Reading Time: 4 minutes If you’re writing romantic fiction, sooner or later you’re going to have to write a sex scene. How can you avoid cliché, embarrassment – and a ‘Bad Sex’ award? Write in your usual style, and stop worrying, says Mitzi Szereto.Read more
Reading Time: 4 minutes Some people enjoy writing for the sake of it, while others want to develop and improve. If you fall into the latter category then read this. A creative writing lecturer and published author with a new novel The Dark Light out in July 2015, Julia Bell is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on creative writing. Here, she shares with us the top ten pieces of advice she gives her students at the start of each year.Read more
Reading Time: 5 minutes As a writer, active member and chair of the London Writers’ Cafe – one of the largest writing groups in the UK – Lisa Goll knows a thing or two about how to get the most from participating in a writing community. Here she shares her top tips on finding the group that’s right for you, what to expect on joining and how to survive the writing velociraptors.Read more
Reading Time: 5 minutes Whether you’re interested in writing drama or comedy, plays or sketches, BBC Radio 4 commissions hundreds of hours of original material every year – far more than BBC TV – and is always on the look out for new writing talent. BBC Radio 4 commissioner Caroline Raphael offers her top tips for aspiring radio writers.Read more
Reading Time: 4 minutes Want to write science fiction? Have the confidence of your own strangeness, says Matthew de Abaitua.Read more
Reading Time: 5 minutes Have you ever wanted to write about food? Award-winning food writer and journalist Andrew Webb shares his advice for capturing the culinary.Read more
Reading Time: 5 minutes How to write a book proposal and what exactly it needs to include are two of the questions I am asked most frequently as a literary agent – and not just by new writers. Even seasoned authors and experienced journalists may not have written a book proposal previously. In any book submission process the competition will be immense and the turndown rate high, so it is worth taking the time to get a proposal right. But what does that mean?Read more
Reading Time: 6 minutes Do you have writer’s cramp yet? Or typist’s tremor? Have you entered the annual November writing marathon that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? If you did, did you finish, or did you give up exhausted halfway through the month?Read more
Reading Time: 3 minutes Not all romantic novelists dictate their novels reclining on a chaise longue. Liz Fenwick tells us where she writes –Read more
Reading Time: 3 minutes As November eases into December, and NaNoWriMo ends in delivery or defeat, there’s a new seasonal online writing event to act as a mini come-down from the demands of bashing out a novel in a month. And you don’t need to write 50,000 words: you only need 140 characters.Read more
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.
Reading Time: 4 minutes January is a time for change, for inspiration, for doing something new – but it’s also cold, damp and dreary so staying in and writing is the perfect thing to do (preferably on the sofa). At London Writers’ Club we decided to support our community of writers throughout the month of January by launching our first Stay in and Write month – 31 days of writing ideas, inspiration, writing exercises and inspiring advice from editors, publishers, agents and authors. I’d like to share with you ten of the top ways to Stay in and Write in January here.Read more