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Collated Answers from WW interviews

Any tips or tricks or things to avoid?
Alan WilliamsDon’t be afraid to be yourself and do not treat rejections as personal insults. Someone, somewhere will like it, even if you have to change it for each subsequent submission. I’m still learning, so why should I think that something I wrote three years ago be the best I can do.
Cheeky MaggotBe open, be yourself, believe in yourself but not to the exclusion of other people, and not everyone is out to take your baby away from you, some just want to help it grow up.
Claire AllenWrite what you want to write. Take advice by all means, but be true to yourself. Don't try to be the next Marian Keyes or whoever. Just try to be the first you.
Five Leaves Don't handwrite anything to a publisher. Don't tell a publisher how good your work is - if you have to tell, it probably isn't. Always include return postage. Do - always - read widely within your field, around your field and away from your field. Good writers are usually good readers. Bad writers may be good readers, but good writers are rarely bad readers.
Flicking LizardTo grow some thick skin. You have to get used to rejection and try not to let it get you down. Publishing is all about opinions.
I think it is a great idea to participate in writing groups. They are a great way to develop your skills and to hear constructive feedback.
JemWell, I always say that free advice is worth what you pay for it. Otherwise, don’t be precious about your writing. Don’t do it if you can’t bear to fail. Cliché city I know but you’ll learn more from your failures than your successes. Success is good, but once you succeed it means you have to do it again, and again and again and again. So don’t be in such a hurry.
A L BerridgeWriters’ block is your friend. If something’s stopping you writing, don’t try and force your way past it, step back and look at what’s wrong. I nearly always find I’ve taken a wrong turning somewhere, and if I just go back and unravel a few pages I can find a better way through.
Lucy McCarraherRead a lot and write a lot. Hone your skills, ask for and take criticism. Observe and store ideas, people, interactions, incidents. Believe that one day you will be/do what you want to. Take opportunities that present themselves. Set positive goals – write them down, draw them, live them as a reality somewhere in your head and don’t let them go.
Maria McCarthy
  • Don’t write in an ivory tower – get out there and join writing classes and groups, go to festivals and conferences. Other writers understand the ups and downs, can give advice and encouragement and generally fast-track both your writing skills and the path to publication. I’m a member of Women in Journalism, Women Writers’ Network and The Guild of Health Writers. The Romantic Novelists’ Association is fantastic if you’re interested in writing women’s fiction and the Arvon Foundation runs great courses.
  • If you’re interested in getting published read From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake published by MacMillan – full of sound advice. How to Get Published and Make a Lot of Money by Susan Page published by Piatkus is also excellent and very down-to-earth despite its highly aspirational title!
Michael RidpathWhen you have finished your book put it to one side. Then give it to others to read and reread it yourself. Then rewrite it. It is the rewriting which will make it a better book than the others in the `slush pile’.
Milly JohnsonRead lots. You’ll absorb so much without even thinking about it.
Write often – a little everyday is better than nothing. You’ll lose the flow of your work if you leave it alone for a long time and write in fits and bursts. You need to be disciplined.
Read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ which is full of the best advice I have ever come across for writers.
Take guidance from the rejection letters. If they say that you’re a good writer but they are passing on this occasion, you keep at it until you get a deal. Being an author takes persistence and passion as well as talent.

Paul ReedNever stop trying. Every knockback [I've had a few] is one step closer to acceptance. Read up on self-improvement and inspirational works to feed yourself nothing but positivity. You can do it if I can. Hey!, I'm a schizophrenic! Let that inspire you.
Sara MaitlandPublishing stinks at the moment – books have been commodified and super-marketed, and writing like farming is the loser. This means that the gap between “good” and “successful” is larger than ever. This means you can stop worrying about getting published, and concentrate on writing well.
Also – find colleagues (readers as well as writers) and talk to them. There is a strange delusion that co-operation and companionship are bad for writing. This is total rubbish. I would not be a writer at all without the love, support and criticism of my friends.
Sean Costello Tip: keep your cover letter and synopsis snappy—let the work speak for itself.
Sol B RiverFind your voice. Is it going to be a career? Look for people who will support you in your ideas and ambitions. Be strong.
The EphemeraNo. It is my personal feeling that there is neither a formula for creation nor a shortcut to art - I think it is important to try anything but to try it well. This point of view does not represent a distillation or derivation from The Ephemera’s aesthetic beliefs, it is merely the opinion of one person.
Vanessa CurtisI would tell new writers to set themselves reasonable daily targets, to read widely in the genre which they're writing in and to develop the thickest skin imaginable in order to deal with the plethora of rejections that all writers have to endure. The learning process never ends, even when you've been published.
Zoe LambertShelve it. I find putting work away and going back with fresh eyes, a week later, a year later, is the best way to edit, to pull work together or to realise what the work might be about