Wednesday, 8 April 2009


As you may have guessed, I do not need any encouragement to speak about writers' rights. Hold me back, some might say, and often have. If you can bear to listen to me on my soap-box again, please see my long comment beneath the post on Fighting for Writers' Rights.

And thank you to those of you who joined my Facebook group, Fair Reading, after reading that post. I will be finishing my term as Chair of the Soc of Authors in Scotland in August, but I plan to continue riding my hobby horse all over the place long after that.

Those who are (as yet) unpublished may find the idea of writers' rights somewhat hollow or academic - trust me: you need to care, because one day you are going to be published. And if you didn't believe that, you wouldn't be here. So, you need to think about where you stand on your rights, and which ones you are happy to give away.

Funny, when I was at university and had just come up somewhat painfully against my college principal for organising some kind of protest (I can't even remember what it was about now - probably the offness of the milk at breakfast, which was doubtless the most serious issue I could think of), she said, "You know, Nicola, I can just see you becoming one of those angry trade union leaders." I suppose what she meant was she knew I was going to turn into a crabbit old bat. But I am a well-meaning crabbit old bat.

I'll return to advice on writing better and getting published soon, but meanwhile I'm off to train for all the chocolate I am going to be forced to eat on Sunday. Someone's got to do it.


Avril said...

Have just found your blog today and want to say i think it's one of the most relevant and interesting - to writers that is - that I've read. I will definitely be recommending it to writers I know. I love the positive approach and wealth of knowledge - the sharing of what you've learned. I think it's a writer's duty to be optimistic for all serious writers out there. I have just started a blog at (very new to the whole idea!) partly to share my experiences. I have been fortunate enough to have my first book published by a small press but I am still struggling with the publishing world and all its disappointments - very interested in what you have to say about writing the right book.It's hard being a writer but blogs like this really help.

Nicola Morgan said...

Thanks so much, Avril - that's really kind. And yes, I think I need to say more about this "writing the right book" thing. Because, sinmple as it seems, and simple as it actually is (really!) once you've done it, it's not at all simple to know what the right book is when you haven't quite written it yet! Or to define it even when you do know. I'll post about it again soon, but if you go back to some earlier posts (eg the one on Why Had A Publisher Not Yet Said Yes) you'll find quite a lot of tips. I'd also recommend the one about Acquisitions Meetings.

Good luck!

Jane Smith said...

Just to let you know, Nicola, that I'm with you all the way on this one. And I'm more than pleased that you've spoken out in this way. Good for you, girl.

Nicola Morgan said...

Thanks, Jane - and of course Avril should also go and look at your excellently useful blog, too -

United we stand, etc etc blahdy blah