Monthly Archives: January 2011

Festival of Writing 2011, York

I had such a good time at the York Festival of Writing last year that I’m going again next year. Along with Choc Lit director, Lyn Vernham, and fellow Choc Lit authors Christina Courtenay and Jane Lovering, I’ll be part of the panel on independent publishers.

Also, I’ll be giving one-to-ones as a book doctor during Saturday afternoon.

I’ve just received an update from the organisers and they say:

Breaking news:
– US agent Marcy Posner is joining us from over the pond and taking one to ones
– Writers Workshop are will be offering “next steps” free to three
writers at the Festival who are talent spotted. The writers will be
offered a free manuscript critique, free coaching or a free manuscript
appraisal from Harry Bingham.
– Harper Collins Authonomy are supporting Authonomy Live talent
contest on Friday evening, with editor Patrick Janson-Smith on the
panel. Last years winner, Shelley Harris was offered representation by
4 literary agents in the room, and then went on to achieve a 5 figure
book deal.

I was there when that last author was being hunted down, last year – it was impressive.

So, if you feel like giving yourself the same opportunity, click on Festival of Writing.



Filed under Uncategorized

Circalit Launch Crime Fiction Competition with Leading Literary Agency

Circalit, a new online hub for the literary world, has just announced a competition to find the next big crime fiction blockbuster with winning entries being submitted to the leading literary agency, A.P. Watt.

Circalit, whose social networking and digital distribution platform aims to bring writers and agents together, are hosting the competition online where the public are able to read all submissions and vote for their favourite novels. The top submissions will be read and considered for representation by A.P. Watt. The competition is free and those wishing to enter must start by creating an account at Circalit and posting their work online.

Raoul Tawadey, founder of Circalit, commented, “There is a wealth of literary talent across the globe, only a fraction of which gets the recognition it deserves. Crowd-sourcing is a great way for the publishing industry, which thrives on new talent, to find novels with a proven readership. We hope this competition will give talented new writers the opportunity to get their work noticed, and demonstrate the power of the internet to create a global talent pool.”

To enter your script please visit

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Manuscript presentation – the other side

If you click on the Manuscript Presentation tab of this blog and then on Presentation, you’ll find a pdf document giving a lot of information about how to create standard fiction manuscripts. As a writer, tutor and competition judge I see a lot of work that’s not in standard format and, suddenly, IDEA! Instead of droning on and on about it and sending out email attachments, I decided to post it somewhere that it could easily be found.


I did.

I do think good manuscript presentation is important in the same way that washing your hair and shining your boots can be important when you’re attending a job interview. Editors and competition judges work with words and they notice poor presentation. The ‘rules’ are there for excellent reasons, too – double line spacing is quick and easy to read; large margins allow for notes to be made; a clear font is easy on the eye; ’empty’ lines between paragraphs disrupt the smooth flow of your story and make the reader think they’re reading a succession of scenes instead of a succession of paragraphs. (One of the greatest disservices that the creators of Word have done to writers is to make it the default for ’empty’ line space to appear whenever you press ‘return’. But it’s easy to fix – look at the presentation document for details.)

But what if you find good presentation a challenge?

Maybe you’re dyslexic or left school at 14 or were never at the same school long enough to learn properly?

Don’t let the preparation of the manuscript put you off. The storytelling is waaaaay more individual and creative and … and what you’re all about. You can always get someone to help you with the technicalities (offer to wash their car in exchange or something).

The story is the creative thing – the formatting is boring necessity.


Filed under Uncategorized

Little Episodes and Circalit Launch London Theatre Project for Writers

Little Episodes, an organisation that promotes the arts as a therapeutic tool, has today announced the 2011 ‘Six Little Episodes’ scriptwriting competition. Six new scripts from emerging UK playwrights will be showcased in a London theatre during 2011. These performances will run for a week and the six produced finalists will be judged by a panel of industry experts.

The competition is hosted at Circalit, Europe’s premier social-networking site for writers, where the public can read submissions, write reviews, and vote for their favourites. The competition is free to enter and the six finalists will be chosen by Little Episodes.

Raoul Tawadey, CEO and Founder of Circalit commented, “Aspiring playwrights have never needed opportunities to make that crucial leap from page to stage more than in the current climate. Almost a quarter of the cuts to the Arts Council portfolio will be shouldered by theatres, resulting in severely limited prospects for emerging playwrights. There is no better way for the arts community to respond than with a project like this and we’re happy to be working with Little Episodes once again to support talented new writers.”

Lucie Barât, founder of Little Episodes, said: “This competition brings together two organisations that are committed to developing new writers. Writing is a tool that can be used for self-development, self-esteem and to help you achieve and make a difference. The feedback that each of the six finalists will get from the judging panel will prove invaluable in their personal development.”

The deadline for entries is 31st January 2011 and entrants must be based in the UK and Eire. For more information or to submit a script please visit

For more information on Little Episodes you can visit: To arrange interviews with Lucie Barât or Raoul Tawadey please contact:

Robert Tucker
Director of Communications

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized