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Ten Top Tips For a Winning Short Story

September 8th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe results of the Writers Bureau’s 2014 Short Story Competition were announced last week. Glenda Cooper – 1st prize, bagged herself  a very tasty £500 (which isn’t to be sniffed at). Her story ‘Kissing Him Goodbye’ is on the website, one of the four winning pieces; all well worth reading, if you’ve not been there already. Read the rest of this entry »




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Ten Top Tips for Creating Great Characters

August 11th, 2014

Tove-&-Moomins-blogCharacters are the heart of a story, without them – nothing happens. And whether they’re as sweet as Christopher Robin or as dark as Lisbeth Salander, the one thing they must always be is ‘believable.’ Now a believable character starts with you, the writer. Because, whatever you’re working on, one thing is certain – if you don’t believe in your characters, no one else will.

So, what can we do to make our characters more believable? Read the rest of this entry »




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Re-read, Re-write and Re-submit

July 4th, 2014

Seige Book CoverA number of my students asked where they could find my short stories, hoping that they’d be able to read them on-line. A few of my competition winning entries can be found on the internet but most of my stories have appeared in print publications such as ‘Writing Magazine’, ‘Writers’ News’, ‘My Weekly’ and ‘The People’s Friend’. Read the rest of this entry »




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Finding Time to Think and Write

June 27th, 2014

First, thanks to Jackie for last week’s blog – it certainly shows that it helps if you know the potential market for your book and can demonstrate this to the publishers you are approaching.

I recently came across a good quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”  These days, that’s very true of the writing world. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Tale of a Long Novel and some Short Stories!

January 24th, 2014

Back in the early 90’s I read Donna Tartt’s first novel The Secret History and loved it. It was a great big meaty work but it kept my interest from beginning to end. So, I was pleased when there was an offer on Amazon for her latest: The Goldfinch. I duly downloaded it and am now nearly at the end. It’s OK, but at (apparently) 800 pages it’s far too long. Read the rest of this entry »




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