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Five Motivational Quotes

July 23rd, 2021

I’m sure that like me, over the past 18 months you’ve been dependent on library apps and Amazon Kindle for your reading matter. (After lengthy closure during the early months of the pandemic, my local library is still being used as a vaccination centre.) So I just thought I’d mention the Kindle Storyteller Award 2021. It’s a £20,000 literary prize recognising outstanding writing and is open to writers publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing. Readers play a significant role in selecting the winner, helped by a panel of judges including various book industry experts. It’s open for entries until 31st August 2021.

I know that some of you might find the thought of publishing your book with Kindle Direct Publishing daunting, but if you have a book ready to hit the shelves and no publisher or agent in sight then it’s definitely worth considering this option. I’ve not done it myself but I have been told by various students that KDP simplifies the process as much as possible and that it’s not beyond the know-how of anyone who’s reasonably confident in their IT skills (or has an obliging friend or grandchild to help them). So with such a generous prize on offer at the moment, maybe now is the time to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Western is Dead: Long Live The Western

July 16th, 2021

I recently glanced at something my husband was watching on TV and realised it was John Wayne riding across the great plains of the American West – the type of film that used to be on all the time when I was growing up (yes, I know, I’m giving away my age there). I didn’t stop to watch it but it did get me thinking about the fate of the Western novels, once so popular too.

It might take a bit of hunting to locate the westerns section in most bookshops and online stores, but that doesn’t mean that the genre is dead. Westerns go in and out of fashion and there’s every likelihood that tales of the Wild West will find a fresh, eager market. Prior to the pandemic many holidaymakers were making the pilgrimage to see the breath-taking scenery of America’s rugged canyons, mountains and deserts. And as soon as travel opens up fully I’m sure the desire will be there again. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Hemingway Effect

July 9th, 2021

For fans of Ernest Hemingway, the new documentary series on BBC4 that started last week is a real treat. When I saw that there were six episodes I thought it might be slow and ponderous, but if the first one was anything to go by that’s far from the truth. An hour in and we’re still only up to his early twenties but it was fascinating. I suspect that many people are aware of his love of bull-fighting, his deep-sea fishing, his game-hunting, his womanising and his hard drinking. But there was so much about his early life that was new to me and shed a light on his future development both as a person and as an author. I’ll confess that he’s never been one of my favourite writers, but I find the story of his life irresistible.

Before we go any further this week, I need to remind you about our Poetry Competition as time is flying and it will be the end of the month – and the closing date for entries – before you can blink. There are three prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Your poem can be up to 40 lines and on any theme.  The entry fee is £5.00 per poem (or £4.00 if you are a member of the Association of Freelance Writers). Read the rest of this entry »




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Happy Endings

July 2nd, 2021

Something we always stress to non-fiction writers is the need for a good opening paragraph if they are to grab the editor/reader’s attention.

But what about the closing paragraph? It may not have an immediate impact on the success or failure of your article/feature, but every piece of writing needs a conclusion. Without one, the reader will be left hanging. After you’ve included all the information you want your article to contain, you should round off your piece in a satisfying way. As with the style, language, length etc this needs to be appropriate for your market. So, check if there are any trends that you can spot.

The Summary:  Some articles end by summarising the main points of the article. If you follow these ten easy steps, you too could be in a smaller dress size for summer. Read the rest of this entry »




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