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Hay Player!

August 30th, 2020

First, thanks to Jacqueline for last week’s post. Many people think of ‘creative writing’ as being exclusively fiction. But as she points out, writing non-fiction should be every bit as creative if you are to engage and entertain your readers.

As we’re still waiting for our next Writers Bureau competition to open for entries, I thought I’d highlight one or two other competitions that are taking place at the moment – hopefully providing something for everyone.

First up we have the New Voices Competition, which is looking for the first page of a novel and a one-page synopsis. This is for first-time writers only and the prize is a Start Up mentoring package. The entry fee is £10 and the closing date is 14th September; so no procrastinating. Full details are at www.adventuresinfiction.co.uk Read the rest of this entry »




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Christmas Ghost Story

July 24th, 2020

First, thanks to Colin for last week’s post. I loved the way he described his writing  journey. Some writers prefer to work in one genre only – and they seem to know instinctively what that is. Others, like Colin, want to try their hand at a variety of different genres and styles, coming back to what interests them when they feel it’s the right time and trying out new things when they are ready for a change. At the end of the day, it’s what makes you, as a writer, happy and provides the most fulfilment.

I know that some of you who are on our Creative Writing Course struggle to get copies of magazines that you can use to do your research – this has been particularly difficult during lockdown or if you are still self-isolating. Also, I’m not sure I’d want to hang about shops and supermarkets browsing their stocks of magazines (funny looks for picking up and putting back?) wearing a mask. Also, our overseas students sometimes ask where they can source magazines if there’s nothing available in their local shops. Read the rest of this entry »




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In Times Like These…

June 26th, 2020

First, thanks to Phil for last week’s post. Personally, I found it fascinating and I think he’s absolutely right when he says: “With memoir you need to dig deep and build your story on a foundation of truth and openness”. That is exactly what you have to do if those about whom you are writing as part of your own history are still alive. You don’t want to hurt people but you have to be true to yourself.

If this post has whetted your appetite for writing your own memoir, then we have just the course for you. It’s very flexible and allows you to have feedback on your personal writing rather than having to do set assignments. But if you are already working on a memoir, then you might want to consider submitting it to the same competition that Phil entered – the Fish Publishing Short Memoir Competition. It’s currently closed but should be opening for the next round shortly; so keep checking their website. Read the rest of this entry »




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Literary Podcasts

May 1st, 2020

First, thanks to Alexandra for last week’s post. I found it really interesting, especially the fact that she took the time to think what the different age groups would respond to and enjoy. This is something that anyone serious about writing for children should have in the forefront of their mind.

We’ve now read through all the entries for the recent Short Story Competition and are putting together a shortlist. So watch this space! It shouldn’t be long before we are able to announce the winners.

In the meantime, we are now accepting entries for the 2020 Poetry Competition. As usual, we accept poems on any theme, up to a limit of 40 lines. The first prize is £300, second prize is £200 and third prize is £100 plus all winners will receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. The closing date is 31st July. I feel I must provide one tip here. I know Coronavirus is the main thing in everyone’s mind at the moment so you might want to think twice about choosing this theme. But if you do feel that you are really inspired to write about some aspect of the current situation then make sure that your subject and approach is truly original. Read the rest of this entry »




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How To Read A Novel

January 14th, 2020

One of the things that I’m sure you hear repeatedly is that if you want to be a writer then you must read, read, read. But why?

You should read – especially contemporary fiction – because it shows you what trends are current, what readers are looking for NOW and so what publishers are searching for.

You should read all fiction – contemporary, classic, experimental – to see how other authors use words, how they put together their plots, twine in sub-plots and how they make their characters realistic. When you read something you enjoy then you can analyse it and use the knowledge you have gained in your own work. When you read a book that doesn’t work for you, then you can try to decide what’s wrong with it and avoid this in your own writing. Read the rest of this entry »




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