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Eight Proofreading Techniques To Up Your Creative Writing Game

February 10th, 2017

Mary-Walton-blogNo matter how good your creative writing is, if it’s full of misspellings and errors it’s going to be unreadable. Good proofreading is the key to getting your work read and shared by others. Do you feel like you need to brush up on your skills? No problem. Read on for some of the best techniques you can use in your own proofreading routine.

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Short Story Competition – Now Open For Entries

February 2nd, 2017

end-of-the-wasp-season-blogFirst, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog.  I’ve been on holiday; so it was great not to have to think up something to post while I was away. I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica and despite the trip down to Gatwick (no flights direct from Manchester) and 11 hours in the air it was terrific. Blue skies, lush greenery and animals galore.  At the top of my wish list of beasties to see was the sloth! I wasn’t bothered about the monkeys, the crocodiles, the kinkajou… or even the rather attractive tarantula that popped up near the path one day. All I wanted was a real, live sloth. And, dear reader, I got plenty of them, hanging high in the trees. They might be slow but they’re not daft; so they stay high enough not to get caught which makes taking good photos difficult unless you’ve got a very high spec camera! Read the rest of this entry »




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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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