The Writing Competition. Extract from Written Off

The room hushed as Chapman explained that each writer would read the first five hundred words from their opening chapter and then the delegates would decide the winner. Eric, like everybody else in the room, was keen to hear the readings. In theory, this quartet represented the high water mark of unpublished writing and anyone wanting to get a deal needed to rise above it.   The first reader, a strapping, sandy-haired man-mountain tented out in a plaid shirt, strode to the lectern. ‘The Turning Of the Tide,’ he said in a gruff Scottish accent, and then proceeded to read. ‘He…

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Literary Agent Bingo. Extract from Written Off

  The next morning at breakfast Emily and Hugo were comparing notes. To help inject some added value into the weekend the agent had invented a game of ‘conference bingo’ on the journey north. He was keen to see if he was ahead of Emily. ‘To be honest, Em, I should have made it harder. I cleared half of my card with just one delegate, and that was within the first half-hour.’ Emily suspected Hugo was showing off as usual but agreed they should have thought longer and harder over the rules. ‘We should have weighted the comments for degrees…

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What makes an author? Extract from Written Off

EXTRACT FROM WRITTEN OFF – WHAT MAKES AN AUTHOR? He’d authored a book, true, but you couldn’t claim to be an author if you hadn’t been published. Nor could you call yourself an author if you’d self-published – that was cheating wasn’t it? Someone in Eric’s position could say he’d written a novel. That didn’t even make him a writer per se, just someone who aspired to be a writer and had given it a go. Everybody knew that just because someone had written a book, it didn’t mean it was any good. Such a milestone, fulfilling as it was,…

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Con weighs up his new novel. Extract from Written Off.

Con Buckley checked the word count on his manuscript. The menu bar read 75,069. He typed ‘The End.’ Was it now 75,071 words, or didn’t the sign off figure in the tally? He pulled out his baccy tin and rolled himself a celebratory joint. Just a small one, to mark hitting land. Christ, he’d done it. It was finished. He’d only gone and written a book. In the gathering gloom of the late afternoon his computer screen blazed like the tunnel to Paradise, bathing the shabby furniture of the Kilburn flat in golden effulgence. The End? This was the beginning….

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