#Brexit has made me ashamed of Britain

If you’ve been living in a bunker, with no access to the internet or media of any kind, you may be unaware of the forthcoming EU referendum in Britain, taking place on Thursday. I must say, I envy those of you without access to the toxic hate rags we disseminate in this country in the guise of “newspapers”.

I envy those of you who don’t have a radio, or access to interviews with the bile-belching liars we’ve come to know as Brexit “politicians”. Oh, to be blissfully ignorant of all this fear, all this pernicious paranoia.

Imagine not finding propaganda on your doorstep, filled to bursting with spurious claims, sensationalised graphics and outright deceit. Watch out! Seventy-six million Turks are on their way to the UK! (Oh no, wait, Turkey is decades away from achieving EU preconditions for joining, so that’s a lie. And would EVERY SINGLE TURK leave their country for this grey, racist shit-hole anyway?)

We could buy a new hospital every week with the £350m we send to the EU! (Oops, sorry, forgot to mention our EU rebate that chops that figure down to £190m, not to mention the investment we receive in return and the boon it gives to our economy – but look, we wrote it on a bus, SO IT MUST BE TRUE.)

But here we are, about to vote in a foolish referendum, apparently called to placate the racist whims of a bigoted minority and their loud-mouthed leader, Nigel Farage. What a boneheaded move by our prime minister, David Cameron, to pass this monumentally important decision on to a population totally unprepared to make it.

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12 top tips for wannabe writers

People often come to me and say, “Hey, Tim, you’re a hugely successful though inexplicably unpublished author; have you got any tips for us lowly writers who’ve yet to achieve your level of uncompromising genius?”

It’s flattering, I know. But, seriously, I empathise. It might sound needlessly self-deprecating, but even I was once a snivelling novice like you.

So, to that end, I’ve compiled some of my favourite writing tips, for those writers who spend most of their time reading writing tips. Learn them… and write your masterpiece!

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Dialogue tags, action beats and punctuation – a quick guide

Among the most debated topics among the writing community – aside from the Oxford comma, of course – is the humble dialogue tag. I’m not going to say which method I prefer, because I like a mixture. But I am going to show you how to punctuate them properly – I’m a sub-editor by trade, after all.

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Rejections are my hubris-humbling chums – but that’s enough now

I must have read it a thousand times: “You’re a writer if you write.”

For the most part, it’s true, if a little self-serving. Yes, we writers belong to a little club, whose only membership requirement is that you jot your vacuous thoughts down in word form. But there’s something missing, isn’t there? The other half of the writer’s symbiotic relationship.

A writer needs readers.

Suddenly the statement “You’re a writer if you write” seeks to obfuscate the fact you’ve failed to get published. Now there’s a worthy milestone.

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