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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July 7th, 2016
Most people are familiar with the Costa Book Awards but since 2012 they’ve also been doing a Short Story Award.
In order to choose the winner, the public votes for six shortlisted stories that have been chosen by the five judges. You can download and listen to, or read, all the shortlisted stories at the appropriate time. I’m quite looking forward to this stage, as the shortlisted entries are invariably of a high standard and you can learn a lot from the way they are crafted. It also gives you a clue as to what the public enjoys and you might want to take this into account when you’re putting together your own entries for future competitions. Read the rest of this entry »
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July 1st, 2016
First, thanks to Lorraine for last week’s blog. It’s great to have her back on the team and she makes a very valid point in her post. Never limit your ambitions. Keep an open mind and be willing to try anything.
With so many people self-publishing (as e-books and print on demand),do you really need an agent? It’s a question I get asked all the time. If you hope to get into professional, mainstream publishing then the answer is still a resounding ‘Yes’! For one thing, it will mean you dodge the horrors of the dreaded slush pile. Publishers trust the judgement of literary agents and will treat anything sent by them with special interest and care. In fact, many publishers won’t even accept a manuscript from an un-agented author. Read the rest of this entry »
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