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Writers' News

Write with an editorial eye

By Marcella Simmons
Editor/Publisher, Cahaba River Literary Journal

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 20, 2014

Before I even start telling you what you should do to become a better writer, let me tell you a story about my latest book project first, and why what I am about to say is so important. A writer needs to have an editorial eye, that sixth sense, that expertise to make that story, article or book as error-free as possible before submitting to any publisher. For one, no-one knows that work of art better than the writer. It takes more than once, more than twice, even more than ten times sometimes to produce a manuscript that is 100 per cent free of errors, typos, misspelled words, and unfinished sentences or paragraphs.

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Subject matters

By Bruce Harris
Author, and Editor of the Writing Short Fiction website

firstwriter.com – Monday October 20, 2014

Once the decision to write has been made, the next step is to decide what to write about. For many people, unfortunately, this first hurdle is the one they stumble over so badly that they never get back up. For others, the choice is obvious; with particular interests and experience in one of the prominent genres such as sports, science, historical or crime writing, they can immediately make use of their professional lives in their fiction writing. Genre writing has limitations and restrictions of its own, and many people who have taken the decision to write will be reluctant to be pushed so severely in an unnecessarily narrow direction from the start.

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Thematic writing: a method

By Bruce Harris
Author, and Editor of the Writing Short Fiction website

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 20, 2014

Writing to themes can be seen as an interesting discipline or a frustrating restriction. It is more popular with magazine editors than it is with competition organisers, probably mostly because the former want to keep the submissions to manageable levels, while the latter want as many entries as possible to increase revenue.

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How I got a publishing deal - An interview with author, Francis Sookraj

firstwriter.com – Sunday July 20, 2014

Francis Sookraj recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of publishers, after exhausting the contacts in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.  

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"Good stories are not written. They are rewritten."

By Marcella Simmons
Editor/Publisher, Cahaba River Literary Journal

firstwriter.com – Tuesday May 20, 2014

Back in 2005, I started several romance suspense novel projects that lay unfinished in file folders until 2012. The rough drafts were anything but good, so drudgingly, I tore the first manuscript apart, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, word by word, until it was a much better read than the first two rewrites. I sent it out via email to ten different publishers, one being Harlequin Romance. "This is the book that will make me famous," I declared that day. Weeks passed, and rejection after rejection poured in until eight publishers had declined. Some weeks later, Harlequin finally rejected it and I gave up hope. "I'm not cut out to be a book writer," I repeatedly reminded myself.

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How I got a publisher - An interview with author, Peter Rossfour

firstwriter.com – Thursday February 20, 2014

Peter Rossfour recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of publishers. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.

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How I got a publishing deal - An interview with author, Christine McAteer

firstwriter.com – Monday January 20, 2014

Christine McAteer recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of publishers. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.

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How I got a publishing deal - An interview with author, Rachel North

firstwriter.com – Friday September 20, 2013

Rachel North recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of publishers. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.

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What went wrong with the Writer's Market and the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook

By J. Paul Dyson
Managing Editor, firstwriter.com

firstwriter.com – Tuesday August 20, 2013

If you're anything like me, you've probably spent years buying books like Writer's Market, and Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. And if you're anything like me, then the reason you did so was to get contact details for literary agents, publishers, and magazines. You were probably vaguely aware, as I was, that there were other things in there – articles you never read, and lists of obscure things you didn't need – but you probably had the impression that they were little extras tucked in around the edges. Maybe 10% of the total. That's what I thought. 

It's only recently that I've come to realise how wrong this is – just how little of these books I actually find of any use. When you start to add up the pages, it makes for some surprising statistics.

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The importance of writers' groups

By Marcella Simmons
Editor/Publisher, Cahaba River Literary Journal

firstwriter.com – Tuesday August 20, 2013

About two weeks ago, I submitted a query letter about my romance novel to an agent found online. Three days after submitting the letter, several emails from this agency were in my Inbox – but it was no literary agent at all. It was a "Print on Demand" company who was trying to get me to pay them $4,500+ to print my book. I emailed the company back, declining their offer and letting them know that my book was submitted to several traditional publishers.

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