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Constrained Competition

June 23rd, 2015

typewriter-BlogSince we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »




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Where There’s a Will …

March 30th, 2015

Knights-Vampire-BlogCarole Taylor’s a stubborn lass. Even back at school she told everyone that, one day, she was going to write a book. Now, granted, she did get a bit side-tracked raising a family (and with her daughter the deputy head of a London primary school, son a departmental leader in an international bank, I think we can assume she put a reasonable amount of effort into that.) More recently, there’s been a major health scare with her heart. And now, as well as working part time for a TV production company, her first grandchild’s appeared on the scene … Nonetheless, she never did give up on that book thing and, in the end, didn’t just write one, but five. They’re not only written either, she’s had them all published as ebooks by an American online publisher. So, if any of you out there were thinking it was too late to get started on a writing career – read on. Read the rest of this entry »




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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

November 19th, 2014

newsprint-blogBack in the late 90’s I was working as an actor with a little theatre company in Brussels. We toured shows around Belgium and France, which sounds really exciting – and it was. But I’d been doing it for ten years and wasn’t exactly earning a fortune, so I was looking for a change.

Moving back to  the UK, I really fancied the writers’ life – staying home, on my own, lots of time to think, lots of coffee … sounded like heaven. But tinkering around with a story that eventually grew into an epic fantasy trilogy, I soon realized that, for me, novel writing wasn’t going to pay the bills. So I started the Writers Bureau Journalism Course. It seemed really interesting. Read the rest of this entry »




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First Floor – Writing, Articles and Stories – Going Up!

October 1st, 2014

Palak-Shah-blogDoes the name Palak Shah mean anything to you? Probably not (yet). But listen, she lives in Vadadora, a university city with a population of 1.8 million which sits on the banks of the Vishwamitri river in Gujarat, western India. With an MBA in finance, she’s already worked for four years with multinational companies, and spent three years as a professor in educational institutes – so she’s a bright spark. Read the rest of this entry »




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Crowd-Sourced Romance

March 21st, 2014

First, thanks to Jacqui Rochford for last Friday’s blog post. I must admit that although I enjoy poetry (after a trip to the WWI battlefields, I’ve just been revisiting Wilfred Owen and reading John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields), I’m no expert. So, I found it interesting to learn about a form (the sonnet corona) that I’d never come across before. Read the rest of this entry »




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