February 17th, 2017
First, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog. It really is important that you proof your work thoroughly before you send it out to an editor or a publisher. If you’ve not bothered to correct silly typing mistakes then they might wonder just how carefully you’ve checked your facts. I’ve done a lot of proofreading in my time and I actually find it quite enjoyable. If you’re interested in knowing more about what’s involved – either to check your own work, or to take it up as a freelance career – then you might want to consider our Proofreading and Copy Editing Course.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, our 2017 Short Story Competition is now open for entries until 31st March. If you’re thinking about sending in your work, why not have a look at how some of the modern masters write their stories. Every year the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Competition is held with a prize of £30,000. As you can imagine, with prize money at that level, the standard of entries is pretty high. Read the rest of this entry »
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February 10th, 2017
No matter how good your creative writing is, if it’s full of misspellings and errors it’s going to be unreadable. Good proofreading is the key to getting your work read and shared by others. Do you feel like you need to brush up on your skills? No problem. Read on for some of the best techniques you can use in your own proofreading routine.
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February 2nd, 2017
First, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog. I’ve been on holiday; so it was great not to have to think up something to post while I was away. I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica and despite the trip down to Gatwick (no flights direct from Manchester) and 11 hours in the air it was terrific. Blue skies, lush greenery and animals galore. At the top of my wish list of beasties to see was the sloth! I wasn’t bothered about the monkeys, the crocodiles, the kinkajou… or even the rather attractive tarantula that popped up near the path one day. All I wanted was a real, live sloth. And, dear reader, I got plenty of them, hanging high in the trees. They might be slow but they’re not daft; so they stay high enough not to get caught which makes taking good photos difficult unless you’ve got a very high spec camera! Read the rest of this entry »
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January 27th, 2017
Just now I am fascinated by the way flash fiction challenges us writers. We are given so few words to play with, which means we have to do a lot with every single word, choosing each for maximum meaning and suggestiveness. It also seems to me that flash pieces offer us a chance to experiment with new forms that will enable us to do more and more with less and less.
One of the first decisions you have to make in writing a flash piece concerns the ‘voice’ of the story. Will you choose third person narration, where you’re telling a story about people and events as seen from the outside, or first person narration, where you create an ‘I’ who tells the readers the story, giving his or her version of events? If you choose first person narration then you can go one step further and plump for an ‘unreliable narrator’, that is, someone who offers an account of events in whose literal truth the reader is led to disbelieve as the story unfolds. Read the rest of this entry »
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January 16th, 2017
This week I’m breathing a sigh of relief as we’ve just come to the end of updating our Writing for Children Course. It’s had a really good overhaul by the original writer Karen King, but even when she’s done all her hard work there’s still plenty more for us to do here at Head Office. And you can’t beat that feeling of satisfaction when everything is finished!
The course is packed full of useful information on writing in different genres and for different age groups – plus how to market your writing. And a the biggest plus is the fact that there are 15 assignments, all marked by an experienced children’s writer who will offer personal feedback on your work. Of the assignments, 10 are structured but then the rest are ‘open’ so that you can have your tutor’s help and advice on your own particular project. Read the rest of this entry »
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