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Small But Perfectly Formed – Flash Fiction

November 8th, 2019

First, thanks to Willie for last week’s post. It’s interesting to hear him say that he thought writing for children would be easier than writing for adults. Lots of people phone up for a chat about enrolling on our Writing For Children Course and they often seem to think that this will be the case – unfortunately, as Willie found out, it’s not!

If anything, it’s harder because you have to know what age group you are targeting; you then have to be able to use words and ideas that are appropriate to this particular age group. You have to convince a publisher that you know what you’re doing in this respect and you also have to steer clear of overworked and old-fashioned concepts. What was popular when you were a child – or when your children were young – might not be top of the publishers pops these days. Finally, you’ve always to keep parents and teachers in mind. Because these are the people who have the money and will buy the books you write. If you’re writing books for young children, parents want them to look attractive and be fun to read aloud. If you’re writing for older children they want to be sure that if you do touch on a difficult topic it is done with tact and, let’s be honest, there is always the issue of ‘political correctness’.

But, don’t let this put you off. If you have a good idea and the determination to see it through to the end then you’ll have an experience that is more rewarding than almost anything else you could imagine.

Some of you may be familiar with the Association of Freelance Writers. There are lots of benefits of being a  member and these include 50% of your first 12 months’ subscription to Writing Magazine; substantial discounts off self-publishing packages, courses with The Institute of Counselling and London Art College; a free online course worth £149; reduced entry to Writers Bureau competitions and a chance to win £50 in our free-to-enter, members-only competitions.

Talking of which, one competition has just ended and a new one has been launched. Congratulations to David Higham for winning our 300-word flash fiction competition with That Old Familiar Smile. Telling a good story in so few words is no easy matter, but I loved this one. The title was clever, the wry humour was great and the way the final paragraph worked so closely with the title rounded it off to perfection with definite homage to the Cheshire Cat!

For the new competition we’d like you to write a book review in less than 250 words. It can be for a novel, a novella, a collection of poems or a non-fiction book but we want you to write like a professional reviewer, so make sure you’re familiar with what’s required before you enter. The closing date is 31st January and, as I said earlier, if you are an AFW member, entry is free.

And still on the subject of the AFW, we’ve just introduced a new benefit for members – a free appraisal of up to 2000 words of prose or 120 lines of poetry per year. You can send in excerpts from a novel, short story or non-fiction book and it’s a great offer because you’ll save up to £45 on the cost of our normal Review and Appraisal service. Take advantage and you’ve more than covered the cost of your membership (£24.99) immediately. So if you’ve been wondering whether to subscribe, this might just make up your mind for you!

Next week, my guest is Alan Dale who will be looking at some interesting sources for ideas and how to make sure that you really put them to work for you.

Author: Diana Nadin


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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