Me and my big mouth...

Yes, that's where Tim was earlier this week - guest-posting on Scott Pack's blog. And this is what he wrote...

So you want to be an author. Who doesn't? And once you are, you'll want to be published won't you? Who wouldn't? I did. And I know a lot of others in the same position. Which is why - with a friend - I decided to do a bit about it last year.

First up came a bit of author training. Everyone does creative writing courses these days; someone I knew signed up for one, but it was cancelled. She was devastated. Hastily I promised to write her a set of online lessons and, well, the rest is history. Over 100 people formally registered and completed my creative writing e-course. Most were allocated to one of several online peer support tutorial groups, but many hundreds more followed the lessons informally week-by-week, or downloaded them direct from my Bringing up Charlie blog.

The next problem was what to do with all the top-quality writing the students had produced. We decided to publish an anthology, and at the same time start a tiny publishing venture that might just help bring new authors to the attention of a small group of discerning readers. So Dotterel Press was born and our first publication was the charity anthology ‘Tiny Acorns’. Featuring the work of several new, unpublished authors and covering genres as diverse as flash-fiction, more traditional short stories as well as life-writing, humour, poetry and autobiography, it's an inspiring read. And if you are, the book contains the entire ten part creative writing course so you can have a go yourself.

We're not going to make anyone any money. In fact, what we do make we're going to give to charity. But we are going to get the best new writing into print. And we're looking for something different, something big publishers in the current climate couldn't hope to take a punt on, something good that nobody else could've written.

It's a bit like the theory of evolution, as applied to publishing. Not all our literary mutations will survive; but those that do will change the world! Which is another way of saying that we're doing what 'big' publishers used to have the time and cash to do - to gently 'grow' new authors and, perhaps, start new careers.