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Flash Fiction – Small But Perfect

November 20th, 2020

First, thanks to Sarah for last week’s post. She’s absolutely right about the need for perseverance,  and I’m sure that what she had to say will ring bells with many of our students past and present.

Once again we’ve got to the time of year when the Booker Prize winner is announced. First, though, here is the shortlist. I always look out for this because it usually provides a list of books that I can try to obtain through my library app or buy from Amazon.  I’ve heard quite a bit about Shuggie Bain and I think I might start with that!

If you’re getting bored with lockdown and want something to do, then why not enter our Flash Fiction Competition? It closes on 30th November and there are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 plus all three winners receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Read the rest of this entry »




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Why Perseverance Is Essential As A Writer

November 13th, 2020

Writing can be extremely rewarding. To see your name in print is a thrilling experience, but do not be deceived – writing is a difficult thing to do. Writing is challenging and the competition is fierce, so achieving success is more difficult now than it used to be. Particularly since lockdown where more and more people have either started writing or picked it back up again.

This is where perseverance with your writing comes in. To persevere, means to keep doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

It’s easy to start a writing project because it’s new and exciting but once you start to receive one rejection after the next it can be disheartening. Read the rest of this entry »




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Write Your Way Through Lockdown

November 6th, 2020

First, thanks to Alison for last week’s post. I’m sure it can seem rather daunting joining a writing circle – all those people who you think might be able to write better than you… being expected to share your work with others. But I hope she has put your mind at rest: that nothing will be expected of you that you don’t want to share and it can be a very positive and re-assuring way of taking your writing forward to the next level.

OK, so we’re at the start of a new month-long lockdown! Last time it happened we had the optimism of spring and early summer stirring in our bones. This time, after a long, soggy autumn I think most of us are feeling a little jaded if not downright unsettled. It’s certainly not as much fun clearing up soggy leaves and cutting back dead foliage as it was bringing your garden to life, sowing seeds and planting vegetables. Those daily exercise and well-being walks aren’t nearly as enjoyable in the cold and rain. So now’s the time to look for something else and, as winter draws in, writing is the perfect antidote. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writing in Circles

October 30th, 2020

I’d wanted to write for some years but it was only as the children got older and we moved up to the Midlands in 1999 that I felt I might have the time. A character in my head kept saying ‘Write my story!’ and I’d even begun to draft a novel for her, but I couldn’t get past chapter three. The thought of sharing my writing with a group of strangers, who no doubt had years of experience, was very intimidating so it took a degree of courage to go along to the local Writers’ Circle that I’d seen advertised in a free paper. The group turned out to be quite small, eight that day, with a range of ages and abilities. The speaker was a local historian who gave us a slide presentation about his work and a month later there was a manuscript evening where members read out a passage of work in progress and were given constructive feedback by the members. I didn’t feel up to sharing my story but several months later I took the plunge, and was pleased by the advice and encouragement I received. It gave me the confidence to carry on writing. Read the rest of this entry »




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Picture Books that Inspire Kids, and Grown-ups too!

October 23rd, 2020

I’ve now got two lovely grandsons (who I don’t see anywhere near enough of under current restrictions). The elder, who’s just turned four, has always loved books so every  time I visit I try to find something new. And that’s not as easy as it sounds.

The shops are packed with glossy picture books but the actual content is often meaningless drivel that certainly doesn’t stimulate a young mind (and I’m not talking genius level here). Books for kids basically need to be relevant to their lives and what they know about. Only once you’ve put this in place can you start adding the things that will stretch their imagination (dinosaurs, witches, talking pumpkins). So, if you think you can tell a good tale and may be considering writing a picture book then which authors set a brilliant example? Read the rest of this entry »




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