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Writers' & Artists' Blog

The Process of Publishing and Editing the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2017

Between the months of January and April every year, I live and breathe all things Writers & Artists (and in reality at other times too), but for the first half of every year I’m deeply immersed in ‘creating’ the new editions of both Yearbooks. It’s an intense and fast-paced process and involves a collective of editorial, design, technical and production know-how and co-operation. We’ve got it down to function as a (fairly!) well-oiled machine, and (unless the wheels fall off at any stage), it pans out something like this.


In fact before the start of the year, I gather the three listings editors and the articles editor of both Yearbooks together over a publisher’s lunch (an essential kick-off to each new edition), to talk through the trends and the ups and downs of the publishing world since the previous edition was published (they appear every July) and how these will affect the layout, content and editorial judgments we make for the next one. We discuss …

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Same, Same - But Different!

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2017

One of the expressions my colleagues in the publishing company I worked for in Singapore would use with great frequency, simultaneously shaking one of their hands in a swift waggling motion, was the wonderful: ‘same, same, but different’. It’s a catch-all phrase that for me, has come to epitomize the content of each new edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook – all 816 pages of this big, red tome. Riffle its pages and there is much that readers, writers and illustrators from across the years (a whopping 110 years in fact, as the first edition was published in 1906) will find familiar. But much too that is new: a reflection of the fast pace of change across the publishing industry. The Yearbook has two main strands of content: articles and an extensive directory of contacts.

In each incarnation, there are more than 80 articles packed with advice from successful writers who share their own experiences of being a debut novelist, trying to get poetry published, …

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What North-South Divide?

Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2017

Some of the most topical issues in UK Publishing at the moment are only tangentially to do with books and readers; rather more tied up with post-Brexit discussions over inequality in the industry. Notably, there's a lack of BAME publishing talent: a legitimate gripe and a long-standing issue. And then there's the supposed lack of northern (and for that read ‘working-class’) creative talent. I might take exception to that if I was a novelist, poet, illustrator or screenwriter housed north, or indeed east or west, of Watford Gap!

As Editor of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbooks, I don't commission pieces because of where authors live; I invite contributions from the very best writers because I think they have something to say about their experience as a writer. Collectively they present a whole cast of characters in all their glorious variety. Good to know, then, that there ARE writers thriving tens and hundreds of miles outside London.

Open the pages of the Children's Writers' …

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The Writing Process

At Book Aid International we believe books have the power to change lives. In places where books are scarce, libraries are often the best place to discover the joy of reading. That’s why we work in partnership with libraries in sub-Saharan Africa providing books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish.

We were delighted to join up with Writers & Artists for a second year running to offer aspiring authors a fantastic series of masterclasses with established authors on different aspects of the writing craft. Each of these practical sessions – which focused on key facets of the writing process – expertly guided participants through exercises and techniques that helped hone their manuscripts.

Writers & Artists generously donated 50% of proceeds from each ticket sold to support our work and they raised a fantastic £2,032.50! That’s enough to send over 1,016 books to libraries in Africa!

We were …

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Why A Course on Writing for Children?

Alysoun Owen

At Writers & Artists our job is to bridge the gap between you – the as-yet unpublished author – and industry experts, providing the sort of knowledge, know-how and context you need in order to take your book to the next level. With these core principles in mind, Alysoun Owen, editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, has curated a special set of practical evening sessions dedicated to one of the most exciting, competitive and rapidly evolving areas of the publishing landscape: writing fiction for children and young adults.

"In my role as editor, reader and parent, I am passionate that the very best writing for children gets published.

One of the greatest pleasures of editing the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is the contact I have with so many supremely talented writers and illustrators. Between them they offer advice and inspiring dedication to their craft. Being able to …

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