Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Writers' Forum Magazine

Hi everyone.

As I type this post, I'm gearing myself up for the heatwave which is due to hit the UK later today. It's going to be hotter here than in Las Vegas apparently, so I'd better start cashing in my chips.

I thought I'd blog today about my recent return to reading writing magazines. For various reasons, I haven't been buying writing trade magazines for a few years now, even though I used to buy and read them, and even write for them sometimes, on a fairly regular basis.

Although the number of writing magazines on general sale in the UK has dwindled considerably, there are still one or two good ones on the market and one of my favourites has always been Writers' Forum. This publication has been going for quite a number of years now and I was pleased to discover when I recently purchased a print copy that it is still a useful and informative publication for beginner and more experienced writers alike.

One of my favourite writing magazines

To give you an idea of some of the topics that the magazine includes, here are a few of the 'How to' articles that were in the April 2018 issue:

* A step-by-step guide to crowd funding the publication of your book
* How to write the type of articles that magazine editors want to buy
* The importance of professional development for writers
* Thinking in terms of cause and effect when constructing stories
* Avoiding errors of logic in fiction writing.

Although I still read (and occasionally still write) 'How to' articles, especially if they are on a new angle such as the crowd funding one, I must admit that I've reached the stage in my writing career where I tend to fast forward to other slots in the magazine. I particularly like reading profile pieces about writers who have "made it" in areas where I feel I haven't (but would still like to) such as children's fiction and non-fiction books for adults.

In the same issue, one profile piece particularly caught my eye. It was an interview with writer Di Redmond whose bestselling series of books, which started with The Bomb Girls, was written under the pen name of Daisy Styles. What I found particularly interesting about Di/Daisy was that before writing these World War Two sagas, she wrote scripts for children's television, working on such iconic series as Bob the Builder and Postman Pat. I'm always fascinated by writers who have been successful in more than one genre as it proves that if you can write, you can write, no matter what genre you are writing in or what subject you are writing about.

Cover of The Bomb Girls by Daisy Styles

As well as articles, Writers' Forum also carries news items about "the latest in the world of books, the internet and publishing". These are mostly sent in by readers so they can be a bit "random" but definitely still worth looking at. Della Galton's useful "agony aunt" column is still going strong and in the issue I read, she tackled questions from readers about whether it's a good idea to work on two books at once, how you go about finding someone to write a treatment for a TV idea and how important it is for a writer to have an "online presence".

If you are new on the writing scene or looking for fiction or poetry outlets, Writers' Forum also provides several "open" opportunities for readers to be published in the magazine. As well as the aforementioned news items, there is a letters page and a number of competitions which may result in publication and useful feedback on your work from guest contributors. Some of the competitions also offer cash prizes or subscriptions to the magazine.

Cash prizes are on offer in Writers' Forum

If you are an established freelancer or author and are looking to submit article ideas to Writers' Forum, I have always found the editor Carl Styants to be very approachable and open to appropriate pitches. The magazine is quite "formulaic" in terms of having regular slots and features so do take a look through at least one copy before submitting ideas. There are submission guidelines at:

http://www.writers-forum.com/contacthelp.html

I have just started reading Mslexia magazine again for the first time for about five years (in digital format so it may take a while!) so watch this space as that could well feature in a blog post soon.

Happy writing and stay cool.