17th October 2012

The Story Maker

This has to be the most exciting blog post I have written yet (from my point of view) in the most excitable frame of mind, probably since the original conception of this story idea, back in February this year -my ‘2am moment’ – and its coinciding blog post.

‘The Story Maker’, co-written with Mark Darlington, is now OUT THERE!!! We have carefully selected (as you do) a few publishers to send it to, and have probably sweated as much blood over cover letters, synopsis and choice of chapters to send as we did writing the novel.  For those of you who have been through the submissions process, you’ll be well aware that publishers’ submission details vary, and knowledge of these details and the types of books they publish, is essential if you don’t want to end up on the infamous ‘slush pile’ before you have even started.  So, perusing the websites of publishers is an absolute must before sending off anything.

We also came across something rather wonderful, a site called Authonomy, which has been set up by Harper Collins, for the purpose of airing new writing.  People can register as readers – there’s a whole community on there and it’s fab!  Once registered, you can read, and comment, on anything on there.  There’s a minimum word limit of 10,000 words.  We decided to upload 18,000 words, which was the first 9 chapters, about a fifth of the book, but writers can upload the whole thing if they wish.  You can also upload an image which you feel is representative of your book.  Mark put together the amazing image above as our working cover, which is based on a chapter called, ‘St Paul’s’.  The site is also accessed by publishers and agents looking for new work to publish, so it is an amazing place to air your work and get some early feedback.  We have already had some fantastic comments from people we don’t even know.  In the first two days we received the following:

This is bewitching.  I have no idea where it’s going, but it is totally enthralling.  If I didn’t have to get on and write comments and crap, I’d have read on to find out why ths guardian angel has turned up.  Did she die in the sea, is that what she’s showing him?
He has a great voice, a wonderful, honest and natural voice. Your writing appears flawless, your story telling is amazing.  Never mind the plot and the rest, it’s just wonderful to read.  It’s distinct and different…


My first day on Authonomy and I stumble into one of the most beautifully descriptive works I can ever recall reading. Congratulations to Abi and Mark on giving me a magical couple of hours. I’m intrigued to see where it goes, although the story telling alone would woo me into buying it.  Beautiful.

Another reader has said:

Your imagery and your characters are outstanding and make this is a very erudite, edgy, philosophical feast for readers who like to be intellectually stimulated as well as entertained.  Your word pictures are delicious – and repulsive – but always vivid and authentic.  Brilliant work.  Awesome characters.  You have my very best wishes for the publication of your captivating writing.

As you can imagine, we are stunned and amazed and incredibly excited by such a wonderful early response and I am currently trying very hard to sit still and refrain self from dancing like a crazy thing around the living room.

If you would like to read The Story Maker chapters, you can do so via this link: http://authonomy.com/about.aspx If you register (which just takes 5 mins) you can then read work, or upload your own.  You can leave comments on any work that you read.  The more readers and comments you have, the better as far as drawing the eye of an agent or publisher.

And for now, that is it!  We plan to send samples to a few agents shortly too, and are keeping all our digits crossed.  Please cross a few for us too!  Thank you 🙂

About Abi Burlingham

I write children's books and paint pictures inspired by nature, animals, trees etc, mostly in acrylics. I am a crisp addict.
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20 Responses to 17th October 2012

  1. Wow! Sounds really exciting. And I love the artwork. Keep it up and I wish you the BEST of luck with it! Keep us updated.

  2. Aw, thank you so much, Dan. It is exciting. Isn’t the image fab? He’s a clever bloke!

  3. Wendy says:

    I am intrigued to know how you manage to co-write. I think there’s another blog post in there. Wishing loads of luck with The Story Maker – sounds like you are off to a great start. x

    • I think you’re right, Wendy. It was a wonderful experience and lovely to bounce ideas around with someone else and share the enthusiasm. Made a real change from my normal writing which seems solitary in comparisson. Many thanks for the luck – can always do with some of that 😉 x

  4. Malaika says:

    Exciting news, Abi – and I wish you both the best of luck with The Story Maker! The cover is amazing… and now making my way over to Authonomy to read…

  5. Martin Day says:

    Good for you Abi! It’s great to get such encouraging comments – I dare say that the feed back from the ones that you really need (publishers) will be more guarded and qualified, so it must be wonderful to get such brimming reactions from strangers with no agenda at all. And I dare say that those kind of comments will start to draw publishers attention to your work.

    I agree with the others – image is most intriguing.

    As a dyslexic who finds reading a chore I don’t read very many books, but, you know, on the basis of this … I might well read yours when it is published!

  6. Emma Pass says:

    It sounds brilliant, and I love the image (though Authonomy still won’t let me comment on the site, boo!). Very, very best of luck with it and well done to both of you for such a fantastic achievement!

  7. Aw, thanks Em. Boo indeed. I wonder why that is. Did you register with the site? Keep all your digits crossed for us… except when you’re writing, then I’ll allow you to unlock your fingers 😉

  8. Martin Shone says:

    Excellent news Abi 🙂

  9. So exciting! And I will definitely be registering on Authonomy to read it!! The cover is absolutely gorgeous, I love it!

  10. Oooh goodie! Thanks, Julia xo

  11. Nadine says:

    HUGE congrats again, Abi! I feel your excitement and am thrilled for you. Will let you know what I think, but I know that I’ll be blown away. 🙂

    BTW, I found authonomy’s page on FB, so you can take a gander at it.


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