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Something For The School Holidays

July 13th, 2018

First, thanks to Andrew for last week’s blog – it made me smile. I’m not an avid fan of The Big Painting Challenge but I remember sitting watching the episode where they were asked to  paint boats and actually willing them to stop adding ‘improvements’ to their work.  So, I agree with his comments in the post wholeheartedly. It’s essential to give yourself enough time to edit your writing thoroughly before sending it out but it’s also essential to know when enough’s enough!

With the long school holidays about to start I thought that this week I’d provide some suggestions that might be interesting for those of you who have kids that enjoy writing . The first of these, if you live in the Midlands, is the Spark Young Writers Summer School running from July 30th to August 3rd at Wolverhampton University.

It’s suitable for young people aged 12 to 17 and they say “We’ll dabble in lots of different types of writing, from poetry to radio plays to flash fiction to wordplay, and we’ll finish the week with a special performance for your friends and family.” It’s 9.30 to 3.30 each day and at just under £120 for the week it sounds interesting and good value for money.

Further north there’s Ilkley Lit Fest Young Writers Summer School. Running from 29th to 31st August it’s residential and at only £40 seems a bargain. It’s suitable for ages 12+ and there’ll be writing workshops with guest tutors, campfire activities and the staging of a cabaret.

I was trying to find something for those of you living further south, but didn’t come across anything similar – and what I did find, turned out to more expensive than the average family could afford to pay! But, there are a couple of great online sites that will be of interest to any teen who loves to write and wants to be part of a writing community.

The first is Movellas. I love this site and I think your teens will too. You can submit stories, you can read stories (and listen to them). There’s a blog section, a forum and the aptly names ‘Mumbles’ where you can share your ramblings… There are also competitions with book prizes or Amazon gift cards. The current one is “A tribute to the Antihero” where you have to create a lead character that has flaws but still holds your readers’ interest like Walter White in Breaking Bad.

The next is Wattpad – it’s a very similar set-up and they say: “Wattpad takes everything you love about storytelling, and turns it into a social, on-the-go experience. The result is a one-of-a-kind adventure in creation and discovery. Today, the global Wattpad community is made up of more than 65 million people. We’re proudly based in Toronto, Canada, but Wattpad stories transcend borders, interests, and language.”

Before I leave you, I’d just like to remind you of two competitions that will be closing on 31st July. The first is our Writers Bureau Students Only competition (for full details log in to the student area on our website). All that’s required is a 300-word flash fiction story on any theme. There is no entry fee and the winner will receive £25.

Also closing on that date is our annual Limerick Competition. There is an entry fee for this but the winner will receive £100 and a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Two runners-up will each receive £50 plus a year’s membership of The Association of Freelance Writers.

My guest next week is Writers Bureau tutor Colin Bulman who looks at the impact that the opening sentence of your story can have on its success or failure.

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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