Ruston Hutton guest blog: Finding gems

At Ruston Hutton one of the biggest thrills of our job as an fiction editing company comes from finding new talent. We work with all sorts of authors and different publishing companies, and along with seeing one of the books we’ve worked on become a best seller, picking a diamond out of the slush pile is a sure fire way to get a real rush of excitement and pride. It takes hours to sift through submissions, because not every book finds its way from the first line or even the first chapter. If we see promise in a voice we need to read enough of that submission to decide whether the writing talent matches the raw spark that gives it a unique tone and page…

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Nanowrimo: The results!

Last month was National Novel Writing Month, and several of our authors and lovely readers were taking part. We asked them to keep up up to date with their progress throughout the month, but did they make it? Did they ‘win’ the month and write a full 50,000 word novel? Read on to find out! This is not the certificate acceptance speech post I hoped I’d be writing. I won’t be a winner this year. Even though I have forty thousand words written, and two days still to go as I write this post, the chances of me getting to the magical fifty thousand mark are slim. But on the ‘glass is half full’ side, I have forty thousand more words than I had on…

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Brigid Coady’s Nano update: Don’t look over her shoulder!

If you travel on the Piccadilly Line from Holborn going west around 7.10am every weekday morning, then I am the mad woman with the iPad in the last carriage. I am the one who doesn’t share the armrest because my elbows and arms need room. And yes, if you do look over my shoulder and you read the latest scene and something shocks you then you only have yourself to blame. NaNoWriMo has taken over my commute to work (and sometimes on the way home if I need to up my word count) as this is the only way I have found to keep on schedule and complete the NaNoWriMo challenge for the first time. I have become obsessive about where on the train I…

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A Winter Wonderland Competition

Yes, we know that it’s only August, but our minds are already racing forward to the holiday period and to seasonally festive stories. So we’re launching the Winter Wonderland Competition! We’re looking for books of any length, which have a Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year theme in them (and, of course, some kind of romance!). We’re open to all kinds of stories from people of all backgrounds anywhere around the world – if you’re not sure if your plot fits the competition, please get in touch on Twitter or Facebook. The prize is a three-book contract with HarperImpulse and afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason in London. If you are unable to make the afternoon tea (we know that a lot of our readers and…

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Author tips: Writing Short Copy

We asked our followers on Twitter and Facebook what they struggled with as romance writers and one of the biggest issues seemed to be around writing short copy, especially when writing submission letters or emails. We asked our Creative Director, Ben North, for his top tips. As well as being a bit of a creative guru in the building, Ben is a master copywriter, so we hope you find his tips useful!  5 basic tips for writing short copy None of these are rules. But all of them are useful. 1. Make points, not arguments. Say what you have to say, clearly, compellingly and quickly. Don’t build an argument – make your point the best you can, then back it up succinctly. This isn’t an…

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