Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Edgar Allan Poe Awards and The Next Big Author

How's this for coincidence? A few postings down, I wrote about the Next Big Author Competition and my Mills and Boon quick entry, which morphed into an Edgar Allan Poe, when my third cousin from Chicago (our Lithuanian grandmothers were sisters) goes and wins the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Creepy or what?

The Edgar Allan Poe Award

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are presented every spring by the Mystery Writers of America in New York City and this year was the 202nd anniversary of Poe's birth. The best writers of  mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2010 received their awards at a banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Edgar Allan Poe winner Sam Bobrick

Sam Bobrick won his award for the best theatre script - The Psychic. Sam has written and co-written over 30 plays, 20 of them published by Samuel French, mostly comedies. 'There is nothing more satisfying to me than to sit in an audience and listen to people laugh...My main goal has always been to entertain...Life is tough enough. Why send an audience home suicidal? It only cuts into future ticket sales.' I won't argue with that.

Sam, who has written extensively for TV and stage, has also written songs for Elvis Presley, Brian Ferry and Los Lobos. And he has written several plays with his wife, writer Julie Stein.

Sam's website is at http://www.sambobrick.com/ 

The Next Big Author competition

And as for that Next Big Author competition, my ratings are at 3.4 out of a possible 5 at the moment, so I've a long way to go. What's so fascinating about this 'peer review' system is how varied the reviews are. Someone says the dialogue isn't realistic, someone else says the thing they love most is the realistic dialogue. Each reader comes up with a different set of parameters as to how stories 'should be' written.

Reading is, after all, subjective and maybe your literary knowledge depends on which writing courses you've been on and which 'how to...' books you've read. But it's useful criticism in one sense (as long as you act on it with caution), because writers are too close to their own work to see what others see and they don't. But, in all honesty, if you had to choose between a review from a professional writer, publisher or editorial consultant and one from an unpublished, hobby writer, which would you choose?

http://www.thenextbigauthor.com/ and http://www.youwriteon.com/ are the sites to log on to if you want to upload your opening chapters. Dream on...

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