W are pleased to welcome Deirdre to the blog to tell us about her journey to be published.
It was a happy day when I received that magic email from Crooked Cat Publishers telling me that
I went to some writing workshops, and although some had limited usefulness, they were fun and I learned how to write to order, and fast, something I’ve never found easy. Then I took a part-time creative writing course at the
, where I
worked, and learned how to write outside my comfort zone and how far the writing
possibilities could stretch. I also made my first writer friends, one of whom
became a trusted beta reader. You do need writer friends, whether they read for
you or not; it’s a lonely business otherwise. University
I tried entering competitions. My first attempt resulted in a ‘Highly Commended’ from Writing Magazine, and I won a small prize for flash fiction, but the most exciting success was being placed fourth – twice - in the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, which had over 1000 entries each time. The six winners had lunch in
the judges, including such literary stars as Fay Weldon and Deborah Moggach. I
say ‘stars’ but we winners were the stars because they treated us as such, and I
came away not only with more tips than I could write down on the train journey
home but feeling like a proper validated writer. The MoS comp no longer runs,
unfortunately, but the organiser, from the Society of Authors, is hoping to get
another competition off the ground before long.
When I had the chance to join a blog group called The Write Romantics, there was another experience within my grasp. Not only did I find a brilliant bunch of friends to share this crazy world of writing, I had another ‘string’ to add to the CV. There’s a growing trend among agents and publishers to request a CV and if you can boost a submission with experiences like competitions, courses and blogging, all to the good. You don’t have to win a competition to mention it – a shortlisting or near miss will do just as well.
Like the proverbial buses, a second contract from Crooked Cat Publishing came hot on the heels of the first, and I’m pleased to say that my second book, ‘Dirty Weekend’, will be released later in the summer.
‘Remarkable Things’ is published by Crooked Cat Publishing, initially as a Kindle ebook.
Deirdre lives in
on the south coast. Most of her working
life has been spent in administration, mainly in the public sector, and most
recently at the . She ‘graduated’ from the NWS to full RNA
membership last September when she received her first publishing contract from
Crooked Cat Publishing. Before that, she
successfully self-published a romcom, set in University
of Brighton Brighton,
called ‘Falling to Earth’. She belongs to a thriving blog group called ‘The
Write Romantics’ and contributed to their anthology, ‘Winter Tales’, published
Thank you for visiting the blog today, Deirdre and good luck with your writing.
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Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman
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