There are a number of ways in which you can continue to support the efforts here at Clarendon House Publications to open the doors for new writers and to give writers a fresh, new platform for their work.
1. Flourish as a writer.
This is the primary thing that you can do. Upon this thing rests everything else. If you aren’t writing, and writing more and more, and growing as a writer so that your work gets better and better, then the rest of this has no purpose or place.
How can you do this?
Soon I’ll be releasing a book called Your Biggest Challenge as a Writer - and What You Can Do About It. It tackles your main enemies - ‘Lack of Time’ and ‘Procrastination’ - and it tackles them hard, bulldozing you a pathway through to a better life as a writer.
The book will be free.
But you don’t have wait for it. Carve out of your existing schedules more time to write, and adopt a more disciplined approach right now to your work by treating it as a job. Set yourself workable targets for your writing and make those targets. Your morale will rise and you will start to ‘see the light’ as a writer.
If you need to work on quality, you could do worse than get my other book How Stories Really Work (not free, but only £10.00), probably the world’s most revolutionary look at storytelling, which will give you the basic building blocks of fiction and set you on the right track. Buying the book also supports me in my work, obviously.
2. Keep submitting.
Not just to my anthologies, but to anyone out there who is asking for submissions. Don’t be afraid of rejections - think of each rejection as fuel for your writing.
There are ways of narrowing down your submission targets by studying the marketplace and finding out exactly which publications are a good fit for the kind of writing that you do. I’ll be writing more about that in the future. But for now, write lots and send lots out there.
The Inner Circle Writers’ Group, the social offshoot of Clarendon House Publications, has an excellent reputation for being supportive and active. And rightly so. Its members are a mixture of new writers and long-established authors and the camaraderie is great. I hardly ever have to step in to break up a fight - whereas I see other groups in which comment threads quickly degenerate into slanging matches. ICWG members tend to be respectful and understanding - and they are also full of good advice and encouragement.
Be part of the group. Don’t try to ‘spam’ it with your work - listen to what others are saying, relax, converse, learn and teach. Writing can be a lonely life, but groups like ICWG make the whole thing a much more social experience and a far more pleasant and productive one.
4. Buy the books.
All of the Clarendon House anthologies contain quality stories. Whether you are reading for pleasure or reading to learn the craft of storytelling, you will benefit from picking up these books.
It’s probably worth pointing out that I do not make any profit on these books. I have yet to cover my costs in editing, proofreading, formatting and publishing any of them. I continue to produce them because I love doing it and also because I am operating on a long-term plan which involves seeing the authors involved flourishing over a period of years, not weeks or months. When you purchase a Clarendon House book, most of the money goes on the hard costs of its production and a pittance comes back to me as a token gesture for the work I’ve done behind the scenes. But it’s something, and it helps.
Buying the books means that the authors within them get read and appreciated and also that they get a chance to develop their careers. Which brings me to the next point.
5. Vote for the best stories.
Each anthology is also a showcase for talent. You, as a reader, get a vote in determining which of the authors will be offered an opportunity to publish their own collection. And that collection will be one upon which I will pay royalties. So there’s a stepping stone to some kind of commercial success built into all of this.
The whole thing works better if everyone buys and reads and then votes.
6. Use Clarendon House services.
Members of the Inner Circle Writers’ Group get access to a discounted range of services that I offer. These include professional beta reading (like nothing else you’ve ever received), Developmental Editing, Copy Editing, Proofreading, Blurb Workshops, Query Letter Drafts, Author Platform Advice, Marketing Consultancies and Lifestyle Consultancies.
Using me to work on your work supports me in all of my efforts and means that you get an individual service that you might not get elsewhere.
When all is said and done, we all need money to survive in this world.
If you are feeling generous and you have some money to spare, there’s a ‘Donate’ button on every page of the website through which you can simply send me cash. I don’t like to ask for it as I would prefer if you received something in return by using my services or buying my books, but I suppose what you do receive is some assurance that I will be able to continue to provide the unique facilities that I feel Clarendon House does provide.
Everything you do - whether it is simply writing or submitting, participating or buying, voting or purchasing services, or some combination of them all, is appreciated in the extreme. I did not expect, when I started Clarendon House Publications a few years ago, to find such a generous, competent and warm-hearted body of people out there and I am still astounded by your continuing presence and support.
Long may we continue to thrive together!