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 Post subject: Talk to the author
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:14 pm
Posts: 1501
Location: Interzone
Mat Coward didn't go to university, has no family contacts in the media, and yet has made a living as a freelance writer since 1986. In other words, he shares the same lack of background as all those would-be writers who buy writing guides. The only difference is their dream is his reality: full-time writing. He is perfectly positioned to tell them how to do it, how not to do it, and why they're probably better off in their pensioned day jobs anyway.

Mat is one of a dying breed, the truly freelance writer. Not quite a writer, not quite a journalist, but a freelance writer. He's written and sold just about everything imaginable to just about every imaginable market: books, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, small press, fiction, reviews of everything from books to restaurants, columns, jokes, videos, stand-up material, greetings cards, comic strips, badge slogans, fillers, links, poems... And still he struggles to pay the bills every month. Hey, if he can make a living as a failure, so can you!

If you want to talk to Mat about freelance writing, this is the thread. (If you want to talk to Mat about anything else, please start a new thread.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
If you’ve ever thought of joining the only TUC-affiliated trade union for writers in Britain - the WGGB - (as recommended in “Success”), but have never quite got round to it, this might be the time. The following is from the union’s e-newsletter:

<<<As part of the Writers' Guild's Recruitment Campaign 2007, we are offering Full and Candidate members the chance to win a free gift for every new writer you can persuade to join the Guild. And, in addition, that writer will also receive a free gift.
You can choose one of the following £20 gift tokens:
National Book Token (redeemable in any chain or independent book shop)
HMV
The BBC Shop
Samuel French
Theatre Token
You will receive a gift for every new member you bring in to the Guild.
All you have to do is persuade a writer to download a Full or Candidate application form from our website at "http://www.writersguild.org.uk", fill it in, mention you as the person recommending them for membership, and send it back to us stating which gifts you and the new member would require. Deadline for receipt of applications: 31 December 2007.>>>>

And if anyone wants to name me as their recruiter, I’ll have a BBC token, thanks very much - which I shall spend on Doctor Who CDs!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
I've recently changed my email address, so if you're having trouble contacting me please leave a message for me here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
And please note that my web page has also moved. It's now at:

http://homepages.phonecoop.coop/matcoward/


Last edited by MatC on Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
In changing my web page from AOL to The Phone Co-op, I amazed myself by successfully using the free trial version of Cute FTP to set it up (amazed because my computer skills are not exactly renowned).

It went well enough, but before I upgrade to the paid version of Cute, I thought I’d ask the experts here gathered whether Cute is the best bet or whether they would recommend a different product ... ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:27 am
Posts: 247
Location: Bethesda, Gwynedd
For what it's worth, I swtiched from Cute to CoreFTP. I found Core to be a bit more streamlined and reliable. Oh, and it's free forever (or at least a version of it is). It's not as pretty as Cute, but the uglier the user interface, the more like a 'real programmer' I feel like.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:39 pm 
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Posts: 143
Thanks, Foxie. Do you find this one as simpler, or simpler, to use than Cute? I am not too hot with anything computerish, so interfaces which look like the control room of a post-revival TARDIS tend to boggle me.

(Does anyone else remember the original TARDIS set, by the way? It was just like a proper entrance hall to a substantial suburban house, with a big old chair in the corner for you to put your coat and scarf on.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Gwynedd
To be honest, I didn't find a huge amount of difference, I don't think. It was a long time ago. Core is very easy to use - if you're reasonably intelligent, then it shouldn't be a problem to pick up. There's no harm in downloading it and having a look-see before you pay real money for something.

(I don't remember the original TARDIS set, but I've seen it on DVD's. They had a 'food machine' and banks of computers, too, in Hartnell's day, but you only got to see them once in a blue moon. Colin Baker's set is the best one for me - it's the one I grew up with, after all.)

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The future's going to be just like the present, but with more LEDs.

Me blog: http://dylan-fox.blogspot.com/
And if that's not enough, I'm on Twitter, too: Foxie299


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:16 pm
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Location: Velcro City
As far as FTP goes, you can't go wrong with Filezilla. All the features, user friendly - and it's open source, so will never cost you a penny or ask you for subscriptions for the full feature set. Result.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
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Thanks, chaps: I shall try both of those, and see if one of them is sufficiently idiot-proof to meet my sadly rather demanding standards.

Foxie, I'm just impressed that anyone who grew up during the Colin Baker era could end up being a Doctor Who fan!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
Paul, what's the difference between "client" and "server" at Filezilla? Or rather - which one do I need?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:02 pm 
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You need the 'client' version; the 'server' version is for techy types to put on hosting machines, whereas the 'client' is the program that talks to the server on your behalf from your home PC.

This is the cruel irony of IT; people think computers are difficult to use, and they're not really. It's just that the geekerati fenced themselves in to long-term job security by using obfuscatory nomenclature ... ;)

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Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
Paul Raven wrote:
This is the cruel irony of IT; people think computers are difficult to use, and they're not really. It's just that the geekerati fenced themselves in to long-term job security by using obfuscatory nomenclature ... ;)


Bastards! Us writers would never do that, of course ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 636
Location: Sussex Coast
Just to add to the confusion, if you use Firefox you might want to look at the FireFTP plugin. It's free - and if you want to make a donation, the guy gives it to charity. As a plug-in, obviously it's browser-based rather than a standalone Windows app.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 143
Thanks, Mike, but I don't know what Firefox is ... so I'm hoping this doesn't apply to me! I have evolved a rule which might help to maintain sanity: "Two choices is choice - more than two choices is aaaagh." Wisdom o' the ancients, mate, wisdom o' the ages.


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