Monday 4 August 2014

Lessons Learnt: Advice to New Writers

Here are some things that I have learned over the years – they are in no particular order, but the first lesson is the most valuable:

o   Be more tenacious and persevere longer than anyone else: it certainly pays dividends

o   Study markets; know which publisher is publishing what. To do this, subscribe to industry magazines and constantly read book reviews

o   Write every day; read every day

o   Be ruthless when self-editing

o   Submit manuscripts as often as you can and keep track of where they go and when they are replied to. After six months assume that no answer is the answer

o   Always be on the lookout for publishing opportunities; as soon as an opportunity presents itself, submit

o   Don’t spend more time networking than you do writing

o   Always have at least one project on the go

o   Belong to a weekly writers’ workshop group where you trust everyone’s opinions

o   Don’t believe what a publisher says until the contract is exchanged

o   Be loyal to publishers who support you and your career

o   Share what you know with others

Over the past 30 years, Dianne (Di) Bates has published 120+ books, mostly for young readers. Her next book is a junior novel, A Game of Keeps (Celapene Press, August 2014). Di has two blogs, Writing for Children, and Australian Children’s Poetry

Di offers courses for those wishing to write for children as well as junior novel and picture book manuscript assessments. Her website is


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