Maria McCarthy
About Maria
The Girls' Guide to Losing your L-Plates
Teaching & Workshops
Maria McCarthy - author of
About Maria
Maria can be contacted on 07799527974
and via maria@mariamccarthy.co.uk
www.twitter.com/mariamccarthy11
www.facebook.com/mariamccarthy11

Her blogspot with extracts from her books is at www.mariamccarthy1.blogspot.com

Maria McCarthy is a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers and author of The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L Plates and The Girls' Car Handbook, published by Simon and Schuster. She also lectures in freelance journalism at Bristol University, on the Motoring Journalism course at Cardiff University and on the publishing course at Oxford Brookes University.

Her books and articles have featured in a wide range of national newspapers, magazines and websites including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Express, The Evening Standard, Metro, MSN Cars, Handbag.com, Closer, Company, Look, Woman and Home, Good Housekeeping, Prima, and OK!.  

Maria is a regular commentator on motoring matters on BBC Breakfast News and News 24, GMTV, Radio 5 Live, Woman's Hour, You and Yours, and Jeremy Vine. She has also appeared on Chris Evans', Simon Mayo and Stuart Maconie's shows on Radio 2, 'The Car Guys' slot on Ian Collins' Talksport Show, Robert Elms' and Vanessa Feltz's BBC London radio shows and carried out over 300 interviews on local BBC stations.  


Reviews of The Girls' Car Handbook

The Evening Standard, motoring editor David Williams
It's a guide to pretty much everything the novice female - or male, come to that - will ever need to know about motoring. Written in a clear, commonsense but very readable style it is crammed with useful information and really rather good.

Ian Collins, Talksport, 'The Car Guys' programme
Very informative and funny!

What Car? editor Steve Fowler
The Girls' Car Handbook is a handy book for blokes too!

Honest John, The Daily Telegraph
I thought it was very good!

Southern Daily Echo, motoring writer Alyson Marlow
The Girls' Car Handbook is easy to dip in and out of, depending on what you need to learn. With a stylish chicklit cover, it wouldn't look out of place being read by the pool - but instead of promising Mr Right, it offers a new route to female independence on the road!   This could be the best £7.99 you spend on motoring.

Chester Standard, motoring editor Terry Davies
The Girls' Car Handbook is an absolute MUST for the glove compartment of a lady's car because it's crammed with everything they need to know about it. It's jolly good advice and money well spent!

Look
Tired of getting ripped off by mechanics and car dealers? Sick of phoning your dad for something as simple as changing a tyre? It's time for us girls to take control and this little gem of a book is the solution. Buy copies for your friends too!

OK!
Drawing on expert advice Guild of Motoring Writers member Maria McCarthy reveals everything there is to know about cars and driving. It includes tips on everything from how to avoid getting ripped off at the garage to what to do when your car breaks down.

Hear Maria talking about The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L-Plates in a recent interview on Ireland's TodayFM:

Links
Driving

www.theAA.com
The only national driving school that always uses fully qualified instructors.

www.foxyladydrivers.com
A female-friendly service including safety and 'green' car checks, money-saving offers, advice and feedback about the best motoring buys.

www.dsa.gov.uk
This is the website of the Driving Standards Agency, where you can book your practical and theory tests. It also gives details of test routes and pass rates at your local centre.

www.driving.org
The website of the Driving Instructors Association has a forum and chatroom. You can post questions about any driving-related issue and get advice from other students and instructors. It’s also a good place to ask for recommendations for good local instructors.

www.2pass.co.uk
This site offers up-to-date information, an email newsletter and a busy learner driver forum.

www.kathyhigginsdipdi.co.uk
A link to driving consultant Kathy Higgins site. Kathy is a fantastic Liverpool based instructor who comes highly recommended.

www.gogirldriving.co.uk
A friendly school using only female instructors based in the Leeds area.

Online car parts and helpful advice on servicing and repairing your vehicle.
www.carparts-direct.co.uk

Diana Ballantyne, hypnotherapist
Diana offers hypnotherapy for driving test nerves
www.hypnosisdevon.co.uk

Theorytest.co.uk
A site offering information and advice on all aspects of the theory test
www.theory-test.co.uk


Writing

Women Writers Network
www.womenwriters.org
WWN holds meetings in central London with invited speakers including agents, magazine editors and published writers.

The Society of Authors
www.societyofauthors.net

Open to published authors, those with a contract for publication and those who have had more than a dozen articles or short stories accepted. They have both London and regional meetings and can offer advice on contracts and other publishing matters.

Danuta Kean
www.danutakean.com

Danuta is a leading commentator on the book trade. If you’re interested in getting published yourself then her features and blog will give you a valuable insight into the industry and a realistic idea of what you’re letting yourself in for!

Romantic Novelists’ Association
www.rna-uk.org

If you’re interested in writing romantic fiction, this organisation is fantastic – friendly, helpful and with a New Writers’ Scheme which gives feedback on manuscripts for yet-to-be-published novelists.

I’m a fan of joining writing groups and organisations - I’ve found them a tremendous source of information, advice and friendship. Here are a few that I’m a member of and would recommend –

The Society of Authors
www.societyofauthors.net
Open to published authors, those with a contract for publication and those who have had more than a dozen articles or short stories accepted. They have both London and regional meetings and can offer advice on contracts and other publishing matters.

The Guild of Motoring Writers
www.guildofmotoringwriters.co.uk

Membership of this respected and long-established Guild is extremely useful for motoring writers.

Women in Journalism
www.womeninjournalism.co.uk

For informative talks and fabulous parties, WIJ is invaluable.

Women Writers Network
www.womenwriters.org

WWN holds meetings in central London with invited speakers including agents, magazine editors and published writers.

Writewords
www.writewords.org.uk

An online writing community with articles, interviews, forums and published site experts (I’m one!) offering advice.

Journobiz
www.journobiz.com

An excellent journalism site with a lively and informative forum for freelancers.

Pem Charnley
www.articles.me.uk
Devon-based freelance environmental journalist

Other Useful Writing Sites

Freelance Writing Tip
www.freelancewritingtips.com

This site provides practical advice on making a living as a writer with useful articles and profiles of working journalists.

The Crime Writers Association
www.thecwa.co.uk

Essential site if you’re a crime writer. Their Debut Dagger competition for new writers is an excellent route to publication.

Mslexia
www.mslexia.co.uk

A site linked to Mslexia, a writing magazine for women – but full of features of interest to both genders.

Aspiring writers can benefit from informed, detailed feedback on their work. This is often difficult to find – family and friends are often too tactful and agents and editors simply don’t have time. Approaching an editorial consultancy, which will provide a report on your work for a fee can be a worthwhile option. Here are three agencies I’ve heard good things about:

www.cornerstones.co.uk
www.hilaryjohnson.com
www.literaryconsultancy.co.uk