Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet

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Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet

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Buy Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Reference
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Van der Kiste
Reviewed by John Van der Kiste
Summary: A guide to writing articles and stories for local newspapers and magazines – how to go about it (and how not to go about it) and expect a fair degree of success. What the title does not indicate is that the majority of the book focuses on the fiction and short story market.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: December 2006
Publisher: How To Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-1845281618

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From being an avid reader (and maybe a passionate book reviewer) to writing for magazines yourself is a pretty logical progression. Yet like any other competitive field in life, it's a very hard one to get into – and doubtless getting harder all the time.

As a teacher of creative writing and guest tutor at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Adèle Ramet is well qualified to write on the subject.

Even if you re relatively familiar with what the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and The Writers' Handbook both have to say on the subject, they only have space to look at the dos and don'ts very briefly, though of course their directory listings are superb. Where this title scores over them is in the matter of going about researching the market, researching and filing systems, and every detail of writing short stories, whether it's creating and writing about genuinely lifelike characters, or creating a twist in the tale. Avoid the grossly overworked cheat ending of 'and then I woke up', as well as stories about the lottery and plans to murder a spouse. Everyone's done (and overdone) those already. Particularly useful are the pairs of case studies (one a guaranteed failure, the other much more likely to succeed), the checklist, 'Have you done such-and-such?', and a recommended assignment which close each of the 15 chapters.

The only slight criticism I have about this title is that by far the greater part of the book is taken up with writing short stories. The author goes into a wealth of invaluable detail on the highways and byways of these, but about two-thirds of the book is taken up thus. Only the first five chapters deal with non-fiction, which I admit is more my interest. That her acknowledgements in the front are mostly to the editors of titles such as Bella, The Best, My Weekly and Woman's Weekly clearly indicate her bias towards the fiction market, which is something not made clear unless you actually study the contents list before deciding whether to purchase the book.

That reservation apart, this is an extremely useful volume which I'd gladly recommend to any aspiring magazine writer. Since I began submitting articles to newspapers and journals myself more years ago than I'd care to mention, the whole market has changed (to say nothing of the way PCs and the internet have completely revolutionised presentation and research), and it's always helpful to read current guides on the subject which look at writing and publishing from the current viewpoint.

Our thanks to How to Books for sending a copy to Bookbag.

If you enjoyed this title or would like further inspiration, why not try some of the Short Storiesreviews on Bookbag, for example My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Buy Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet at Amazon.com.

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