After getting my first junior novel published nearly two years ago, I felt certain that all would be plain sailing from then on. I had my foot in the door, as they say. It was a rude awakening when I discovered that wasn’t necessarily so – at least, not for fiction. Thankfully my non-fiction work was …

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It’s a common complaint. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Or – when it comes to getting published – it’s not how well you write, but whether you have contacts in the industry. But is it true? When I first started getting published, I had no contacts whatsoever. I sent an article …

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It might be hard to believe, but magazine editors are human. That means they don’t like being begged, cajoled or patronised. They also don’t enjoy being bored. Sadly, many well-written articles don’t get a look in because of a poorly-worded pitch. It’s important to know how to approach an editor effectively, maximising your chance of …

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I’ve discovered that submitting a second book to your publisher can be even more nerve-wracking than sending the first. The first time you approach a publisher, you’re kind of expecting rejection. You’ve steeled yourself for it, often through long and hard experience. But the second time, a whole new set of worries suddenly appears. Do …

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After years of heavy sighs and longing looks, I’ve finally managed to sit on a writers’ success panel. The wonderful CYA Conference people invited me to present a talk to other writers about how my experience with CYA helped lead to my publishing success. I was delighted to take part – it was a dream come …

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It’s been a long time coming, but the release of my first junior novel is finally drawing near. Mike the Spike is being launched in August 🙂 There have been several highlights of the journey already. The first – and most crucial – was signing the contract with New Frontier Publishing. Promises of publication are …

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You come across all sorts of interesting things at school fetes: food, handicrafts, books, even writers! Toula Papadam used the opportunity to promote her picture book … and I used the opportunity to hustle an interview. I’m grateful to her for agreeing to share the highs and lows of her self-publishing journey. 1. Can you …

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Sending your manuscript out for review is a bit like sending your child to school for the first time. This beautiful but fragile thing, once a part of you, is going out into the cold cruel world. In both cases, you need to wait until the time is right. Your first draft is where you …

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I love it when my former writing workshop students keep in touch – and I especially love news of publishing success! Julia Brooke recently self-published a book that is already selling very well. She has generously agreed to pass on some of the lessons she learned along the way. 1. What type of book have …

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My head’s still spinning from all the things I learned at the brilliant Writers Unleashed Festival last weekend: http://shirewritersfestival.weebly.com/. Entering a mad scribbling frenzy was the only way to tackle the editors’ panel, and I’ve managed to distil their most crucial tips into the three top things editors require. On the panel were Emma Rafferty …

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