Saturday, 30 January 2010

Forward to Friends - lots of them!

We would just like to thank everyone who has already subscribed. We hope you enjoyed the magazine as much as we enjoyed putting it together. 

If you did enjoy it, please don't forget to forward your copy to as many people as possible and ask them to subscribe too.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

February 2010 Issue is OUT!!!

We said we would try and add more features and articles you would enjoy and find useful, and we feel we have achieved just that. Miranda Dickinson headlines this month, telling us about her debut novel Fairytale of New York, now a Sunday Times bestseller. Sheila Bugler is our synopsis doctor. Jo Reed describes how writers can make a difference, and her experiences winning the Telegraph Prize. We have tips on writing erotica by Barbie Scott, more from Perry Iles, a look at blogging with Dan Holloway, your questions answered, 60 second interviews, stories, plus a whole load more. In addition, we are pleased to support 100 Stories for Haiti, which you can also read more about.

If you haven't already subscribed and received your copy, you can subscribe now and we will automatically email it to you.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

FREE Prize Draw

Don't forget! All subscribers are automatically entered into our FREE bi-monthly Prize Draw. This time we are giving away a copy of The Writer's ABC Checklist, and will announce the winner in the February issue of Words with JAM.

If you haven't already subscribed, it's not too late!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Writers Can Make a Difference: On Winning the Telegraph Travel Prize

In early December 2008, I got a call from a friend. “Hey,” she said. You travel a lot. And you write a lot. Why don’t you give the Telegraph competition a go?”

“When’s the closing date?” I said.

“Day after tomorrow,” she said. “But it’s only five hundred words. Go for it.”

As it happened, I’d already written a short piece, about a small beach cafĂ© I visited in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, earlier in the year. I hadn’t done anything with it, so I dug it out. It weighed in at just over a thousand. Why not, I thought, spent a few hours slashing and burning, and emailed a five hundred word version, entitled Flying Fish with Anne-Marie, off to the Telegraph with an hour to spare. Then I forgot about it. Two weeks later I got a phone call from Charles Starmer-Smith, travel editor of the Daily Telegraph. “You’ve won" ...

Read the full article on how the Telegraph competition prize winner, Jo Reed, made a huge difference to a small cafe in St. Lucia in the February Issue of Words with JAM.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Critique-al Mass

A crit – it’s just someone’s opinion, isn’t it? So how reliable are people’s opinions?

Some people obviously thought The Transformers movie was so good it merited a sequel. Of course, whether it was good or not is irrelevant – the only thing that matters is that both movies made a shitload of cash for the investors.

In some people’s opinion, The Twilight Saga was so great that it would make a fabulous series of films. I haven’t read the books, in fairness, but I did see the first movie and that’s a couple of hours of my life that I won’t be getting back. Then again, my opinion on it is absolutely beside the point because it has done extraordinarily well at the box office.

In the world of publishing we’re hit with huge bestsellers like The DaVinci Code, The Shadow of the Wind, a plethora of celebrity books, twenty-five new James Patterson volumes a year, and so on.

And here’s the point – if the general market only wanted good things, there wouldn’t be McDonalds.

So, what are we doing on crit forums?

Read the full article by Derek Duggan in the February 2010 issue of Words with JAM!

Monday, 4 January 2010


Flash 500 Competition is a new quarterly open-themed flash fiction competition. Judged by Simon Whaley, it has a closing date of 31st March 2010. Entries of up to 500 words.

Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories

Prizes will be awarded as follows:
First: £250 plus publication in Words with JAM
Second: £100
Third: £50
Highly commended: A copy of The Writers ABC Checklist

The three winning entries will be published on the competition website -- for more details: Flash 500 Competition

Friday, 1 January 2010

Review of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

Reviewed by Catriona Troth

Taking, as its pivotal idea, the chance coincidence that a boy who is half Japanese and half Pakistani may be mistaken for a Hazara Afghani, this book reaches back to the bombing of Nagasaki with the world’s second atomic bomb, and forward to the Afghan War that followed the attack on the Twin Towers. Four very different families, linked throughout the story by blood and marriage, provide a fragile, very personal link between these two defining atrocities ...

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