Happy new year, everyone! 2020 was tough for many of us, and 2021 may yet have its challenges. But there’s nothing like a fresh start, a brand-new diary and a positive mental attitude to help shake off the doldrums.

There’s a lot to look forward to this year – the launch of HONEYCOMB in May, the paperback of THE STRAWBERRY THIEF in April, and my new St Oswald’s book, A NARROW DOOR, in autumn. Plus, hopefully, there will be in-person events as well as online happenings, as well as some gigs with the Storytime Band.

This month I’m inviting you to join me for a 30-day writing challenge – just 300 words a day, every day, to help you get into good writing habits and set you up for the coming year. You don’t have to be a would-be professional to benefit from creative writing; nor do you need to have any kind of experience. Just start off gently, on whatever topic you like, and see where your ideas lead you.

My new self-help book, TEN THINGS ABOUT WRITING, is now available in hardback and audio to help you get started, with hints about how to manage your workspace, how to get into your headspace, how to make the most of your time, and what to do when the Muse won’t clock in.

Read more about it here,  or buy a copy at bookshop.org. And don’t forget to follow my little writing seminars on my YouTube channel

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Manuscript services

For the writers among you, my daughter Anouchka, has begun to offer editorial, manuscript evaluation, copy-editing and other writing and submission-related services online. She's an excellent writer, has a very good eye for what works and what doesn't, and is completely thorough and reliable. I've used her help many times myself, and can I recommend her most heartily. Go to: www.anouchkaharris.com if you need a new pair of eyes on your manuscript, help drafting a synopsis or submission letter, one-to-one tutorials, or just an informed reader who knows the publishing industry and can help you make your manuscript as good as it can possibly be.