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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2017 > SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT


Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,

A series of smugglers

‘I’ve added a third title to my popular Smugglers’ Town Mysteries series of books for children,’ writes subscriber Julie Ratcliffe.

The Moonrakers of Avon is another fast-paced adventure set in 1780s Hampshire. In this tale, two men from Christchurch are arrested and charged with coining – forging and passing counterfeit coins, which was treason and a capital offence.

‘I’ve been thrilled with how popular the books are and I know fans have been keen for another story. As with the first two books, besides being an exciting adventure story, the context of the book is historically correct and I hope that readers learn a thing or two about life in the late eighteenth century.

‘During my research I was surprised at one thing I discovered. The book begins with arrests and a serious charge, so the suspects are taken to Winchester Gaol. I found a copy of prison reformer John Howard’s 1777 report into prisons and Winchester was a lot cleaner and prisoners provided for far better than most prisons of the age. The John Howard League for Penal Reform is a charity still working with prisons to this day.

‘The first two books in the series are The Thirteenth Box, which was runner-up in the 2012 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year Awards, and The Face of Sam, a story inspired by a carving in Christchurch Priory Church.

‘I’m now planning my next book, which will focus on one of one of the characters between the first and second books. It will mean a visit to Boston USA and the themes will include the revolutionary war and the slave trade. I’m not sure about self-publishing this title, as my house is getting to capacity as a book warehouse having had to reprint the first book. Time will tell.’

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Make your own fortune

‘“Never give up! Never surrender!” I would recommend that rallying cry (from the film Galaxy Quest) to all writers,’ writes subscriber Kim Gravell.

‘When my short story, Mistress of Fortune, was rejected by one editor, earlier this year, I searched the market section of Writing Magazine for an alternative home for it. Spotting the 2016 Luna Press writing competition I submitted the story and am delighted to say it was shortlisted! It will now appear in their anthology, Beyond Realities, Volume II, to be published in December.

Mistress of Fortune is a fantasy adventure set against an unspecified rural landscape, similar to medieval Britain. It tells what happens when a travelling theatre troupe are joined by a fortune teller who claims she can be of use to them on the next leg of their journey. Their new companion has a surprising role to play when the troupe encounter trouble on the road.

Mistress of Fortune adds to my publishing tally of two paranormal fantasy novels (The Demon’s Call and Child of the Covenant) and a winning entry in the 2013 Writing Magazine “Start talking” short story competition. I’ll continue to keep a close eye on Writing Magazine for further outlets for my work.’

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START FRESH: New year, new adventure • Build your confidence • Fix your bad habits Make 2017 your year! STAR interview: Elif Shafak: Writing across boundaries • 24 writing competitions to enter • £63,980 in writing prizes to be won

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