind at first, we decided to do a bit of historical sleuthing.

Our quest for answers led us to write a series of articles, in which we featured the likes of Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby, authors of Testament of Youth and South Riding …

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