Author: Danuta Kean

Case StudiesWriting

How #NaNoWriMo helped Julia Crouch win a three-book deal with Headline

Reading Time: 5 minutes Writers’ block: two words that strike fear into every writer. But for the past 11 years every November a website has come to the rescue. National Novel Writing Month was founded in 1999 by US-based freelance Chris Baty and 20 other writers. Aimed simply at getting words on the page, it sets participants a target of 50,000 words written by the end of the month, and provides forums and exercises aimed at overcoming writer’s block. It has an impressive success rate: of the 165,000 participants in 2009, over 30,000 crossed the 50,000 word line at the end of November.
One of those who participated in 2008 was creative writing graduate Julia Crouch, who had hit a wall. It helped more than she expected: before Christmas the books that came out of NaNoWriMo won her a three book deal with Headline. Her début, the psychological thriller Cuckoo, is published in March. Here she explains how NaNoWriMo helped.

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INTERVIEW: What does it take to be a bestselling novelist? Barbara Taylor Bradford explains

Reading Time: 4 minutes Want to be a bestselling novelist? In the first of our features on writing, Barbara Taylor Bradford tells Danuta Kean what it takes.
Barbara Taylor Bradford is a tonic: a tonic for writers jaded by capricious publishers whose loyalty to authors’ careers is barely longer than a supermarket promotion. She is also a lesson to all that hard work is as essential to a long career as a passion about writing. At 77 there is no slacking off for BTB. Thirty-one years after her blockbuster début A Woman of Substance appeared, she has just published her 26th novel, Playing the Game, backed by a publicity schedule that would daunt far younger writers.

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If the Digital Economy Bill fails, we'll all pay

Reading Time: 4 minutes If the music industry is anything to go by, it is not the J K Rowlings, Stephanie Meyers or Dan Browns who will suffer if peer2peer file sharing becomes rampant in books, it is the already beleaguered midlist authors, whose work already struggle to find a place in a market dominated by multi-million pound global hitters and celebrities.

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