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Celebrating National Short Story Week

November 11th, 2011

Sometimes I feel that it’s all doom and gloom surrounding the writing of short stories. We’re told that the market is getting ever smaller and it’s harder than ever to find paying markets – as opposed to websites that will publish your work, but don’t offer a fee.

So I always feel that National Short Story Week (7th-13th November) is a great opportunity to celebrate and promote the form – whether you write sci-fi/horror, literary fiction or women’s mainstream. I particularly like the recommended reading list that they provide on their website offering the “latest short story titles and some classic gems – for adults, teens and younger children.”

Reading between ‘The Write Lines’

In addition, the broadcaster, Sue Cook, has recorded three specials of her programme, “The Write Lines”, to tie in with this year’s National Short Story Week. Each programme is a panel discussion with award-winning and best-selling writers, offering writing tips, insights and suggestions. The three programmes are: British short stories, Women’s Fiction and Children’s Fiction – and you can access them by clicking through to our website.

Give the book a chance

But what about longer pieces of fiction? Are you one of those people who once they’ve started a book feel they must finish it – or have you no compunction about ditching a book after the first couple of chapters if it’s starting to bore you? With me, it’s an age thing. At one time it was a case of ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish’. Now I feel life’s too short to plough through 100,000 words of tedious or self-indulgent twaddle. And it doesn’t hurt the author – you’ve bought the book and they’ve got their royalties after all! But I’d still be interested to have your take on this.

Writing Competitions – take your pick

Finally, don’t forget that you can take part in our November Caption Competition absolutely free and there’s chance to win a Freelance Journalism course. Plus you’ve got until 31st December to enter our Annual Poetry Competition. This is the ‘biggie’ with prizes of £500, £300, £200 and £100 for four talented winners. And I don’t use the word ‘talented’ lightly as the quality of last year’s entries was exceptional. So visit our website for rules of entry, to download an entry form or to enter online.

Next week my guest will be Emily Ashton, the newest recruit to our Student Services Department. This year she’s set herself the challenge of taking part in NaNoWriMo (brave girl!) and she’s going to be updating you on how her novel is progressing.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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