Artists' listings disappear from website
In the days before the
internet, writers in the UK would generally turn to The
Writer's Handbook (published by Macmillan) and the Writers'
& Artists' Yearbook (published by A&C Black)
for listings of literary
etc. At the start of 2011 both these publications had
online versions: the listings on the website for The
Writer's Handbook were available to those who had
purchased the print product, and those for the Writers'
& Artists' Yearbook were available to anyone for
free. At the end of 2011, however, both of these online
services have ceased to exist.
Earlier this year Macmillan
announced that they would cease publication of the The
Writer's Handbook altogether, leading to the closure
of the website service (see fwn
95), and while A&C Black appear to be continuing
with the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, this
month has seen a redesign of their site where the free
listings that were formerly available have
disappeared without warning – replaced instead by a
series of tips and suggestions that shepherd writers
towards an array of services and conferences marketed at
wannabe writers, ranging from about £100 to over £1,000
A&C Black claim that
they intend to re-introduce the listings "over the
coming months", but this will come as cold comfort to
anyone who was in the process of working through the
listings to try and find markets for their writing.
"This is one of the problems with these free
services," observes firstwriter.com
Managing Editor, J. Paul Dyson. "With no sense of
accountability to their users (since they aren't paying
customers), there's nothing to stop them from withdrawing
the service without warning, leaving their users high and
The old listing service on the Writers'
& Artists' Yearbook website was notable for its
extreme slowness (click a link, then go and do something
else while you wait for it to respond), paucity of information,
lack of features, and a narrow concentration on UK
markets. However, A&C Black have promised
improvements to at least the search facility when the service returns. "A&C
Black's plan seems to be to use these listings as a
come-on to writers so that they can get them to their site,
where they can then try and sell them expensive premium services.
If the listings are to become something of a sideshow, it will
be interesting to see whether or not their promises
translate into a commitment
to providing the kind of online listing service 21st
century users expect."
Disappointed users of the Writers'
& Artists' Yearbook listings who would like a
more reliable and international service can subscribe
to firstwriter.com for as little as $4.49 /
£2.65 / €4.49 a month, with substantial savings of up
to 35% available for longer term subscriptions. firstwriter.com
listings include advanced search systems searching as
many as 20 different criteria, and providing practically instantaneous results. Extensive information covers the
US, the UK, and other English-speaking nations, including
details provided by agents / publishers / magazines /
competition organisers themselves; information sourced by
researchers; feedback from other users; and independent
assessments from other resources. Advanced user-specific
database functions means the site tells you which listings
you have looked at and when, and tells you if a listing has been
updated since you last looked at it. You can save specific
searches to get one-click access to them from your own
personalised home page, and even add personal notes to
listings, which you can search for keywords, and which can
include reminders to pop up at a specific date. You can
even tell the site your interests and receive email
updates whenever listings that match them are added or
submissions: Poems on the theme of "silence"
Abridged, the poetry/art magazine, is looking for submissions for its Silence issue. A maximum of
three poems may be submitted of any length. Art can be up to A4 size and can be in any media. It should be at least 300 dpi. Submissions can be emailed to
or posted to: Abridged c/o The Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry BT48 6PU. Closing date for submission is January
"To those who have ever known sound, true silence can be but a myth. It is a phantasm, and something to be feared, for in silence we are vulnerable to our own conscience and its persistent echoes of memory, desire and confusion; we lose the means of dismissal and voluntary ignorance and become vulnerable. In silence we are naked, stripped of the sound layers we have used to define ourselves to outside eyes, a defensive muffling of truths. Today we abjure silence, avoiding its solitude. We are in a constant conversation with an ultra-social and info-overdosed humanity repeatedly relaying sculptures of mundane phrases that numb us to the experience of meaning. We dare not lie still enough to stir or coax the phantom film reels of our past from their shadows. Instead we light fires, shouting and stamping our feet to drive back the dark and its inhabitants. It is our fear of the silence of the void, the vacuum. Humanity cannot see nothingness but we run from it, choking the subtle sound of our own breathing with the bustling of contemporary life where everything is virtual and reality utterly abandoned. We convince ourselves we grow by sponging up the noises of the clattering world that engulfs us. In silence we are trapped as we are made to face the cold starkness of what we feel is missing, or the fierce jab of what we long to erase. We stand in silence and we stand in a room of mirrors. A ticking clock is a heartbeat."
details of over 1,450 other magazines, click
Creative writing opportunities on IdeasTap
IdeasTap is a not-for-profit organisation that helps young people break into the arts and creative industries.
They offer opportunities including funding, free advice and skills sessions, and networking to help young people develop and showcase their creative talent.
They’re also partnered with major arts organisations such as Old Vic New Voices, National Youth Theatre, National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural, Magnum Photos and
NSDF. They currently have a number of creative writing opportunities on
BBC Writersroom BBC Writersroom is offering 40 IdeasTap members the chance to attend hands-on radio and TV scriptwriting workshops with Writersroom Development Producer Paul Ashton. This free workshop is aimed specifically at writers aged 18–30 who don't yet have broadcast credits.
The Class: Laurence Marks Writing TV Comedy
Want to write for television? Got an idea for a cracking TV comedy script but don't know where to take it?
There are 20 places on offer for a comedy screenwriting workshop with Laurence Marks. Marks, who created sitcom classics such as
Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds of a Feather, will offer his advice on breaking into the industry and writing a strong script.
The Anthology The chance to create and curate an anthology is on
offer to a small editorial team. It could be an anthology of poetry, creative writing, photography, comedy.. whatever sparks their imagination.
Funding and professional mentoring to help get the project off the ground
will also be provided.
The Columnist A talented writer is sought to write a weekly column for
IdeasMag, an online magazine. The columnist would be expected to write a 500-word column on culture and the arts, and they'll get paid £125 a week for it. This
opportunity is open to any young writer, anywhere in the
United Kingdom, to build up their editorial portfolio.
Sean Egan, whose short
story "The Interview" was featured in the
very first issue of firstwriter.magazine
published way back in 2002, has just had his 560-page biography of the late author and playwright, James Kirkwood,
published by BearManor Media.
London-born Sean Egan has contributed to
Billboard, Book Collector, Classic Rock,
Record Collector, Tennis World, Total
Film, Uncut and RollingStone.com. He has authored or edited seventeen books, including works on The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Coronation Street and Manchester United. His critically acclaimed novel,
Sick of Being Me, was published in 2003; while his 2008 collection of short stories,
Don’t Mess with the Best, carried cover
endorsements from Booker Prize winners Stanley Middleton and David Storey.
Ponies & Rainbows:
The Life of James Kirkwood is available from
writers at firstwriter.com
for the following invaluable resources for writers:
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