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Gone In A Flash

March 16th, 2018

I don’t consider myself to be a ‘flasher.’ In fact, when I first heard the words ‘flash fiction’, I didn’t know what was meant. I’d seen something (on Twitter probably) called ‘Bath Flash’ and thought it was a cleaning product rather than a writing competition. But I was intrigued. I wanted to know what it was.

I discovered flash fiction is stories under 1000 words. It goes smaller. Some flash says 500 words or less, other flash hovers around the 300-word mark. Then there are Drabbles: 100 words or less. Some micro-fiction goes further. Whatever the miniscule word count, I was struck by the challenge of writing a complete story in so few words and thought I’d give it a go. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Underneath The Arches…

March 8th, 2018

First, thanks to Amanda for last week’s blog. More and more people that I know are now blogging for local companies  – garden centres, delis, private dentists, even solicitors. Sometimes they do it for free for the exposure it gives them and to increase the hit rate on their own personal blogs. Sometimes they do it for a fee (though I don’t know anyone who earns a great deal per blog – certainly not enough to give up the day job). But it does bring in some extra money in these cash-strapped times and, more importantly, it can lead on to other things.

Moving on… there don’t seem to be many openings for people who write plays but Matchstick Theatre are looking for new work that they can perform. They are a small, independent theatre in South East London set up in late 2015. They are aiming to put on over 15 new plays in the next 12 months. They have been performing in tunnel arches and at festivals around London and are about to open a new arts and theatre space in Deptford. This sounds quite an interesting opportunity – for more details of what they are looking for, why not visit their website? Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog About What You Know (Or What You Can Find Out)

March 2nd, 2018

When I started the Comprehensive Writing Course I had aspirations of being a fiction writer, so to become a successful non-fiction blogger took me by surprise.

When it comes down to it, I guess the first lesson us new bloggers need to learn, is to write about what we know. That’s not to say we can’t explore other themes; but by starting off with a familiar subject it is far easier to research other established bloggers in our field of interest- to ensure we don’t duplicate their work. Researching allows us to spot new angles to write about popular subjects in our own style.

The next thing to decide on is how to publish our blogs. There are many apps and websites available, but getting followers can be difficult, especial in a crowded market. For me, I chose (rightly or wrongly) to approach a Gardening Company who encourages Customer Blogs, but who do not pay for writing unless you win blogger of the month. Here I was able to have an editor willing to publish my work so long as I followed their guidelines.  I was working full time, so was happy to write an article a month for free. Read the rest of this entry »

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No More Women In Jeopardy, Please!

February 23rd, 2018

First, thanks to Matthew for last week’s blog. I really thought the reasons he put forward for entering competitions were persuasive. He’s absolutely right, the fact that you are creating for a purpose and you have to work to a deadline are great incentives to make you sit down and write!

At this point I’d like to refer back to another relatively recent blog post – one written by Writers Bureau tutor David Kinchin. In it he mentions the need to find good titles for your work, and this was brought home to me recently when I looked at the longlist for the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. It’s the world’s most lucrative short story prize with £30,000 for the winner and, as you can imagine, the standard is incredibly high. Most of the titles were sharp but these two stood out as being particularly eye-catching: Cooking A Wolf and Peanuts Aren’t Nuts. If they make it to the shortlist (announced in March) it will be interesting to see whether the originality of the stories lives up to the titles. Read the rest of this entry »

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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