Leaf Writers' Magazine is a great read with articles, stories, poems, tips and ideas, competitions, writing activities, courses and adverts. I've just subscribed for the e-version (half the price of the hard copy) and am impressed. Do take a look. The current issue has an article on how to write a blog, an interview with a tutor from the Arvon Foundation and how to overcome writer's doubts.
Mslexia magazine also has some pretty good articles too. A couple caught my eye. The first is on Dreamwriting - including how to induce lucid dreaming (this is the time when you actually know you are dreaming - ever had that happen? I have!). In the past I've kept a dream diary and found it helpful in forming ideas for stories. Worth a go. The other article is entitled What rhymes with sesquipedalian? and asks does poetry have to rhyme? This also includes a nice glossary box.
Their How to write a Bestseller page features The Long Song by Andrea Levy who's books I love. The Long Song is set in Jamaica during the period of the Baptist War of 1831 and the days after the abolition of slavery. Levy writes in both the third person and directly to the reader in the voice of July, a slave, in the language of the time. July is taken from her mother at a young age by the widowed sister (Caroline) of the plantation owner and given the name of Marguerite. July is raped by freed slave, Nimrod, and gives birth to Thomas (who is then left on the doorstep of the Baptist Minister and brought up with his children). After Caroline's brother dies Robert is employed to run the plantation. Caroline falls for him but he has his eye on July. He ends up marrying Caroline and July becomes his mistress. The story is being written by July and her son Thomas (with whom she is later reunited) is to publish it. I found the book compelling reading and it touched many emotions. The characters were wholly believable. It was dificult to say goodbye to July - I wanted more! It's a book that will stay with you for a long time.
This is the third book of Andrea Levy's I've read (her 'biggy' was Small Island) and like the previous books I was totally drawn in by the characters.