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Think Of Yourself As A Writer, Not A Beginner

November 22nd, 2021

I have been reading “Write ON! The Writer’s Help Book” by Adrian Magson recently and amongst  the excellent advice he offers throughout was this gem:

We’re learning all the time. It’s another fascinating aspect of life; that learning never stops. But there’s a point at which you have to put that learning to good use, rather than simply doing more of the same. And one way to do that is to think of yourself as a writer. Not merely a beginner. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Hemingway Effect

July 9th, 2021

For fans of Ernest Hemingway, the new documentary series on BBC4 that started last week is a real treat. When I saw that there were six episodes I thought it might be slow and ponderous, but if the first one was anything to go by that’s far from the truth. An hour in and we’re still only up to his early twenties but it was fascinating. I suspect that many people are aware of his love of bull-fighting, his deep-sea fishing, his game-hunting, his womanising and his hard drinking. But there was so much about his early life that was new to me and shed a light on his future development both as a person and as an author. I’ll confess that he’s never been one of my favourite writers, but I find the story of his life irresistible.

Before we go any further this week, I need to remind you about our Poetry Competition as time is flying and it will be the end of the month – and the closing date for entries – before you can blink. There are three prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each winner also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Your poem can be up to 40 lines and on any theme.  The entry fee is £5.00 per poem (or £4.00 if you are a member of the Association of Freelance Writers). Read the rest of this entry »




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Block-v-Indented Paragraphs

May 11th, 2021

There are two paragraphing styles that you need to be aware of – block and indented – and many new writers wonder about which they should use.

Block paragraphing has a blank line separating the last line of the previous paragraph and the first line of the new paragraph. Each paragraph is a block of text on the page, with white space all around it. The first line of each paragraph is left-justified which means it is not indented. This blog uses block paragraphs!

Indented paragraphing does not have a blank line between each paragraph. Instead, you start the first line of each paragraph about five or six spaces from the left hand margin of your page.  Read the rest of this entry »




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Tips for Short Story Writers

March 7th, 2021

First, thanks to Theresa for last week’s post. I think many writers are intrigued by the idea of ghostwriting as they have friends, or know people, who they feel they could collaborate with to produce a great book. But, they’re not sure how to go about it.

They wonder what will happen if they get part way through and then the subject changes their mind?m What if they write the story that they’ve been told and then find that the subject disagrees with the slant they’ve put on it? What if they are refused permission to use facts and incidents that would  make it  more interesting? Does what they are being told lead to a legal minefield? Should they get agreement from a publisher before they begin or hope that a contract will be forthcoming on completion? And, not least, how will any profits be split? Read the rest of this entry »




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Student Of The Year 2021

February 22nd, 2021

It’s great that the winners of this year’s competition have now been announced and their stories are available to read on our website.

First the overall winner, Theresa Gooda – what diverse writing skills! She writes articles, short stories, poems and is also a ghost writer. (We’ll be hearing more about this from Theresa in her guest post next week.) She’s studied both our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course and our Art of Writing Poetry Course and she’s putting  the skills she’s learned in each to good use.

Next for the runners-up. Simon Miller has done something that many people only dream of – he’s broken into writing for radio, podcasts and TV. Humour is a notoriously difficult concept to sell but he seems to be going from strength to strength. Read the rest of this entry »




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