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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Getting Published: Which Route Do I Take?

Publishing conference


Eye-opening and myth-busting’ was how one writer described our ‘How to Get Published: Which Route to Take’ event on Saturday (12th July).  And it was. Gather together a group of publishers or authors and it doesn’t take long before they start bemoaning the state of the publishing industry: reduced fees for authors, lower revenues for publishers, an unhealthy grip on the industry by online retailers. 

Saturday’s speakers invited us to look again at the literary world. There are big issues about revenue and selling that the industry has to contend with, but we should be encouraged by some of the entrepreneurial ventures that now form part of the publishing landscape. There are more options for writers: more avenues for getting their words and images into print and e-book. The traditional agent-author route remains the main way to get published (a mere 5% of books purchased last year in the UK were self-published). The latest figures (Nielsen statistics) show a …

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The Irish Writers’ Centre’s Novel Fair

The Irish Writers’ Centre’s Novel Fair


Interested in publishing your first novel? Enter the Irish Writers’ Centre’s Novel Fair! It aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

Twelve shortlisted entrants will be anonymously selected by a judging panel to take part in the Novel Fair on 21 February, 2015. Each entrant must be sure they will be able to attend this Fair should they be selected. Here they will present the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself, and their biographical material.

The entry fee is €45 and the closing date for entries is 24 October, 2014.


For more information, please take a look here. 

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Ready to promote and market your book?

  • Julia Johnston

Right pleased I was, winning the W&A blurb competition, the prize being a publishing package with the Amazon-owned Createspace. Partly my own perfectionism (read ‘indecisiveness’?) to blame, but the sometimes overwhelming process took a whole year from start to finish. 

I wanted a paperback edition (POD-Print on Demand) as well as an eBook, but it was time-consuming. You focus on the look of the book and you must approve physical copies which have to be meticulously checked/reprinted/shipped with corrections. Cover design, interior design, and editing—all require substantial input. This is both the most welcome and most challenging aspect of self-publishing.

The time difference and ‘language barrier’ added to the challenge of making speedy effective decisions. The Createspace staff couldn’t have been more helpful and patient, but something was definitely lost in translation. 

I had to send a lexicon of British English words to the editor too including …

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Finding Words – A New Writing Initiative

The Ashton Group



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. If practicable, these four actors can play any number of different characters.  

The play can be upon any theme or subject.


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 Actor Company.

All writers will be offered feedback on their work.

Please send submissions to The Ashton Group’s Associate Director Chris …

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Scottish Book Trust Launches Search for New Writing Talent

New Writers Awards

Scottish Book Trust has announced that applications for the New Writers Awards 2015 are now open, providing a unique opportunity for 10 unpublished writers who live in Scotland to pursue a career as a published author.


The New Writers Awards are managed by Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland and each year they provide 10 unpublished writers with financial support enabling them to concentrate on developing their work, as well as professional guidance to help them move towards publication. 

Each recipient will receive a £2000 cash award, as well as a tailored package including mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training in public relations, social media and performance and the opportunity to showcase their work to publishers and agents. 

Applications for the New Writers Awards are open to Scotland-based writers who have not published a novel, short story or poetry collection and have a strong commitment to developing a career in writing. The …

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