27 Years of Success!

Tel: 0161 819 9922

A Flash In The Pan

August 28th, 2021

Before I go any further this week, I’d just like to remind you that we are now accepting entries for our current Flash Fiction Competition. As usual, there are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice, plus publication on our website. The entry fee is £5 for one story or £10 for three (£4 for one story or £8 for three if you are a member of the Association of Freelance Writers). Your story should be no longer than 500 words and the closing date is 30th November.

But if you’re trying to decide whether to enter and you’re a Flash Fiction novice, here are some simple guidelines to help you stand a better chance of writing the kind of story our judges are looking for.

There are many forms of flash fiction, and stories can range from thirty up to a thousand words. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on A Flash In The Pan

Spies, Thieves and Liars

August 20th, 2021

I was reading an interview with the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani recently (author of Adele and Lullaby, and winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize).  She said that her inspiration comes from the outside; so she always carries a notebook with her and because of this her children think she is a spy.  She goes on “I try to explain that a writer is a kind of spy, but also a thief and a liar. They have a very bad opinion of me”.

That might sound a very odd thing to say, but I think it’s true. If you’re going to make it as a writer, you’ve got to be attuned to everything that’s going on around you and people-watch constantly. Then you’ve got to surreptitiously take what you see and transmute it into material for your books and short stories – but you can only do this by giving it enough of a twist to turn it into something that’s out of the ordinary and gripping. So raise your glasses to the spies, the thieves and the liars amongst us! Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Spies, Thieves and Liars

Online Inspiration

August 14th, 2021

As you probably know, our 2021 Poetry Competition closed on 31st July. We are currently involved in the judging process and I’m amazed by how many first-class poems we have read so far. It really will be difficult to make a decision this year! But, we’ll try and let you have the results as soon as possible.

When one door closes another always opens – so you might want to start considering your entry for this year’s Flash Fiction Competition which has now been launched.  As usual your entry must not exceed 500 words. The entry fee is £5 per story or £10 for three (there’s a discount for subscribers to the Association of Freelance Writers). There are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice. The closing date is 30 November 2021. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Online Inspiration

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 »




Comments Off on Five Motivational Quotes

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 »




Comments Off on The Hemingway Effect

subscribe
About The Author: Diana Nadin

Blog Home

 
Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

Bookmark and Share