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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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Writing Factories!

April 30th, 2021

First, thanks to Julia Lavrinovich from The Novel Factory for getting in touch and sending me a link to a blog post on their site: How to Write A Main Character Your Readers Will Love. I think you’ll find what it has to say both interesting and useful. It looks at the four basic types of main character, explores a technique for building a complex main character from inside out and finally examines four ways to ensure readers love your main character. Definitely worth a look!

And now for a different writing factory – The Fiction Factory. Their First Chapter Competition is open for entries.  They say “Have you completed the first draft of your novel? Are you ready to pass it on to a fresh pair of eyes, to see if you are on the right track? Is your all-important first chapter ready for submission to an agent? Whatever your plans, your first chapter must shine – it must grab your readers or quickly lose their interest. Read the rest of this entry »




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Tips for Short Story Writers

March 7th, 2021

First, thanks to Theresa for last week’s post. I think many writers are intrigued by the idea of ghostwriting as they have friends, or know people, who they feel they could collaborate with to produce a great book. But, they’re not sure how to go about it.

They wonder what will happen if they get part way through and then the subject changes their mind?m What if they write the story that they’ve been told and then find that the subject disagrees with the slant they’ve put on it? What if they are refused permission to use facts and incidents that would  make it  more interesting? Does what they are being told lead to a legal minefield? Should they get agreement from a publisher before they begin or hope that a contract will be forthcoming on completion? And, not least, how will any profits be split? Read the rest of this entry »




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Student Of The Year 2021

February 22nd, 2021

It’s great that the winners of this year’s competition have now been announced and their stories are available to read on our website.

First the overall winner, Theresa Gooda – what diverse writing skills! She writes articles, short stories, poems and is also a ghost writer. (We’ll be hearing more about this from Theresa in her guest post next week.) She’s studied both our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course and our Art of Writing Poetry Course and she’s putting  the skills she’s learned in each to good use.

Next for the runners-up. Simon Miller has done something that many people only dream of – he’s broken into writing for radio, podcasts and TV. Humour is a notoriously difficult concept to sell but he seems to be going from strength to strength. Read the rest of this entry »




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Making Sure Your Competition Entries Are Original

January 25th, 2021

First, thanks to Simon for last week’s brilliant post. I agree absolutely with what he has to say and I suspect that most of us have got better  at using  our phone  cameras to record daily life and keep those we love updated over the past few months.  I know that I certainly have!

In addition to the video calls, our family have been taking snaps on our daily exercise walks and sharing them with those we love. My son tends to send pics of the children; my daughter-in-law sends pics of the family, but because she’s a keen photographer, she also sends ‘artistic’ pics of frosty grasses, unusual fungi and stunning sunsets. I try to reciprocate and it’s certainly made me think more about how I use my phone as a tool. So, if you’ve been honing your skills, why not take it a stage further and have the confidence to use what you’ve learned to illustrate your articles and earn more money from them! Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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