L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

After exhausting himself with work, author Benjamin Myers was sent over a literal edge and into the River Derwent. He recalls his recovery and hunt for a cure. Benjamin Myers Last summer, in the midst of promotional chaos surrounding my new novel The Offing, I cancelled my own London book launch and instead drove to …

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Research on writers appearing at the Edinburgh international book festival reveals 63% listen to their creations, and 61% feel they have their own agency. Alison Flood Some writers have always claimed they can hear their characters speaking, with Enid Blyton suggesting she could “watch and hear everything” and Alice Walker describing how her characters would …

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Novelist Amy Sackville reflects on how what sounded like a perfect occasion for creative writing has filled instead with vacancy. Amy Sackville Time to finally finish Proust, read poetry, make things, learn a language, focus, concentrate. So many opportunities present themselves. What have I done with this rare chance to be with my thoughts, to …

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Midge Gillies and Tony Benn Viewpoint As you start to write your style will emerge. Before you begin you should have some idea of how much of you will appear in the book. If you’re writing a memoir nearly all of it may be written in the first person and yours may be the only …

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Peter Cole Competent, effective, functional, engaging journalistic writing can be learnt, and some advice has been provided in this online series. Brilliant writing for newspapers has a plus factor which is hard to define and is not achieved by many. It comes down to style. Keith Waterhouse puts it this way: “What is this style? …

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Linda Newbery, Michael Lawrence and Lauren Child The main characters in fiction for children and teenagers tend, not surprisingly, to be children and teenagers, though it’s not hard to find exceptions, such as Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North. To write convincingly, whether in first- or third-person, you need to position yourself …

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Linda Newbery and Nicola Davies “Where do you get your ideas from?” Every author who gives talks to children or adults has been asked this question hundreds of times, and of course there’s no simple answer. Ideas are everywhere – the trick is to recognise a promising one when you get it, and not let …

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Linda Newbery Writing for children is not an easy route to becoming published, today’s tutor Linda Newbery explains why Books can change lives – we know that. And if you’re lucky enough to write and publish books for children, there’s the potential of changing young lives in various ways. Yours might be the book that …

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Here’s a list of everything you should ask about when negotiating a publishing contract. Brian A. Klems Q: I would like to know what an author is to do if a publisher were to offer up a book contract to him or her when there is no agent involved? What’s negotiable? What’s not?— C. L. …

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Here’s the breakdown on what you need to know when signing a book contract that includes an advance, including what it means and how it works. Brian A. Klems Q: What is an advance, how much is an average advance, and how does it work? —Phyllis C. When a publisher is interested in acquiring a …

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