August 19th, 2016
Last week I promised to let you know the winners of our Limerick Competition that closed at the end of July. So, ta-dah! Here they are.
First place was taken by Anthony Watts (pictured) from Somerset.
A scone is a scone is a scon,
Depending on whose side you’re on.
When writing in verse
This can prove a real curse
(Should you rhyme it with Joan or with John?) Read the rest of this entry »
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August 11th, 2016
I was reading an interview in the paper last weekend with best-selling author James Patterson. To date he’s sold more than 350 million books – but he was rejected by 31 publishers before his first novel ‘The Thomas Berryman Number’ was published in 1976. So, if you’ve had your fair share of rejections, don’t despair!
When asked what advice he’d give to others he was quoted as saying, “Writers always ask me how they should market their books. My advice is, don’t worry about that. Just start your next book. Just write.”
Sounds good, but I suspect it only really works if you already have a publisher, are earning lots of money for them and you are famous. For us mere mortals, in an age where getting an agent, let alone a publisher, seems nigh on impossible, I don’t really think it works. Publishers are having their promotional budgets cut all the time and the onus to generate self-publicity is falling more and more upon the author. And if you choose to self-publish, you’ve no alternative but to use every means at your disposal to reach the reading public. The thought of sitting at home beavering away at book after book may sound comforting but it’s not going to get a novice writer noticed. Read the rest of this entry »
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August 4th, 2016
We’ve all heard the saying …a good picture is worth a thousand words. It may be a cliché but it’s certainly true! So this week I thought I’d have a quick look at the options available to ensure that when you submit work to editors you really do increase your chances of success.
1. You don’t have to be a photographic genius. With today’s digital cameras and a little knowledge of image manipulation (which you can easily learn) you can take photos good enough to illustrate your articles – and they’ll be unique.
2. If you really can’t take the pictures yourself, try to come to a fair agreement with a good amateur photographer or a friend who is confident with a camera. Do a project together and then split the proceeds – a win-win agreement for both of you! Read the rest of this entry »
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July 26th, 2016
I normally don’t have any problem thinking up things to talk about in my blog posts. But this week, for some reason, I was really struggling. So I spent some time looking at writing-related topics on the internet and one interesting site came up: SmartBlogger.
In our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course we suggest that if you write you should seriously consider setting up a website to showcase your work or produce a regular blog. There are two (and probably many more) advantages to writing a blog: if you organise it properly it gets your name out there in front of people, and it also exercises your ‘writing muscle’, making you think creatively, and even giving you that push you need when other writing isn’t going too well. Read the rest of this entry »
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July 14th, 2016
This week really is going to be a miscellany! A few days ago I received a letter from Scottish Power asking me to contact them to arrange to have a Smart meter fitted. I can’t say I’m particularly excited by the prospect as I’m already pretty thrifty with my power consumption (just ask my long-suffering husband as he sits shivering in his thermals and three pullovers). And my idea of entertainment isn’t watching what happens to the meter when I turn on the kitchen light and the kettle at the same time.
I’ll go along with it, though, as it means no more taking readings from our very inaccessible electric meter or getting an estimated bill. But I’m certainly not as enamoured of the old system as Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. She’s been writing a poem in praise of traditional meters as she feels that memories of them should be preserved as they are phased out over the next few years. At least even she admits that it may be one of her more unusual projects! I’ll keep you posted. Read the rest of this entry »
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