7 July 2011


As I went to a London Writers Cafe event last week that was all about getting published, I thought I would share some notes from the speakers for other writers looking to get published. I hope you find it useful.

Nicola Morgan, Author
Following 20 years trying and failing to get published, Nicola finally realised that she was writing what she wanted to write and what she enjoyed, not what publishers are looking for and what readers like to read.

“Who is your reader?”

·      If you are looking to be a published writer, you have to remember why you are writing and who you are writing for.
·      In order to become published, your book has to be able to sell. Sounds commercial, but that’s the fact of it.
·      Her blog, ‘Help I need a publisher’, features lots of advice for determined writers and interviews with acclaimed authors. Her latest book Write to be Published summarises key points to getting published.

The Literary Consultancy
Rebecca Swift is a writer and founder of The Literary Consultancy

“A good opening is key to drawing the reader in.”

·      Publishers are looking for finished manuscripts, which have been edited to a fairly high standard.
·      A common trap writers fall into is overwriting - us writers loving adding in lots of adjectives, and description when really being economy is the key.
·      The Literary Consultancy offer mentoring, manuscript assessment and proofreading to writers.

Fourth Estate
Rebecca Ewan is publicity manager at Fourth Estate, literary imprint for Harper Collins UK.
“Have a hook.”

·      It can be very competitive trying to get published as a debut, and so it is really important to create a niche for yourself.
·      Have a hook from the story or own personal back-story that could feature in the news
·      Have small stories/articles published in other magazines. E.g. if you can get a piece published in Marie-Claire this will be a big plus, as you some experience to your name and are not a complete unknown so to speak.
·      Highlight what is marketable about you.

Useful websites (just click each one):

·      Nicola Morgan 
·      Fourth Estate
·      ABC Tales – community for writers 


Vivienne said...

I really need this book!

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Excellent advice. I'm guilty of writing the overwriting train almost all the time. I think it can be quite difficult to find a niche in the fantasy genre, since so many typical fantasy tropes can be seen as 'overdone' and 'stale'.

Also, just noticed the Skyship Academy cover on your sidebar, and it looks badass. Gonna have to check it out :D