Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Can writers really change the world?

photo Chris Ayres
Mention sci-fi visionaries such as Asimov and Philip K. Dick to scientists and techies and they’ll reveal how these guys accurately predicted cybernetics and social media.  Ideas into action. Yet in some quarters they were regarded as pulp writers with vivid (and sometimes weird) imaginations.  

Today, TV soaps like Enders and Corrie have the power to change public perceptions of, and inform about, social issues that lobbyists and charities have struggled for years to publicise. Using storylines covering topics from domestic abuse to, more recently, pancreatic cancer, these dramas raise awareness on a massive scale.  Words have power. 

So why (and how) can “populist” writers succeed in changing the world?  Is the pen (or latest digital writing device) really mightier than a sharp pointy weapon?  I think so.  And I'm glad for that. 

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Visible Writers: Marketing and Promotion for Authors

Now you see me.........

The Business of Writing 3: 
Now you see me – how writers can stay visible

Saturday 10 May, 2014.  10am-4pm at 
Canterbury Christ Church University

Bookings are now being taken for my next Canterbury Saturday school on May 10th.  It's all about marketing and promotion for writers.  As well as being a published writer for nearly 40 years, I've also been in the marketing profession for more than half that time, so I have plenty to share with other writers.  

With more opportunities than ever before for writers to get their work out to a public readership, how do you stay visible? Is an author also a brand?  And what does this mean for a writer? How do you promote yourself?
We will explore ways writers can stay visible, including author websites, book trailers, blogging and blog carnivals, social networking, book signings and launches, readings, interviews, visits, getting reviews, and ways to showcase your work. What is most effective?  We will also look at creating a personal promotion plan.

All Day Schools cost £27.50.  

To book please contact April Doyle via email to education.communityarts@canterbury.ac.uk 
or by phoning 01227 863451

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Words from Kent's Coast: A writer in Folkestone

Peter the seagull, a regular visitor to my balcony when I lived in Folkestone: photo Jane Ayres

I was delighted to be invited to write a piece for Kent's Creative Coast in which I share my favourite places in Folkestone, and reveal the inspiration it provided for my teen novella Joyrider and, more recently,  an article about William Harvey - "the father of modern medicine."  Click link below to check it out.


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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Saturday School for Writers: Making Words Work

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching my latest Business of Writing day school for Canterbury Christ Church about Self-publishing your e-book on Amazon, in which I shared my personal experiences - good and bad - in the hope of informing and encouraging other writers.  

My next Canterbury Saturday school, Making Words Work on April 26th, explores income streams for writers and ways of “monetizing your output” as a writer. I love teaching and sharing what I've learned, and the last 2 day schools had great feedback so if you fancy joining us (or know someone who might) I would be most grateful if you felt able to share. Thanks  See link for more info. 

The Business of Writing 2: Making Words Work
Saturday 26 April, 2014.  10am-4pm at Canterbury Christ Church University
Unless you are writing for a hobby, it’s a business.  This has given rise to a new title: authorpreneur.
This day school explores and discusses income streams for writers and ways of“monetizing your output” as a writer, including competitions, residencies, workshops, talks, readings, speaking, copywriting, editing, and coaching. We will also look at organisations that exist to help authors, the role of an agent and issues such as contracts, fees and royalties, as well as pitching to agents and publishers.
Finally, we examine managing and costing your time, an essential aspect of being a successful freelance writer.  What are you worth? What are the time vampires and how do you combat them?  How do you stay motivated?  We will look at each of the following topics which address the reality of being freelance, such as working methods,  environment, deadlines, setting targets (financial and personal), the importance of forward planning, recycling work and pen names. The session will also cover building your writing portfolio and creating a marketing plan.   

All Day Schools cost £27.50.  To book please contact April Doyle via email to education.communityarts@canterbury.ac.uk or by phoning 01227 863451

Friday, 4 April 2014

Bearing Fruit at Words with JAM

Today you will find me once again over at the excellent writer resource that is Words with JAM, talking about the importance of being businesslike with your writing - and ensuring that you reap the rewards of the effort you put in.

"Any business, small or large, will regularly review and evaluate output and productivity.  What is selling?  What isn’t?  Is the reward commensurate with the time expended to produce it?  (Okay, this is a perennial issue for all creators, not just writers.  Creating can be hugely draining and time consuming; also frustrating and difficult, as well as spiritually satisfying.   And we aren’t supposed to be doing it for the money (!) But that is for another article….) Back to the topic.  So how many writers analyse their output in terms of volume and results?  For example, have you ever gone through your records detailing work sent out (you do keep records, don’t you?) to ascertain the ratio of work published to work submitted? "   (click link to read on....)