Meeting publishers: my experience So … in the many years I’ve imagined the first meeting with ‘my’ publishers, it never included cranberry biscuits, hilarity, discussion of dalliances in Berlin garden colonies, joining the Nigel Slater mutual appreciation society and a complete failure on my part to take any notes or be even a bit literary. […]

They do things differently here … ‘Expect the unexpected’ is a truism. Like most truisms, it seems banal until it has meaning for you, the individual, or me, the other individual. My life looks very weird from where I am now. To start with, I am a contracted writer. Oh yes! Of course, I need […]

How do you feel about easy money? I know that your immediate answer is ‘fine’ or even ‘where can I get me some?’ but seriously, if you’re a writer, stop and think. Do you really believe in easy money? Do you genuinely, deep down, think that if it only took an hour to write, you […]

What do you want for Christmas? Fame, fortune, a three book deal? Francis Ford Coppola to option the film rights to your as yet unpublished novel? Well join the queue! Actually, all those desires boil down to the same thing – you want to be published, to have your work read. And if that’s what […]

Business is Business … Or is it? Three recent experiences make me wonder. The first: I had to hand back a piece of rush editing to a client. I thought, no, I was 95% certain, I could get the work done on time, but I was having pestiferous broadband problems and I wasn’t utterly, utterly […]

Strategy (and tactics) for fiction writers I spend a lot of time coaxing (and coaching) writers into becoming prolific submitters of work (which, of course, requires them to be prolific writers – a useful by-product) and use my own record as an example of what a half-way competent but commited writer can achieve. This is […]

If you want to be a writer … Focus on new opportunities. Every so often a writer gets to hear about some new publishing initiative – most of them remain just that, ‘things you get to hear about’ because the hard work and determination required to get even the smallest literary project off the ground […]

If you want to get published – DON’T read on … Sigh. It’s slush time. Yet another reader has reneged on her promise and a pile of short stories have just arrived on my desk instead of hers. For an absolutely miniscule fee, I have eight days to sort them into four piles: Forget it […]