Writers’ Forum and The Plymouth Magazine

Two useful publications, but not in chronological order: My garden article was published in The Plymouth Magazine on Monday (3rd August), and though it’s not under my byline, it’s my voice. To 40 000 readers. Just waiting for the magazine to be available online, then I’ll publish the link.

Had a fun half an hour in Waterstone’s this afternoon. Went in to by August’s Gardeners World (my subscription starts in Sept) but was waylaid by WF magazine. Both same price. Only one copy of WF left. Not my normal Writers News, but then I’ve a stack of those and I’m still unpublished, two subscriptions to boot.

So I picked it up, then wandered to the Writers Books Section (why are they on the top shelf? Are they naughty books for overly self-indulgent people? The section is at least by the sofas, though couldn’t sit to make my decision as teenage lads wanted to lose the afternoon with Manga comics). Anyway. I had a decision to make and I couldn’t head to Costa as I’d just come from a Venti (Italian for ‘vat of’? Tea from Starbucks). So, was it going to be Writers Handbook or the Writers Market that I bought? I even toyed with Writing for Dummies as they had a section on self-publishing, but decided if I was going to buy a book, it’d have to be a serious one. I liked the feel of WM, and it had money on the front cover, so you knew what it was about. But there’s an awful lot of publishing info in there, and not the meat of the Writers Forum magazine. I had reasoned that if I was spending £3.50 on a magazine, might as well throw in a tenner and buy a book instead. I’d scraped the idea of the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2010 as I’ve two of them already and I’m still unpublished. I want my luck to change.

Not saying WAAYB isn’t good, it’s certainly a good read, but I have the 2007 which isn’t that old. Still tells me the basics, like royalties. I wandered around the shop, without my glasses on, looking for inspiration – the shop assistant thought I was waiting to pay, so I had to smile at her and walk on; decision-making not always my strong point. Time was ticking on though; I wasn’t far away from rush hour and even though I’m in Plymouth, we still have 10 minute traffic jams. It came down to accounts in the end – the magazine looked more fun, and I reasoned it’d be easier to earn £3.50 back than £13 at the moment. When I’ve an imminent book deal I’m going to go in and buy Writers Market and Writers Handbook, to avoid future decision-making dilemmas.

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