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Short Story Winners 2020!

May 29th, 2020

First, thanks to Ryan for last week’s post. Getting to grips with selling your work online is more important than ever, but please heed the warning about some sites that claim to provide opportunities for freelances. Because you’re competing against so many other writers, the pay can be  terrible; or the arrangement is that you only get a few pence (or cents) if someone actually clicks on your content.

I know you’re trying to build up a profile and a body of work to show editors and publishers but always bear in mind the well-known quotation from Samuel Johnson: No man but a blockhead every wrote, except for money. You want to be boosting your bank balance as well as your credibility. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guide to Selling Your Writing Online

May 24th, 2020

The freelance market is rapidly growing. More and more people are switching to freelancing and becoming independent specialists. Especially today, with a dangerous pandemic reigning over the world, more people are choosing  to work remotely than ever before,  as they distance themselves socially.

For others, who cannot do their jobs from home, this is the time to try and earn money from practicing the skills they have and maybe switch to a full-time freelance career in the future.

So here is a brief guide to earning money from your writing  and selling your work  online. Read the rest of this entry »

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Expanding Our Vocabulary

May 15th, 2020

First, thanks to Yen Cabag for last week’s post on dialogue. I must apologise, as at the end of my previous blog I said we would be hearing from Ryan Pell. My mistake! But don’t worry; Ryan will be with you next week.

On the subject of dialogue, Coronavirus appears to be expanding our vocabulary and because of this the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) has taken the unprecedented step of updating the words they include outside their usual quarterly cycle. Whenever we read or listen to a news report we are bombarded with new vocabulary from epidemiology and medicine; new acronyms and words to express social imperatives and imposed isolation and distancing. It’s always been the case that great social change brings great linguistic change and it has never been truer than in the last few months. Read the rest of this entry »

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5 Tips to Write Compelling Dialogue

May 8th, 2020

Writing a story or novel is a skill that takes time to develop: you need to know how to flesh out your characters, strategize your plot, reach a satisfying climax, and wrap everything up neatly.

One of the most crucial tools in your writers’ toolbox is compelling dialogue. The best writers know how to make their characters talk in a way that feels so real, we can instantly identify who’s speaking even without a dialogue tag. How do they do that?

How to write better dialogue

Here are some tips on how to write better dialogue:

  1. Listen to the way people talk.

One pitfall that writers fall into is writing dialogue for characters as though they were writing, not talking. Take time to pay attention to the way that real people talk, and take note of the following:

They tend to speak in fragments and not always in full sentences.

They don’t always speak in grammatically correct lines.

A lot of the time, they interrupt each other.

Use these in your writing and you will see the dialogue becoming more real. Read the rest of this entry »

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Literary Podcasts

May 1st, 2020

First, thanks to Alexandra for last week’s post. I found it really interesting, especially the fact that she took the time to think what the different age groups would respond to and enjoy. This is something that anyone serious about writing for children should have in the forefront of their mind.

We’ve now read through all the entries for the recent Short Story Competition and are putting together a shortlist. So watch this space! It shouldn’t be long before we are able to announce the winners.

In the meantime, we are now accepting entries for the 2020 Poetry Competition. As usual, we accept poems on any theme, up to a limit of 40 lines. The first prize is £300, second prize is £200 and third prize is £100 plus all winners will receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. The closing date is 31st July. I feel I must provide one tip here. I know Coronavirus is the main thing in everyone’s mind at the moment so you might want to think twice about choosing this theme. But if you do feel that you are really inspired to write about some aspect of the current situation then make sure that your subject and approach is truly original. Read the rest of this entry »

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