Monday, 28 December 2009

The Lovely Bones

An article by Gillian E Hamer

"Murderers are not monsters, they're men. And that's the most frightening thing about them." - Susie Salmon, The Lovely Bones.

As a fan of the paranormal, I was delighted to learn that this month sees the release of the next predicted ‘big thing’ from director Peter Jackson, following his huge successes with Lord of the Rings and King Kong. This time, the story lucky enough to receive his magic touch is the 2002 novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones.

Film critics are already citing the film as the new Sixth Sense, and reviews describe the acting of Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon and Rachel Weiss as outstanding in bringing to life the story of a young girl following her death ...

But the author’s inspiration to write The Lovely Bones is equally as chilling and moving as the novel. So, what drove Alice Sebold to write in a genre that is dismissed by many publishers as out-dated and unsaleable? Did she have any choice in the matter?

Read the full article in the February 2010 issue of Words with JAM

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year

Here at Words with JAM, we would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to and read the mag, hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and wish you all the best for 2010 - there's a fantastic year ahead ...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Erotic Fiction: The DOs and DON'Ts

So you want to write erotica?

You've browsed the magazines, read some anthologies and you're ready to have a go yourself. But what are the rules about writing erotica: are there any? Indeed there are. I will be outlining some points you must keep in mind if you hope to have your stories published.

Barbara Scott-Emmett writes women’s erotica under the name of Barbie Scott. In the second issue of Words with JAM she offers some tips on writing erotic short stories for publication.

Saturday, 19 December 2009


Publishers are free to submit review copies for consideration. Please email for a UK postal address. 

We feature one or two short stories and poems in each issue. Due to the magazine being free, we are unable to offer payment at this time. We are however more than happy to consider previously published material, and include a short bio and links back to your own site.

Word count for short stories should be no more than around 2200 words and poetry no more than 45 lines ish - this is purely because we are tight on space and in February only managed to squeeze in one story and one poem, and not because we can't be arsed reading longer submissions.

Due to the number of submissions we receive (and because it's rather messy and confusing) can you please include on the actual Word document, at the top, your full name and email address. We don't mind what font you use, or colour, or size, or alignment, so long as you don't take the piss - white is very difficult to read.

This is so we can contact you back and you don't think we're ignorant when your email gets buried and all we have a file and we've no idea who it's off.

The email address is

We are always on the lookout for new articles by aspiring columnists. 

Due to the magazine being free, we are unable to offer payment at this time. We are however more than happy to consider previously published material, and include a short bio and links back to your own site. That said, please don't send us articles about how wonderful you are or how brilliant a site/service you can provide for the writing community (see 'advertising' for that). Generally useful and/or funny is what we go for.

So, if you have a distinct voice, with an edge, and something to say, put a proposal together and send it to Don't forget, flattery gets you everywhere. We'll consider it and get back to you (we aim at less time than your average agent ...). 

Friday, 18 December 2009

Paul Auster's Invisible

Roland Denning reviews Paul Auster's latest novel, Invisible in the next issue of Words with JAM.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Experiencing Synopsis Hell?

In the next issue of Words with JAM, Sheila Bugler will pull on her white coat and work together with one of our readers to help improve their synopsis. She will be giving in-depth comments, as well as line edits, and we'll show you a before and after version to help you understand how you can implement her suggestions in your own synopsis.

Sheila's first novel, Ready to Fall, won her a place on the 2008 Apprenticeships in Fiction programme. The novel was also short-listed for the Wannabe a Writer novel-writing competition and the Book of the Year. The book is currently with a publisher who may or may not decide to publish it. In the meantime, she's working on her second novel and spending way too much time indulging her unhealthy interest in synopsis-writing.

To read the full article, please make sure you are subscribed to Words with JAM, and we'll send you the next issue directly to your inbox.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Rights and What You Need to Know

An article by Lorraine Mace

For many writers, and not just newcomers to the world of freelancing, it is hard to understand exactly what we are signing away when we accept a contract. Can we sell the same piece of work again? If yes, where and how often can it be sold? If no, why not, and have we been paid fairly for losing out on all the other rights we could have offered elsewhere? The following sections should help clarify exactly what is meant by each Right offered, because, as writers, we need to make sure we are Getting it Right.

Read about Serial Rights, First Rights, Second Serial Rights, All Rights, Subsidiary Rights, Electronic Rights, Exclusive Rights and more in the next issue of Words with JAM (due out January 2010).

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Testing Feeburner

Just testing a new widget. Please excuse us.

What Makes a Reader Choose YOUR Book?

Did you know that only 25% of readers come into a library knowing what they are looking for? The other 75% come in to browse, and will choose something on impulse. The proportions are similar if you look at people’s behaviour in high street bookshops.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the average length of a visit to the library is a mere FIVE MINUTES. Taking into account the fact that a number of people will come into the library for longer periods, to study or to use the internet, this means that many library visits may be no more than two minutes long. You only have a very short time to grab your reader’s attention.

So how do people make that snap decision to buy/borrow a book?

Read the full article by Catriona Troth in the next issue of Words with JAM

Thursday, 10 December 2009

60 Second Interview with Peter Ho Davies

We're definitely working on pulling out the stops for you. The first of two interviews in the next issue of Words with JAM is with Peter Ho Davies ...

Born to Chinese/Welsh parents, Peter Ho Davies’ first published collection of short stories was The Ugliest House in the World (1998), which contains tales set in Malaysia, South Africa and Patagonia. This collection won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. His second collection, Equal Love, was published in 2000. In 2003, he was named by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'.

His first novel, The Welsh Girl, published in 2007 was ‘long-listed’ for the Man Booker Prize 2007, and short-listed for The Galaxy British Book Awards ‘Richard and Judy’ Best Read in 2008.

Peter Ho Davies lives in the United States and directs the MFA Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Popular or What?

Well, it looks like Words with JAM's subscriber rate has just doubled since we sent out the first issue.

Please do keep forwarding your copies and asking anyone you know, who you think would like to read it, to subscribe.

Friday, 4 December 2009

We have a date!

Well, the first issue is out there (you can still get hold of a copy by subscribing), and we are pleased to announce the second issue will be released on January 27th.

If you are subscribed you will automatically receive a copy direct to you inbox (or in some unlucky cases, your spam folder, so don't forget to check).

Remember that all subscribers are automatically entered into our free prize draw held every issue!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Eclectic, Intelligent and Accessible ...

Not entirely convinced by the intelligent, but hey, we're not complaining:

"Words with Jam' is an eclectic, intelligently written and accessible resource for those who want to read about books worth writing but above all those who want to write books worth reading. A cheerful companion on a very lonely journey."

Richard Jay Parker - author of Stop Me

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

It's Free-e-Day

The world's biggest celebration of Indie Culture.

Find out more, spread the word, enjoy the downloads, and join in a range of debates and webchats and workshops for independent creatives at;;

plus download the fantastic free eprogramme for the event with 100 contributors and some amazing creativity in its own right as well as complete listings;

The hard work's over - have some fun!
And if you're in Oxford, come to Free-e-day live!;

And keep spreading the news for December 1st 2010!!

What the agents say about Words with JAM?

"The new e-magazine gives inspirational and entertaining stories as well as including lots of helpful hints and information for new writers. Writing is very solitary and this can only encourage and aid our novice writers to become the novelists of the future. It's also great for established authors, too."

Betty Schwartz - freelance agent for Christopher Little