A post by Julian Bass, Lecturer in Software Engineering at the University of Salford

If you want to be a better, faster writer, you should treat your writing as a lean manufacturing process. “Lean” is an engineering technique for making manufacturing less wasteful and has been used in industrial production for decades. Today it has spread to sectors from software development to customer services. But I’ve found the principles of lean can even help improve the practice of writing, whether you’re producing a report or a novel.

Lean was developed from Japanese manufacturing ideas in the 1980s and 1990s. It involves applying five principles to minimise waste and increase productivity: flow, value, waste, pull and perfection. The key goals in lean manufacturing are to learn and continually improve. For writing, we have to first start with a finished piece of work in order to get feedback. Then we can start to apply the circular lean process and principles.

View Post


Would you like two months in bustling Shanghai to polish on your manuscript? Or perhaps a working cattle ranch in rural Wyoming would provide you with the inspiration you need to start a new project? These residencies provide writers with a chance to escape daily life’s distractions and focus on their work. Each residency has its own terms and conditions, so please read the relevant websites (linked to in bold) thoroughly before commencing any applications.


Baltic Writing Residency
The writer chosen for the Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden receives $1000, and a free stay in a furnished cottage in Stockholm. The residency is open to writers of fiction, creative non-fiction, plays and poetry. Applications close on 15 January.

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship
The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship is an annual award that allows professional writers living in Scotland to enjoy a month-long residency at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France with a stipend of £1200. Each year, four writers are invited to spend time with other artists and absorb fresh cultural experiences. Applications close 1 February.

Historic Joy Kogawa House
Located in British Columbia, Canada, this residency is available to Canadian writers who have published two books and have previous teaching and public speaking experience. Residencies typically run for three months, at a time convenient to the writer. Writers may apply for remuneration through the Canada Council or other arts council. The residency program has a rolling annual deadline of 1 March.

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing
This residency is hosted by Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Named for the University’s renowned literary alumnus and initiated in the fall of 1993, the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers up to four months of unfettered writing time for a writer working on a first or second book. The program provides lodging in Poets’ Cottage and a stipend of US$5000. Applications close on 1 February.

Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship
This fellowship supports an established Australian writer to create new work within Australia’s leading interdisciplinary centre dedicated to easing the global burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions through innovative research and teaching. The fellowship runs for one year and includes a grant of AUD$100,000, an Honorary Appointment at the University of Sydney and a base in the Charles Perkins Centre Research and Education Hub. Applications close 10 February.

American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship
Founded in 1920, the American Library is Paris is a private, non-profit English-language library. Its fellowship program is open to writers worldwide. Fellows receive a stipend of US$5000 to assist with travel and housing costs. Applications close 14 February.

View Post


Submit with abandon? Send out a story that’s already received 20 rejections? Keep going? Call it quits? Should you send an edited piece to a magazine that passed on an older draft? Kim Winternheimer, founding editor of The Masters Review, talks submission strategies.

Submission strategies are a tricky thing. Every emerging writer I know discusses submission failures and victories, and it’s a topic that pops up in conference panels and workshop often.

Writers talk about submitting because the process itself is the road to publication. Because success in selling stories rests entirely on that effort. Writers lament and analyze the form rejection they receive after eight long months, and applaud the personalized request for more work. Writers talk about the process because they want to see how others are navigating the labyrinth, and, because silently they wonder: am I tackling submissions the right way?

View Post


 1. Folding LED Night Light Book Light


$32.99 – available here

2. Keep Talking Necklace


$19 – available here

3. Customised ‘From the Library of’ Stamp


$27 – available here

4. Keep Reading Pennant


$22 – available here

5. The Amazing Story Generator

$11.80, available here

6. If You Can Read This Socks


$11.50 – available here

7. Writing is Highly Addictive Print


$34, available here

8. Lady Macbeth’s Guest Soap


$3 – available here

9. Go Away . . .  I’m Writing Sign


$11.50 – available here

10. Supergal Bookend


$29.95 – available here

11. The Great Gatsby Tea


$12 – available here

12. Library Card Scarf


$24, available here


13. Badass Bookclub Tank

Badass Bookclub Tank


$25, available here

14. Write Drunk Edit Sober Notebook


$6 – available here

15. In-Car-Nito Storage Box


$14.40 – available here

16. Book Worm Bath Towel


$28 – available here

17. My Writing Life Map


$6 (£4.50) – available here

18. Library Card Due Date iPhone Case


$19, available here

19. Keep Clam and Proofread Poster


$12 – available here

20. Writing Pouch


$14 – available here

21. The Writer’s Coloring Book


$19.95 – available here

22. The Little Jar of Writing Inspiration


$16 – available here

23. Literary Life Wrapping Paper


$12, available here

24. Hand Stamped New York Public Library Journal


$10 – available here

25. The Paris Review Trucker Hat


$15 – available here

26. Absorene Book Cleaner


$20 – available here

27. The Writer’s Feedback Mug


$18.50 (AUD$25) – available here

28. Plato Candle


$7.25, available here

29. Write Here Write Now Typewriter Art


$32 – available here

30. Romeo and Julienne Cutting Board


$12.50 – available here

31. Mightier Pen Pin Badge


$12.80 – available here

32. Famous American Authors Map

famous-american-authors-map$16 – available here

33. Grammar Teacup and Saucer Set of 2


$32, available here

34. Book Worm Ring


$10 – available here

Finally, if you would like to support this website and get a great t-shirt at the same time . . .

35. One Day T-Shirt (Limited Edition)

One Day T-Shirt - Limited Edition

$21.99 – available here

This shirt is available to order for one week only. All funds raised will be used to improve the Aerogramme Writers’ Studio website.

For more holiday season gift ideas, see our previous lists:


A guest post by Alex DiFrancesco

When I was in my early twenties in the early part of the aughts, I gravitated towards anything with a transgender character. Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the bizarre zombie flick and Guitar Wolf vehicle Wild Zero, The Kink’s “Lola,”Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.” Because these books and films and songs were largely written by cis (non-trans) people, there was never anything about the day to day of these characters included. They were tragic, or glamorous, or both, but they were certainly not real to me. It’s no wonder that, though I devoured these depictions, it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized I was trans myself. I didn’t know of any trans-masculine characters at all.

View Post