Next Up programme

I’m absolutely delighted to have been awarded a place on the Next Up programme ran by The Literary Consultancy and Creative Future, who are providing a year long mentoring and development programme for ten writers funded by novelist Claire McGowan.

Click on the link below for further details.

London Grip Poetry Review – Rachel Burns – A girl in a blue dress: by Carla Scarano


Very pleased with the London Grip  Poetry Review by Carla Scarano please find the link below – and a reminder that my book can be bought directly through this site or through my fantastic publisher –

Vane Women Press – a girl in a blue dress by Rachel Burns

It is also available to buy at Poetry Book Society A Girl in a Blue Dress by Rachel Burns

London Grip Poetry Review – Rachel Burns February 27, 2020 Poetry Review – A girl in a blue dress: Carla Scarano finds hard experiences open onto positive vision in these poems by Rachel Burns

Writing a novel -seven tips

My first novel is at the the final polishing stage. It has been one hell of a journey.

& I was thinking if I was starting out now, what would be the most useful information that I would need as a low-income wannabe novelist. So here are my seven tips for writing a novel.


Tip one-

Keep the rhythm going – treat it like an engine that needs starting everyday or it will seize up. I try and work on the novel most days even if it is only twenty minutes. I might have a few months break where I’m working on another writing project but I do this with the realization  – it will take a few weeks to familiarizing myself with the plot. Remember starting school again after the long summer break? Yep!

Tip two-

Enjoy writing the first draft- that’s the fun part. Keep a daily diary – recording your progress, any potential problems,  and where you are heading next.

Tip three-

Familiarize yourself with plot structures, learn how stories work. Even if you are an anarchist and you think you’d rather not plot your own novel – knowing the basic rules of structure is the difference between a rock and a hard place. Trust me.

Tip four-

Be wary of writing advice from successful famous writers as enjoyable as it is to read. If you want to write on yellow legal paper, in moleskin journals etc- fine but don’t think it will be a recipe for success.

Recommended Read

Journal of a Novel; the East of Eden Letters – John Steinbeck

Tip five-

Read widely across genres – take note of the craft, the sentence structure, the plot, the characterization, the setting, the dialogue. If you watch a lot of television – do the same.

Tip six-

Apply for writing opportunities – such as the W&A Working-Class Writer’ Prize (free to enter)  – send your work out to magazines (there are magazines to suit about every type of writing) . This is an important aspect of writing life that nobody tells you about. If your short story is published in a magazine or is placed in a competition it is validation of your work. The good news is that there are sponsored entries available for some short story competitions. Follow writing contests on twitter as you need to apply as soon as they are announced. Usually released on a first come, first served basis.

Tip seven-

Apply to do a writing course – online or in the community.  The virtual world has its limitations so I recommend connecting with real writers in the real world. This might be free at your local library/community centre or you might be feeling adventurous and try a residential with Arvon. There are grants available for low-income writers but you need to apply early.


General Recommended Reading

The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler

Rewriting – A Creative Approach to Writing Fiction – David Michael Kaplan




Psychological thriller to be featured in the first ever TLC Free Reads anthology sponsored by AM Heath literary agents.

I am delighted to share the news that an extract of my psychological thriller will be featured in the first ever TLC Free Reads anthology, sponsored by AM Heath literary agents and to be guest edited by the writer Jacob Ross .

Click on the link below for full details.