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Getting Published

Nearly every writer ultimately wants to get their work published – read these blogs for tips and tricks on how to make it happen, from the authors who've already done it and the experts in the industry.

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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Firewords Quarterly: An exciting opportunity for emerging writers

Firewords Quarterly is a newsprint magazine packed full of powerful fiction and poetry - all enhanced by bold design.

This independent publication was set up by a small group of creatives who were frustrated with writing magazines that concentrated on substance over style, or vice versa. Firewords Quarterly aims to have an abundance of both: fantastic creative writing enhanced by original design and illustrations. The team strives to make short fiction and poetry more accessible and, above all, provide a stronger platform for new writers to have their writing seen and remembered.

As well as the teaser issue (shown here), the first edition is already in production, with submissions currently open, until 15th April, for short fiction (under 2000 words) and poetry

Each quarterly will be based on an exciting theme, although any topic is accepted. What counts is the originality and flare of the work in question. Click here to read the submission guidelines.

The first …

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New Website For The Creative Industries Set To Launch

Eye the Prize

Eye the Prize, a new website for the creative community, helps develop skills and advance careers through the world of creative opportunity. 

Launching on Monday 3 February 2014, Eye the Prize will be the first platform to give students, recent graduates, professionals and complete outsiders the chance to engage with opportunities in-depth, across the arts: Built Environment / Dance / Fashion, Arts & Crafts / Film Festivals / Fine Art / Industry Design / Music / Photography / Script Writing / Stage & Screen / Visual Communication / Writing.

At Eye the Prize, members will be able to discover everything they need to support them on their creative journeys: competitions, awards, commissions, funding, professional training, residencies and paid internships & apprenticeships – searchable according to individual requirements. They will be able to put themselves and their creative endeavours in front of leading organisations searching for outstanding work and the brightest …

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Planning Your Plot

Map


A good structural skeleton is achieved through study, analysis, and hard work. This is one area that is not about some innate gift – yes, there will be delicious flashes of inspiration, but diligence will be a better friend to you.


It is definitely worth doing scene by scene analyses of classic texts – be they novels, film scripts, or plays. This helps you get a feeling for the balance between character development, plot and action. Scriptwriting coaches, such as Robert McKee and Syd Field, are masters of this kind of plot mapping. McKee uses Casablanca. It’s free to download so it’s an easy one for students to work with.


You can use any book, but you have to know what you’re looking for. Essentially, the structure is largely held up by reversals, those turning points that often come at the end of acts. A narrative won’t keep the reader engaged without them. A couple of random examples: Twelfth Night - when Olivia falls for Viola (dressed as a page). Girls aren’t …

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From a publisher: How the new self-publishing comparison service works for authors

A few weeks ago, the CompletelyNovel team received an email from Writers’ & Artists’ introducing us to the launch of the self-publishing comparison service. Our immediate response was to celebrate with a big wedge of cake. There are an increasing number of options available for those wanting to self-publish, and Writers & Artists have provided a place for authors to go to get sound advice, and help choose the option that is right for them.

How it works

The comparison service takes you through a series of questions and then lists the publishing providers that offer the options you chose – a little like comparing car insurance quotes, but far less depressing and without the meerkat. You can then select the publishers that match your requirements and ask for a personalised quote from them.

If you select CompletelyNovel, we receive an email with all the specifications that you just chose. From this information, we might see that you would like your 50,000 word manuscript …

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