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Final Call For Limericks

July 27th, 2018

Thanks to Colin for last week’s blog. I’ve always loved the film ‘True Grit’ – particularly the old one with John Wayne. I think the post might even tempt me to go ahead and read the book now!

So that it doesn’t get overlooked, I’ll mention right at the start that our Limerick Competition will be closing on 31st July, so you’ve only a few days left to enter. The winner will receive £100 and a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Two runners up will each receive £50 and a year’s subscription to The Association of Freelance Writers. Read the rest of this entry »




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Opening Shots

July 20th, 2018

What is one of the commonest faults in stories written by writing students?

Before I answer this, peruse the opening of a novel by the prolific Irish novelist Amanda McKittrick Ros:

“Have you ever visited that portion of Erin’s plot that offers its sympathetic soil for the minute survey and scrutinous examination of those in political power, whose decision has wisely been the means before now of converting the stern and prejudiced, and reaching the hand of slight aid to share its strength in augmenting its agricultural richness?”

Pause, and take a moment to recover, if you need to!

You will not be surprised to hear that Amanda self-published most of her  work and she is regarded as one of the worst stylists in literature – and this may well be the worst opening to a novel ever. Read the rest of this entry »




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Something For The School Holidays

July 13th, 2018

First, thanks to Andrew for last week’s blog – it made me smile. I’m not an avid fan of The Big Painting Challenge but I remember sitting watching the episode where they were asked to  paint boats and actually willing them to stop adding ‘improvements’ to their work.  So, I agree with his comments in the post wholeheartedly. It’s essential to give yourself enough time to edit your writing thoroughly before sending it out but it’s also essential to know when enough’s enough!

With the long school holidays about to start I thought that this week I’d provide some suggestions that might be interesting for those of you who have kids that enjoy writing . The first of these, if you live in the Midlands, is the Spark Young Writers Summer School running from July 30th to August 3rd at Wolverhampton University. Read the rest of this entry »




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Edit, edit, edit…or don’t!

July 6th, 2018

When creating a piece of art, be it a song, a poem, or David’s extraordinarily chiselled abs, knowing how to ply the techniques of your craft is of vital importance. Equally important, however, is knowing when to stop. It’s amazing how many creative types master the first skill and utterly neglect the second.

If you watch any painting competition on TV, you can’t fail to spot the ‘fiddlers’ – those artists who, three-quarters of the way into the painting challenge, have created something truly magnificent, but who, because there’s still time left on the clock, can’t resist the urge to jiggle things about a bit. A touch more paint here, another splodge there, perhaps a more muted wash, oh and I could add a boat in the background – and as more and more layers of paint are laid down, the once great picture turns into an overworked, unemotional, lifeless piece of rubbish you wouldn’t even hang in a hotel toilet. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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