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Glossery of Terms

We are building a bank of words and common publishing and writing terms here. If there are any you come across and you’re not sure of or would like included please let us know.

Adult Learning: Focusing on over 18’s yet fostering a mindset of life-long learning, which is the continual process of voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge enhancing skills, attitudes or values for either personal or professional reasons.

Audiobook: (or talking book) is a recording of a book or other work being read aloud.

BAME Writers: Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers.

Blurb: Short introductory promotional text accompanying a piece of creative work. It may be written by the author or publisher or quote praise from others. Blurbs are usually printed on the back or rear dustjacket of a book.

Boundaries: guidelines, rules or limits.

Boxed In: to be placed in a category of writers or writing because your writing is seen to share similar characteristics.

Bunker Mentality: a state of mind especially among members of a group which is characterised by chauvinistic defensiveness and self-righteous intolerance of criticism

Contemporary Fiction: a work of fiction set in modern times.

Content Editing: also known as substantive editing, comprehensive editing, macro editing, or heavy editing, is a form of copy editing that evaluates the overall formatting, style, and content of a document in order to optimize visual design and comprehensibility.

Copy Line Editing: a line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. But the purpose of a line edit is not to comb your manuscript for errors – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader.

Copyright: The exclusive right given to the maker of a creative work to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time. It may be in a literary, artistic or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work but NOT the idea itself.

Creative Industry: Economic activities using creativity, skill and talent or which have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development or production of content and intellectual property.

Cultural Appropriation: the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

Cultural Regeneration: A process of renewal with a mix of physical, economic, social or cultural outcomes and effects, adding value to an area or space.

Diversity: understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising our individual differences.

Dual Heritage: having parents from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds.

Dyslexia: is a common learning diffi culty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling

EBook: Also known as an electronic book, is a book made available in digital form, consisting of text, images or both, readable on the screens of computers or other electronic devices.

Editor: a person who is in charge of and determines the final content of a newspaper, magazine, or multi-author book.

Editing: prepare written material for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it.

ESOL: English for speakers of other languages.

Fundamental: a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.

Genre: a style or category of art, music, or literature.

Imposter Syndrome: the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.

Graphic Designers: Create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for printed and digital materials.

Independent Publisher: a small press is a publisher with annual sales below a certain level or below a certain number of titles published. The terms “indie publisher” and “independent press” and others are sometimes used interchangeably.

Indie Author: being an indie author is primarily an approach to writing and publishing, a matter of self-definition. If you see yourself as the creative director of your books, from concept to completion and beyond, then you’re indie.

Intellectual Property: This is something unique that one physically creates. Please note, an idea alone is not intellectual property. For example, an idea for a book doesn’t count, but the words you’ve written do.

Inspiration: Process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something “creative.”

KDP: Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP is a fast, free and easy service for authors to self-publish their books in digital format to a global audience and receive up to 70% royalties on the sale of their eBooks.

LGBTQ Writers: writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

Literary Agent: a professional agent who acts on behalf of an author in dealing with publishers and others involved in promoting the author’s work.

Malapropism: when an incorrect word is used in place of a word that has a similar sound. This misuse of the word typically results in a statement that is both nonsensical and humorous; as a result, this device is commonly used in comedic writing.

MC: Main Character.

MS: Manuscript.

Mission Statement: a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organisation, or individual.

Open Mic: a live show at a public venue where audience members who are amateur or professional may perform, often for the first time, or promote an upcoming performance, are given the opportunity to perform onstage.

Oral Storytelling: an ancient and intimate tradition between the storyteller and their audience. The storyteller and listeners are physically close, often seated together in a circular fashion.

Panel: involves a group of people gathered to discuss a topic in front of an audience, typically at scientific, business, or academic conferences, fan conventions, and on television shows.

Philology: the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages.

Picaresque: A form of prose fiction, originally developed in Spain, in which the adventures of an engagingly roguish hero are described in a series of usually humorous or satiric episodes that often depict, in realistic detail, the everyday life of the common people.

Proofing: the process of proofreading a text, looking for spelling and grammar errors or layout issues.

Protagonist: Nouns that refer to characters in a story. The protagonist is the main character, often a hero. Slush Pile: Unsolicited query letters or manuscripts that have either been directly sent to a publisher by an author or which have been delivered via a literary agent representing the author who may or may not be familiar to the publisher.

Query letter: a query letter is a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. Writers write query letters to propose writing ideas.

Self-published: (of a writer) having published their work independently and at their own expense.

SFF: Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Social Media: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Synopsis: an outline of the plot of a play, film, or book.

Traditional Publisher: a traditional book publishing company buys the rights to an author’s manuscript. Part of the arrangement includes payment of an advance by the book publisher to the author to secure the book deal.

Underprivileged: not enjoying the same standard of living or rights as the majority of people in a society

Vanity Press: or vanity publisher, or subsidy publisher is a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published. Not to be confused with self-publishing.

WIP: Work in progress, refers to an author’s current manuscript.

Writer’s Block: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

Writers/ Writing Group: a writing group is a group of like-minded writers needing support for their work, either through writing peer critiques, workshops or classes, or just encouragement. There are many different types of writing groups based on location, style of writing, or format.

Writing Routine: To establish and develop the habit and discipline of writing. Varies individually but consistency and dedication of application to the task at hand, writing deadlines and goals are all instrumental and often key to successful routines.