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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Landing an Agent

Farheen Khan

So you’ve written your manuscript. You’ve edited the hell out of it, practically know it off by heart and the version number no longer reads ‘Final-V0.3123’. You may have let your close friends and family take a sneak peek and included their feedback, or you may have used a professional editor. Whatever the case, your novel is perfect and you’re finally ready to submit to an agent! Hurrah and well done on getting this far - I have no doubt it’s been tough! 

(I know the panic and second guessing that comes along with signing your manuscript off as ‘final’, but once you’ve made the decision, try and stick to it.)

So, what to do next?

1. Use the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook

Simple. Get organized! Buy the latest copy of the Writers' & Artists’ Yearbook and read it. Don’t just skip to the agent lists, read the tips, the interviews, notes and advice guidelines. This book will act as your bible for the next year and the articles are there to help you, give you …

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Send It, Don’t Scrap It!

Anastasia Prempeh

As a writer my relationship with my work could often be described as ‘complicated’. The same poem can feel like the best thing I’ve ever written and in another moment seem like it just isn’t working. Then there’s the process of trying to edit and improve the piece to make it ‘great’, but becoming so involved in the words, the syntax and the line breaks can sometimes make it feel like I can’t look at it objectively anymore. What makes a great poem great anyway? Feedback and second/third/fourth opinions can be helpful but in the end - and I’m sure many other writers do the same - I go with my gut.

Unfortunately though, this is also where doubt can rear its ugly head. It's so easy to just ‘scrap it’ and put it away. But don’t let this happen. Send it. Submit it to a magazine, a review, an anthology. Enter it in a competition. As clichéd as it sounds, when I submitted ‘Those Words’ to the Great British Write Off competition I didn’t expect to win. …

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The Perfect Pitch Award 2015/16: Call for Submissions

Perfect Pitch Award 2015/16

£12,000 Perfect Pitch Award 2015/16 in partnership with Theatre Royal Stratford East

Perfect Pitch and Theatre Royal Stratford East are delighted to announce the 2015/16 Perfect Pitch Award for musical theatre writing.

Both companies, known for developing new musical theatre, are collaborating on the project, which will see a new British writing team awarded with £12,000 and the opportunity to collaborate on a new musical.

The winning British writing team will be awarded with £12,000 and tasked with writing a full draft of an original musical in a 12-month period, supported and mentored throughout by Perfect Pitch and Theatre Royal Stratford East. After 12 months the show will be presented in a professional staged reading and / or production.

The award is open to all writers - playwrights, screenwriters, composers and songwriters - and no previous experience of writing a musical is necessary. Writers can apply as book writers, lyricists, and / or composers.

To apply writers must submit …

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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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