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Winner of Student Only Short Story Competition

August 15th, 2018

Liz GouldsTwice a year we run a student only competition. This time we asked students for a 300-word short story. We had a stack of entries to go through and after much deliberation we made our choice. So congratulations to Liz Goulds for her wonderful story:

The Spice of Life Read the rest of this entry »




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Final Call For Limericks

July 27th, 2018

Thanks to Colin for last week’s blog. I’ve always loved the film ‘True Grit’ – particularly the old one with John Wayne. I think the post might even tempt me to go ahead and read the book now!

So that it doesn’t get overlooked, I’ll mention right at the start that our Limerick Competition will be closing on 31st July, so you’ve only a few days left to enter. The winner will receive £100 and a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Two runners up will each receive £50 and a year’s subscription to The Association of Freelance Writers. Read the rest of this entry »




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Edit, edit, edit…or don’t!

July 6th, 2018

When creating a piece of art, be it a song, a poem, or David’s extraordinarily chiselled abs, knowing how to ply the techniques of your craft is of vital importance. Equally important, however, is knowing when to stop. It’s amazing how many creative types master the first skill and utterly neglect the second.

If you watch any painting competition on TV, you can’t fail to spot the ‘fiddlers’ – those artists who, three-quarters of the way into the painting challenge, have created something truly magnificent, but who, because there’s still time left on the clock, can’t resist the urge to jiggle things about a bit. A touch more paint here, another splodge there, perhaps a more muted wash, oh and I could add a boat in the background – and as more and more layers of paint are laid down, the once great picture turns into an overworked, unemotional, lifeless piece of rubbish you wouldn’t even hang in a hotel toilet. Read the rest of this entry »




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In Praise of Competitions…

February 16th, 2018

In summer last year I chanced upon a short story competition and decided to enter. I hadn’t even appreciated that such things existed.

I didn’t win. In fact, I heard nothing back from the organisers, save for an acknowledgment of receipt. But I enjoyed the experience; it piqued my interest, and I searched for more.

Before long, I had a list of potentials and aimed to come up with entries for each. These were stories that I would never have written were it not for the spur of the contests. Read the rest of this entry »




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Don’t Ignore The Small Press Magazines

March 17th, 2017

First, thanks to Julia for last week’s blog. After reading it, and the very polished entry that she submitted to the recent AFW poetry competition, I think she should stop being tempted to say ‘poetry isn’t really my thing’ – it most definitely is!

However, I definitely know what my thing is, and I’m not sure I should be boasting about it: collecting snippets of useless (but, in my defense, interesting) information. I recently read an article about Milton and Paradise Lost. Apparently, it’s been estimated that he introduced 630 new words into the English Language (Will Shakespeare was a laggard by comparison with only 229). Examples include pandemonium, fragrance, didactic, stunning, impassive, debauchery, self-delusion and terrific. Read the rest of this entry »




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