Monday, 6 July 2009

New Opportunities

Well it's been a while since I last posted, mainly because I was taking a short break on the Costa Del Dorset last week for a traditional family seaside holiday. But whilst I was down south, I took the opportunity to meet a friend of mine, Penny Legg, and her 'Writing Buddies' who meet at the Borders bookstore in Southampton every fortnight.

It was great to meet them all and they were all so friendly and welcoming. As the author of "Running A Writers' Circle" I'm a fan of writers' circles, and whilst 'Writing Buddies' are not a traditional writers' circle, they still carry out one of the key elements of a writers' circle - a networking opportunity with like-minded people. It's surprising how much you can learn, just from chatting to people.

Congratulations on 'Writing Buddies' plug on page 20 of the latest issue of Writer's News magazine too!

Whilst I was away there were some interesting emails that dropped into my inbox, which I thought I'd share with you.

BBC Countryfile magazine is looking for contributors for the East of England region and also the Northern Ireland area for its 'Great Days Out' section. This is a section that I have contributed to on several occasions and it's a prestigious magazine to be in. Great days out can be walks, cycle rides or even long car drives. To see the sort of thing they are looking for visit the following pages of their website.

If it looks like the sort of thing you can help them out with then contact the outdoors editor, Jo Tinsley at

The latest issue of Writers News also mentions an American based History magazine group called History Net. Ironically, I'd come across these before I went away and tried to purchase some back copies from their website. However, their website only allows purchases to be made from a USA or Canadian postal address. Not to be out smarted I sent an email to the editor, clearly stating that I was a UK based writer interested in contributing to the magazine, but was having difficulty in obtaining some back copies to look at to analyse for style and content purposes. Here's what the editor said in her email that was waiting for me upon my return:

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your inquiry. Smart man to do your homework.

Yes, British Heritage does accept freelance material, but we are a very difficult market. I receive more good ideas and material in a fortnight than we could publish in a year. Still, every editor is always looking for the next great story and writer.

If you’d like to send along a mailing address, I would be happy to post you copies of our recent issues.

Best regards,

Result! See, proof that if you don't ask you don't get. And whilst she's pointed out that she gets deluged with ideas, my approach to her like this had demonstrated that I am professional in my work. Perhaps she'll remember me when I pitch some ideas to her then!

Remember, there are no short cuts to market analysis in this game, but any work you do put in will be rewarded.

Good luck!


  1. Glad you enjoyed your stay in Dorset. I grew up in the seaside town of Swanage, where you would have been known as a grockel!

  2. Hi Simon - Glad you enjoyed your 'Writing Buddies' experience but I can't see the item on them you mentioned above (Pg 20, Writers News - July ?)