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W. F. Westcott

Cornwall (ON), Vesta Publications, c1983.
103pp, paper, $7.50.
ISBN 0-919301-90-8.

Grades 12 and up.

Reviewed by Phyllis James.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

By reading cookbooks one does not become a good cook, nor do books on how to write make great writers. But Westcott's little volume helps, encourages, and eases the pain of a prospective author. Pragmatic advice given in a sympathetic style by one who has suffered rejection notes and survived can cheer and inspire a beginner to continue. From the first page the reader learns to discount ideas of "fame, fortune and freedom" for "pain, heartache and toil," but the excitement and anticipation can offset the labour and keep apprentices at their desks.

Westcott continues his instructions in a light, conversational manner as he emphasizes writing anything daily at the same place to form a habit and to find out what a person wants to write. He then explores the methods of writing a novel, non-fiction, a column, as well as writing for radio, television, and film. There is practical help in preparing and submitting manuscripts, finding markets, what to do about contracts, and what to do when published. There is even a detailed explanation of how to manage finances after a book is sold in order to earn leisure to write another.

Having attended courses, read books, and practiced writing for some time, I consider this little book the most helpful. Recommended.

Phyllis James, Qualicum Beach, BC.
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