Thursday, 21 April 2011

Review of The Writer's ABC Checklist

It's always nice to find good, unsolicited reviews of our book for writers. This one is from the Welsh Books Council, reproduced here with their kind permission.
Mace and Vincent-Northam have cracked it. In the space of 239 pages they have covered virtually every aspect that we writers require an answer for. As a leader of a number of writers’ workshops, involving most genres and abilities, I am delighted to have a book of manageable size at my fingertips, giving concise and easily understood information. Working on the easy formula of an A-Z index makes life simpler – Abbreviations and Anniversary Pitches to ‘ZZZ-Sleep on it’: ‘Sometimes a completely rewritten story, or article, is stronger and more vibrant than the original, but do remember to treat it as a new piece of work and when you’ve finished it, zzzz – sleep on it, before you submit it anywhere.’ Sound advice is given, whatever genre one is writing in, from newspaper articles to self-publishing, marketing and copy-writing, of which many writers have little knowledge.

One of the questions I’m continually being asked in workshops is for advice on children’s picture books, layout and illustration. It is all easily to hand here, along with publishers and serial rights.

Writing can be a lonely occupation. There are a useful couple of pages illustrating the pros and cons of both local and on-line writing groups and how to gauge which would suit your particular requirements adequately.

There is a useful section on Fees and the amounts paid to writers of different genres. ‘Be sure that any potential fee will cover the cost of researching and writing the article. Some non-fiction pieces – travel writing, for example – could see you out of pocket if the fee offered is less than the expenses incurred. Payment time can vary too, some editors paying on acceptance and others on publication.’

The Writers’ ABC Checklist is crammed full of tips and valuable advice on every aspect of writing whether fiction or fact, theatre or TV. A neat companion to have by your side, no matter if you are working as a professional or as an all-consuming hobbyist: it is a must. An invaluable investment for less than a tenner!

Norma Penfold

A review from, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
The Writer’s ABC Checklist

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