‘Be professional at all times’ – Walks Writer and Journalist Sue Kittow shares her writing tips with Author Advice

Sue Kittow

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Like many writers, Sue Kittow has had a variety of jobs including temping, bar work, waitressing, cleaning, TV news, advertising, being a moonlighting masseuse, at a fine wine auction company, working with young offenders and running an accommodation office for a university.

She is a freelance journalist, poet and author, and has interviewed authors such as Bill Bryson, Lionel Shriver, Ian Rankin, Rosamunde Pilcher and Patrick Gale. Her work can be seen on her website and blog, and her books – Discover Cornwall, Walks in the Footsteps of Cornish Writers – are available online and from bookshops.

Her latest book, Walks in the Footsteps of Poldark, was published this summer.

Sue regularly give talks on how she came to write about walks, as well as radio interviews, and she also appeared at this year’s Penzance Literary Festival.

Sue lives in Falmouth, Cornwall, and she loves to sing, explore and sail with her partner and feisty terrier Mollie.

She is currently researching another walks book and writing notes for a novel, as well as continuing to write as a freelance journalist for various publications.

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My Three Top Tips for Writers

1.  Get reliable feedback from people you respect.
Listen to the comments but don’t take them personally: this is about their reactions as readers and could improve your work. If you feel the comments are valid, take them on board. If not, put them to one side. 

2.  Do your research properly and don’t give up.
As a journalist, my pitches are often rejected, but that can be for a variety of reasons: It’s the wrong time of year for that idea, someone else pitched the idea already, there’s no budget for freelance work – and many others. 
I submitted the proposal for my first book to so many publishers I lost count. I finally got an acceptance the day I was sorting out my late husband’s clothes. I heard my computer ping with an email, had a quick look and thought, “oh, it’ll just be another rejection,” and ignored it. It wasn’t till later that I realised they were saying yes! Good news tends to come when you’re least expecting it.

3.  Be professional at all times.
Make sure work is in on time or early if possible, and with no errors. I send my work to several people to proof read before I send it off, as it’s all too easy to miss errors on the screen. Editors are extremely busy people but they are human, like us. Chase when necessary but be polite about it! I’ve developed good working relationships with editors and it stands you in good stead for more work. 


You can find out more about Sue via her website or blog Flowerpot Days. You can also find her on Facebook.

Her latest book Walks in the Footsteps of Poldark is published by Sigma Press.

You can find this book and her other walks books here or via Amazon and bookshops for £8.99.

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About Donna-Louise Bishop

I'm a writer, freelance reporter, creative writing tutor, and blogger, living in the beautiful county of Norfolk UK. In my spare time I am also a wife, a mother to three boys, and a human washing machine.
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