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Tag: Writing Magazine (page 1 of 3)

Understanding Your ALCS Statement

Understanding Your ALCS Statement was published in the March 2018 issue of Writing Magazine

I love this time of year. March is when we get our free money from the ALCS. Free money? Oh, yes! However, from the many comments I’ve seen on social media, not everyone understands their ALCS statement. Many simply look at how much they’re getting and then file it ready for their tax return. But having a clearer understanding of what you’re receiving the money for may help ensure you claim everything to which you’re entitled.

What is ALCS?

The Authors Licensing and Collecting Society collects money generated by secondary rights from various sources and then distributes it to writers. When you sell an article or a short story to a magazine, you sell a primary right – a right to publish your work, for which you should be paid. But once a piece of your writing has been published, there are legitimate ways in which it can be scanned or photocopied. Organisations and business pay for this legitimate right to copy your work.

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Taxing Transformations

Remember the plans for quarterly tax returns? Simon Whaley finds out what writers need to do now, in preparation.

If there’s one piece of writing most of us detest it’s completing our tax return. So when George Osborne announced in November 2015 the Making Tax Digital scheme, whereby self-employed people, such as writers, may need to complete quarterly tax returns, many feared the worst. How much of our future writing time would be gobbled up by the need to be creative with numbers?

However, plans for this were dropped from the Finance Bill that went through parliament just prior to last year’s general election. But this tax story hasn’t been buried like a murder writer’s latest victim. It’s simply sleeping, ready to reawaken in the near future. As writers, we need to start taking steps now.

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Letter Feedback


It’s always nice when a reader writes in to a magazine’s letters page to comment on an article you’ve written (hopefully, for the right reasons!). So I was especially delighted today when my copy of Writing Magazine fell through the letter box that two different readers had written in to say how much they’d enjoyed reading two different features I’d written for the August and October issues of Writing Magazine. My thanks go to Annie Percik and Caroline Smith for taking the time to write in to the editor.

Agent Attraction

Agent Attraction - Writing Magazine - November 2016 issue

Agent Attraction – Writing Magazine – November 2016 issue

Attracting an agent can be the start of a long business relationship. Simon Whaley flirts with two agents to learn more about the wooing process.

At this time of year many literary agents are talking Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the biggest gatherings of publishing professionals in the world. Over 600 agents from more than 300 agencies from over 30 countries will get together around tables at its Literary Agent and Scout Fair to negotiate rights and deals. As Jonny Geller, literary agent and joint CEO of agency Curtis Brown, says on the Frankfurt Book Fair website, ‘The Frankfurt Book Fair can transform the hopes and dreams of an author. A place where a book can go from a local idea to a global phenomenon.’

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Conquering Challenges

BoW - Conquering Challenges

Just like paralympians, writers with disabilities strive to achieve their goals on a daily basis. Simon Whaley chats to two writers about how disability influences their writing business.

After the spectacle of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games comes the Paralympic Games, where athletes with physical disabilities show the world what they’re capable of. Not all disabilities are physical, something Prince Harry focussed on during this year’s recent Invictus Games, but living with a disability creates a range of challenges on a daily basis.

Yet those determined enough will find ways to overcome them, and that’s just as true for writers with disabilities as it is for paralympic sport stars. Having a disability need not prevent you from being a writer, or force you to give up writing, but it might change the way you run your writing business.

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Festival Fever

Festival Fever - Writing Magazine - September 2016 Issue

Festival Fever – Writing Magazine – September 2016 Issue

Most of us love a good writing workshop, and for an hour or two we’re in heaven. But why go to one when we could have a whole weekend or even a week of them? Three key writers’ conferences take place between the end of July through to the beginning of September, giving delegates a plethora of workshops and talks in which to immerse themselves.

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BoW – Social Engagement

Business of Writing - Social Engagement - August 2016

Business of Writing – Social Engagement – August 2016

Check out the August issue of Writing Magazine for my latest article about social media, and how writers might want to consider using it.

Business of Writing – Time Travel

Business of Writing - Time Travel


Writing for print publications means working several months ahead. Simon Whaley explains why writers need their own time-travelling Tardis.

Doctor Who might be one of the world’s most famous time travellers, but any writer hoping to see their words printed in a weekly, monthly or quarterly publication needs to be a little adept at the time-travel practice too. Welcome to the July 2016 issue of Writing Magazine, published in June. While we’re currently enjoying the warm, balmy days leading up to the summer solstice (this is where I find out how good my fortune-telling skills really are), it’s February as I first write these words and the snow, hail and wind are hammering at my window. But that’s not the start of this time travelling piece, because it was actually last November when I first had this idea and pitched it.

When it comes to print publication, magazines are planned well in advance. Although the news and readers’ letters pages are some of the last of the magazine to be finished, editors like to get the main features planned and finalised as early as possible.

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Foreign Export Markets

Writing Magazine - May 2016

Writing Magazine – May 2016

The UK magazine market is vast, but there’s a bigger world out there. Simon Whaley investigates exporting to foreign markets

In America, May is World Trade Month when companies are encouraged to export their goods and services to new markets right around the globe. When it comes to the business of writing, we’re fortunate our native tongue is the official language in over 60 sovereign countries, and widely used in many others.

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Understanding Your Contract

BoW - Understanding Your Contract - May 2016


Secured a publishing deal? Simon Whaley puts on his business head to assess its implications.

On 30th April 2003 I received my first author contract. Hodder & Stoughton wanted to publish my One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human. It was a day of mixed emotions. There was uncontainable excitement that I was having a book be published. And then, as I flicked through all 14 pages of the contract, a sense of horror overwhelmed me as I appreciated what was at stake.

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