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Short Story Winners 2020!

May 29th, 2020

First, thanks to Ryan for last week’s post. Getting to grips with selling your work online is more important than ever, but please heed the warning about some sites that claim to provide opportunities for freelances. Because you’re competing against so many other writers, the pay can be  terrible; or the arrangement is that you only get a few pence (or cents) if someone actually clicks on your content.

I know you’re trying to build up a profile and a body of work to show editors and publishers but always bear in mind the well-known quotation from Samuel Johnson: No man but a blockhead every wrote, except for money. You want to be boosting your bank balance as well as your credibility. Read the rest of this entry »




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Expanding Our Vocabulary

May 15th, 2020

First, thanks to Yen Cabag for last week’s post on dialogue. I must apologise, as at the end of my previous blog I said we would be hearing from Ryan Pell. My mistake! But don’t worry; Ryan will be with you next week.

On the subject of dialogue, Coronavirus appears to be expanding our vocabulary and because of this the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) has taken the unprecedented step of updating the words they include outside their usual quarterly cycle. Whenever we read or listen to a news report we are bombarded with new vocabulary from epidemiology and medicine; new acronyms and words to express social imperatives and imposed isolation and distancing. It’s always been the case that great social change brings great linguistic change and it has never been truer than in the last few months. Read the rest of this entry »




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Literary Podcasts

May 1st, 2020

First, thanks to Alexandra for last week’s post. I found it really interesting, especially the fact that she took the time to think what the different age groups would respond to and enjoy. This is something that anyone serious about writing for children should have in the forefront of their mind.

We’ve now read through all the entries for the recent Short Story Competition and are putting together a shortlist. So watch this space! It shouldn’t be long before we are able to announce the winners.

In the meantime, we are now accepting entries for the 2020 Poetry Competition. As usual, we accept poems on any theme, up to a limit of 40 lines. The first prize is £300, second prize is £200 and third prize is £100 plus all winners will receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. The closing date is 31st July. I feel I must provide one tip here. I know Coronavirus is the main thing in everyone’s mind at the moment so you might want to think twice about choosing this theme. But if you do feel that you are really inspired to write about some aspect of the current situation then make sure that your subject and approach is truly original. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writing As Therapy

April 1st, 2020

First, thanks to Mick for last week’s blog. I know everything seems so uncertain at the moment and I suspect that lots of us are feeling rather distracted and unable to concentrate on anything other than making sure we have a fully stocked freezer, and that those we  love are well and not in financial difficulty.

But if you can concentrate for a few hours every day, then this really is a perfect time to settle down and write. So, I’m not going to use this post as an excuse to witter on about Coronavirus or air my views about the government’s response to it. Instead, I’m going to suggest some outlets for your writing that you might want to consider. Read the rest of this entry »




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Are You Considering Self-publishing?

February 28th, 2020

First, thanks to Esther for last week’s blog. I enjoy reading both ‘proper’ books and e-books.  As I’m sure I’ve said before, for me it’s all about the most cost-effective way of getting my hands on what I want to read, whether it’s physically visiting my local library, using their library app, browsing in a good bookshop or downloading a book from Amazon. But I do tend to have a preference for my Kindle when I’m reading in bed. As Esther said – less strain on the arms!

I know that even young children are now savvy when it comes to tablets and phones and there are so many channels on the TV fighting for their attention. But I still get a buzz out of the fact that my 14-month-old grandson loves his books. He likes nothing better than making his choice and then staggering over with his favourite picture book so that we can sit down and enjoy it together. Let’s hope it lasts. Read the rest of this entry »




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