News & From The Colony

May The Fourth Be With You… (*)

By AgentPete / 3 May 2024

Just a reminder that Saturday’s Huddle is open for business – it may be a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, but that’s absolutely no excuse to cancel a Huddle.

If you’ve never experienced a Huddle, we can promise you a good time. Feel free to discuss anything pertinent to your writer’s existence… and since writers are interested in everything, the scope is rather enormous 🙂

We tackle titles, synopses, first chapters & blurbs all in our stride. The collective hive mind that is the Huddle can assist with all of these things and more.

But you really don’t need to bring anything along at all, other than your writerly soul. Come along, participate, and enjoy yourself. Writers belong together: and Huddles are where it all coalesces.

Litopia Writer’s Huddle

Saturday 4th May

4:30pm UK onwards

Times in other parts of the world here

Reserve Your Spot

(*) “May The Fourth Be With You” is intriguingly a trade mark of Lucasfilm Ltd for shirts and tops. Additionally, they have a trademark application for Han Solo’s famous line “I got a bad feeling about this”.

The Joy of Synopses

By AgentPete / 2 May 2024

Writing a synopsis is surely the most unrewarding part of most writers’ lives.  Synopses are widely disliked because, in general, writers simply don’t understand how to approach the job.

In this eye-opening seminar from Litopia, we will show you how a good synopsis can be a writer’s best friend at every stage of a manuscript’s development and sale. We aim to change your mind about the humble synopsis!

“The Joy of Synopses” is a highly practical seminar: with downloadables, examples from best-sellers and even a quiz to take at the end!  It covers…

  • What A Synopsis Can – And Can’t – Do
  • Why There Are Two Completely Different Types Of Synopses
  • The Synopsis Can Help You Write Your Book And Sell It – If You Understand How To Use It
  • The Working Synopsis Vs. The Submission Synopsis
  • How To Construct A Big Picture Synopsis – And What It Does
  • How To Construct A Rope Ladder Synopsis – And What It Does
  • How To Use Your Working Synopsis To Create A Compelling Submission Synopsis

As with all Litopia’s seminars, “The Joy of Synopses” is included in your Full Membership subscription. If you’re not yet a Full Member, you can upgrade now and start this seminar right away!

NB: Litopia’s seminars now have a new home – you can access them from your Account Portal.  Or just click here to go straight to this seminar.

OK, Author… What’s Your Strategy?

By AgentPete / 29 March 2024

Here’s an interesting new word for you:


It’s the name for a commonly-used rhetorical device in which words or phrases are repeated in reverse order to make a memorable point.  You’ve seen or heard it thousands of times.

John F. Kennedy’s famous quote uses antimetabole:

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

As does this pithy little saying, often but incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

“If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.”

Which is what I’d like us to discuss in tomorrow’s Huddle.

Very few authors actively set out to plan their careers.

And very few authors are successful.

Let’s Huddle about it!

Weekly Blog Digest Is Live Now

By AgentPete / 26 March 2024

It’s Saturday morning and your mind needs feeding.
Well, that one’s easy.
Now you can subscribe to Litopia’s very own blog mailing. A dew-fresh digest of the week’s best writing from Litopia’s bloggers. A feast for your mind.
Funny, piquant, moving, cheeky, informative.
So let your inbox host the banquet: it’s free to subscribe, below.

Where Does Inspiration Come From? A Guide For Writers

By AgentPete / 13 March 2024

I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of authors’ inspiration. It’s actually one of the most common questions that readers ask their favourite writer – “but how do you get your ideas…?

And probably one of the most difficult for writers to answer.

In this week’s Huddle, I’d like us to compare notes.

The surrealist Salvador Dali would carefully arrange his sleeping habits to keep him partly awake and partly asleep. This half-dream state (hypnagogia, otherwise known as phantasmata) spawned many of his most iconic images.

What do you do?

So come prepared to discuss this fascinating subject on Saturday.

And of course, Huddles are there for all Full Members to use in any way you wish. If you haven’t yet upgraded, it’s a good reason to!

My best,


Writing A Killer Author Bio

By AgentPete / 8 March 2024

Writing about yourself in the third person is the hardest thing for many writers.  Yet that’s what you constantly are required to do in today’s writing marketplace.

Amazon pages. Cover letters. Jacket blurbs. Even Litopia’s new blogging platform.  You’ve got to produce a compelling, tight author bio while keeping to a strict word count.

So where on earth do you begin?

Well, tomorrow’s Huddle is a good starting point.

In addition to whatever personal work you’d like to bring along – and we’re pretty good at sorting out your titles, blurbs, first chapters, cover letters and much more – we’ll be looking at the arcane art of the author bio.

I’ll be sharing some tips, of course. But also, I’d love you to bring along one or two examples of what you think are some of the best author bio’s you’ve seen.

As always, it will be fun!

See you tomorrow.

Blogging Comes to the Colony

By AgentPete / 7 March 2024

Peter Cox, AgentPete in the Colony

I’m delighted to announce the launch of Litopia’s very own blogging platform. And I think you’re going to like it…

For writers, maintaining a blog has always been a double-edged sword. Yes… writers must write… in the same way as fish have to swim… I suspect it’s in their DNA. Therefore, writing a blog ought to be an enjoyable activity. And of course, we’ve all been told that if you want to be a commercially-successful writer and build your readership, then you should maintain a blog as part of your public profile.

Yet therein lies the problem. Whether you blog independently on your own website, or whether you use a third party platform, there’s constant pressure to keep your content fresh. A blog bereft of new posts for more than a week or so looks awfully abandoned.

Pretty soon, writing regular blog posts becomes an obligation rather than a pleasure.

We’ve solved that problem by creating what is effectively a collective blog for the whole of Litopia.  However, each writer will have their own personal home page – see below.

With a group of talented writers contributing a wide range of diverse material, the pressure on each individual writer to maintain a remorseless output of new posts is gone. You can write a new post whenever you feel like it… bringing the fun back to writing blog posts again!

  • Uppermost in many peoples’ minds these days will be – how much extra is it going to cost? Nothing! It’s part of the growing range of facilities you’ll find inside Litopia.
  • Each writer will have their own home page featuring: an author photo, a mini-bio, links to all other social media, jacket pictures of published books together with buy links, and a way for readers (and maybe publishers) to get in touch.
  • Each post you make will be promoted on Litopia’s front page ( and featured on Litopia’s own social media. It will also be cross-posted to Café Life for other Litopians to read and discuss there.

I’m very excited to bring you this latest innovation from Litopia. Once again, we’re leading the field in supporting writers at every stage of their writing lives.

How To Apply

Any member of Litopia who has posted over 50 messages inside the Colony may apply to start blogging. You can check your message count on your profile page. If you qualify, send me a message and we’ll take it from there.

Peter Cox

Huddle South This Wednesday

By AgentPete / 3 March 2024

Our monthly Huddle South is set for this coming Wednesday, 6th March. All Full Members are welcome but preference will be given to Litopians living in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other time zones that don’t play nicely with our weekly Huddle scheduling on Saturdays.

I don’t think you really need me to tell you how unique Huddles are and how much fun we have but, just for form’s sake, Huddles are (a) confidential; (b) about two hours long and (c) we can address anything – literally anything – in them that you’d like to bring along for our attention.

Title troubles. Blurb blues. Synopsis stumpers. First chapter flusters. Even problems that aren’t alliterative 🙂

You must sign up for each Huddle – here’s the link for this one – and local times are shown below.

UK 8.00 am
Johannesburg 10am
Hong Kong 4pm
Brisbane 6pm
Canberra 7pm
Sydney 7pm
Melbourne 7pm
Auckland 9pm

Other times zones