Keeping the dream alive (Mistake #127)

Could the next amazing writer to land a book deal after years of slog, after years of rejection, after years of their obvious talent failing to be acknowledged or recognised, NOT take to Twitter and promptly tell every other aspiring writer to do this: NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS! Share how excited you are, …

Politics and Brexit and writing

We’re in a cauldron of hot pickle, aren’t we. I can hardly think of anything else, day in, day out. I barely do any writing any longer — just bits at the weekend, on the whole, while during the week I do the mechanical things … invoicing that, printing this, responding to queries, updating blog …

Three writing blogs

Following the publication of the paperbacks of my books 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make and 50 More Mistakes Beginner Writers Make last month I have been pretty busy writing about writerly errors and answering questions about non-fiction. Allow me to direct you towards it all … 1/ First off, Patsy Collins, who runs both her …

Do me a favour

I struggle, truly, to understand people who don’t bat an eyelid at handing over £3.50 for their morning cococcino frappe-foamed mochalatte but baulk at the prospect of paying that, or less, for an eBook. Happy to support an international coffee-house chain but not an independent writer who may be shivering around a mug of thin …

100 mistakes in print!

Given that I launched 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make and 50 More Mistakes Beginner Writers Make as eBooks over three and two years ago respectively, those polite students and readers who have been waiting patiently for their release as print books probably deserve an explanation. The best I can offer is that I had loosely …

Finding the right word (Mistake #125)

“The view is indescribable.” “There are no words.” “It’s hard to know what to say about …” All these are common expressions I’ve come across in the work of new writers. The first crops up in various forms in far too many travel articles. Writers: you have to find the words. The view is perfectly …

What Geoffrey Owens can teach us

At the beginning of this month, actor Geoffrey Owens made the news for being photographed working in Trader Joe’s, a US grocery chain. Monstrous purveyors of fetid journalism the Daily Mail appeared to take pleasure in this purported downfall. “From learning lines to serving the long line!” they sneered, not passing up the opportunity to remark …

Freelance writing rates

One of the most common questions I get asked about freelance writing for magazines and newspapers is, you won’t be surprised to learn, “How much do publications pay?” The answer is that it varies — hugely. Glossy big name magazines can pay £1 a word or more, especially to big-name writers. Small or local or …

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