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Don’t Ignore The Small Press Magazines

March 17th, 2017

First, thanks to Julia for last week’s blog. After reading it, and the very polished entry that she submitted to the recent AFW poetry competition, I think she should stop being tempted to say ‘poetry isn’t really my thing’ – it most definitely is!

However, I definitely know what my thing is, and I’m not sure I should be boasting about it: collecting snippets of useless (but, in my defense, interesting) information. I recently read an article about Milton and Paradise Lost. Apparently, it’s been estimated that he introduced 630 new words into the English Language (Will Shakespeare was a laggard by comparison with only 229). Examples include pandemonium, fragrance, didactic, stunning, impassive, debauchery, self-delusion and terrific. Read the rest of this entry »




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Last Call for Competition Entries!

November 27th, 2015

manga-boy-blogI’ve just got back from a holiday in Japan – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was a terrific experience:  wonderful autumn colours in the mountains and forests; imposing Shogun castles and enough temples and shrines to keep you going for a lifetime (and who can argue with people who are so relaxed about their religion that when you find a Buddhist temple it often has a Shinto shrine in the same complex). Read the rest of this entry »




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Could You Be Our Writer Of The Year?

November 20th, 2015

Jacqueline_Jeynes_200The time has come round once again when we’re looking for Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2016.  We have been holding this event since 2006 and in that time we’ve heard some wonderful stories.

Last year’s winner was Jacqueline Jeynes (pictured) who, amongst other things, now writes for Silver Travel Advisor website and has started to get the kind of all-expenses-paid trips that every travel writer dreams of.

In 2014 it was Martin Read who took The Award. He now regularly sees his name in magazines and newspapers, travelling to sporting events around the country and interviewing a diverse range of people. He says, “In the last few months I’ve interviewed a cabinet minister, a senior official at Westminster Abbey, two rugby internationals, professional cricketers, a top cricket umpire and a professional, international football referee. It’s a dream job for me.” Read the rest of this entry »




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July 24th, 2015

National-Literacy-Trust-blogFirst, thanks to Simon for last week’s blog. I really like the idea of ‘Demented Optimism’ – as a writer I don’t think you ever get anywhere unless you believe in yourself and your creations. Such optimism may be demented, but it’s essential!

I read an article recently in the Sunday Times Magazine. It was about a man called Denis Pethebridge – and his 30 years of literary failure! In a leather-bound scrap book he had amassed 338 rejection letters. Starting in 1937 he had sent out articles, stories and novels to just about every newspaper, magazine, agent and publisher in the UK…and had rejections from them all. But did that stop him? No. By 1967 he was planning to start a new volume of rejection letters because the first was overflowing. Apparently he eventually self-published a novel in 1996 at the age of 77 and went on to live until he was 94. In his case optimism, however unfounded, was no detriment to his health. You’ve got to have staying power if you really want to be a writer, and not let rejection get you down. Read the rest of this entry »




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25 Tips To Help You Enjoy Your Writing More

May 15th, 2015

writers-block-e1330141118646-blogAs usual, thanks to Esther – I hope you’ll decide to enter her competition.

While we’re on the subject of the ‘C’ word, our own Limerick competition has now come to an end. I’ve been sifting through the entries and I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of them. I’ve got a very bad habit of doing this kind of task in bed – much to my husband’s consternation.  Last week he had to resort to ear-plugs because I kept reading the good ones aloud to him. And they say romance is dead! Read the rest of this entry »




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