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The Janus Effect

December 22nd, 2017

We’re now at that time when people start looking back over the year that’s just gone and looking forward to the future. So, I thought I’d share some of the advice that I’ve been given over the years and found helpful. I hope it will give you some ideas for how you intend to approach your writing over the next 12 months

1. Sit down and think about what you wish to achieve – but don’t be over-ambitious. Rather than saying ‘I’m going to write my novel…’ when you haven’t even started the first draft, try ‘I’m going to have the first six chapters completed by the end of March.’ Or ‘I’m going to send off two short stories/articles to X Magazine by the end of January’. Breaking things into smaller chunks makes them more attainable.

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Show Don’t Tell

December 15th, 2017

I’m back to a bit of mix-and-match this week. First, I’d like to mention a competition I saw recently. Creative Writing for All is currently accepting entries for its 2018 Poetry and Short Story Competition. The theme is Cats and/or Dogs. The entry fee is £5 for the first entry and then £3 for any subsequent entries and the prizes in each category  are 1st: £60, 2nd: £30, 3rd: £15. All profits go to a good cause – The RSPCA at The Holdings, Kempsey. The closing date is 30th April; so you have plenty of time to start thinking up those animal-inspired plots and poems.

Next, I’d like to suggest you have a look at Popshot Magazine.  It’s an illustrated literary magazine – you can subscribe to the online version or the physical edition, and it’s a long time since I’ve seen such a beautifully produced publication. Even if you don’t feel you want to subscribe, there is plenty of content on their website that you can access free, to get a feel for their ethos. And it might just tempt you… Read the rest of this entry »




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Standing Orders

March 24th, 2017

When I worked for a high street bank I was taught all about standing orders. These allow you to pay the same amount of money to the same person/company on a continuous basis. It’s a regular commitment.

Whenever a new customer opened up a current account with us we encouraged them to open up a savings account too. Then we’d set up a standing order to transfer a small amount to their new savings account on the day after payday.

Transfer £50 every month and after 12 months those small little deposits mount up to £600. Not a bad little sum: ideal to put towards Christmas, or perhaps a summer holiday.

What I didn’t realise when I embarked on my freelance writing career was that writers should make standing orders too. Not financial ones, but time and word standing orders. 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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