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Focus On Your Writing

January 23rd, 2020

I’m really happy to be able to announce the winners of our recent Flash Fiction Competition. We had some of the best short fiction that I’ve read for a long time; so the people who were placed should be very proud of themselves. I do hope you’ll read the three winners and I’m just sorry that we haven’t been able to include the best of the rest.

So, congratulations to winner, Susan Kittles, with Moving Day. Second place goes to Jim Goodman with Family Meal and in third place is Ruth Clarke-Irons with Where You Are Sleeping.

Don’t forget our 2020 Fiction Competition is now open for entries!

Whether you’re writing for the fun of it or, like most of us, you hope to earn some money you still need to plan your time carefully if you’re going to get the most out of it. You have to concentrate on clearing the decks; check out the things that cause you to waste time and cut back on them; get yourself into a frame of mind where you can say ‘no’ to requests that will eat into your valuable writing time and then give serious consideration to forward planning. If you have problems with any of these things then perhaps you should consider our Effective Time Management Course.

But what do I mean by forward planning? If you’re a non-fiction writer then start writing that synopsis for the book you plan to write – don’t procrastinate.  Or, if you prefer articles, map out what topics you hope to cover in the coming months. If you plan to use a ‘hook’ then what better than an anniversary article. Think of events or people that might have an anniversary coming up… 20 years, 50 years, 100 years.  But a word of warning here: you should now be considering events taking place in the second half of the year as you have to build in a ‘lead time’. If you approach a magazine, newspaper or website with something that’s going to happen in the next couple of months, you might already be too late. Someone will have got there before you.

Also, if you intend to take an interesting holiday (and by this I don’t just mean somewhere exotic or off the beaten track – it could be an interesting activity in your own country) think whether you could write about it when you get back. This will allow you to do your research and then make plans about what you intend to do while you’re there and how you intend to angle your article/s. This is important, as a carefully targeted article is much more saleable than a scatter-gun approach.

Incidentally, ex-Writers Bureau tutor, Simon Whaley, is running a weekend course (3-5 April) at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester on Making Your Travel Pay.

For fiction writers it’s a two-pronged attack: settling down to a mammoth market-research operation, checking out what magazines, e-zines, websites and competitions are out there. then taking some time-out to get those creative juices flowing.

Incidentally, I’ve just heard that Woman’s Weekly has stopped publishing fiction serials; so that only leaves People’s Friend and My Weekly if you are into writing longer short fiction!

The end of January can seem a dark and drab time – especially if you like the odd glass of wine and have chosen to go for a ‘dry January’! But it’s a great time to hunker down, cosset yourself a little and seriously focus on what direction you want your writing to take over the coming year.

Author: Diana Nadin


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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