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Student Only Letter Writing Competition Winner

March 13th, 2018

A couple of times a year we run a student only competition with a £25 prize. Our latest one was to write a reader’s letter featuring an animal and send it to us with a photograph.  We had a wonderful response with lots of lovely pictures of beloved pets and other animals. There were also some serious ones about how human behaviour can have devastating results on the animal kingdom. It was hard to choose a winner but this one from Belinda Daly made us laugh. We hope you enjoy it.

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Thoughts on Character Creation

October 20th, 2017

In real life you’ve probably at some time met someone who has become a friend. Only gradually do you get to know the person and even after months or more you may be surprised by some revelation about them.

A character in fiction will be gradually revealed but as the writer you must know your  characters fully before you start the story.

It’s a good idea to make a detailed profile of your main characters. This helps you to be consistent and to know what they would and wouldn’t do, and not to provide sudden changes in behaviour which would be out of character and unbelievable to the reader. Occasionally a sudden change may be justified, for instance, if the character has suffered some tragedy or trauma, but as the author, you should have prepared for this. Read the rest of this entry »

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Recycling Your Favourite Books

September 15th, 2017

First, thanks to Karen for last week’s blog. It was interesting to hear about where she gets her ideas. We advocate freewriting in our courses and it’s something I recommend you try.

She also mentioned that for the first time she has joined an evening class for writing. Even if you are already studying one of our courses, actually getting together with other writers (whether in regular classes, the occasional workshop or for weekend breaks) can be a great source of inspiration.

I’ve noticed that Women’s Weekly magazine is currently offering a range of workshops, and you would assume that their tutors are knowledgeable about what the current markets are looking for. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letters and Fillers From Your Phone

September 1st, 2017

As usual, thanks to Christine for last week’s blog. I love the whimsical way she approaches characterisation. It really makes her writing seem like a labour of love rather than a chore. I can imagine her wandering around the supermarket, pushing a trolley and chatting away in her mind to the characters that will inhabit her next story.

And talking about supermarkets, I was recently looking at the Writers Bureau Student Forum and someone was saying that they were having problems sending out readers’ letters from their phone.  There was a very helpful response from ‘Susan K’: Read the rest of this entry »

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What Kind Of Writing Course Is Best For You?

August 4th, 2017

First, thanks to Maria for last week’s blog. It must be great to attend one of her courses in such a wonderful setting. I can feel myself turning green just thinking about it!

Like her, I’ve no interest in criticizing taking a master’s degree in writing, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this option is now horribly expensive and I have talked to a number of people who really have been quite disappointed by the experience. Whereas they wanted (and expected) something practical, instead they have been faced with theory and found themselves no nearer publication at the end than at the beginning. In addition, they’ve felt there has been a lack of interaction with their tutor.

So, my advice would be to always do your research thoroughly before making any decision – or paying any money! Look at all the options, whether it’s a university course, a week-long course (like the one Maria runs, or those organised by Arvon at their various sites) or a distance learning course where you have one-to-one contact with and feedback from your tutor. Then decide what’s best for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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