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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 »




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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 »




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