Posted by on Feb 27, 2007 in agents, novels, waiting. | 8 Comments

What it’s like when your manuscript is ‘with’ an agent … It won’t get there. It will arrive all torn up with pages missing. I left a line out of the address. I addressed it to the wrong person. The counter person got the postage wrong and it will take three months to arrive. I […]

Posted by on Feb 22, 2007 in inspiration | 6 Comments

Inspiration A series of conversations recently has had me thinking about the subject of inspiration, and the fact that many writers have a fear, verging on the pathological, that inspiration will ‘vanish’. I put this down to GCSE English (or O Level, if you’re old enough). Nearly every student of English literature gets told the […]

Posted by on Feb 20, 2007 in agents, indian sweets, novel research | 4 Comments

A potentially frabjous day First, because I posted my novel mss to an agent yesterday. Now the trick is to forget all about it and get on with the new novel … Second, because a very special set of research materials arrived this morning. Five 1920s ‘dirty postcards’ from a dealer in Paris. There is […]

Two things, information and a rant First the good stuff, Shaun Levin, excellent writer and tutor, is giving a course via New Writing South on Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 June. It’s called Making a Living for Writers and it’s geared towards writers looking to increase their income from arts-based activities: residencies, workshops, exhibitions, etc. […]

Posted by on Feb 13, 2007 in narrative structure, novel writing | 5 Comments

Writing a novel Seems to me to be a three stage process. The first stage is when you get an idea that refuses to fit itself to a smaller scope than the novel. It won’t agree to be a short story, nor break itself into a series of stories to serve as a collection – […]

Contests It’s one of those months. I’m reading two lots of slush, one for a themed contest and one for a high literary publication that seems unable to hang onto slushpile readers – and I’m reading for Her Circle, as I do all year round, and finally I’m working through a batch of novel synopses […]

Posted by on Feb 6, 2007 in brighton, queer, workshop | 2 Comments

Going out – it’s the new staying in For this writer, at least. I try to stay away from the strictly personal in this blog, sharing J A Konrath’s view that for a blog to be useful, it should contain personal experience only where it’s useful to the reader, but on this issue, I feel […]

Posted by on Feb 1, 2007 in cover letter, submissions | 3 Comments

The cover letter conundrum What to include? How to write it? One year’s publishing credits or more than one year’s or no credits at all? Biographical information? It’s a bit of a minefield, and as we tread carefully with each submission, reading the guidelines, buying the back issues, sending within the open to submissions periods, […]