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Welcome to this April edition of Hackwriters. Read us and our amazing archives too. 18 years on-line, 7404 articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
Hackwriters is happily cited by HelloTravel.com as "TOP JOURNALISM/NARRATIVES TRAVEL BLOGS 2016"

Editorial: April 2017
Congrats, we got past Easter without nuclear war breaking out in North Korea. Sadly Turkey choose tyranny over democracy and France has a choice between En Marche and Le Pen. Perhaps not a good period for libertie, fraternitie and justice. President Trump has inexplicably lasted 100 days and I'll let James Campion keep you up to date on the lastest in Trump Doctrine.

With The Guardian reporting (30.03.2017) that 40% of British companies are going to relocate to Europe, I think that’s quite enough to ponder as we discuss divorce from Europe.  It’s done and now let the pain begin.  I’ll let others comment. James Skinner our Spanish correspondent will keep us clued in on their view of Brexit.

This April sees the end of teaching for me at Lincoln University.  (Barring summer supervision of dissertations).  It’s been quite illuminating.  My undergrads (those that turned up to my 9am class that is) are writing with maturity that I never had at their age and it’s pleasing to see that quite a few have ambitions as writers – although most have elected to write formal dissertations next year rather than risk the ‘creative’ option.  A pity as quite a few have the talent to do something special.

The Master’s programme is coming to a close too with some students electing to write very ambitious YA or adult novels this summer.  I look forward to supervising them and watching their ideas grow.  Having just heard their pitches (5.4.17) I can say I've got a lot of serious reading to do this summer.

Although teaching can be difficult at times – there is real pleasure in seeing a student realise that they can stretch themselves and go for something that will eventually turn out to be their ticket to a whole new life.  I say all the usual caveats – no guarantees of success – no one is actually waiting to them to finish it except their tutors right now, but that can change.  I warn them that Curtis Brown agency for example gets 1000 submissions a week!  52,000 submissions a year!!!  How the hell do you break through that barrier?  Think of the poor saps who want to be literary agents, constantly fending off submissions, hardened to say no to everything and quite often, more often than you think, completely missing something special because it hasn’t come through ‘people they know’.  My former editor used to despair of all that reading – and this is material sent in by agents – never mind the slushpile.  She would read the first page and if she spotted an error, or something she didn't like, would junk it immediately.  The reality of an editor's job is that even if they do find a first novel they want to buy they have to battle with the marketing department who’d much rather have yet another Alex Rider than anything new or original.  (Heaven help any writer that submits anything original).

I’ve encouraged my writers to go to writer’s conferences, submit their work to competitions and will continue to do so.  They need feedback from people other than their tutors.  An agent can tell you that your idea sucks and you need to abandon all hope for your unproofed novel.  They have no restraints and little time and so it’s important to expose yourself as a writer to that kind of rough justice. Earning your first 'positive' rejection letter is an achievment too.

Right now students are only thinking of their grades, or whether they have passed.  I try to aim them beyond the ‘must try harder’ comments.  There are no safe spaces in the ‘market’; they’re competing against professionals and the best talent the moment they leave the safe confines of University.  If you can’t take critical and often harsh comment – don’t submit.  I am not sure university tutors tell their students this enough. Either way I wish all students working on creative dissertations good luck.

Check out the April edition of the magazine - and share what you like. Back in harness April 25th.

© Sam North April 18th 2017
author J&K 4Ever – a story about young love and devotion.
Print or kindle
Review: (A beautiful love story but also a terrifying glimpse of our future) DK

*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended.
The spy/romance Repercussions of Tomas D

J&K 4Ever - Love and Devotion in the Wastelands
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge.  She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive. 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk 2015

By Sam Hawksmoor and Sam North
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy Williams - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Repercussions Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going

The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible with alternative facts '
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.
An original Genie Magee story

The Heaviness published by Hammer and Tong
Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies

'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Kindle & print

Thanks to readers who have been buying this title this year. If you enjoyed it, please post a remark on Amazon or Goodreads. It all helps. * Just sold to Marti Y - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge
The Heaviness of Genie Magee

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