• Social Commerce Comes Of Age

    Social commerce – where the act of shopping becomes seamlessly embedded in the creation, sharing and consumption of social media content – has always been the pot of gold at the end of the social media rainbow. According to McKinsey, word of mouth drives 20-50% of purchase decisions, so ena

  • Why Every Writer Needs A Group

    “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life,” said Ernest Hemingway, whose idea of a great social life involved a remote cabin, dead animals, and the bottom of a brandy glass. “Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing.”

    Isaac

  • Does Jude Law Do Henry V Justice?

    Image credit: Johan Persson

    Henry V, Act 4, Scene 7. The King of England, engaged in the midst of a bloody battle with France, strides onto the stage with his nobles in tow, having just discovered that, against all codes of military conduct, the French troops have murdered the group of Engli

  • The Zen Of Social Media

    Two years ago, I went on a 10-day silent retreat at a Buddhist monastery in the middle of the Thai jungle. One morning at 5am, in the first of the day’s meditation sessions, with bites on my arms from the spiders I wasn’t allowed to kill and cramps in my stomach from the food I wasn’t allowed to

  • Big Is Still Beautiful

    Studies by various impressive-sounding academics have shown that, thanks to a multi-tasking whirl of texting, tweeting, one-click buying, email checking (on average 30 times an hour) and – oh, look, a butterfly! – our reading habits are officially rubbish. Statistics verified by the Associ

  • Writing On Writing

    It is a well-worn truism that all novel-writing advice boils down to a handful of simple tenets. Show, don’t tell. Cut adjectives. Kill your darlings. Get in late, and out early. Read your work aloud. Don’t give up your day job, you masochistic fantasist; don’t you know that publishing is

  • The Real Value Of Books

    Do you think Dickens should cost more than Dan Brown? Do you approach a 99p ebook with a different mentality to a £10 hardback? And does a soy latte really have more impact on your life than a book? The value of literature – not in the sense of soul-stirring, brain-pimping, culture-cementing

  • Self-Help Fiction

    Hi. My name is Molly and I’m a self-help addict. Although I avoid anything involving diets, doctrines and fist-pumpers in suits, recent, beautifully written pop-psychology classics as Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts and Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit have given me a social

  • PHOENIX needs you

    What would your ideal magazine website look like? Why do you visit sites associated with print magazines? How do you connect with mags on social? And what would bring you back to a fashion and culture site again and again, every day, like a drooling, toothless glossy-mag meth-head?

    I am delig

  • Digtial-only imprints: inclusive or cynical?

    Poor old big-name publishers. Stick to your guns by insisting on the value of your traditional, print-centric gatekeeping, and you’ll be shunted straight to the top of the endangered species list. Pander to the plebs by putting a fancy cover on fan fiction, and you’ll be decried as an opportunis

  • Writing and reading in a digital age

    “These are the best of times and the worst of times,” declared Robert McCrum. He paused, then added to wry laughter: “They are very confusing times.”

    Confusing, yes; cataclysmic, no. The attitude from both speakers and audience at Writing In A Digital Age, The Literary Consultancy’s second a

  • Reading lessons from a 2 year old

    When I first found out that my sister was pregnant, I knew there were countless pleasures in store. Hot, squirmy cuddles. The DUPLO farm. Jelly.

    But above all, I couldn’t wait for the reading. I longed to rediscover the stories I loved as a child, from Each Peach Pear Plum to Pippin and