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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In my innocence, I used to think these two words could be used interchangeably. I soon found out I was wrong. When I first started writing professionally, I quickly discovered that many people get fired up by the author / writer distinction. What I’ve encountered When my first book was published, I proudly announced to …

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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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Although this applies to many people, in many fields, I’m talking about the need to persevere with your writing. It’s one of the few occupations where you’re flying blind, all on your own, most of the time. Feedback from others helps, but essentially it’s down to you. It’s all too easy to give up when …

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Many people come to my magazine writing workshops with perfectly good articles they’ve written, distressed that they haven’t been able to get them published. They’re surprised when I suggest they may have gone about it the wrong way. Rather than writing an article and then trying to sell it, try to sell it before you …

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It’s the moment all writers dream about. The letter/email from a publisher saying they actually want to [dramatic drum roll] publish your novel! Ta dah! All writers have experienced the other kind of letter, too many times. The one that goes, ‘Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, it does not suit our list. We wish …

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I recently attended a writers’ conference in sunny Brisbane. First up was a panel of editors explaining what they like – and what they don’t like – to see when authors submit stories. Their tips were fantastic, so I scribbled them down as fast as I could. On the panel were David Reiter, publisher at …

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Yippee! Some wonderful news I’ve just received gave me the idea for this blog. My story made the shortlist for a prestigious writing contest … and … no, hang on, excuse me while I do a happy dance. [Leaves desk, prances around room in unseemly manner, returns exhausted.] Ah, that’s better. Anyway, as I was …

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