Non-Fiction

The Organised Writer

HOW TO STAY ON TOP OF ALL YOUR PROJECTS AND NEVER MISS A DEADLINE

“Johnston packs his book with practical insights and clever methods —┬áthe chapters on calendar management and time-blocking alone were like a bolt of lightning to my daily routine. The Organised Writer is the manual you've been looking for.
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 — full-time/part-time, fiction/non-fiction, professional/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.

COMING OCTOBER 2020




Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily

Released as a free download in response to the sudden enormous shift to remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic, this special edition of the Take Control series was compiled by Glenn Fleishman from tips and advice on working from home, given by dozens of people (including Antony) with hundreds of years combined experience at doing just that.

download the free PDF




Breaking into Comics
(Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2020)

A section in the Graphic Novels chapter of the famous Yearbook, with advice for writers looking to work in the comics industry. The business of comics and graphic novels is very different to most other forms of published entertainment; this piece draws on Antony's decades of experience in the industry, outlining the best paths to take and the pitfalls to avoid.




Collected Scripts

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.

“One of my favourite writers.”
Warren Ellis




Writing About Writing

Antony's non-fiction has appeared in publications ranging from photocopied fanzines to international periodicals. Many of the pieces linked below are also available to read at Medium.

Looking for advice and tips on the craft and process of writing? See the For Writers section, and the Writing And Breathing podcast.

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?

Just Write
Originally written to encourage NaNoWriMo participants, this piece explains why Antony believes being prolific makes you a better writer.

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 online at Medium.com




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 online at Medium.com




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 online at Alan Moore World




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




Interviews

William Gibson: Waiting for the Man

Conducted over email in 1999, in advance of the release of ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES

Published in
CONVERSATIONS WITH WILLIAM GIBSON
University Press of Mississippi, 2014
THE BEST OF SPIKEMAGAZINE.COM: THE INTERVIEWS
Chris Mitchell, 2012
Read it online at Spike Magazine
First published 1999




Jeff Noon: Liquid Culture

Conducted in person in 2000, in advance of the release of COBRALINGUS

Published in
THE BEST OF SPIKEMAGAZINE.COM: THE INTERVIEWS
Chris Mitchell, 2012
Read it online at Spike Magazine
First published 2000




Arcane

Antony's first professional writing was for the British role-playing game magazine Arcane, beginning in 1996. There are no online archives, so the following are scans of his features from the original magazine.


Retro: Golden Heroes

Retro was a regular feature that extolled the virtues of older, often out-of-print games.

Published in
ARCANE #7
Future Publishing, 1996


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


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


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


The Uncanny X-Games: Superhero Role-Playing

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

Published in
ARCANE #16
Future Publishing, 1997


Cyberpunk Random Scenario Generator

This article was intended for Arcane, but 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!