We give advice and information on all aspects of writing to groups and individuals. We can help groups to set up their own workshop, find them workshop facilitators, help them produce their own publication, and help them organise projects such as writing residencies.

We receive several hundred requests every year from individuals seeking to self-publish.

We are primarily a writing development agency rather than a publisher. Our emphasis is on helping writers improve their work and in this way to increase the likelihood that they can get a publishing deal. We offer them workshops and courses among other resources, to improve their technique.

When we do publish, we publish mostly anthologies of new writers of the Northwest of England. We advertise widely for submissions for these. We also publish novels. We find them via our biannual Commonword New Novelists Competition. The next competition will run in 2013 and is focused on Memoirs/Autobiographies. The winner and six shortlisted candidates will get extensive feedback on their work. The winner gets a £150 prize as well.

Writers can of course choose to go down the self publication route and many do choose this option. Obviously, there are limitations on our time and resources when it comes to helping people self publish.

For this reason, we cannot 'project manage' the self publishing projects of individuals. Instead, we show them where they can find the information they need to carry out their self publishing project.

We cannot recommend specific printers, proof readers, editors or copy editors, but we can show them where to find lists of reputable specialists in these fields.