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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2018 > SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT


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


A passion for the past

‘In February 2013, I started the Writers Bureau creative writing course, and soon experienced the heady feeling of being published, when my tutor suggested I pitch my second assignment to my target magazine – Your Family Tree (now Your Family History) – and it was immediately accepted’, writes subscriber Gaynor Haliday.

‘Since then I’ve had several articles published, mainly in connection with my passion for genealogy and social history.

‘Before I reached assignment 10 on the non-fiction section, I already had an idea for a book, again connected to research I’d been carrying out, this time into my great, great, grandfather’s life as a Victorian policeman. In July 2016, I pitched my concept of a book on Victorian policing in Bradford (where he had served) to Pen & Sword Books, who replied to say they were intrigued by my suggestion but wondered if I could widen the scope beyond Bradford to give national coverage.

‘I cautiously agreed (well who wouldn’t?) but heard nothing. Thinking the publisher had perhaps dismissed the idea, and considering what to do next, I took a September holiday in a cottage with no wifiand only an intermittent mobile signal. It was during one of these rare moments of mobile reception that an email arrived from Pen & Sword, confirming that they definitely wanted to publish my book, of around 45-50,000 words, that they would send a contract and an advance. You can imagine my reaction!

Joy turned to terror when the contract arrived with a deadline of 1 February 2017! Well there’s nothing like an impending deadline to focus my mind, and focused it was – days assigned to researching archives, physically and online, interspersed with days writing, until I’d created a first draft of 50,000+ words. Of course this needed editing, further research needed to be done to clarify certain aspects, and chapters needed realigning. But I delivered!

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About Writing Magazine

Want to double your story sales? In this month's issue of Writing Magazine we tell you how to turn one idea into two stories. All writers need feedback on their work, and we explore how positive feedback will make you a better writer. Is horror dead? We look at the current state of horror publishing. This month's star interview is author Nikesh Shukla talking about the big issues: life, race and big ideas. Read 20 pages of news about competitions and opportunities to get into print, and there's £60,089 in writing prizes to be won.