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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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Three Unusual Techniques To Try In Your Short Stories

May 25th, 2021

Savannah CordovaI’ve helped judge Reedsy’s weekly short story contest for nearly three years now, and it’s honestly been one of the most creatively fruitful experiences of my life. I’m a short fiction writer myself, and reading thousands of stories has helped me realize what actually goes into a good one — rather than what you think is good, but is really just self-indulgent or overdone.

Diana’s post on making sure your competition entries are original provides some excellent guidance on what to avoid in your stories. But today I want to talk about a few elements you might try experimenting with for greater success, along with some past Reedsy winners as examples! Though all these techniques take practice to pull off, once you’ve nailed them, you’re sure to grab a contest judge’s attention.  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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The Ten Commandments For Writing Divine Short Stories

July 31st, 2020

I’ve been wanting  to play God ever since I watched Bruce Almighty. I’m delighted to say the day has finally come. So, here is my Decalogue to write divine short stories.

1) You shall write

I can hear you shriek “really, Mr. God?” Although being obvious, it can be challenging. Write daily if possible, even just a couple of lines.

2) You shall read

Explore different authors and various genres. Learn from the masters. Above all (to me, at least): Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man; Stephen King, Everything’s Eventual. Read the rest of this entry »




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National Writing Day

June 12th, 2020

First, thanks to Colin for last week’s post. I’ve been reading a great deal over the past couple of months and it got me thinking about how many of the novels that I’ve downloaded had a quest at their heart.  And I’ve got to agree that it’s probably the majority!

I bet that quite a lot of you are currently working from home and at the same time trying to juggle this with home-educating your children. Not an easy task – I know how lucky I am not to have this extra pressure. So any resources are welcome – especially if your children are interested in creative writing. This year National Writing  Day is being held on 24th June and they say “This will be the fourth annual celebration of the power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite writing activities to help you celebrate at home.Read the rest of this entry »




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