The book is back

Phil: Not The Book obviously, that never went away, I mean the book that all writers are supposed to treat as some sort of bible – The Writers and Artists Yearbook.

When we went down to the even in London a few months ago, copies of this were on sale at a bargain price to all the budding Browns and Rowlings. They did a reasonable trade as a copy of this is de rigour the bookshelf if you aspire to getting published. Like the fancy notepad, it’s a staple writer accessory. Who doesn’t need instant access to the addresses of every company in the publishing world or the details of every potential outlet for your work ?

Erm, well, the publishing world is in the Internet nowadays and sometimes with more up to date details than those found in the book. This point was raised and the editors admitted that if there was a discrepancy you should go with the web. As for outlets, well for magazine work you ought to be reading an issue or two before submitting and if you pay attention, the editors contact details are usually inside. So, is there a point or is this just another bit or literary decoration ? Yes there is, in my opinion.

What the web doesn’t do is bring together stuff you didn’t know about. Simply browsing through gives you ideas that you wouldn’t have had any other way. There might be websites that claim to offer the same service but they want you to pay for it and so you don’t really save any money.

Better still, there are articles by famous and successful people to read. It’s a bit like Playboy in this respect – writers might say they read it for the articles but really they are lusting over the agents and publishing house details in between.

So, as a writer, I have a copy on my desk ? Nope. But then I have an advantage over many authors. Living in posh and sunny Leamington Spa so my local library will let me borrow their copy. For free. Apart from the fines when I hang on to it too long anyway. Many libraries only have the Yearbook as a reference item and even then it’s hidden under the counter like a mucky video that you have to ask specially for. Writers are obviously untrustworthy and will make off with it if access is not controlled. Except in my town, where we are too nice for that apparently.

(Biscuit note – The digestives in the photo are from the Co-op own brand range and a lot nicer, more shortbready, than the McVities version)


Filed under Phil, Publishing, Writing

2 responses to “The book is back

  1. this news just in from Basildon, a stone or paving slab throw from Dagenham…..
    Essex Hurricane Appeal
    A major hurricane (Hurricane Shazza) and earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale hit Essex in the early hours of Tuesday with its epicentre in Basildon . Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly, muttering “Faaackinell”.

    The hurricane decimated the area causing almost £30 worth of damage. Several priceless collections of mementos from Majorca and the Costa Del Sol were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their Giros arrived.

    Essex FM reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and were still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Basildon. One resident – Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said, “It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Mercedes came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Victoria-Storm slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was skinning up and watching Jeremy Kyle the next morning.”

    Apparently looting, muggings and car crime were unaffected and carried on as normal.

    The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Special Brew to the area to help the stricken locals. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, including benefit books, jewellery from Ratners and Bone China from the Pound shop.


    This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster. Clothing is most sought after – items most needed include:
    Fila or Burberry baseball caps
    Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers)
    Shell suits (female)
    White stilettos
    White sport socks
    Rockport boots
    Any other items usually sold in Primark.

    Food parcels may be harder to come by but are needed all the same. Required foodstuffs include:
    Microwave meals
    Tins of baked beans
    Ice cream
    Cans of Special Brew.

    22p buys a biro for filling in the compensation forms
    £2 buys chips, crisps and blue fizzy drinks for a family of nine
    £5 buys fags and a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.


    Rescue workers found a girl in the rubble smothered in raspberry alco-pop and were worried she had been badly cut…
    “Where are you bleeding from?” they asked,
    “Romford” said the girl, “woss that gotta do wiv you?”

    Please don’t forward this to anyone living in Essex – oh, sod it, they won’t be able to read it, anyway.

  2. I recently bought the Yearbook for the first time a few weeks ago. Like you said, it makes more sense to go online but the articles inbetween the listings are so helpful. It also made me feel like a writer, because you know … *everyone* gets the Yearbook 😉

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