The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Trudy’s Talkback February 2014

February8

trudy draperWriting is a very lonely job – just you and the keyboard – but finding a publisher for your work is one step beyond loneliness.

You have your book or story in front of you; it is the best you can make it after hours and hours of work,  but you have no one to ask if it really any good – apart from family who don’t count because they won’t be really truthful.  To really find out if your work is any good, you need to take a deep breath and search the internet for a publisher, who will either make your dreams come true (publish your book/story) or fill your letterbox with rejection slips.

Google publishers wanting new authors and you will find details of many firms, who are seeking unpublished writers.  Read their instructions carefully and send off your work.  There is no escaping this nail biting process.  Don’t worry about rejection slips, as all authors over the ages have been given their fair share.  At least you will have tried.

I am not a fan of vanity publishers – where you pay to have your book published.  You will not really know if your work is any good, as work of any quality is published.  The firms just want your cash and are not concerned about the standard of the writing.  And even when you have the finished book in your hands there is no guarantee you will sell anything as self-published books are not usually welcomed into bookshops and the author has to do all the marketing for him/herself.

Another way of getting your writing assessed is to enter writing competitions.  Again, use the internet and Google writing competitions 2014 or writing competitions UK to find a list of forthcoming events.  Two I have found with a deadline of March 31st are the West Sussex Writers Second National Short Story Competition, which is asking for 3,000 entries – go to www.westsussexwriters.co.uk for full details.  The second is the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition again for 3,000 words; see www.exeterwriters.org.uk.   As an ex-journalist I have always worked to deadlines and the writing competition give a purpose to write something by a certain time.

At least it gets us away from the empty page with no deadline to complete a story.  So why not give it a go.

Trudy Draper

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