Wednesday, 15 April 2009


The best laid plans, etc. There I was, all set to have a good old rant about the guff spouted by arts organisations, and along comes something from an arts organisation that is actually useful and to the point. My guff-detector was rendered silent.

Honestly. I was sent some info about a project or three by an organisation called Hi-Arts (Hi = Highlands & Islands - as in "of Scotland") and found myself quickly shunted onto their website, from which I seamlessly garnered some crystalline and - pause for astonishment: after all, this is public money we're talking about and usually that means it's headed drainwards - practical resources for writers. Not a whiff of waffle.

Depending on who you are, you will have different needs and interests, but surely all of you fall into one or more of these categories:
  1. You want to know how to write a great covering letter and synopsis and you'd like a leading agent (Jenny Brown) to tell you how.
  2. You're a Scottish author interested in having a FREE, anonymous and professional critique of your WIP. (Are you still there? I know, it's hard to take in without hitting your head on the ceiling. But you do have to be Scottishish ...)
  3. You're trying to break into the children's writing world and want some fab advice from leading literary agents and general founts of all knowledge of the genre, Fraser Ross Associates.
  4. You are a writer of any sort and want to make sure that you're not littering your writing with pleonasms and really want Allan Guthrie to explain it to you.
  5. You don't know what a pleonasm is ....
Links to clear guidelines on all these things are to found here, on a single page. Yes, an arts org that doesn't hide its info deep in the recesses of a labyrinthine website designed to fool anyone with a normal brain and less than four years to find the right page.

It really is quite remarkable. And now I'm going to lie down in a darkened room and work out how I can justify a major rant about arts organisations. I will find a way. They will not defeat me.

And please don't analyse this post for all the pleonasms. This is a blog, not a literary novel, and besides, I'm self-publishing it and it's well-known that self-published work has a tendency to be less rigorously edited than other work ...


DanielB said...

Finding it hard to connect to their site - I keep getting timed out. Is it just me? Anyway, it sounds great, if you're Scottishish. I feel like Rose in Doctor Who's "Tooth & Claw".

Rose: "Ahem, Hoots mon! I've been, er, oot and, aboot!"
Doctor: "No, don't do that. No, no, really, DON'T do that."

It's not going to wash, is it?

Sarah said...

Well, I qualify except for # 2. (Virginia's a long way from Scotland. I doubt having wanted to visit for years makes one Scottishish-ish.)

And until I looked it up, I had no idea what a pleonasm was. I still can't decide whether it sounds like a dinosaur or a really unpleasant medical procedure.

Sounds like a great organization, though. I'd have killed for a one-on-one review from a professional when I started writing. Still would, actually.

DOT said...

I have often wondered as to the difference between a pleonasm and tautology: one or other term must be redundant.

Nicola Morgan said...

Daniel - must be the power of my blog, eh? I don't know if it's only you (could be because you're ENGLISH ...) but you're the only banned person I've heard about. And no, that hoots mon stuff will certainly not help.

Dot - a tautology is a type of pleonasm, but not vice-versa. I love distinctions like that, so will fight for the existence of both!

Sarah - all you need to do is come and live here: that's what I did. I'm English and Welsh, so am looked at askance but still qualify. Except during football or rugby clashes. Then, I hide.

Suzette Saxton said...

Yay! I'm your hundredth follower!

I fall into category 3. :)

Nicola Morgan said...

Suzette - as you say: yay!! Hello and welcome. You make me feel like the Pied Piper.