The Organised Writer


“The chapters on calendar management and time-blocking alone were like a bolt of lightning to my daily routine”
Helene Wecker

A productivity system designed for writers, by a writer, The Organised Writer outlines Antony's own methods and processes for getting work done and juggling multiple projects.

Written in a conversational, page-turning style, with practical steps to follow, The Organised Writer is for everyone — whether full- or part-time, writing fiction or non-fiction, professional or amateur — who has ever wished they could take control of their writing. It's a practical and focused approach to writing in the real world.

Available in paperback, ebook, or an audiobook narrated by Antony.

Buy it at Amazon UK Buy it at Amazon US Buy it at Buy it at Waterstones Listen at Audible Buy it worldwide

Breaking into Comics
(Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)

A section in the Graphic Novels chapter of the famous Yearbook — appearing in an unprecedented five consecutive editions — with advice for writers looking to work in the comics industry.

The business of comics and graphic novels is very different to other forms of published entertainment. Antony draws on his many years of experience in the industry to outline the best paths to take, and the pitfalls to avoid.

See the Writers & Artists website for more information

Collected Scripts

“Johnston continues to work the most fertile ground in comics”
Andy Diggle

Seven comic scripts, with a foreword and enlightening commentary on each by Antony, giving a unique look behind the scenes. Includes scripts from Wasteland, Julius, Queen & Country Declassified, and more — a broad sweep of work from 2002 through 2007.

Writing about Writing

Antony’s non-fiction has appeared in publications ranging from photocopied fanzines to international periodicals. These essays focus on the craft, business, and life of a writer

Whatever You Do, Don’t Kill the Dog! »
A piece for Crime Time, co-written with Charlie Cochrane (who, like Antony, writes mysteries featuring dogs) on the many dogs of crime fiction, and some of the pitfalls writers can expect to encounter along the way.

The Benefits of Mixed Media for Your Writing »
An article for Writers Online (the web home of Writing Magazine) on my enjoyment of working in a variety of media, and why I encourage other writers to do the same.

Spying in the Time of Covid »
An article for Crime Time on the difficulty of trying to write Brigitte Sharp thriller The Patrios Network during the first Covid lockdown.

The Internet’s Ugly Side »
A piece for Shots Mag discussing the difficult, alarming, and upsetting research Antony had to do into the dark world of online radicalisation and neofascist propaganda for The Patrios Network.

Exceptional: behind the scenes of Crossover Point »
A Medium article describing the genesis and production of Antony's directorial debut, the short sci-film Crossover Point, which was filmed entirely during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown.

Coronavirus and Creativity »
A piece for the Crime Writers’ Association, where Antony talks to other authors about the difficulty of trying to write and be creative during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.

Everything is Sci-fi, Until it Isn’t »
Why technology is such an important part of The Exphoria Code, and the balancing act necessary to make it central to the book, whilst not alienating readers who aren't tech-savvy themselves.

Attracted to Damage »
A piece for Crime Time, on the eve of The Tempus Project's release, discussing the fascination crime and thriller readers — and writers! — have with flawed, damaged characters.

The Daily Grind »
A whistle-stop tour of Antony's desk and workspace for Case Files, the newsletter of the Crime Readers' Association.

Under the Influence »
Guest editorial for Interzone #274 (the issue that contained Antony's story Soul Music), on why a writer's influences matter both more and less than you think.

Zombie Satellites »
Answering (sort of) the age old question, Where do you get your ideas from?

Headline Act »
The dangers of writing near-future SF, and two news stories that demonstrate how to approach it.

Everything, Everything »
Advice for writers who want to work in videogames.

Always Learning »
Why Antony continues to attend writing workshops and study other authors' ideas on story and structure.

They Do Things Differently There »
The strange amnesiac world of writing the second book in a series.

Beta Round the Bush »
The value and importance of using beta readers, and why the process is so nerve-wracking.

Other Essays & Columns

Henry Rollins

A piece about a life-changing Henry Rollins spoken-word gig, written for a zine produced to benefit the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

Published in Gig of My Life
Danny Smith, 2017

Read it for free online

Metal Magic

Antony first heard Black Sabbath's Paranoid when he was eight years old. He never stood a chance.

Published in Phonogram vs. The Fans
Matthew Sheret, 2009

Read it for free online

Pick Up the Phone

How do you make a phone call to a living legend?

Published in Alan Moore: Portrait of An Extraordinary Gentleman
Abiogenesis, 2003

Read it for free online

Panel Beating

Antony was a founding editor and regular columnist for PopImage, an early online magazine aimed at rehabilitating comics into mainstream pop culture. PopImage Vol 1 included three of Antony's iconoclastic essays: Geek To Chic, Mule Variations, and Let's Kill Comics.

Published in PopImage, Vol 1
Cyberosia, 2002

Virtually Criminal

FringeWare Review was one of the first ’zines, and publishing companies, built on an Internet community. It was an early venue for many writers who went on to become noted journalists and commentators in the technology field.

The ‘Cyberlaw’ issue featured essays on the future of law and justice in an online world; Antony's piece Virtually Criminal foresaw online activity prompting real-world criminal proceedings, and Internet censorship increasing under the guise of community values.

Published in FringeWare Review #11
FringeWare, 1997


William Gibson: Waiting for the Man

Conducted via email in 1999, in advance of the release of the final ‘Bridge trilogy’ book All Tomorrow's Parties, for Spike Magazine

Published in Conversations with William Gibson
University Press of Mississippi, 2014
The Best of The Interviews
Chris Mitchell, 2012

Read it for free online

Jeff Noon: Liquid Culture

Conducted in person in 2000, in advance of the release of the experimental poetry remix volume Cobralingus, for Spike Magazine

Published in The Best of The Interviews
Chris Mitchell, 2012

Read it for free online

Arcane magazine

Antony's first professional writing was for the British role-playing game magazine Arcane, beginning in 1996. There are no online archives or digital editions, so the following are scans of his features from the original magazine.
Thanks to Kelvin Green for help finding and scanning these articles.

Retro: Golden Heroes

The very first piece of writing Antony sold to a professional publication was this entry for Retro, a regular column that extolled the virtues of older, often out-of-print games.

Published in Arcane #7
Future Publishing, 1996

Download the free PDF

Suds & Sorcery

How to use the never-ending trials and complications of British soap opera storylines as inspiration for role-playing scenarios.

Published in Arcane #9
Future Publishing, 1996

Download the free PDF

Generation Hex: Cyberpunk Role-Playing

Antony's first cover feature was, perhaps inevitably, a beginner's guide to cyberpunk RPGs.

Published in Arcane #11
Future Publishing, 1996

Download the free PDF

Eye of the Beholder

How to increase immersion in a game, by avoiding rules terms and describing only what the players see.

Published in Arcane #14
Future Publishing, 1996

Download the free PDF

The Uncanny X-Games: Superhero Role-Playing

Another feature article, this time an introduction to superhero RPGs.

Published in Arcane #16
Future Publishing, 1997

Download the free PDF

Cyberpunk Random Scenario Generator

This article was intended for Arcane, but sadly the magazine folded before it could be submitted. Presented here as an artefact of historical interest to old-school cyberpunks.

download the free PDF

Alternative versions:

Plain text at Pastebin

Interactive Chartopia implementation by Glenn McCord. No dice required!