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National Flash Fiction Day

June 25th, 2021

First, thanks to Pamela for last week’s post. I know exactly where she’s coming from because I have a ‘water compulsion’ too. I love going to the seaside, whatever the weather. One of my favourite trips to Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland was accompanied by black clouds, raging seas and rain. Where I live, we’re surrounded by high moorland reservoirs – one of them even has a sandy ‘beach’ – and a network of canals; so local walks usually involve water! I can’t think of anything more inspirational or relaxing.

Perhaps there are more of us than you would think – or how else to explain the popularity of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which was on the Sunday Times best-seller list for 80 weeks. And if you want a really raw read then try Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean. It’s the story of a group of boys and men stranded on a remote sea-stack in the early 1700s while their home island of Hirta was ravaged by smallpox. Read the rest of this entry »




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Flash Fiction – Small But Perfect

November 20th, 2020

First, thanks to Sarah for last week’s post. She’s absolutely right about the need for perseverance,  and I’m sure that what she had to say will ring bells with many of our students past and present.

Once again we’ve got to the time of year when the Booker Prize winner is announced. First, though, here is the shortlist. I always look out for this because it usually provides a list of books that I can try to obtain through my library app or buy from Amazon.  I’ve heard quite a bit about Shuggie Bain and I think I might start with that!

If you’re getting bored with lockdown and want something to do, then why not enter our Flash Fiction Competition? It closes on 30th November and there are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 plus all three winners receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Read the rest of this entry »




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Flash of Inspiration

March 6th, 2020

My children’s novel has been quietly simmering on a back burner for eight years. Last year I decided a writing course would help stir it up. Check it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan (whilst working on my extended metaphors). So I enrolled on a Writers Bureau course, and seven modules in, I still look forward to every assignment. But the course has stirred up more than I’d anticipated. It’s given me an itch to write just for the sake of writing. This is how I found flash fiction. And I’m a little bit besotted.

Six months ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what flash fiction was. So where has this infatuation come from? For me, it’s the ability of the genre to capture fleeting inspiration and either hold it within its tiny frame, or let it grow into something new. Read the rest of this entry »




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For the Love of Flash

February 7th, 2020

When Diana kindly asked me if I would contribute to the WB blog I was a little stumped, considering my amateur status in the world of fiction, on what to write about. Recently, I have had success in placing in the WB Flash Fiction Competition, so with this in mind I thought I would share with you why I think writing flash fiction is invaluable to any aspiring writer.

With a word limit tending to range between 200 – 1000 words, flash allows you to lay down a complete first draft in one sitting, often in under twenty minutes, so you can create a fully formed piece of fiction in your lunch break. You gain a sense of accomplishment and are well on your way to having a piece ready for competition or publication. More importantly (for me at least) you are able to go through the complete writing process in miniature (re-drafting, proof reading etc.)  building on skills like editing, that you may rarely get to use when writing in longer forms. In going through the process, I’ve found that I enjoy the re-drafting more than writing the initial draft. This has given me more hope in completing the first draft of my novel, which (as I’m sure some of you have found) can be a painful process. At the end of the week you could have a fully realised piece of fiction ready to go. Read the rest of this entry »




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Gone In A Flash

March 16th, 2018

I don’t consider myself to be a ‘flasher.’ In fact, when I first heard the words ‘flash fiction’, I didn’t know what was meant. I’d seen something (on Twitter probably) called ‘Bath Flash’ and thought it was a cleaning product rather than a writing competition. But I was intrigued. I wanted to know what it was.

I discovered flash fiction is stories under 1000 words. It goes smaller. Some flash says 500 words or less, other flash hovers around the 300-word mark. Then there are Drabbles: 100 words or less. Some micro-fiction goes further. Whatever the miniscule word count, I was struck by the challenge of writing a complete story in so few words and thought I’d give it a go. Read the rest of this entry »




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