November 4th, 2016
It’s been a while since I wrote anything here. So, how y’all keeping? Everybody well?
Things have changed a bit for me. Most notably – our youngest has started high school (and, fingers crossed, he seems to be alright). So, with a view to keeping the wolf from the door, I’ve said farewell to my days as a house-husband and started work here at the Writers Bureau – in the office.
Now, I’ve never worked in an office before, and maybe in a couple of months the novelty will wear off. But for now, I’m enjoying it. They’re a nice crew, the Writers Bureau team. We all celebrate each others birthdays, everyone brings treats back from their holidays, and we have cream cakes on Fridays, so I’m having to watch my waist-line. Read the rest of this entry »
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September 28th, 2015
Once a month I write a piece for this blog about ‘useful websites,’ and over the past year I’ve covered a lot of stuff: online dictionaries; international associations; writing competitions; self-publishing; website building … it’s become quite a list. But one thing I’ve never mentioned is the blog itself.
The Writers Bureau blog has been running for six years now, and though I’ve already put up seventy posts since starting in August 2014, I’m still just the new kid in town. Diana Nadin (our Director of Studies) has been posting since day one, and many of our tutors and successful students have posts going right back to the early days. Generally these pieces are short, anecdotal essays, but they’re also a good source of practical advice and information, with links to numerous articles and external sites providing all sorts of resources for writers. Read the rest of this entry »
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June 23rd, 2015
Since 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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June 15th, 2015
I’m thinking about article writing again; getting ready to make a first pitch to an editor later this summer. I’m all set to work on text, and there will be pictures (either ones I’ve taken myself or sourced images with permissions and licenses.) But I’ve just been flicking through some old copies of E-Zee Writer, where I stumbled on an article by the always informative Simon Whaley, and it’s given me some great ideas for bonus features that are sure to make me look like a seasoned pro’ – boxouts, side-panels and side-bars. Read the rest of this entry »
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June 8th, 2015
Our kids dragged us to the Manchester Film and Comic Con last weekend. Well, I say dragged … I was more excited than them. It was a huge event, packed with dealers, big screen TVs, an auditorium for talks, and rows of desks where celeb’s were signing graphic novels, DVDs, original artwork, baseball caps, etc.
My ten year old son was after ‘retro’ games, and we soon found some. So while he hummed and hahed over Pokemon and Donkey Kong I had a look round. I noticed one particular table which was quite simple (by comic con standards.) On a plain black cloth, it held just a few piles of books, all copies of four paperbacks that were neatly laid out on display – all clearly part of a series. Behind the table was a woman in a striking outfit – part Tolkien’s Rivendell, part Mos Eisley spaceport.
“Are you the author?” I said.
“Yes,” she said
And that’s how I came to meet the inspirational C. G. Hatton. Read the rest of this entry »
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