Thursday, 1 October 2009

Super Thursday

In the book publishing world, today is known as 'Super Thursday'. Some 800 new books are being published today, all with the aim of being the Christmas Number 1. Well that means there are going to be 799 disappointed authors later on in the year then!

It's also a Super Thursday for other reasons though. One of my students, Helen Baggott, has a letter published in the November issue of Writers' Forum magazine, (out today), so she wins herself a Moleskine notebook. (Savour the moment as you unwrap it from its cellophane Helen.)

Her letter provides a tip to other writers about developing writing opportunities. I won't pass the tip on - go and buy a copy of the magazine - but it also demonstrates that the letters page of a magazine is a useful place way of passing on hints and tips. Editors like the letters page to have 'club-like' feel to it where friends can meet and share news, comment and gossip, so hints fall into this category nicely. So if you have a tip you share with friends, why not share it with the readers of a magazine too?

I happen to have the Star Letter in the November issue of MacWorld magazine (a magazine for Apple computers). My prize is a desktop publishing layout programme - a professional tool, with a professional price. There's no way I could have afforded the price - not at over £900!

And if you happen to buy the November issue of Writers' Forum, then look out for Cass and Janie Jackson's regular column on page 45. I'd like to thank them here for the nice words they said about me!

The November issue of Writers' News magazine is just out, and inside are details of the latest achievements of Penny Legg, a friend who was one of my students. I've blogged before about her book successes, but this raises another point to remember if you can... tell the world about your successes! Being writers shut up in our garrets, we don't often get a chance to blow our own trumpets. So if you've had a success then tell someone. You deserve it! It proves that you are a writer! And people will learn to respect you more as a writer too.

To shout about your successes in Writers' News magazine you need to be a subscriber (well worth the subscription - you get Writing Magazine included in the subscription cost). But even if you're not a subscriber you could still write a letter to a writing magazine (and get another success out of it, if that's published!)

A quick glance though the magazines also shows that Fiona from my writers' circle has got a letter in Writer's News and (update to this post) another member, Julie has a letter in Writing Magazine this month too.

(Update number 2 - and I was just about to close Writing Magazine up when I spotted a letter from another of my ex-students, Rob Innis. Well done everybody!)

So I think you'll agree - Super Thursday doesn't have to just be about books!

Good Luck.


  1. Hi Simon

    It was Julie in Writing Magazine and me in Writers News so your writing circle has done well. Thank you so much for your support it means a lot.

    Best wishes


  2. Hi Fee

    I didn't see Julie's letter in there too! Blimey, we are on a role aren't we?


  3. The writing circle is taking over poetry street too. Congratulations to Sue Ross and Lilian Parker for Top Ten Poems in September.

    I wonder what October will bring?

    Best wishes


  4. Thanks Simon, I don't think I can bear to unwrap it!

  5. HI Simon,
    Congratulations for the Apple magazine letter and the wonderful prize! Now that is really worth winning. Also congrats on Janie's article.

    Thank you for mentioning me, that was kind. I have had a few people contact me about that article. All the attention is very nice - unexpected, but nice!


  6. Hi Simon - Phew it is all happening, I have yet to see the magazines - but have been receiving various blogs and emails from my writing associates. Yes what a great prize - going Mac was a good idea!

  7. chris way a refugee from your workshops at caerleon. Hi my copy of Writers Forum arrived yesterday I note you were mentioned on page 45 re thinking outside the box and looking at mags you dont always read for research and new openings. By chance, last weekend I was clearing out some of my late father's stuff and got side tracked (as you do) sitting down to read a 2002 copy of Yorkshire Journal.On page 14 a seven page no less feature on Our Heritage Coast, which brought back happy memories for me of long ago family holiday. The article was written by 'Simon Whaley' i thought you would still have been in short trousers in 2002!Anyway notes on Contributors at the back read ' Simon Whaley had recently completed the third draft of his first novel' just wondered how it was going?

  8. Oh Chris, I remember writing that article!

    As for the novel, well despite working on the third draft, and the fourth and the fifth, I have come to realise that that particular novel is my bottom drawer novel - never to see the light of day. But it wasn't a waste. It was the manuscript that proved I could do 100,000 words!

    I have written a second novel, which has received some positive feedback. So next month, I'm taking myself off for five weeks and I'm going to polish that second novel. Watch this space! (You may just be watching for a very long time though!)

  9. Wow! Congratulations guys especially you Simon, what an amazing prize. Good luck with the novels, best wishes, Heather x

  10. Congrats on the prize, Simon.
    Both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum arrived the same day this month. The LSO calls the latter the family magazine as we know just about everybody who writes for it. Even PB.

  11. Terrific news about your letter, Simon. What an amazing prize. And maybe you'll get another star letter there when you tell them how you put the prize to good use.
    You've inspired me to send off some letters, something i almost never think of doing