The Novelry Blog

Where the writers are.

 
The Firestarter 2020 Mar 15, 2020

 

Thank you all for taking part.

We have had some trailblazing first chapter entries to this year’s competition. Thanks to all of you who entered and those who voted. 

The month of February is set aside annually to focus on feedback with The Firestarter and our writers have been sharing their work with each other at our online workshop and benefitting from the constructive critique and fond feedback that makes The Novelry such a special place.

The Firestarter is the most unusual of competitions for writers. One in which, genuinely, every entrant gains thanks to the feedback from wise reader-writers worldwide. What's more, it's the only truly democratically-awarded writing prize. All members get one vote, and they vote for the work they rate most highly.

It's interesting to see the votes come in and cluster around frontrunners early proving that, regardless of your taste in reading and genre-preference, there is such a thing as 'good writing' which...

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MA Creative Writing Mar 08, 2020

Considering a Creative Writing MA or MFA?

If you're seeking a career as a published fiction author, a university or post-graduate school creative writing masters program might not be the right choice for you.

Career or hobby? Most writers can write. The chances are if you are reading this that you can write. If only 'writing' was all it was about! Publishers and published authors know the secret to getting published and making a living from writing is one single word: story. If you'd like to spend a year enjoying the craft and learning literary terms and techniques, away from the humdrum daily life and workplace, the MA or MFA could be for you. But if you want to get published, choose a school with a focus on the career path. In practice this means:

  • tutors who are published authors and working novelists who have had sales volumes, bestsellers or won awards
  • links to literary agencies
  • publishing professionals on hand

You should be looking for a smooth onward journey towards...

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The Driving Force of the Genre Mar 01, 2020

Genre is important. Start here, if you will. As I mentioned in our blog 'Get Published', and as we cover in our online creative writing courses, its the first thing an agent assesses on your submissions letter as they start to consider whether to read on and which editor to call for lunch. They'll be looking to check you've used the right ingredients for the genre.

Genre is important. Start here, if you will.

It's the first thing an agent assesses on your submissions letter as they start to consider whether to read on and which editor to call for lunch. They'll be looking to check you've used the right ingredients for the genre.

Genres can be individually defined by the particular nature of the key driving force behind your story.

Each genre has its own secret agent of story, and that's how genres can be defined. Make sure you've got the right one in the driving seat of your moving vehicle! Shall we peel back the disguise? It might be that the commonly held 'drivers' of...

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Podcasts for Writers. Feb 23, 2020

Convert that commute to a crammer session with inspiring content from fine minds in literature and publishing. These podcasts with writers and editors will prove consoling and cheering, and see you through not just the first draft, but the long haul. Ten great podcasts to keep writers smiling.

How To Get Podcasts. 

All podcasts are free, and most are available via many different apps.

On a website:

You can do this from a computer or from the web browser on your phone.

  • Find a website that has podcasts you like.
  • Find the player on the page, check your device’s sound is switched on and click play to listen to the podcast.

On your iPhone or iPad.

If you have an iPhone you can use the Apple podcasts app to listen to podcasts.

  • The Podcasts app should already be downloaded on your phone so search your apps for ‘Podcasts’. If it’s not, go to the app store and download it.
  • Open the Podcast app and go to the search page...
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Get Published. ( Know the Market.) Feb 16, 2020

 

All change.

Last week, on our intensive writers' residential course, we heard from bestselling authors Sophie Hannah and Louise Doughty and from literary agent Tim Bates at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. The three agreed on one thing. Since 2000 the market for fiction has changed dramatically, and these three long-haul survivors have learnt one lesson very well. The rise and rise of psychological fiction, and the thriller form, has changed the way we want to read books now. The rise of this fast-moving genre coincides with the Age of Impatience and the new media of Netflix & Co. 'What's going to happen, next?' We expect twists and pace. 

The thrills and spills of mainstream fiction via this dark, internalized cloak and dagger genre and it's partners in crime and mystery, has snuffed the life out of the Literary Fiction genre, irreparably it seems. if you want Literary Fiction, see Trollope. Tim Bates made the comment that literary fiction can only make it if there's a...

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