• What Pen Works Media looks for in a submission

    How Pen Works Media reviews new book submissions

    August 16, 2017 Blog

    As a publisher, the question I probably get asked most is “what type of submissions are you looking for?” and really, it’s a difficult thing to answer. Firstly, let’s clarify a bit of a myth.

    A mistake writers often make is thinking they’re more likely to get published by a small publishing company. I do get the logic in believing the submissions process will be less competitive than at a major publisher, but in actual fact, …

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  • Stone and Gosling dance the night away

    La La Land

    January 13, 2017 Reviews

    Note: This is an analytical review which, by its very nature, includes spoilers.

    It’s been an age since I was excited by the prospect of seeing a musical on the screen, but any film written and directed by Whiplash‘s Damien Chazelle and starring Hollywood sweethearts Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone deserves buzz, so as my girlfriends’s birthday drew near, it seemed like the perfect excuse to follow the hype and book that ticket.

    Between now and when …

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  • The challenges of creating a first novel

    August 5, 2016 Blog

    We met Michelle properly on July 15th 2015, when she attended the book launch of our first paperback, The Moors. That this is where we met is a testament to Michelle’s tenacity as she is forever attending events about publishing to learn more about the industry. Also, she’s so personable when dealing with fellow authors that it’s no surprise her guest blogs are growing in both quality and quantity, and we’re delighted to have Michelle …

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  • Author Elana A. Mugdan gets ready to fly to London

    Bags packed and ready to launch

    July 13, 2016 Blog, Interviews

    Whilst the writer of Dragon Speaker sat at JFK airport waiting to embark on the journey that would eventually bring her to Barnstaple, we squeezed in on last interview.

    So you’re sat at the airport ready for your flight to England. Is it finally sinking in that your first novel is about to be released? How do you feel?

    Right now I think I’m somewhat in shock. The past few days I’ve been working at my day …

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  • How the Olympics is Dividing Brazil

    June 22, 2016 Blog

    The closer we get to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the more excited the world becomes – and rightly so. It’s undoubtedly the greatest sporting spectacle on earth and it therefore never fails to provide unparalleled entertainment, but with less than two months before the opening ceremony, some say there couldn’t be a worse time for Brazil to play hosts.

    The amount of money that goes into an Olympic bid is eye-watering, and the …

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  • How to structure your story

    May 12, 2016 Blog

    Whilst making my annual jaunt to the London Book Fair this year, I met a writer who told me that once he has started a project, new ideas become completely unwelcome to him. In fact, to try and stop new thoughts interrupting his flow, he would completely shut himself away, creating a tunnel vision effect that allowed him to reach the finish line without distraction.

    Although I get the sentiment, this is in many ways the …

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  • The real value of crowdfunding

    May 6, 2016 Blog

    Last week, over a particularly splendid cup of latte (big shout out to Beam in Crouch End), I had a conversation with an aspiring writer about crowdfunding. I’m nearing the end of my third crowdfunding campaign now, whereas this young author is yet to dabble at all.

    ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that,’ he dismissed. ‘I hate promoting myself, and I feel like I’d annoy people.’

    Firstly, if you’re a writer – or any other kind of artist …

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  • Business as usual at Pen Works Media

    When do pseudonyms become deceitful?

    February 29, 2016 Blog

    I found it quite interesting to recently learn that James Patterson doesn’t actually write all his own books, and the discovery led me to wonder how his fans actually felt about it.

    In a recent blog, I highlighted a number of reasons why a writer may wish to use a pseudonym, but to optimise financial gain by allowing multiple authors to write under one umbrella wasn’t one of them, so I thought I’d try and add …

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  • Pseudonym author

    What use is a pseudonym name to a writer?

    February 14, 2016 Blog

    If you know me, or read my blog, you’ll be fully aware of how passionately I believe in character development and story structure. I feel they are both integral to the creation of a great story, and it can take a lot of time and effort to write a book or a screenplay in what I consider to be the right way.

    If you agree with me and you’ve spent months or years of your life …

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  • How House of Cards can improve your writing in 2016!

    February 13, 2016 Blog

    Now that we’re in 2016, there will be an awful lot of writers walking around with a spring in their step, believing this will finally be their year. While I applaud the enthusiasm, I am also fully aware of how many writers I’ll meet over the next year that will feel the industry hasn’t given them a fair shot.

    Nobody is more sympathetic to this view than me. I have honestly felt ready to “make it” …

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