Friday, 28 August 2009

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Suffocating Sea

Pauline Rowson discusses the outline of the third Inspector Andy Horton Marine Mystery Crime Novel and reads an excerpt from Chapter One. The Suffocating Sea was chosen as one of the top ten 'Best of British Crime Fiction' by The Book Depository. 'An entertaining read in an engaging series' Booklist. This series of British crime and thriller novels are set in the Solent on the south coast of England.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Hardback Publisher Seeks Out New Writers

This item was taken from The Bookseller Magazine 19.08.09 written by Victoria Gallagher. I thought it might be of interest to writers seeking a publisher in the UK.

"A new publisher specialising in hardback titles has been set up to seek out and invest in new writers. Sparkling Books is aiming for the gift market, producing titles with "quality binding and beautiful design".

Anna Cuffaro, founded of Sparkling Books, says: "There are many talented writers out there whose books are rejected simply because they have had no previous titles published... We welcome first time authors and we promise to read every proposal we receive."

In October Sparkling Books will release its lead Christmas title, Gatwick Bear and the Secret Plans by Cuffaro herself. The book is a children's adventure story about a homeless bear who lives at Gatwick Airport and gets caught up in the world of top secret agents.

Next year, it plans to launch The Greatest Crash by David Kauders, "exposing why government policies are driving the global economy into a deeper crisis, why an austerity alternative will be of little help, and what really needs to be done".

Cuffaro said: "We have already commissioned several exciting titles and we are confident that we will continue to unearth talented people with unique and saleable books." "

Monday, 17 August 2009

Government seeking ways to expand PLR to audio and e books

The Government is seeking ways to extend the public lending rights (PLR) programme so it can include non-print publications such as audio books and ebooks. This, to me, is excellent news for authors. Many of my works are available as e books and audio books and are loaned out in libraries.

The PLR programme compensates authors for the potential loss of sales from their works being available in public libraries. The amounts paid varies from country to country. Some pay based on how many times a book has been taken out of a library, others use a simpler system of payment based simply on whether a library owns a book or not. But it only applies to printed publications.

The PLR on printed books is a lifeline for many authors and although does not provide huge amounts of money (the maximum pay out to any author no matter how many times a book is loaned is £6,000) it is very welcome indeed.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that there were more than 11 million loans of audio books in 2007/08 and with new technologies being developed, public libraries are facing increasing demand for ebooks. A consultation has been launched to get responses to its proposals.

The Digital Britain final report, published in June 2009, also recommended looking at extending PLR.

The DCMS is urging rights holders and other interested parties to participate in a public consultation to discuss ways to extend PLR to non-print publications. If you are a member of a writers' organisation such as the The Society of Authors you can voice your views via them. Alternatively you can respond to the DCMS individually.

The consultation ends on 16 October. So get your views in and take some time to vote on my online poll.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Tom Matlack: Book Publishing: Death or Rebirth?

I came across this interesting article which is appropriate reading for both published and unpublished writers, and indeed for anyone working within the book trade. Just click on the link below to read the full story.

Tom Matlack: Book Publishing: Death or Rebirth?

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Women's Commercial Fiction Workshop

There are still some spaces left on the women's commercial workshop run by Cornerstones, and you have until next week to sign up! Cornerstones only run this course once a year so it's a great opportunity to learn from a star of the genre, Julie Cohen.

The workshop is intimate and inclusive with only 14 authors and the exercises are tailored to your material. It includes one-on-one sessions, you'll also get to meet agent Broo Doherty.

The course takes place on 21-23 Sept at Charney Manor, Oxon.

E mail or visit for more details.

Monday, 10 August 2009

News from the Writers' Centre August 2009

Poetry Workshops
Writers’ Centre Norwich Offices, 14 Princes Street, Norwich, NR3 1AE

Below are details of four poetry workshops in collaboration with the Poetry School. The workshops look at key processes of writing poetry, and include a session with Neil Astley on getting published, and a masterclass with Sean O’ Brien on how to prevent habit or anxiety from obstructing your work.

Sat 10 October 2009 11am – 5pm £50 / £40 conc

Aldeburgh Poetry Festival founder and TS Eliot Prize shortlisted poet Michael Laskey examines the process of writing one’s self into poetry. Including close readings of contemporary poetry and writing exercises for poets looking to develop in their field.

Mon 9 November 2009 4pm – 7pm £50 / £40 conc

This workshop offers a nuts-and-bolts examination of the whys and wherefores of getting poetry published in books and magazines, led by Bloodaxe’s editor, Neil Astley. He has published hundreds of poets but has also had to reject the rest by the skipload and so can offer an informed, insider’s view of poetry publishing and bookselling. The session involves a general reality check as well as individual attention to particular concerns and questions. Not to be missed. Participants also receive free entry to the evening’s Cafe Writers event, see

Sat 27 February 2010│10am – 5pm│£50 / £40 conc

How important are facts in a poem? How far can you take an idea before it’s fully realised? This workshop explores the process of changing fact into art. Bloodaxe published and Eric Gregory award winning poet Helen Ivory will lead participants, looking at aspects of the self, the metaphorical truth and how facts can be manipulated creatively to make poems.

Sat 13 March 2010│10am – 4pm│£60 / £40 conc

This masterclass will concentrate on those points at which a poem comes into its own during the process of revision. TS Eliot prize winner Sean O’Brien will look at ways of preventing habit or anxiety from obstructing the range and development of our work, and the overall emphasis will be on the sense of possibility. Those booking onto the masterclass will be asked to submit poems in advance.

To book email or call 01603 877177.

Performance with Luke Kennard

Nurture your inspiration by experiencing the poetry of Luke Kennard, whose first collection of poetry, The Solex Brothers, was given an Eric Gregory Award in 2005. His second collection, The Harbour Beyond the Movie was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 2007, making him the youngest writer ever to be nominated, and a talent not to be missed. Further details can be found on the WCN website.

The Writers’ Centre Norwich (WCN) is spreading itself around the internet to help keep you up to date with all of its goings on. You can become a fan on their Facebook page, or subscribe to WCN online on Youtube

Competitons and submissions

John Betjeman Young People's Poetry Competition
Open to 11-14 year olds, deadline 31st August
Entrants are invited to send one poem about any aspect of their local surroundings. First prize: £1,000 shared between the winning entrant and the school or theatre to which they belong. Go to or mail for more info / entry form.

YH485 Press invites you to contribute material to a publication on the theme of periphery. Each contributor will be allocated a two-page spread: for an image of their own choosing and 500 words of text. *periphery is launched to coincide with the opening of a four-day programme of moving image works by local artists to be broadcast on the giant televisions along Great Yarmouth seafront. Deadline: August 25th 2009 at 5pm. Send submissions, text in word doc. format and image as a hi-res JPEG to the Editor at

For more information, news and events contact:
Writers’ Centre Norwich
14 Princes Street
Tel: 01603 877177
Fax: 01603 625452

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Vote for the People's Book Prize

I'm delighted to announce that Michael Dean's moving novel of German resistance to Hitler, The Crooked Cross (Quaestor200), which was featured recently on this blog, has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize.

The People's Book Prize is a national competition aimed at discovering talented authors showcased exclusively at local libraries and on the People's Book Prize website. There is no panel of judges except the public!

Readers can vote for The Crooked Cross during August and September at

‘Forget Dan Brown. This is real art history, real conspiracy and really relevant. Glaser is a great figure, for whom one feels enormous empathy.’ - Alan Posener, The World on Sunday, Berlin

The Crooked Cross paints a portrait of Germany in 1933, just as Hitler comes to power. Against the backdrop of German political resistance and the Nazi assault on German Expressionist art, it tells the story of Gerhard Glaser, lawyer and art lover - a good man in bad times.

Glaser was the Public Prosecutor in the case of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece. Then and now the world believes that Geli committed suicide, but Glaser had evidence that Hitler murdered her - evidence he was unable to make stick. Then a Jewish art dealer, a friend of Glaser’s, is murdered because he bought some drawings Hitler did of Geli.

Glaser investigates the murder, hoping he has one last chance to bring Hitler within the law. But when that last chance fails, he is forced to abandon legality and risk his family’s lives, in a final despairing throw of the dice.

Michael Dean studied history at Worcester College, Oxford and Applied Linguistics at Edinburgh University. He was written over thirty non-fiction books for OUP, Penguin, Pearson and Hodder in England, Klett In Germany and Walters Noordhoff in Holland. He has had one play on television. This is his first novel.