27 Years of Success!

Tel: 0161 819 9922

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 »




Comments Off on Christmas Ghost Story

Ten Top Tips for Writing Short Stories and Getting Them Published

November 9th, 2015

Short_Story_TipsDo you ever finish a job and think: ‘Ooof – that was hard?’ I do it all the time, most recently with a story I (eventually) entered for the Aeon Award just last week. As some of you may remember, I started The Little People for a competition in Writing Magazine way back in September last year, but when the first draft came in way over the word count, I had to find a plan B, and this was it. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on Ten Top Tips for Writing Short Stories and Getting Them Published

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 »




Comments Off on Constrained Competition

A Writer’s Gold Mine

April 27th, 2015

ChrisFielden-blogYou won’t believe this story, but I’ll tell it anyway because I’m seeing Sally tonight, and that’ll be hard. So, if I try it on you first, I might just get things straight enough in my head to tell her. And then maybe … well … y’know.

Anyway, here it is. Read the rest of this entry »




Comments Off on A Writer’s Gold Mine

Competition Time

March 16th, 2015

Win-blogRight, get your typing fingers ready. The Royal Society Of Literature has just announced its seventeenth V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for the best unpublished short story of the year. This is a competition open to residents of all Commonwealth countries, it’s for stories of 2,000 – 4,000 words, there’s a £5.00 entrance fee and, as well as publication in Prospect online and the RSL Review, the winner gets a very tasty £1,000. The deadline is 22 June, and with all the talent I know is out there, I’m sure one of you folks must be in with a chance.

I’d have a go myself but, as some of you may remember, I had a bad experience with a short story last year and it’s quite taken the wind out of my sails. I tried working something up for a Writing Magazine ‘adult fairy story’ competition, but ended up missing the deadline with a story that was far too long and which, even now, isn’t in any fit state to show an editor.

So where did I go wrong? Well, right at the start, I didn’t think – just launched into an idea without any proper planning. If I’d taken a couple of days to mull things over, it all could have been very different. In fact, I really should have back-pedaled further than that. Even before thinking things through, what I should have done is gone and found some advice on how to write for competitions. “Do-oh!” How thick can you be, ‘ey? Here’s me blogging for the Writers Bureau, and it didn’t even enter my head to see what our own tutors have to say about it.

Ah well … I’ve had a look now. And do you know what I found? A cracking article by Simon Whaley called Writing Competitions – A Judge Reveals All. It’s been sitting there in the back copies of E-Zee Writer since April 2009 and, honestly, it’s like a little potted masterclass. As well as loads of great tips on how to approach competitions, it explains how to timetable your work over three months to be sure you’re ready and properly edited in good time. If only I’d read it last year … I could be counting my winnings now.

So look, if you fancy having a go at the Royal Society’s short story prize, there’s loads of time to get something together. But don’t make the same mistakes I did. Do yourself a favour and read Simon’s article first, it’ll give you a great head start.

Keep on writing!phil-blog-sig




Comments Off on Competition Time

subscribe
About The Author: Diana Nadin

Blog Home

 
Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

Bookmark and Share