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Is Social Media Changing The Way We Write?

December 31st, 2015

neill-weatherill.blogIt seems to me that the downward slide towards illiteracy started amongst the texting classes in the mid-90s. That probably sounds a little harsh and maybe part of it is down to jealousy, I never did get the hang of predictive texting. I’d take 10 minutes asking my daughter(s) a simple question and would get a novel back in 30 seconds. Must be an age thing?

Let’s roll forward a few years and the little book of faces. To everyone’s kids’ horror, when it ‘went viral’, parents joined in. The accusation was that we were checking up on them but speaking on our behalf, it was a realisation that it was set to be the only means of cross-generational communication left open to us. Interestingly, I used the term ‘went viral’, a term associated with social networks but one that almost describes how they came to be so popular. Life imitating art, you could say. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writer’s Block – An Instant Cure!

October 12th, 2015

writer's-block,blogThe idea of ‘Writer’s block’ sits hunched, but menacing at the back of many authors’ minds. ‘I might not have it now, but what if it strikes in the future?’ I hear you cry.

We give good advice about overcoming writer’s block in the course but I think that what the following YouTube clip tells you is both concise and effective – it really makes sense.

The first, and most important, point it makes is: Give yourself permission to write garbage! I know, it doesn’t sound very promising, does it? But stick with it and you’ll see where the speaker is coming from. The other two steps are equally important, though: (1) Have confidence in yourself and (2) Silence your inner critic (at least until you’ve got over the block). Read the rest of this entry »




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Surprises!

September 11th, 2015

simon-whaley-blogIn October 2003 my first book, One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human was published by Hodder & Stoughton. I never dreamed that twelve years on this first book project of mine would still be delivering surprises, especially after the surprises it gave me at the start of its life. Its initial print run of 10,000 copies was snapped up by book retailers within the first two weeks, and by December 2003 it was on the UK bestseller lists. Within the space of three months the publishers had printed over 100,000 copies. Read the rest of this entry »




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Should You Be Blogging?

August 3rd, 2015

blogger-download-blogThis week’s video clip is from Meghan Ward, an American writer and editor. It’s only short and I know that what she says about blogging may seem inconclusive: if you enjoy it and feel you can do it well, then it’s a big asset; but if you don’t enjoy it, find other means of promoting your writing.

I agree entirely with this. If you’re comfortable getting into a routine and posting regularly, and you really have something interesting to say about your writing on a regular basis, then it’s a great way to promote yourself and your work. If you struggle with this then you’re perhaps better using other social media platforms to keep yourself in the public eye. Read the rest of this entry »




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Constrained Competition

June 23rd, 2015

typewriter-BlogSince we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »




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