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Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003


Publishing, futons and more motors

Budding author

Z. has written a book he thinks is ready for publication. "Can you give me guidance or advice as to how to go about getting published?"

Since you are limited in Japan in terms of mainstream publishers working in English to Kodansha International and Tuttle (a member of the Periplus Publishing Group), it may be best to try and find representation -- an agent -- in your home country.

There is only one agent that I know of in Tokyo -- The English Agency (Japan) Limited -- based in Minato Ward. TEA handles work by English-language writers living here, and also arranges Japanese translations for internationally established publishers, agents and authors. Phone (03) 3406-5385; fax (03) 3406-5387.

A good idea would be to join a circle of like-minded souls where you can get to share your dreams and problems with other writers, and get some positive critical feedback.

Contact the Tokyo Writer's Group, which has met once a month for over 25 years. Ten to 15 members gather to read and critique each others fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

They meet on the third Sunday of nearly every month near Takadanobaba Station (on the Yamanote line). Members are mostly native English speakers or people with high English skills. Some are publishing regularly, but people at all levels are welcome. Call (042) 469-3377, or (044) 833-1338 for details, or email: gribblej@gol.com or gregory@cl.aoyama.ac.jp

The Society of Writers, Editors and Translators also offers help and support. Check out their Web site ( www.swet.jp ) which gives an e-mail form and a fax number: (03) 3420-4003.


More advice on how to get your hands on a short-term futon.

First try the Yokohama Tourist Information Centre at Sakuragicho -- phone (045) 211 0111. They can be very helpful in such situations.

In this instance, staff recommend two companies, both in Isogo Ward. Izumi Shokai is on (045) 751-2905; the Osaka Futon Service Company has a free dial number: (0120) 49-0803.

Motorcycle update

Several more readers have contacted us regarding motorcycle licensing, as discussed earlier in the summer. They wanted us (and you) to know that the National Police Agency has changed the laws surrounding the use of International Drivers Licenses.

It seems that now, if a license holder has been in Japan longer than one year, his or her International License is invalid.

This means that if there is an accident, a driver can be held for driving without a valid license.

Reader James says: "Simple traffic violations are up to the officer's discretion, but if injury or significant damage occur, the police will likely follow the law."

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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