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About the book:

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook has become a trusted and venerated friend to anyone who works in the media... or wants to. But the annual inclusion of new features has--through over 90 editions--ensured that it's never just a stale rerun of last year's version. The 2002 edition includes, for example, a section on e-publishing for writers, an article by David Askham on digital imaging for writers and a sparkling foreword by Deborah Moggach, who writes that she has always found Writers' and Artists' Yearbook "essential and curiously compulsive reading" because "Information is power and the more information you have, the less daunting the whole business seems".

The 2002 edition is certainly full of information. Listed are hundreds of magazines and newspapers in Britain and elsewhere in the world. Then there is a comprehensive directory of picture agencies and libraries and another of societies, associations and clubs. Publishers, poetry organisations and TV programme-makers are all there too--interspersed with expert, advice-packed articles.

The downside of this near-exhaustiveness? Because the Yearbook is so eclectic, it can seem a bit fiddly to use. Its nearest rival, The Writer's Handbook, is clearer in layout, perhaps because its focus is narrower and it doesn't have such a long tradition. Writers' and Artists' Yearbook tries ambitiously to meet the needs of "writers, artists, playwrights, writers for film, radio and television, designers, illustrators and photographers". Given that many media people have these days to operate in more than one field, that breadth is very welcome. --Susan Elkin

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