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About the book:

The familiar Writers' and Artists' Yearbook--the 94th issue of this old friend--is the most comprehensive British-based directory available to scribblers, artists, playwrights, film writers, radio and TV designers, illustrators and photographers. And it makes ever more sense to put all these aspects of creative freelancing together in one volume since these days so many writers are expected by editors and publishers to produce their own accompanying "pix".

It may be British but it's not insular. It goes beyond listing UK and Irish publishing houses, newspapers and magazines--ranging from Music Teacher to Irish Journal of Medical Science and from Legal IT to Good Housekeeping. It also gives brief comparable lists for the rest of the English-speaking world such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Because the US market is too big for this kind of summary treatment, Writers' and Artists' provides titles of reference directories--its American equivalents--so that any writer or artist wanting to explore the US market knows which publication to buy--the immensely detailed and very useful 2001 Writers Market edited by Kirsten C Holm and published by Writers' Digest Books in Cincinnati, Ohio, for example.

Whether you're aspiring to, or established in, this sort of work the practical how-to essays tucked in between the listings will probably have something to teach you. Jill Dick is good on writing for newspapers and (it's a different technique) John Haynes writes interestingly about contributing to magazines. The advice goes right down to the minutiae of how to approach an editor and to present your work.

This year's foreword is by Rosie Thomas, whose 1982 novel Celebration launched a successful series of novels, the most recent of which is White. "Write not necessarily what you know but what you care about," she advises. "And use the Yearbook. It won't write for you but it will tell you everything else."--Susan Elkin

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