• 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

  • Flush fiction

    The coming of age novel is one of our most popular and powerful literary genres. From The History of Tom Jones to Twilight, The Catcher in the Rye to Carrie, we never tire of watching tender little Homo Sapiens get plunged into the boiling cauldron of life, and no wonder. Stories are based

  • 3 ways to celebrate the future of books

    Do you love to talk about publishing innovation but realise that you behaviour as a reader has barely changed? Are you truly creating, or just ‘being creative’, online? Do you find that the opportunities for writers in social media essentially boil down to shinier and more addictive ways to pro

  • 5 ways to get your nature fix in London

    As I type this, Soho is sunny. Not just a-few-weak winter-rays sunny, but a glorious, blazing, Vitamin D fest that has us sweating into our suddenly unseasonal puffas. Yesterday evening, it was 4 degrees; today, miraculously, it is 16. And while the miserable London winter has given me a perfect

  • 5 top online tools for writers

    Ah, tools. Such a seductive word, with that tactile, workmanlike ring. And such seductive implications. Accumulating tools feels like the very opposite of time wasting. Tools promise to transform us into humble, brine-browed word-carpenters, conscientiously whittling our masterpieces in brain-wo

  • A perfect fit?

    Last spring, our editor became a runner. Not a sashay-in-St-James’s-Park sort of runner, but a proper, no-fags-and-booze, marathon-by-April semi-athlete. Naturally, PHOENIX HQ shone with pride (and a fair amount of shock).

    Using her story as a springboard for a feature for this issue – an

  • 10 social media myths for writers

    What the hell happened with social media? We were told that the fierce publishing-industry lion wouldst lay down with the fragile disenfranchised-author lamb and share the cool bounty of the literary watering hole.

    They promised that we’d be able to get all warm and snuggly with readers across

  • My life in twelve books

    Last week, a colleague of mine asked if I would participate in a Pinterview (a Pinterest interview. Don’t judge.) called ‘My Life In Books.’ The idea was that I would submit images of the covers of twelve books that had been important to me at different stages of my life, in chronological

  • Close encounters of the word kind

    This Christmas, I bought my mother-in-law a Smythson ‘Book Notes’ journal: 128 leaves of gilt-edged, pale blue featherweight paper bound in monogrammed navy lambskin, with each double-spread designed to record the Date, Title, Author and Comments of your latest read. Yes, I am a kiss-ass. Sh

  • London’s top 10 cultural cafés

    People watching is one of the greatest pleasures a big city affords. It’s especially good when practiced from a warm corner with a flat white and a home-made cupcake. It’s even better in a location that guarantees an eclectic crowd of trendsters, students, tourists, quirky arty types, and re