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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2017 > WRITERS’ WEB WATCH


WM’s resident webcrawler has some money-saving software suggestions for writers

On page 35 this month, Lynne Hackles makes an excellent point: that any financial investment you make in your writing is money spent on enriching your life. But obviously there’s no point flinging money about when you don’t have to, and in 2017 there’s one place where we can help you cut costs: software.

Of course £109.99 for the latest version of Word might be money well spent if you can’t work without it, but you can have its fully featured open source alternative LibreOffice Writer for nothing. It’s an up-to-date wordprocessing and desktop publishing tool with many of the features you may be used to in Word (and let’s face it, do you actually use every feature on the Word ribbon?) If you want templates, the Template Centre currently has 337 on offer (375 available) so if what you want isn’t there, you’re probably just being picky – there’s even a short story manuscript template, a modern literature template for novels and an ebook magazine template. As this is open source software, users can submit their own templates and add to the pool of resources. LibreOffice is available as a free download for Mac, Windows, and Linux (

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Make this the month you make your dreams real and start becoming a writer in the Get Serious issue, with advice on: • How a change of attitude will help you, and the wider world, take your writing seriously • How to stay motivated past the difficult mid-novel slump • Money matters: Are you charging enough for your freelance writing? PLUS How to make sense of your royalty statements Cover star Jake Arnott tells us about finding the stories and characters that society overlooks and we explore the style and technique of forensic crime superstar Patricia Cornwell Get your work out there with opportunities to get published and competitions with more than £60,000 total prize money in 20 packed pages of Writers' News. All this plus our definitive guide to writing festivals, courses and other events for 2017