Picture © Colin Breck
Picture © Colin Breck
Picture © Kath Keep
Picture © Kath Keep.
They say everyone has a book in them
- but how do you get yours written, polished and out into the world?
Here are some solutions Earlyworks Press can offer...
We at Earlyworks Press run a selection of competitions, all offer cash prizes and lead to publication opportunities for most of our shortlisted writers. Have a look at the Competitions Page for details. If you'd like to see what a winning piece of work is made of, we usually have some past winners' anthologies on sale at reduced rates on our Publications Page too.
The Writers & Reviewers Club
If you enjoy workshops and the virtual company of fellow writers, you may be able to Join the writers and reviewers club where you can swap critiques, proofreading and advice with others on our club forum. We don't take all comers, as we have chosen to keep the club small and private (that's why you can't see the forum on this website unless we have agreed to register you) but if you are a developing writer with the beginnings of a portfolio, or if you have been short listed in national competitions, please get in touch. We may have a space for you.
If you would prefer a one- to-one professional service, read on...
Services to Independent Authors
To learn more about our mentoring courses, self-publishing and assisted publishing services, please email us for bookings and quotations.
Not sure where to start? Here is one editor's view:
Published author and professional editor Kay Green speaks from her own experience about what it takes to become a successful writer.
Step One: Read!
You've probably been doing this since you were a kid - read, listen to stories, dream up stories, play with stories. It's a delightful duty that continues all your life - read the kind of things you want to write. Sometimes, you should read with a pen in your hand, questioning, testing and taking notes. When a book impresses you, read the bits before and after the main text. There, you will find out who the author is, what else they have written, who published the book, who printed it. Don't be afraid of being over-influenced. Wide reading doesn't lead to plagiarism. It helps you to develop your own style and opinions. Don't make hard work of it though. There should always be times when you just pick up a book, float in the story and enjoy yourself. The great thing about step one is that it's fun and it goes on through all the steps that follow...
Step Two: Keep reading, but start writing, too
Sound silly? Some people really do forget about this one. The internet is crowded with clubs for writers where precious little serious reading or writing seems to be going on. Successful writers read and write all the time. They read new books, re-read old books, read and re-read their own and their colleagues' work - and critique it ferociously, then write and re-write their own work. They carry pens and notebooks around in case they suddenly want to write something when they're on the train, in the park or (shhh) at work. They have notebooks by their beds in case something interesting comes up when they're dreaming. If you are not on a course or part of a group, it is horribly easy to leave out the actual writing bit. Make sure you set aside a sit-down writing time for every day.
Successful writers never make the mistake of thinking they've finished learning the craft. If you like working with others, find out about local writing groups and courses. If you enjoy working on the Internet, there are plenty of writers' courses, forums and e-clubs around and they're all different. Try out a selection. Make friends, find some people you can work with comfortably. Read each others' work, send book reviews to each other and practise editing and commenting frankly and concisely. Don't be tempted astray by 'back-slapping clubs' where there's lots of chatting and mutual praise but not much actual workshopping or career development is going on.
Step Three: Send your work out into the world
You can do this by finding magazines or websites that publish the sort of things you like writing. Read them regularly. Check out their style, length and content and make sure you are offering the right kind of work. A writers' group or online club will help you learn to judge your work and send it in the right direction. You can also try out some competitions.
Step Four: A book with your name on it
I suppose it looks too easy if I call this 'step four' as if it's an automatic follow-on for anyone who likes reading and writing - but it is nearly every writer's dream - and dreams can come true, as long as you don't waste too much time dreaming. First, you should endeavour to build up a portfolio of magazine appearances and competition successes, so that you have a track-record to show to editors and agents, then read what is on offer from the different publishing houses until you are sure you have found one that trades in your kind of writing or, if you are thinking of going it alone, read the independent offerings already available in your topic area and have a good, long think about what is special about your work and who will want to read it.
Probably the hardest (and most rewarding) goal to hit is mainstream publication. A little easier perhaps is to find a small press which might take your work. There probably isn't much to be gained financially from such a project but you will gain the experience of working with an editor, learn a lot about the mechanics of producing and marketing a book and, perhaps most valuable of all, it's an opportunity to show the world - and yourself - that you are a serious writer. Another way, which may seem dangerously easy, is to self-publish. There is an art to this and for some people, it's a great way to build a reputation and a readership but be sure that you understand the process, and be sure to find an editor and/or proof reader that you trust - there are a lot of pitfalls on that road! Beware sharks. If someone offers to put an ISBN on your book for you, they are giving themselves legal ownership of the book. If you want to self-publish, make sure you own your own ISBNs. On the other hand, if you accept a contract with a publisher, make sure you know what you are getting in return - especially if you are contributing to the cost of the publication.
In short, keep reading, keep writing, and keep your wits about you! Good luck!