Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I support ACW Writers! by Annie Try

Ok, I know.  As I'm the Chair of ACW one would expect me to support the members.

But I was recently amazed to discover that I have over fifty books by ACW Writers on my bookshelves.  In fact, I have bought more because that number doesn't include two copies of one title (an error!) or any on the kindle app. Nor the ones I have given away as presents or which are under the sofa, lost, or in the wrong bookshelves.  We have fourteen bookcases in our house representing 71 bookshelves plus boxes of books from my parents' house and a few shelves are bulgingly double-ranked.  I have been trying not to buy books for the last few years (where would I put them?) yet somehow the numbers keep growing.

It's hard though, isn't it? I would like to buy every single title brought to an ACW event, but I can't afford this luxury.  As it is, I have bought some that are not my usual chosen genre, so they sit gloomily on the shelf like the last small children waiting to be chosen for netball teams (I was usually in that group!). I will read every one of them in time - I have never returned a book to the library unread nor given one to a charity shop without discovering the delights (or horrors) between its covers.  However, at present my reading time is self-restricted.  I know that once I start reading a book, I neglect everything else for the day or days I am totally engrossed in a different world. 

But is buying and reading enough to support an author?  A review will encourage more sales. I will admit I don't always get round to sending my honest opinion to Eden or Amazon, yet I am delighted if someone has reviewed a novel I have written.  More delighted if it has 4 or 5 stars, it is true, but now I know that Amazon becomes interested in promoting a book if it has over 50 reviews - good or bad - I am grudgingly pleased to see even lukewarm comments.

Writers' groups are excellent for support and encouragement.  For the past five years or so I have been involved with a local group or two and I am sure that without the boosts I received there, my novels may have still languished, cobweb-clad, in one of the large baskets I have in my study for almost-finished manuscripts or, latterly, as a list of chapters in the bowels of my laptop.  And our group Brecks, Fens and Pens is particularly excellent at rejoicing in each others' achievements.

So let's support each other by buying, reading, reviewing, inspiring, blogging and encouraging our writerly friends.  After all, that's mostly what ACW is all about and it will help us in our own writing journeys.

Annie Try lives in rural Norfolk with her husband.  She is Chair of the Association of Christian Writers, for which she uses her married name, Angela Hobday.  She is the author of three published novels, two are Dr Mike Lewis stories.  Out of Silence is now available for advance order, or for signed copies email


  1. Good reminder Angela re posting reviews on Amazon, etc. Thanks x

  2. I too have many books on my shelves, Annie, including your first. I am ashamed to say that I haven't yet got around to reading it. I do try to buy books from the ACW writers but my problem is more appetite to read than time allows. I too will read them all (I hope) in time and when I do will certainly post a review. I know just how important these are.

  3. Thank you Mandy and Sheila for your comments. I shall make a huge effort to catch up with my reviewing too. And I know that appetite problem well, but I'm sure that one day my life will slow down a bit so then reading will become my primary occupation!

  4. No local group here in Oxford can survive! We have tried both Oxford and Oxfordshire ... not enough people join, people come once and disappear, etc ... the dire thing about that is, no encouragement, no sharing, and certainly also no sales! The problem is: 'everyone' is a writer here ... we have many well known writers (Pullman, Dawkins, Barbara Trapido, etc), a big annual Literary Festival , too many academics writing books to count, and an expectation that unless a person is a well known professional, preferably atheist or, in Christian circles, well known speaker/preacher, they are worse than nobody and boring... I Promise this is not a moan, it is the situation. It works for lChristian and for secular groups - ALLi can't keep a group going either. If you mention you are writing, at church, that is not news to anyone, and they will not encourage, inquire, buy, or anything! ACW advertising is ignored. So - challenge- how to have a nice friendly encouragements and sharing group in a big cosmopolitan city with enough 'high culture' on every night (plays, concerts, never mind college events) to satisfy the needs of everyone who has the least bit of ability to create anything, and is hungry for the stuff already created! It's a sophisticated desert! So - any ideas? Prayer, yes ...