I’m delighted to reveal – imagine a drum roll and a touch of staccato piano playing in the background – that Back to Creative Writing School is now out in print. I’ve picked it up and admired the cream paper (I’m very glad that I took advice and didn’t go for white), flicked through the pages and stroked the matt cover. Ebooks have their place but nothing can replace the physical pleasure of holding a real book and now Creative Writing School feels substantial, proper, alive.
I’ve made some changes and added three new writing exercises, replacing ones in the ebook that were dominated by images. I made that decision mainly to keep the price down, a no-brainer once I realised that I would have to use better quality paper if the graphics were going to appear sharp and professional. However, there were also considerations. There was a speech writing exercise I’ve used a couple of times in class that I remember with great pleasure because of the laughter it generated. I forgot to include it in the ebook and this was my chance to publish it. After all, you never know when you will need to show off your oratory skills. The other two exercises on poetry and a sense of place I’ve developed more recently and once I road tested them with real students (who aren’t slow to tell me if something doesn’t work) I wanted to send them out to the wider world.
How much? I hear you ask. Good question, although I don’t know if I’ve got it right in marketing terms. It will sell at £5.99, which feels fair, but an acknowledged expert in the self publishing field – and a bestseller herself – feels I made a mistake with the ebook. At £1.70 she feels it is too cheap and that potential readers won’t see it as a quality resource, worth having. I get her point and understand that a lot of psychology goes into pricing, but I am a newcomer to this field and readers who don’t know me are taking a chance. Still, she has given me a lot to think about and I wonder if it’s a bit like bringing up children – you never know when you get it right, only when you get it wrong.
One other thing I have added to the print version of Creative Writing School is three quotes from creative writing lecturers and as luck would have it they cover a fair bit of the country.
‘I recommend this book to all my students, and I recommend it to you. Great stuff.’ Alex Pheby, Programme Leader for Creative Writing, University of Greenwich
If you have any aspirations to pursue creative writing, this is an ideal book to help you keep focused. A must buy. Ashley Lister, creative writing lecturer, Blackpool and the Fylde College
This book surprised and refreshed me in wonderful ways. I bought it hoping to learn a new trick or two for my teaching. But what I also found was that Whelan’s sense of discovery revitalised my own writing. Working on fiction, after a decade as a poet, I had begun to see writing as a job; turning to this book after a particularly gruelling period of editing helped me to embark anew on the personal voyage writing always is for me at heart. One exercise triggered a sudden rush of character development for my third novel: a pivotal moment akin to falling in love. Naomi Foyle, creative writing lecturer, Chichester University
I am truly grateful for these endorsements and I also want to say how much I appreciate the generosity of seven bestselling authors – who have sold hundreds of thousands of books between them – for their support and their comments.
Today is a good day and if you want a physical copy of Back to Creative Writing School you can find it on Amazon.