ReadWomen2014: What Is Women’s Fiction Anyway?

Over the past few weeks a new Twitter hashtag has been doing the viral rounds, turning up in timelines and graduating from the Twitterverse to mainstream media.

The hashtag is #readwomen2014 and it was started by writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh as an attempt to counteract what she describes as the marginalisation of women in top literary journals.

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Don’t Spend It All At Once: A Fantasy Shopping List for Writers

According to a survey last week, the average writer earns less than £600 a year. Yep, not £600 a week, or even £600 a month. £600 a year

I think most of us probably knew that writing wasn’t the career choice of wannabe millionaires. Only a tiny proportion (2%) earn what is described as ‘a good living’ from writing. But these latest figures debunk the romantic image of the struggling artist once and for all.

So what should a writer spend their hard-earned, blood-sweat-and-tears, labour-of-love cash on? Or, more to the point, what could they spend it on?

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The Bibliophile’s Utopia

You know how sometimes you wish that everyone loved books as much as you do? That everyone loved books and talked about them and valued their contents as much as you? That everyone thought reading was one of life’s greatest pleasures and wanted to spend as much time immersed in a fictional world as you do?

I thought I might indulge myself and imagine just that. So here’s what would happen in my book-loving utopia:

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The Writing Resolution: How to make 2014 the year you write that novel

A whole week into 2014 and people up and down the country are silently acknowledging that their New Year’s Resolutions have already bitten the dust: chocolate has been eaten, gyms have been avoided, cigarettes have been smoked.

But my Twitter timeline is full of people with a much more long-term resolution for 2014: the writing resolution. So I figured now might be a good time to offer my Top Ten Writing Tips in the hope that, in 51 weeks time, you’ll be looking back not on broken resolutions but at the first draft of your novel.

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Why 2013 is my Year of the Book Blogger

So, today is New Year’s Eve. Which means one thing. It means that we all get to spend at least some part of the day reflecting on the twelve months that have just gone by and wondering about what the next twelve may hold in store. And given that there’s nothing I love better than a little bit of reflection, when I woke up this morning at 4.45am (well, when the bub woke me up, anyway) I started to think about just that.

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Book Review: Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

In September 1982, twenty-year old Nina Stibbe began working as a nanny in London and writing regular letters to her sister back home in Leicestershire. This would have been unremarkable to anyone other than Nina and her sister had it not been for two critical facts: the woman Stibbe was nannying for was Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books and friends with half of 1980s literary London; and Nina Stibbe happens to be both a brilliantly funny story-teller and a wry observer of domestic life.

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The Truth About The Working-From-Home Mother

When you tell people you’re working from home while raising a small bub, you can generally see their eyes fizz with envy: no commute, no time-keeping, no boss, no irritating colleagues boring you with anecdotes of what they did at the weekend. Your job, they think, is all long lunches with friends, surfing the internet and watching day-time telly while the little person amuses themselves and you complete the odd piece of work while they play quietly at your feet.

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