Thursday, 11 March 2010


Eight years ago tomorrow (March 12, 2002), BeWrite Books released its very first title, the hilarious Sweet Molly Maguire by Terry Houston, set in the unbelievably crazy world of Scottish national newspapers in the '70s when Terry and I worked together in Glasgow.

The book was launched at Glasgow Press Club where the first one hundred copies were snatched up by journalists who knew that only the names had been changed for the novel and wanted to prepare excuses for their bosses ... and their spouses.

In the two-year build-up to BeWrite Books, hosted what became a hugely popular non-commercial site and forums for developing authors and with 3,000 members at its peak. The second title we released was Chill, an anthology of horror stories from forum BeWriters. Key authors in the collection were our very first two members (close friends ever since), Peter Lee and Terri Nixon (back then Terri Pine).

Team members back then:

Heather Grace (now Heather Grace-Stewart) who handed over the reins as poetry editor to Heather Bryant (both lovely women and good friends). Heather Bryant in turn handed over to current poetry editor, the talented and renowned Sam Smith, who we'd known for years and who had published several superb fiction titles with BB.

On admin was Cait Myers who continued in that roll until last summer when she left for new adventures -- starting with a year-long tour of the world.

On the technical side was my son, Alex Marr (Sandy), who gave up his well-paid IT job for an entire year to help get BB up and runnning. He is currently working behind the scenes to help BB with what is a virtual re-launch.

And on the fiction editing side there was, as there still is, my old pal, writing partner and brilliant co-editor Hugh McCracken, and me.

More recently the utterly amazing Tony Szmuk came aboard. He worked behind the BB scenes for six months, admirably showing his mettle as a professional, energetic and experienced technical expert as well as a gifted designer. He officially became BB's Design and Technical Director and titular Publisher in January.  Tony's unbounded enthusiasm has re-kindled that of everyone else on the team and those authors he's already made contact with.

With the help of a pro accountant to handle the bi-annual royalties, Tony and I will be sharing the administrative work until we can find and sign up a new recruit for pen-pushing and bean-counting duties, tasks which ain't really our bailiwick.

Since March 12 2002, BB has released 130 exclusive new titles in paperback and ebook. And when the new site launches early next week (thanks to Tony and Alex) and we re-open to submissions, we are hoping to increase output if we can still ensure top quality.

So keep tabs on  this BB blog over the next few days because you'll be the first to know when the site's up ... and there'll be prizes of free paperback and ebooks on offer to celebrate and to thank the few blog members we have so far for their friendship and loyalty to BB and its team over the years.

Best wishes. Neil


  1. As a lover of minutia, I found all this fascinating. Good show, Neil.

  2. Thanks, Boz. I've always been a dedicated hoarder of trivia (the elephant is the only animal with four knees but it can't jump) and could store masses of perfectly useless information in my head (copulating fleas have been noted by scientists at an altitude of 33,000 feet). The internet with an even greater capacity for trivia than I have has completely ruined my dinner party conversation (George Washington had wooden false teeth) and has reduced me to a crashing bore (Eskimos do NOT have eighty words for snow). Cheers. Neil (5' 10.5" tall)

  3. Happy Birthday to all at BeWrite, and many more!