I write freelance commissioned features for newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics. Book reviews are my speciality. Log on to: http://bookblogforbookworms.blogspot.com
From food to fashion, from aircraft to actors, I've covered some territory as a journalist. I've written about changing names for The Sunday Times and left-handed offices for The Guardian; I've written regular features about JPs for The Magistrate and legal issues for Manchester Justice. Recent commissions have been on crime writer Cath Staincliffe for Chapter and Verse and how to find an agent for both Writing Magazine and Freelance Market News, which can be read on the Manuscript Appraisal sub-page.
I can supply tear sheets of published articles. See the sub-pages on the right for articles on Menton, life in a left-handed office and an astronomical job at Jodrell Bank (50 Connect and The Guardian.)
Press the Features button to the right to see a list of other features written.
My journalistic background is outlined on the About page.
The blog was started during the summer of 2010 and in a few weeks attracted nearly 2,000 hits. It provided me with a perfect form of procrastination with practical intentions. Since then, it has grown into a source of news in the publishing world.
I review fiction and non-fiction, news of literary events and information about publishing and editorial. Traditional publishers send me books for review and their PR people let me know about book launches and news about writers. Information can be sent to me at email@example.com and you can view the blog at http://bookblogforbookworms.blogspot.com
I am unable to review e-books as yet because, as a lover of print books, I haven't succumbed to an e-reader yet and because of the high volume of self-published fiction with which I have been deluged. However, I am interested in print versions of self-published books if they are non-fiction.
Here's a tip for self-published authors: keep your pitch as tight and as short as you can. Avoid writing reams and reams, giving a blow-by-blow account of your story; avoid the use of superlatives and descriptive adjectives. Whether it's the greatest story ever written is up to me to decide. And if you don't get a response, accept the silence or rejection gracefully without pestering reviewers relentlessly with the same information. Some of the pitches I receive are poorly composed and too wordy, so that I have to assume the book will be the same. Your pitch should tell me whether you can write and I can tell in the first paragraph whether you can or not.
Cats, gluten-free eating and art and craft lovers I know feature in my blog. Guest bloggers are welcome to submit blogs for consideration. Comments and Followers are also welcome to help Booklog for Bookworms grow.
My most memorable feature writing interviews were with Barbara Windsor and Dora Bryan. I won't say why. The nicest celeb I ever interviewed was Bonnie Langford - probably the most talented, too. Writing for The Guardian was the most frustrating because they kept losing my features and when I suggested an article about Jodrell Bank, one of the world's largest radio telescopes, they at first rejected it because "why would we want to feature a bank?" Why, indeed?
To discuss feature ideas or commissions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Paul is a member of the Society of Authors.