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Make Money From Standing On Your Soap Box

April 5th, 2019

First, thanks to Cheryl for last week’s blog. I’ve got a copy of Vengeance Is Mine waiting for me and I’m really looking forward to reading it this weekend! I will, of course, report back and let you know what I thought about it.

One of the modules in our course deals with writing readers’ letters to magazines and newspapers, and ‘filler’ items. These days ‘fillers’ can be quite difficult to put your finger on as they can range from short articles and tips on travel, food or money-saving through to quizzes and humorous anecdotes. Some students complain that working in this market isn’t ‘real writing’. It may not seem like it, but it can certainly bring in a bit of extra money – not to mention the enticing free gifts that various publications offer in lieu of cash. Read the rest of this entry »




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Deconstructive Criticism

March 22nd, 2019

First, thanks to Alex for last week’s post. I always have to check that I don’t use the words ‘very’ and ‘really’ too often in my writing. I’ve found that in most cases, I can delete the offending words without altering the meaning of the sentence.

Last Sunday I noticed that The Sunday Times AA Gill Award had been launched. AA Gill was The Sunday Times food critic who died from cancer in 2016, and loving both food and his acerbic wit, I miss his reviews bitterly. Gill was dyslexic and the organisers say … in line with this, your spelling and grammar will not be taken into account, but your entry should be bold, insightful and witty. Read the rest of this entry »




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What’s In A Title?

January 18th, 2019

Ta Dah! Sound of trumpets and roll of drums… I’m pleased to be able to announce the winners of our Flash Fiction Competition. Congratulations to Gordon Aindow, who took first place with Voicemail. For me, it was one of those stories which I read and could immediately put myself in the protagonist’s shoes. I could really see myself doing exactly the same in the circumstances (I won’t spoil the plot by saying what that was!) In second place was Rosy Edwards with Seek and Ye Shall Find – one of the best ‘twist in the tail’ stories I’ve read for a long time. I really didn’t see it coming. And in third place, Michelle Christophrou with Stinky Play-Doh Guy. Who could resist a title like that? Read the rest of this entry »




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New Competitions For The New Year

January 10th, 2019

You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve just launched our latest Writers Bureau Open Competition. It’s for short stories with a maximum length of 2000 words and the closing date is 31st March. As usual, there are four prizes: £300, £200, £100 and £50 and each winner will also receive a Writers Bureau Course of their choice.

Also, we’re almost ready to publish the results of our Flash Fiction Competition that closed recently. You’ll find that the shortlist is already available on our website. So, if you entered and want to check if you’re on it, go and have a look! The reason that there has been a delay in picking the winners is that the shortlist was so strong this year that we have really been struggling to decide which stories should get the top three slots. But, we should be ready to announce them by the time I publish next week’s blog. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Beauty Of Books…

August 24th, 2018

First, thanks to Roz for last week’s post. I’ve just started reading her book, ‘The Devil’s Dice’,  and I’m thoroughly enjoying it!

Talking about reading, I’ve had a bad back for the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t been as active as usual; so that  means I’ve had much more time to read. And have I used that time! Of the books I’ve read there are three that really stand out.

The first is ‘The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star’ by Vaseem Khan. It’s part of a series about a private investigator in Mumbai and his sidekick – a baby elephant called Ganesha. It does for India what the Number One Ladies Detective Agency did for Botswana. It’s not high literature, but it’s well written, heart-warming and makes you care about the characters. And it doesn’t shy away from the problems faced by the less well-off citizens of the country. I’ll certainly be dipping into the series again. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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