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Writing Magazine

November 2021

The saying goes that “everyone has a story in them” and it’s the mission of Writing Magazine to help you get yours out. Brought to you by real experts who know what it takes to improve your writing or get published, this monthly magazine is a must-have for all writers. Whether you write fiction, poetry, drama, children’s books, non-fiction or anything else, each issue features tips, practical exercises and real-life advice, that will not only help you get all that creativity onto the paper but also, get your name and profile out into the industry. With writing masterclasses from professionals, industry news, events listings, competitions where you can submit your work for fantastic prizes and real paid writing opportunities, Writing Magazine has everything you need to hone and improve your talents.

United Kingdom
Warners Group Publications Plc
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Unusually this month, sending Writing Magazine to print isn’t the biggest looming deadline, as we prepare for our busiest and most ambitious series of online webinars this autumn and winter. Each webinar session is led by a specialist, some who will be familiar from the pages of WM, some new to us and recruited for their insight and experience. The sessions begin in October, with five remaining in October alone (see p33) and many more planned all the way through to March. For the full programme, see our website, www.writers-online.co.uk/webinars Covering novel and short story writing, poetry, crime, horror, SF and fantasy (not to mention very timely sessions on writing picture and chapter books for children before some important imminent deadlines!), there’s bound to be something that appeals. You don’t need…

5 min
the world of writing

WORKPLACE BLUES We’ve all done it. Used the printed page as a site for revenge about something, or someone, that has made our lives a misery. But if you’ve been splarting about your uninspiring job online, there’s a high element of risk that your boss might find out. Which is exactly what happened to journalist and author Emma Beddington. In 2008, Emma was working for a law firm in Brussels. It was a boring job and to alleviate the tedium Emma threw herself into blogging about her life, including her dreary workplace. In the heady early days of blogging, people were making real connections by putting their everyday lives out there in writing, and Emma was one of the bloggers invited to take part in a Sunday Times article about these brave…

7 min

STAR LETTER Pronouns matter In the October Writing Magazine, Piers Blofeld argues that including one’s gender identification along with one’s signature is irrelevant, a form of virtue signalling, a form of ageism, and exclusionary. As a trans-woman, I don’t have the privilege of not caring about gender. I often have to tell people what my preferred pronouns are, to avoid being misgendered. (Sometimes I get misgendered anyway, but that’s another story.) When cisgendered people include their own preferred pronouns, they doubtless each have their own reasons for doing so. I will not presume to speak for them all. But some, at least, do so in order to normalise the practice, so that people like me won’t feel weird when we have to do it. They’re not doing it to exclude people like Piers…

4 min
on curse?

One of the more significant changes on the literary scene in the last twenty years has been the explosion in the number of businesses offering teaching and mentoring services to would-be authors. Back in the Stone Ages there were really only publishers, agents and authors. Authors were supposed to simply spring into existence, Athena-like. After all writing is the most democratic of the arts – everybody tells stories – and all you need to write a novel is a pad of paper and a pencil. Then along came Malcolm Bradbury with the not unreasonable idea that there were many elements of writing which could be taught and that better writers could only be a good thing – and the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia was born. It was the…

7 min
the power of suggestion

One of the biggest challenges faced by apprentice writers is thinking sufficiently about the reader. This is because many writers are writing as readers rather than for readers. The difference is not only very significant, but actually essential to understanding how effective narrative works. The cause of the problem is entirely understandable, albeit usually subconscious. We have a natural facility for reading because we’ve done it all our lives. When we write, it seems entirely logical that we will simply replicate the kind of prose we have read so many times that it has become second nature. But that doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because there’s a fascinating paradox at work. The words we have read so many times on the page are not on the page at all. They are in…

7 min
breaking the big money barrier

As a writer and freelance journalist I breached the £100,000 annual earnings ceiling in my peak years. In my new book, The Bounty Writer – How to Earn Six Figures as an Independent Freelance Journalist, I suggest how you can, too. Firstly, apologies for the tautology in the book title – ‘independent’ and ‘freelance’ – a deliberate attempt by my publisher to make the most of online search engines. I have always described myself as an ‘independent’ but most of my colleagues call themselves ‘freelance’. John Osborne, an ‘independent’, who sometimes ‘freelanced’ as a sub on a magazine I worked on before I became self-employed, told me: ‘You are not a freelance. You are an independent’. He explained that those who thought of themselves as independents were perceived by others as credible businesspeople. Freelance could…