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Reeling In Your Reader

April 26th, 2019

I have to admit that I love a bit of fiction. Don’t you? There’s nothing like being whisked away to exciting new worlds, or going on thrilling adventures. Equally, there’s something special about a love story that gives you that happy glow and makes you feel that all is right with the world.

Now, I love reading books, but I also like a short story. In today’s world, life seems to be galloping along, and we barely have time to breathe, but we all have the odd five minutes to spare. And five minutes is all it takes to read a short story and to lose yourself in someone else’s life.

It’s the first couple of sentences that usually sucks me into a story. Take this example:

“I didn’t mean it. Please…please don’t hurt me,” the young girl said, her dark eyes welling up with tears.  

 “You should have thought of that before,” the man said, advancing towards her.   Read the rest of this entry »




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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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