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Email 3 May - All things non-fiction

Want to ask questions? Got any follow-up? Don't agree with something I said? Then here's the place to do it. I'll follow the chat thread on this post for a few days following my email, and I'm happy to talk about anything at all.

Meantime, here's a picture of a scary-but-pretty bug.


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Comments (14)
  • Hi Harry, having read your thoughts on the surge in popularity of non-fiction I was wondering if we would be able to submit that as part of the competitions for FoW19? I have a novel in progress but is is my non-fiction that is absorbing me at the moment. I am taking a novelistic approach to my non-fiction so it could potentially work well, but just didn't know if there was a rule that said the comps have to be fiction.

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    • I don't think there's any such rule - but for sure, I think creative non-fic should have its place. So by all means enter it. Good luck!

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    • Very good article, illuminating as ever. I am a little confused about the terms narrative non-fiction and creative non-fiction. 

      I am about to launch a literary biography, published by a small independent. I guess that would count as narrative as I haven't "made anything up"

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      • Thank you, Harry. How kind of you to reply! I never expected it! This is my first entry into Townhouse and I'm quite overwhelmed with everyone's kindness. I always enjoy your e-mails too. Very best wishes.

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        • Don't be surprised, Jenny - Harry's a good bloke. I've met him a few times at writerly events he has arranged, but I'm not even a member of Jericho Writers yet and he still talks to me :-)

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          • Thank you, Tony. I was very impressed when he gave me a warm welcome to the Festival of Writing last year. He's totally professional but never distant. 

            Nice to hear from you.

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          • When I have better understood the system here (I am a late entry to this world of posting all sorts of stuff) I would like to send you a synopsis.

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            • Uh, yes, if you do, I probably won't read it, I'm afraid! I'm too short of time for that kind of thing. If you're a member of Jericho Writers, you can get free feedback on query letters and synopses. Or you can send your work for a regular manuscript appraisal (details here: https://members.jerichowriters.com/bazaar/full-manuscript-assessment/ ).

              Either way, we'll be happy to help.

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            • Glad to join the Townhouse.  Will post more as I get the drift of how this site works.  Just discovered JerichoWriters and joined the club.  Wonderful resources there and I look forward to the forums here.

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              • Fab! Willkommen und bienvenue. Townhouse at the moment has a kind of new house on a new estate kind of quality. All rather shiny, but not very lived in. I especially hope that people start using it to critique each other's work. That will be its very best use, I think.

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              • Hello, Mr Bingham. I'm greatly enjoying this new Townhouse and have you to thank for that, I suppose. 

                This question has nothing really to do with your email, but it has been bothering me for a while, so I will risk asking it here (😕). I apologise if this is the innapropriate place.... 

                If a writer were to choose the self-pub route (on Amazon, for example) is it still worth trying to get an agent at any point? Are there are any pros/cons that they should be aware of? 

                Thanks in advance, and again, please forgive me if this is not the correct place for such questions. 

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                • If you self-publish, and do so successfully, then it's unlikely the trad route will look enticing for your US/UK work. On the other hand, agents can still unlock good stuff in overseas markets, with TV & film, and audio. So yes, many very successful indies will end up with agents. And of course you may have some projects that you want to publish in a traditional way. But all that lies quite well ahead of you. If you self-publish, you won't need or want an agent for some years yet.

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                  • Thank you! 

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