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About the book:

So you've written your article about sword dancing in Northumberland. You think it's publishable but have never published before and have no contacts. Where do you start? Enter The Writer's Handbook 2003 with its usual detailed listings and helpful advice about the marketing of words.

First published in 1998 the annual handbook includes long alphabetical lists of magazines and newspapers, contact details for book publishers, relevant website addresses and essays to entertain you even when they can't encourage. This year, for example, Mick Sinclair's contribution "Up, Up Away" tells you unequivocally that: "writers hoping to break into travel authorship by recounting a thrill-a-minute tale of death-defying adventure will probably find swimming the Atlantic with a pack of sharks or crossing Antarctic on a toboggan to be much easier than convincing a publisher to commission an account of the exploit."

Of course The Writer's Handbook isn't just for article writers. This is a book for writers in the widest sense so novelists, playwrights, screen writers, and radio "scripters" are all catered for. Neither is it a book just for beginners. There is plenty of useful information here for anyone active in the writing business whether he or she is an established practitioner, a raw recruit or somewhere in between.

Particularly useful are the contact details of festivals from The Round Festival in Wimborne to the well-known Cheltenham Festival of Literature. The organisation listings are good value too. They range from the Big Boys such as Society of Authors and Chartered Institute of Journalists to the Outdoor Writers' Guild and the Association of Christian Writers.

So, back to your sword dancers. Search the magazine and newspaper indexes in The Writer's Handbook for suitable titles, read the advice and try your luck.--Susan Elkin

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