The official site for WILLIAM HORWOOD, AUTHOR OF DUNCTON WOOD AND THE BOY WITH NO SHOES

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hyddenworld Duncton Wood Skallagrigg hyddenworld The Willows in Winter Awakening Awakening Winter Toad Triumphant The Stonor Eagles The Boy with No Shoes Toad Triumphant

Welcome! Thanks for visiting my website! You’ve reached the online resource for news and information about my books and myself along with a lot more about my latest series Hyddenworld The site's now under re-development so if you leave your contact details I'll be in touch when the new version is up. Meanwhile, feedback means a lot to me as it does to all authors so try out my feedback form as well. Enjoy!

News...

WINTER, the last volume in the Hyddenworld Series, will be published by PanMacmillan in paperback on 4th December 2014.

SOCIETY OF AUTHORS ELECTION

I've decided to stand for the election of new members to the SoA's Committee of Management in July this year. I do realize that most people, including professional authors like me, find committee stuff mind-numbingly boring. It's the next book or book event that get's us going, not an election. But the book world is facing huge challenges right now and they affect readers, publishers and authors alike. So here's my personal statement giving my take on why this particular election is SO important. If you're a reader or if you want to write and publish books of any kind you might find it interesting! This year’s election of four new members to the Committee of Management is the most important in the history of our Society. Let me explain the reasons and why I am standing. The Society’s primary job for 130 years has been to protect our members from the inefficiencies, greed, and occasional dumb stupidity of publishers, by providing sound contractual advice and advocating fairer trade practices and better pay for writers generally. Now the pace of change in our industry is moving so fast that we face new challenges and pitfalls almost daily. Some are contractual; some have to do with re-defining who we are and how we work; others are about how we communicate with each other, publishers and our fragmenting audiences. The causes of these changes are the rise of the internet and electronic publishing. Yet many authors’ life work is being pirated or sold on the internet for free. Many are still signing contracts which effectively give away copyright permanently. Publishers have been busily acquiring electronic rights on backlists and new titles on bad terms and with no real idea what to do with them. Authors’ incomes have tumbled and support from agents and publishers is often ineffectual. So the job the Society now needs to do is very different from when it was founded in 1884. Back then it was about reactive contractual advice in a generally stable situation. Today it is about proactive leadership across very stormy seas. Why is this election so important? Because the responsibility for the quality and effectiveness of the leadership we need lies with our Management Committee. Yet we still have in place an election process that allows the existing Management Committee to nominate its preferred successors, who gain their places automatically if no-one stands against them. Even so, such nominees are unfairly named and promoted ahead of other candidates. That’s wrong both in principle and practice. It’s undemocratic and runs the real risk of electing a rubber stamp committee. That’s the last thing we need right now. Are my fears justified? Well, over the last thirty years only two Committee members have won their place by standing independently against invited Committee-nominated candidates and so forcing an open balloted election. It concerns me that in recent years Committee members have on average missed as many as one third of meetings. I want to see a determined Committee promoting more specialist forums and professional practices through our website. We need powerful, affordable, in-depth regional workshops to raise our expertise. We need to build a stronger, more inclusive, community to which our members are enabled to contribute their many skills. We need a complete end to Committee-nominated candidates. We need authors on our Committee with proven expertise in areas like intellectual property rights, self publishing and maybe writers like myself (twenty-first novel out this year) who have dispensed with agents and negotiate directly and successfully with publishers. Our industry is in crisis. We need experience, commitment, and passion. We need reformers. If you've got this far thank you for reading my words!! If you're a member of SoA with voting rights in the coming ballot I naturally hope you'll cast them for me, along with the other two reforming contenders - PETER GROVES and DAVID DONACHIE. Both are very experienced authors with a world of experience and expertise which will help strengthen the Society's management on behalf of all writers.

Writing Courses

William has run very successful writing courses in Oxford for a number of years helping others realize their potential as writers and get published. Now he’s intending to take his inspiring introductory Foundation Course to other cities this coming Autumn, including London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. This course is suitable for all levels of writing ability. But numbers are limited so if you’d like to know more and develop your own writing skills with the help of someone who has a huge range of experience in different writing fields let us know here. We’ll get back to you the moment dates and venues are fixed with the details

Hyddenworld

Publication of the first title in his new adult fantasy series last year marked William’s return to his hallmark genre after nearly fifteen years. It’s also the start of a long-term collaboration with PanMacmillan, Britain’s best and most successful publisher of science fiction and fantasy for adults and children. Each of the four Hyddenworld titles will be published annually.You can read more about them here. Expect huge themes, exciting plots, vivid descriptions and some unforgettable characters who’ll share their triumphs and tragedies, heroism and flaws, humour and emotion when you join them on a quest to save the Earth, the Universe… and your bit of it too!