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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’:

I have had about 26 Readers’ Letters published and I sometimes send them from my phone. If you do send an email, do not forget to send your name, address and phone number. Sometimes they seem to lose your email address too so it is also worth adding it. Also don’t forget to add a photo as they really like those.

There are a couple of points I’d like to reinforce here. If you are using your phone it’s important to provide all your contact details, whether you are using email or text. And photos are increasingly important if you are sending letters or tips. Everything is becoming more visual. Social media dictates this and it is spilling over into other areas such as magazines.

Also, some of the best markets for letters and tips are the supermarkets’ own magazines. I pick them up regularly from Tesco and Asda but Sainsbury, Waitrose and M & S (to name but a few) also provide them for customers. So why not check them out? They can be a lucrative market for your work -just see what ‘Susan K’ went on to say about her letter-writing activities:

Hi Just to say …. I had notification of 2 reader’  letters being printed this week. One is a cheque for £25 and the other is a prize. It may look like a small success but I have had something like 25 printed now in total. 1. It is good money for something that only takes about 10-15 mins to think about, take a photo of and write about. 2. It is a great morale boost to know that your letter is going to every newsagent in the country. 3. When you are being turned down for other writings it says “You have got it in you to succeed, just keep practising, keep improving and you will get there”.

That’s some of the best advice I’ve read for a long time – thanks, Susan!

The winners of our 2017 Limerick competition are now on our website. Congratulations to the winner Jackie Watts and the two runners up  – and thanks for making us smile.

Our 2017 Flash Fiction Competition is open for entries with prizes of £300, £200 and £100 – each winner will also receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice worth over £374. The closing date isn’t until 30th November, but you need to start work on your story now. You definitely stand a better chance of winning or being placed if you plan, write and then put it aside for a while. You can then come back to it with fresh eyes and a better chance of picking up any flaws or mistakes.

My guest next week is Karen Wallace who will be looking at where writers get their ideas and giving you some tips on how to ‘refill the creative well’.


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