We know you have a lot of questions, so we’ll try to answer as many as we can.
Do you critique or proofread work?
Writing East Midlands works closely with The Literary Consultancy to provide professional and critical reads. These reads give detailed feedback on your work including how to develop it. We have a limited number of reads available each year. For details of how to apply, please visit our Critical Reads page.
Our courses at The Writing School also offer peer and tutor feedback. You might find these a more inspiring and inclusive way to develop your writing, especially as you’ll be working with other writers.
I’ve heard about writers’ groups. Can they help me and how do I join them?
Like writing courses, writers’ groups can be invaluable to help you develop your work. There are many writers groups across the region, and they’re usually open to new members. For details on groups near you have a look at the National Association of Writers Groups online.
How do I get my work published?
There are many different ways to get your work published nowadays, especially with the new opportunities available through online and self-publishing. This is an exciting time to be writing!
What you write will affect the approach you take, for example poets generally need to build up a portfolio of work published in magazines before they submit to publishers directly (usually you won’t need to go through an agent). For many prose writers (of fiction and creative non-fiction), the more traditional methods of publication is the most appealing. In this instance you’ll need to secure an agent who will contact publishers on your behalf. This can be a long process, and we’d recommend you attend courses a writers group to help you develop your writing and provide support along the way. You can find lists of agents online or you can buy The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook,
If you’re interested in self-publishing there are many outlets to help you, for example Smashwords (e-books) or CreateSpace (Amazon). These are not technically publishers, they’re printers and distributors. All you need to produce an ebook through Smashwords is Microsoft Word and the patience to go through the upload guide book. Smaswords distributes to Kindle, Kobi, iBooks and Nook. Create Space is Amazon’s print and ebook production arm and distributes through Kindle and Amazon.
You might want to publish online, in which case you’ll want to join an online group or set up a blog. Wattpad is an online writing community where you can upload work and get feedback on a regular basis. Publishing online generally does not bring payment for your work. Self-publishing can earn you money, but it might not be a lot.
You should never pay for a publisher to print your work for you, (Smashwords and CreateSpace take a percentage of the retail price for production and distribution costs). If a publisher asks you for money, especially up front, run away!
Can you fund me to give me time to write?
We are not a funding agency but we can advise you on how to get funding from others. The key funding body for the arts in the UK is Arts Council England (ACE). Have a look at their website to see if you are eligible to apply for funding. Once you have done this, and you’ve spoken to an Arts Council representative, we can give you general advice on putting an application together.
How do I copyright my work?
For the latest on copyright law, as well as advice on protecting your work, contact www.copyrightservice.co.uk
Can you promote my event?
We’re happy to help you promote your event through our website. All you need to do is upload the details, along with a picture, through our ‘submit an event’ form on the website. We’re only able to promote events in the East Midlands.
Can you sell my books?
We don’t sell books but we know some great booksellers in the region who do, such as Five Leaves and The Bookcase in Notts, Scarthin Books in Derbys, Oundle Bookshop in Northants, The Bookshop Kibworth in Leics. Have a look at the Guardian Map of Independent Bookshops for more informations.
Do you run children’s courses?
Do you have activities for young people?
We have excellent connections with projects and organizations in the region, and we run our regular Young Writers Groups and The Writers Den as well as an annual competition, The Solstice Prize. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding a Writer
I need to book a writer for a workshop, how do I do that?
If you’re from a school, library, museum, writing group or other organization that might want a writer for workshop, reading or event, get in touch with us and we’ll try to help you. We have contacts with many writers in the region, as you can see from our directory. Please note writers will need to be paid a fee for their appearances, workshops etc.
Our Writers’ Directory gives details of hundreds of writers in the region. All you need to do is search for a writer, a genre or a county and then get in touch with us.
How can I get in touch with you?
You can easily get in touch with us by telephone, email or post. Our contact details are:
Writing East Midlands
32a Stoney Street,
The Lace Market,
Tel: 0115 9597929