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Stay On The Train

July 16th, 2020

When I was at primary school, I rewrote an Enid Blyton Noddy story from memory. The teacher, Mrs Gresty, insisted I’d copied it. I was equally insistent that I hadn’t and that’s when I knew that someday I’d be a writer, though it took another thirty years of writing many, many essays and reports before my first fiction appeared.

I sent a short story to the BBC, who said they liked it, but it read more like a play. So, and this was in the late 80’s and I was in my mid-40’s, I started writing for the theatre, here in Liverpool, with some success, cutting my teeth on Network Theatre, a socialist group performing at demonstrations, trade union events, etc. One of our members was also a poet, so I started to write poetry. Twenty years and two collections later, I found I was writing more and more narrative poetry, so switched to short fiction, getting short and flash fiction stories published online and in magazines and anthologies. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writer of the Year Award

January 29th, 2016

rachel-dove-blogAs you probably already know, we hold a ‘Writer of the Year Award’ and our winner for 2016 has just been announced as Rachel Louise Dove. Congratulations Rachel! Since enrolling, she has been doing well selling articles and stories to a variety of magazines. The real feather in her cap, though, has been winning the Flirty Fiction Competition that Prima held last year in conjunction with Mills & Boon.

But the Award isn’t just about the writer who has sold the most articles/stories or made the most money. One of the reasons why we chose Rachel is because she has used her writing to further a good cause – raising over £2000 for cancer charities by contributing three of her stories to anthologies. Read the rest of this entry »




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Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers

November 3rd, 2015

reading-blogWe’ve featured one of this writer’s YouTube clips before – but I do like her style and enthusiasm! Also, because some of the tips are geared to copywriting, rather than just creative writing, I thought you might find them particularly useful.

We give you most of these tips in our course but they are so important that they are worth repeating. So in reverse order…

10. When you’ve finished writing, let the piece rest before sending it off.

9. If you aim to write, then read! Read the rest of this entry »




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Litfests Galore!

June 26th, 2015

port_eliot_festivalFirst , thanks to Mike for last Friday’s blog. Whatever he chooses to call it, I just wish I could write humour half as well as he does!

Summer seems to bring out a spate of literary festivals, big and small. There’s the Ampthill Literary Festival on 11th July; the Buxton Festival from 10th to 26th July; the Ledbury Poetry festival from 3rd to 12th July… the list goes on and on and full details can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »




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Constrained Competition

June 23rd, 2015

typewriter-BlogSince we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »




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