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Flash Fiction And The Power Of The Unreliable Narrator

January 27th, 2017

MaryBevanWebJust now I am fascinated by the way flash fiction challenges us writers. We are given so few words to play with, which means we have to do a lot with every single word, choosing each for maximum meaning and suggestiveness. It also seems to me that flash pieces offer us a chance to experiment with new forms that will enable us to do more and more with less and less.

One of the first decisions you have to make in writing a flash piece concerns the ‘voice’ of the story. Will you choose third person narration, where you’re telling a story about people and events as seen from the outside, or first person narration, where you create an ‘I’ who tells the readers the story, giving his or her version of events? If you choose first person narration then you can go one step further and plump for an ‘unreliable narrator’, that is, someone who offers an account of events in whose literal truth the reader is led to disbelieve as the story unfolds. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writing for Children

January 16th, 2017

writing-for-children-blogThis week I’m breathing a sigh of relief as we’ve just come to the end of updating our Writing for Children Course.  It’s had a really good overhaul by the original writer Karen King, but even when she’s done all her hard work there’s still plenty more for us to do here at Head Office.  And you can’t  beat that feeling of satisfaction when everything is finished!

The course is packed full of useful information on writing in different genres and for different age groups – plus how to market your writing.  And a the biggest plus is the fact that there are 15 assignments, all marked by an experienced children’s writer who will offer personal feedback on  your work.  Of the assignments, 10 are structured but then the rest are ‘open’ so that you can have your tutor’s help and advice on your own particular project. Read the rest of this entry »




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Robots Writing

January 12th, 2017

what-is-the-what-blogAs I write this, I’m watching the snow come down, settle and then melt away. It’s a very half-hearted attempt! But it’s certainly miserable for anyone out in it and it’s times like this that tempt even the most industrious writer to have a ‘duvet day’.

My advice is: don’t fight it. The odd day’s loss of production can soon be made up and it’s the ideal time to curl up and have a good read. Most successful authors agree that if you don’t read, you’ll never by a competent writer. Stephen King is quoted as saying: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Read the rest of this entry »




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Happy New Year!

January 6th, 2017

rachel-dove-blogFirst, happy New Year to everyone. For those of you who are already writing, I hope you’ll have a productive year – and one that brings you recognition and rewards for your work. For those of you who are still dithering, get on with it! There’s no time like the present to take the plunge and if you don’t try you’ll never find out if you’ve got what it takes to be a writer.

Every year we hold our Student of the Year Competition (which closes on 31st December) and it won’t be long before we’ll be announcing the results for 2017. The winner and runners up come from various backgrounds and countries but each year they have one thing in common – if they hadn’t decided to follow their dreams and start writing they’d never have found out how successful they could be. Read the rest of this entry »




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