H. de Vere Stacpoole

How to become an author

Letters to a young writer, 1920

Astle House
Castle Hedingham
July 23rd ’20

Dear Mr. Jones,

Many thanks for your letter. It is very difficult to give advice to a writer but I would suggest that you should read as much and as widely as possible — and write as much as you can. You can only learn to write by writing; it doesn’t matter whether your work is accepted or not, it’s the practice that counts. Write as simply as you can, and let the fewest words possible convey your meaning.

I’m afraid that is all I can say on the matter, except that, when your work begins to sell put your affairs in the hands of a good Literary Agent — also never sell a copyright. Wishing you luck,

Yours sincerely,
H. de Vere Stacpoole

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