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10 Things I Learned From Terrance Dicks

“Uncle” Terrance Dicks, on DVD or Blu-Ray. When you’re 84, a hashtag of your name on Twitter is seldom a good sign. So it proved today, as I caught up with the announcement of the death of the English television and book writer and editor Terrance Dicks. I’d only met him on three occasions, and […]

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Why Media Packs are Useful—for Freelancers

When researching magazines as potential markets for freelance journalism, nothing beats the detailed reading of as many issues as possible, to familiarise yourself with the available “slots” and – importantly – who writes them. (If the same bylines keep appearing in particular parts of the magazine, don’t initially waste time pitching those.) Readership details from […]

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When to pitch…?

                              Editors are busy people. They spend a lot of their lives in meetings and, if they haven’t managed to shift some responsibilities on to other staff members, need to focus on not just content but also finance, marketing and where […]

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Letting the Critics In…

                         Some of the earliest headlines around this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe concerned the “stushie” (to use that great Scottish word) between performer Paul Sinha and The Scotsman newspaper’s revered comedy critic Kate Copstick. Essentially, Copstick had requested a press ticket for Sinha’s first performance in […]

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Cautious Optimism for the Environment Post-Brexit

One of Scotland’s best-known naturalists and conservationists is “quietly confident” that Brexit won’t automatically lead to declining environmental standards—as long as we’re careful. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to promote his new memoirs, Sir John Lister-Kaye admitted to being worried about the situation but also thought “it might be quite healthy”. “What’s happened […]

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Lack of a Scottish Film Studio ‘a Disgrace’, says John Gordon Sinclair

The lack of a proper film studio in Scotland is “shameful” and “a disgrace”, according to John Gordon Sinclair, star of iconic 1981 film Gregory’s Girl. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, while promoting his third crime novel Walk in Silence, the actor and author was asked by an audience member for his perspective […]

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Most Literature ‘Plays the Same Games as Governments’, says French Author Édouard Louis

Most literature works with, rather than against, the way the world is, according to French writer Édouard Louis, author of the autobiographical novel The End of Eddy. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday evening, Louis explained: “When we talk about Literature or Arts, we always have the impression that they are kind […]

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