27 Years of Success!

Tel: 0161 819 9922

National Flash Fiction Day

June 25th, 2021

First, thanks to Pamela for last week’s post. I know exactly where she’s coming from because I have a ‘water compulsion’ too. I love going to the seaside, whatever the weather. One of my favourite trips to Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland was accompanied by black clouds, raging seas and rain. Where I live, we’re surrounded by high moorland reservoirs – one of them even has a sandy ‘beach’ – and a network of canals; so local walks usually involve water! I can’t think of anything more inspirational or relaxing.

Perhaps there are more of us than you would think – or how else to explain the popularity of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which was on the Sunday Times best-seller list for 80 weeks. And if you want a really raw read then try Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean. It’s the story of a group of boys and men stranded on a remote sea-stack in the early 1700s while their home island of Hirta was ravaged by smallpox. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on National Flash Fiction Day

Water-powered Writing

June 17th, 2021

Everyone knows how powerful water can be. We’ve all seen footage of waves crashing against a sea wall and of flash floods causing danger to life. But have you considered how water can be a power for good in your writing?

Writers from Shakespeare through Wordsworth and Virginia Woolf to more modern authors such as Neil Gaiman have been inspired by water in its many forms.

I often visit a local reservoir in my trusty campervan, Vincent – given my surname, my van couldn’t be called anything else! A walk along the lake shore can be peaceful or, on a blustery winter’s day, exhilarating. Yet, whatever the weather, I always come away with something useful for my writing, whether it’s the first draft of a poem, the outline of a short story or just the solution to a plot hole in my current work-in-progress. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Water-powered Writing

Genre Versus Literary Fiction

June 9th, 2021

You often hear the word ‘genre’ bandied about in writing – but what exactly does it mean? The dictionary defines it as ‘a style or category of art, music or literature’.

So, we have detective stories, thrillers, romance, historical novels, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, erotica… Each of these different genres has its own conventions. Loner detective with drink/hostile partner problem; Eastern European drugs/arms/people smugglers; dungeons and dragons; haunted houses…  You will probably find yourself wanting to write in one of these genres if you enjoy reading that type of story and feel you can bring something new to the conventions that faithful readers expect.

But what is the difference between genre fiction and literary fiction (the kind of story that wins the Booker Prize)? Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Genre Versus Literary Fiction

Short Story Competition Winners Announced

June 2nd, 2021

First, thanks to Savannah for last week’s post. She provided some interesting suggestions on how you might improve your short stories. It’s quite easy to get stuck in a rut when writing and it’s good to try out new ideas and approaches. There’s usually more than one way of writing a story and it pays to experiment until you find what works best for you and, of course, your reader.

Sorry about the delay in announcing the winners of our 2021 Short Story Competition. If you haven’t already discovered them on our website, here they are! In first place is Bob Thurber (see photo) with Thanksgiving 2010; in second place Ellen Evers with The Goodbye Visit; in third place Pamela Gough with Cake for a Wake and in fourth place Ruth Clarke-Irons with Cross My Heart. Congratulations to all of them and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading their work.

When the competition was held last year we’d gone into the first lockdown but the weather was good, people were feeling ‘creative’ and were striving to keep their spirits up. No one knew how long things would drag on – and the entries, on the whole, were very similar to those submitted for previous competitions. This year, things were very different and the themes that people chose seemed to reflect this – they were much darker and less optimistic. It had been a long hard winter, people were missing loved ones and there seemed no end in sight. That’s why Bob’s light-hearted, humorous story made it stand out from so many of the others. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Short Story Competition Winners Announced

subscribe
About The Author: Diana Nadin

Blog Home

 
Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

Bookmark and Share