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The Rising Price of Competition Entries

December 1st, 2017

As you know, our Flash Fiction Competition closed for entries yesterday, so I was going to suggest some alternative competitions that you might like to enter until we get our next one going. I found a few that I thought might interest you, but was then astounded by the entry fees that were being charged.

Fish Publishing  are currently running a series of competitions (with closing dates ranging from 31st January to 31st March). These include a Short Memoir Prize (4000 words), a Flash Fiction Prize (300 words) and a Poetry Prize (300 words) but the fees range from 14 Euros to 16 Euros per entry  – more if you enter online. The prizes are great but it’s still a lot of money! Read the rest of this entry »




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Putting the Emphasis on Non-fiction

June 9th, 2017

First, thanks to Sarah for last week’s blog.  I found it fascinating and very useful because, as you know, it’s becoming increasingly rare for small publishers to offer writers an advance. And if you do get one, it is often small (unless you’re one of those famous/infamous celebrities that can command a six figure deal). If you’re self-publishing, then you simply have to fund the full process yourself and in these cash-strapped times it’s not always easy. This is where crowdfunding can come in useful – but before you embark on anything like this make sure you take on board Sarah’s advice. It’s not easy, and you might find yourself spending more time raising funds than actually writing. You have been warned!

In the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Course we have a section on writing readers’ letters and fillers. Writing letters is pretty obvious, but some students struggle with the idea of ‘fillers’. At one time magazines needed very short articles that they could use to fill blank spaces on a page. Hence the name – ‘fillers’. This is no longer necessary, with electronic setting, as articles and photos can be re-shaped and re-sized so that they fill the appropriate space without any difficulty. Read the rest of this entry »




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Could You Be The Next Edgar Wallace?

April 28th, 2017

As usual, thanks to Colin for last week’s blog. I already knew quite a lot about Edgar Wallace – poet, crime reporter,  war correspondent, playwright, Hollywood screenwriter and director – but I had no idea that he was credited with being the author behind King Kong and co-creator of the first (and arguably the best) film. He was born into poverty in the UK – his first job, aged 11, was selling newspapers in Ludgate Circus. Despite being such a prolific and famous author who earned a fortune during his lifetime, he died owning millions! Read the rest of this entry »




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Finding Your Inner Poet

March 10th, 2017

Julia-Thorley--blogI’m tempted to say poetry isn’t really my thing; but while that used to be true, recently my attitude has changed and I’ve been become more open not just to reading it, but also writing it.

Of course, I did the usual stuff at school and several quotes are forever engraved on my mind: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (Owen); Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is Man (Pope); and, a particular favourite, Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide (Dryden). (When I get round to writing my best-selling novel about a tortured genius I shall call it ‘Thin Partitions’.) And then there’s this chilling morsel: This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together (Browning). Read the rest of this entry »




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Show Don’t Tell

October 7th, 2016

the-japanese-lover-blogYesterday was National Poetry Day – if you took part in any way I hope you enjoyed yourself. To mark the event we’ve been offering £25 off our Art of Writing Poetry course and this offer will be available until 16th October.  So if you fancy brushing up your poetry skills, now’s the time to do it.

I live in Rochdale, near Manchester. It doesn’t often get good press. Some parts come very high on the list of most deprived areas in the UK, there was the grooming scandal involving young girls and who could miss the allegations against Cyril Smith the former Liberal MP.

But it’s a town that’s set amidst beautiful  Pennine countryside,  it has some truly outstanding Victorian buildings and it’s really trying to put all that behind it and move on.  One of the many ways it’s doing this is by holding an annual literary festival later in the month. Read the rest of this entry »




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