Eight low-cost ways to improve your editing skills

By Teika: As I wrote in an earlier post, hiring a professional to edit your book can really improve your manuscript and make it shine. However, money can often be an issue, and although there are various schemes to help out writers, they’re not right for everyone. Also, what about the writer who likes DIY? […]

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How to handle rejection

By Tom Rejection is an inevitable part of writing – an inevitable part of life, actually – so developing strategies for coping with repeated rejections without letting them drag you down psychologically is an important step for professional and personal development. I have some experience with this. Academic publishing is a very effective crucible for […]

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Q&A with Sara-Jayne Slack of Inspired Quill

By Teika: The inspiring Sara-Jayne Slack of indie press Inspired Quill was recently kind enough to take our Q&A challenge. Wisdom follows… Why publishing? Or, to put it another way – if, a decade ago, you were asked the question: ‘What do you see yourself doing in ten years’ time?’ would you have answered ‘managing […]

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How to persuade yourself to write every day

By Tom: Many writers – Stephen King springs to mind – talk about their craft as a kind of compulsion. Writing is something they need to do, that they burn to do, and that helps them feel sane and grounded in a sometimes difficult world. But even those souls who are blessed/cursed by this drive […]

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Q&A with Jamie McGarry of Valley Press

By Teika: Here at the Book Stewards, we’re big fans of independent presses, and one of the indies we hold in very high esteem is Valley Press, run by the inspirational Jamie McGarry. Recently, Jamie was kind (and patient) enough to answer a load of our nosy questions, so we can all share his wisdom… […]

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You’ve finished your first draft. Now what?

By Teika: What the first draft of your manuscript looks like will very much depend on the kind of writer you are and the progress you’ve made in your writing career. The more experienced a writer you are, the chances are that each new first draft will require far less editing and be much closer […]

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The unbearable expectations of the first line

By Tom: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again. Last night, I tried for the hundredth time to craft the perfect first sentence. Do you know what I ended up with? I ended up with: “Master Bascombe?” That took me an hour to settle on. I’m not sure it will be making any […]

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‘From Pipedream to Publication’ – some useful takeaways

By Teika: A short while back I had the pleasure of being involved in a panel-type discussion called ‘From Pipedream to Publication’ which was part of ‘Word Up!’ A Festival of Words (supported by Market Place), taking place in March, Cambridgeshire. The event was organized by Jane Levicki of Eyrie Press, and my fellow panelists […]

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The value of fantasy

By Tom: I take the first coffee of the day up to my attic room, and settle into the chair that perfectly fits my body. For a moment, I gaze through the picture window at the woods in the distance, beyond the meadows and green hills. I open the laptop, set down my coffee, and […]

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Coping with self-doubt during saggy middles

By Tom: Urgh. I can’t write for shit. And I’m bored of this character. Maybe I should just abandon this lost cause and start on the new idea that’s been keeping me up for the last few nights. That book could really be something; if only I were talented enough to write it. Self-doubt is […]

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