Posted by on Oct 31, 2006 in Uncategorised | One Comment

Request slot Mark Hubbard (who has one of the most interesting jobs ever [to me at least] – see details at Mark’s website) and I have been bemoaning the fate of the writer who doesn’t live in the USA, and Mark suggested this particular experience deserved a wider audience. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that magazines, […]

Posted by on Oct 30, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

MCNA WRITER’S BURSARY CANCELLED From the Medical Case Notes Association website: ‘We regret to announce that we cannot proceed any further with the MCNA Writer’s Bursary. We apologise if you have recently seen our Writer’s Bursary advertised in either the Writing Magazine, a newspaper or on the internet. Following increasing difficulty with administering the bursary, […]

Posted by on Oct 27, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Not long now … NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. The kick off party is organised, the nervous emails are starting to arrive, the confident writers have begun to twitch with the desire to get started, and in just a few days we’ll be on the adventure of a lifetime (okay, of a year!) writing […]

Posted by on Oct 26, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

To pseud or not to pseud …? No, not to appear as part of Private Eye’s satirical corner, where inflated egos are punctured and pretentious jargon is laid as bare as the Emperor without his new clothes. Rather, to pick a name under which to publish all, or part, of your fictional output. Or not. […]

Posted by on Oct 25, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Why do you write? On Tuesday I had lunch with the excellent writer and about-to-be new mum, Anna Packham. One of the things that makes Anna such a good copywriter, as well as fiction writer, is that she is a communicative writer. I’ve been trying to formalise the idea that writers fall into one of […]

Posted by on Oct 24, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Things I like … … in no particular order: Getting paid to write fiction – like being God, but with wages! Reading a short story that makes me think, and think, and think again. A rare but lovely experience, like seeing a rainbow. Meeting other writers. Knowing that National Novel Writing Month is nearly here, […]

Posted by on Oct 23, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Things I hate In no particular order: Publications that use their email submission process to send you a rejection on a Sunday – it used to be that one day a week you were safe from those evil ‘not for us’ messages that arrived by post, but now you can receive evidence of your literary […]

Posted by on Oct 20, 2006 in Uncategorised | 2 Comments

The inadvertent joys of editing When we write in the first glorious heat of creativity, we don’t (or shouldn’t) stop to measure our words. Later we return to our work (if we’re wise) with the cold viewpoint of a bored and jaded reader, and re-evaluate all that hot and sometimes purple prose. But sometimes we […]

Posted by on Oct 19, 2006 in Uncategorised | One Comment

Would you, could you pay a fee? My view of contests is cynical. I enter very few, and only those where I have some strong and clear sense that the contest is properly organised, well run, fair and distributive. By which I mean that I expect to see some kind of accounting process that shows […]

Posted by on Oct 18, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Thinking about clichés There are two definitions of a cliché: 1 – a trite or overused phrase 2 – an expression so exact that it moves into common language. I’ve been pondering these two in relation to a couple of copyediting jobs I’ve had recently. The doornail is an example of the former. Why is […]