Thursday, 23 May 2013

Writers' Forum

If you’ve ever wanted to be a writer, three questions you may have asked yourself are:
  • What should I write?
  • How would I write it?
  • How would I get it published?
You’ll find the answers in Writers Forum. The new issue is out now and as usual it’s stuffed with inspiring articles on everything from finding ideas to storyboarding the plot of a novel and formatting ebooks..
With my Douglas McPherson hat on I’ve written a feature on how to pitch articles to magazines. I also reveal some tips I used to beat a bad case of writer's block and write comedy crime serial Who Killed the Easter Bunny, with regular My Weekly characters the Blue Rinse Brigade.
Speaking of the Blue Rinsers, I’ve been revamping my sister blog, or perhaps that should be brother blog, Circus Mania. Sprucing up the archives and adding some new pictures, I came across the second Blue Rinse Brigade serial Murder at the Circus. Click on the link to read 9000 words of big top mayhem for free.


  1. Look forward to reading you latest articles, Douglas. I see you have a picture of the cover of WF. I had a guest post on someone's blog and they wanted pictures of my womag stories and I wasn't sure if it was ok with copyright. I'm never sure if I can just photograph one of my mag stories with their illustrations for my blog. What do you think?

    1. In Writers Forum each month I have a feature explaining how I wrote a particular story. To illustrate the articles I asked My Weekly if they would send me PDFs of the printed stories. They were completely happy to do this without charge, ditto the Australian mag That's Life Fast Fiction - it's good publicity for them after all.
      As far as a blog is concerned, I'd say it's fine to include a scan of your printed work in the context of showing where it appeared. On my earlier post Well Done My Weekly, I've included a scan of my story A Life of Loyal Service to illustrate a few words about the brilliant art work by Andre Leonard. (I had to scan it, because I couldn't upload a PDF)
      Copyright would only be an issue if you wanted to re-publish your stories for commerical purposes in, say, an ebook. If you wanted to use a magazine's illustrations you'd need to get permission of the copyright owner (either the mag or the artist) and probably pay a fee.
      It's always okay, incidentally, to reproduce magazine, book or CD covers as part of a review or feature on them.
      Don't forget you can always go back and add pictures to your guest blog even if you didn't when it first appeared.
      I hope all that helps. If you'd like to leave a link to where we can read your guest blog, that would be great.

  2. Thanks for your great answer - you are a mine of information! I had a guest post at Womagwriters blog in February:

    and on author Marianne Wheelaghan's blog in April:

    I'm not sure if these links have worked. Sorry if they haven't. As you can see, in the end we used a photo of a selection of magazines for Marianne's blog and hoped it was ok.

  3. Another fantastic issue of WF and I was over the moon to see my vision boards featured in the Ideas Store. Can I also say a huge thank you for your informative features on submitting magazine articles, I've just sent a couple off so watch this space!

    1. Glad you're enjoying Writers Forum and good luck with the articles. Do let us know how you get on.