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KEEP CALM WRITE ON

It’s difficult not to be petty when faced with unselfconscious ‘writers’, but grit your teeth and endure it, urges Jane Wenham-Jones

TALK IT OVER

A selection of Jane’s previous Talk It Over columns is now available as an ebook, A Problem Shared Volume One, free to download on Kindle via Amazon

After years of trying – I have six unpublished novels behind me – I was lucky enough to find an agent and secure a two-book deal with a major publisher. Naturally, I was ecstatic and proud. But the experience is being ruined for me by a local woman, who I thought was my friend. She has suddenly decided that she too wants to be a writer and has self-published. Her ‘novel’ is terrible but she can’t see this. Her husband tells everybody how marvellous it is and even joked about what took me so long when his wife did it ‘on the first go’ as if what we have achieved is comparable. She refers to herself as ‘a novelist’, boasts about her five-star reviews on Amazon – all provided by her cronies – and says when my book comes out we will be able to do signings together. The last time I saw her she was offering tips to a third friend as if she were an expert and is apparently racing through her second book. Mine does not come out until next year and it already feels as though I have been robbed of the moment. I am not using my name for obvious reasons, but she would never read a magazine like this anyway, because as far as she is concerned, writing books is easy and she has nothing to learn.

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Competition supplement! Over 230 writing competitions to enter up to June 2018, and more than £430,000 in writing prizes! Win! Your book published by Lulu. Write your way around the world - how far writing competitions can take you. Star interview - The Commitment: Roddy Doyle on thirty years at the top of his game. The latest opportunities to get published and see your name in print.

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