Sunday, June 30, 2024

Murder Your Darlings

“Murder your darlings” is a phrase said to have been coined by F Scott Fitzgerald. He was referring to what you might call your “best bits.” He believed that these are the very “bits” you should always edit out of your work.

As Elmore Leonard once said, “If I come across anything in my work that smacks of ‘good writing,’ I immediately strike it out.”

The theory is that writing you’re particularly proud of is probably self-indulgent and will stand out.

You might think this is good. Wrong.

You will most likely break the “fictive dream.” (This is the state of consciousness reached by readers who are absorbed by a writer). And breaking your reader out of this fictive dream is a heinous sin!

Editing out “the best bits” is the hardest thing a novice writer has to do – after all, isn’t it counterproductive to write good things down only to cut them out?

Look at it this way…

When you start out, every word you write is precious. The words are torn from you. You wrestle with them, forcing them to express what you’re trying to say.

When you’re done, you may have only a paragraph or a few pages – but to you the writing shines with inner radiance and significance.

That’s why criticism cuts to the core. You can’t stand the idea of changing a single word in case the sense you’re trying to convey gets lost or distorted.

Worse still, you have moments of doubt when you think you’re a bad writer - criticism will do this every time. Sometimes you might go for months, blocked and worrying over your words and your ability.

There is only one cure for this – to write more; to get words out of your head and on to the page. When you do that, you’re ahead, no matter how bad you think you are.

After all, words are just the tools – a collection of words is not the end result, it is only the medium through which you work. In the same way that a builder uses bricks and wood to build a house – the end result is not about the materials, it’s about creating a place to live.

As you progress in your writing career, you become less touchy about your words. You have to. Editors hack them around without mercy. Agents get you to rewrite great swathes of text they don’t like. Publishers cut out whole sections as irrelevant.

All this hurts – a lot.

But after a while, you realize you’re being helped. That it’s not the words that matter so much as what you’re trying to communicate.

Once you accept that none of the words actually matter, and have the courage to “murder your darlings,” you have the makings of the correct professional attitude to ensure your writing career.

This is a tough lesson to learn.

But, as always, the trick is…to keep on writing!

© Rob Parnell

Writing Academy

BBC National Short Story Award

BBC National Short Story Award is closed for submissions

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT: The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row at 7.15pm on Thursday 12th September 2024. The shortlist for the BBC Young Writers’ Award with Cambridge University will be announced on Radio 1’s Life Hacks from 4pm on Sunday 15th September 2024.

SHORTLIST BROADCAST: The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 16th to Friday 20th September 2024, subject to change.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: The announcement of the winners of the two awards will be broadcast live from the award ceremony at BBC Broadcasting House on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm on Tuesday 1st October 2024.

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Bridport

Bridport's short story competition is now closed

Full results will be posted on the Bridport website and social media on Saturday 19th October 2024

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Write On Target

Humans don't consider something to exist until it has a name. Or at least some kind of descriptor.

Words bring things to life.

Emotions, experiences and activities become concrete when they're explored and documented.

More than this: reality is essentially defined by words.

In the same way that – at the quantum level of things - perhaps even within the entire universe – matter is said not to exist until it is observed.

This is great for writers.

Invention makes us mini gods, co-creating the world around us by recording it.

For whatever reason: our own pleasure or from a need to share or communicate.

Because that's the great part: words take on much more solidity when they are shared.

Mere words become concepts, art forms, even entire other worlds.

In fiction, an author's view of reality can take on concrete substance and to some of us, actually become more real than the world around us.

Personally, I’m more attached to some fictional characters than some members of my own family.

Recently I've been working on a kids’ book - actually more of a graphic novel - where I'm having to imagine what the protagonist's home planet looks like - and base his superpowers on some sort of believable science.

Pencil drawing his home planet made me think about this issue of invention. How the imaginative process constructs something from nothing. Substance actually created from thought alone.

It happens all of the time, but we often take the process for granted. It's something we humans do.

A writer sits down, scribbles a few words that become the basis for a novel. Later that story may become a screenplay with actors and sets and props and before you know it, legions of fans believe the reality of the movie to be more compelling than their own workaday lives...

Seriously, I believe you can't underestimate what you're doing when you sit down to write.

You're not just transferring thoughts to paper, you're re-imaging the world, often replacing reality with something more powerful, meaningful and satisfying.

Well, that's the idea anyway...

Does this mean we can't write about violence, cruelty and horror? Of course not. It's just as important to document the dark side of ourselves, the savagery, the self-interest, all the bad things we do to each other. Ignoring those things won't make them go away - even if Wallace Wattles (the original inventor of "The Secret") might have disagreed!

Inhumanity is the flip side of ourselves. And just like the idea that without dark there is no light, we cannot know how to be human without an awareness of what to avoid and know what to make positive moves away from

So, in our fiction writing it's okay to dwell on evil, misfortune and the obstacles that humans might face - but eventually there should be balance. Our stories need to resolve in such a way that hope is suggested.

Not in any crass way. Merely in an objective way.

We should be mindful that our darkest existential obsessions may be harmful to our work – perhaps as much as an over-developed sense of optimism.

Balance is the key.

You need to show your writing is real, purposeful and relevant, even important

After all, if there's no point to what you’re doing or “being” - why are you writing?

Even dark writers like Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus privately reveled in the idea that their own brand of misery was being widely read!

Writing well is about cultivating a sense of responsibility. You have a duty to report the world without bias. To remain objective.

The world is a beautiful place, even though bad things happen all the time.

Readers enjoy drama and tension, but they also like to know there's hope. Even if you write for yourself and never get your work out there, you have a duty to yourself to see the upside too!

When you're reading your own work, hopefully you will see the positive in the world - and by extension, experience the humanity in yourself.

Keep writing!

© Rob Parnell

Writing Academy

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature 2024

Poems - 30 lines

Flash fiction - 300 words

Short stories - 1,000 words

Novellas - 10,000 words

Prizes:

Novella - £150

Short Story - £75

Flash Fiction - £35

Poem - £35

Closing Date: September 30, 2024

Winners announced on November 30, 2024

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Wreckin Writers

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition 2024 

Maximum wordcount: 1200

Entry Fee: £5 per story

Prizes: 1st = £200, 2nd = £100, 3rd = £50

Closing Date: 11.59pm GMT on 12th July 2024

VISIT THE WEBSITE

The HG Wells Short Story Competition

Theme: The Fool

Closing: 8th July 2024

Winners to be announced Sunday 19th November

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024

The competition is international, open to poets writing in the English language

You must be 18 years of age or over to enter

Closing date is Mon 8th July 2024 at 23.59 BST

First Prize: £1000 cash and a week’s poetry course with Arvon

Second Prize: £500

Third Prize: £250

Winners will be invited to perform their work at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2025

Entry Fee: £6.00

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Hastings Book Festival

Short Fiction - max 2500 words

Poetry - max 40 lines

Closes: 7 July, 2024 at 10pm (UK Time)

VISIT THE WEBSITE


Farnham Flash Fiction

Competitions for short and micro-fiction based in Farnham Surrey, United Kingdom with three prizes and publication of the longlisted entries.

Part of the Farnham Literary Festival 2024

2024-2025 Competitions

Deadlines:

31st July 2024

1st February 2025

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Flash500

Flash Fiction - Quarterly

Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories, £11 for three stories, £14 for four stories

Optional critiques: £15 per story

Prizes:

First: £300, Second: £200, Third: £100

Short Story - Annually

Entry fee: £7 for one story, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four

Optional critiques: £30 per story

Prizes: 

First: £500, Second: £200, Third: £100

Novel - Annually

Entry fee: £10 for one novel, £18 for two novels, £26 for three novels

Optional critique of Entry and Synopsis: £35 per story

Prizes:

First: £500

Second: £200

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Scribble

Quarterly Short Story Competition 

Short stories on any subject. Max. 3000 words

Entry fee £5.00

Prizes:  £75.00, £25.00, & £15.00 for the best three stories in each issue of Scribble, as chosen by the readers.

These competitions are ongoing: no closing date!

VISIT THE WEBSITE

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Write Invite Flash Fiction Competition

Heads-Up!

July Flash Fiction Comp - Open for entries now...

FREE TO ENTER

 £25 Amazon Voucher for the outright winner...

The Art of Focus

More than half the battle when you're trying to write is remaining focused enough to complete a project.

It used to be that most writers complained about lack of time to finish their novels, even their short stories, and articles.

Life has always had a way of distracting us from our goals - and that was before the Internet.

Yes, there was such a time.

It reminds me of that old joke. "How did we ever look busy at work before computers?"

Now it's like, "How did we ever fill our time before the Net?"

A hundred years ago – in the evenings before TV - we sat in candlelight, singing songs around a piano. Or we got pissed on gin in a tavern.

Then came TV and we sat around watching black and white drama and variety shows on the BBC, who (my mum says) told you when to go to bed when they stopped broadcasting.

Now it's all gone crazy.

24/7 entertainment by the yard, distractions by the bucket load, total information overload - how is a writer supposed to think, let alone write!

And none of this includes dealing with our jobs, the shopping, the chores, our families and having real off-line friends to socialize with.

In Japan, they sell clean air - because it's such a rare commodity.

I reckon the person who can package and sell FOCUS will be the next billionaire.

We recently upgraded our broadband - from crap to vaguely acceptable - because these are the only two options Australia offers its customers.

Now, everything electronic in our house is permanently connected, not only to the Net but to each other. Things ding and ping randomly and we have designated charging points for all our mobile clutter.

It's all great and wonderful - until I need to write!

The afternoon has recently become my "technology free" zone. It's hard - actually really hard - but I switch off my connection so I'm free to write articles, blogs and sometimes, my fiction.

It's absurd that I often have to go offline to answer emails - otherwise, they'd never get done!

And if I find it tough, what about those people who tweet every hour of every day? How do they find the time to do anything else?

Maybe they don't.

I guess that's it - tweeting IS what they do - maybe in between their novels?

I don't know.

It's hard not to be online, isn't it?

Just a quick peek that turns into an hour or two?

I've started editing manuscripts in bed - on my tablet - which of course is only a screen-flip away from the entire web. It's a wonder we get anything done these days...

And yet there are still thousands of authors out there who do get things done!

My hat is off to them.

Personally, I will continue to try and find that elusive balance.

I call myself a writer - because that's what I do (mostly). I would hate to get so distracted I lose sight of that imperative.

Which does happen sometimes - and I loathe myself for being so unproductive...

I hope you too find your balance, with the help of The Writing Academy.

And that we continually remind ourselves to FOCUS when necessary.

The best to you,

Keep Writing!

© Rob Parnell

Writing Academy 

How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth

On Amazon: You are a multitude of stories. Every joy and heartbreak, every disappointment and dizzying high, has the makings of an unforgettable story. Whether your goal is to deliver the perfect wedding toast, give a moving eulogy, ace a job interview or simply connect more deeply to those around you, The Moth is here to help. A leader in the modern storytelling movement, The Moth inspires thousands of people around the globe to share their stories each year. 

In this book, the Moth team reveal the secrets of their time-honed process and use examples from beloved storytellers like Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Nikesh Shukla, Sarfraz Manzoor and more, to show you how to:mine your memories for your best stories explore structures that will boost the impact of your story deliver your stories with confidence tailor your stories for any occasion Filled with empowering, easy-to-follow tips, this book will help you to unleash the power of storytelling on your life.

Friday, June 28, 2024

The Creative Writing Coursebook

Forty-Four Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry by Julia Bell, Paul Magrs

On Amazon: A fully updated comprehensive guide for improving and practicing your creative writing, including contributions from Ali Smith and Kit de Waal

The Creative Writing Coursebook, edited by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs, takes aspiring writers through three stages of essential practice: Gathering – getting started, learning how to keep notes, making observations and using memory; Shaping – looking at structure, point of view, character and setting; and Finishing – being your own critic, joining workshops and finding publishers.

Fully updated and including a foreword by Marina Warner and contributions from forty-four authors such as Kit de Waal and Amy Liptrot, this is the perfect book for people who are just starting to write as well as for those who want some help honing work already completed. Filled with a wealth of exercises and activities, it will inspire budding writers to develop and hone their skills. Whether writing for publication, in a group or just for pleasure this comprehensive guide is for anyone who is ready to put pen to paper.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Does Your Plot Suit Your Characters And Vice-Versa?

When an idea comes to us for a short story, we either think of a story line first or a character first. Whichever we think of first, and later on build, we have to make sure the plot and the character suit each other.
Example one – We think of a story line first.
Your story is set in a rural area. A company opens a factory and employs workers from that small town. The residents welcome this, as there aren’t many jobs going around. The management takes advantage of that fact and exploit the workers.
Using a technicality in the system, perhaps listing them under different job titles in their books, they pay them less than they are entitled. Your main character sees this injustice and leads the workers to rebel against the management.
Now in a plot like this you will need your main character to posses certain qualities. Like…
Leadership
To be able to lead the people to rebel.
Convincing
The workers are from a rural area. Some might be uneducated and not aware of their rights. The main character has to convince them that what the management is doing, is wrong.
Persuader
Living in a rural area, jobs are hard to find. Most of the workers will view the company as their saviour. Their thinking will be that receiving little money is better than none at all. The main character has to persuade them that being in a rural area the company needs them as much as the workers need the company.
Strong Personality & Confident
We need a strong character that will see things through to the end. We don’t want someone giving up when things get tough. He will also need to be confident that he is doing the right thing (not to make things worse for the workers) and believes in himself (knowing what he’s doing is right).
Strong people skills
To be able to speak and relate to people on all levels.
Negotiator
To negotiate a solution with management and workers.
Public speaker skills
To be able to address this mass group of workers, in a voice that is confident, persuading, authoritative etc.
So these are the qualities we will need our character to have.
Now let’s see if we can make him believable. Remember he lives in the same rural area, so what makes him different from the rest of the workers who are willing to settle for less?
I could say he recently move to that rural area from the city. He used to work as a union leader and wanted to get out of the rat race. But having fought for workers rights his entire career, he can’t stand now to see injustices and comes to the decision to fight for them and himself.
So this character would suit our plot because we need someone like him for our story.
Example two – Thinking of a character first
We notice a man on the street. Something about him triggers our interest so we decide to write about him in a short story. So at this point we will build the character first and then work a story around him.
Let’s go back to where we saw him…
He’s walking briskly along a busy street. He’s in a hurry. He’s dressed in a three-piece suit, which indicates he might be a businessman. He’s got a stack of documents under his arm; a briefcase in his left hand and his right hand is occupied by holding the phone to his ear, which he’s shouting into.
Let’s observe him closer…
He’s in his mid thirties. He looks authoritative. Perhaps he has his own business. Why is he shouting into the phone? Perhaps one of his employees made a mistake, which has cost the character a lot of money.
What if this employee made the mistake on purpose? What if he’s secretly working for the opposition, planted to destroy the main character’s company? What if the owner of that opposing company is the main character’s own brother? Etc…
So as we analyze this character and ask questions about him, our plot begins to unfold.
Plots and characters have to suit each other.
When we have finished plotting and are ready to write the story, they shouldn’t be ill-fitting pieces of a puzzle – They should be a perfect match.
Does your plot suit your characters and vice-versa?

© Nick Vernon
Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

The Craft of Character

How to create deep and engaging characters your audience will never forget by M Boutros 

Amazon: Character is at the heart of every story. We love stories because we fall in love with characters, we want to see what happens to them and we want to see them experience hope and despair.

International Emmy nominated writer, Mark Boutros, offers a guide to creating characters who are engaging, emotionally driven and memorable. With experience as a screenwriter, novelist, creative writing teacher and mentor, Mark shares a mixture of theory and exercises to get you thinking about the questions to have in your mind during character creation.

A lot of stories are perfectly functional, hitting all the right beats, but often fall short due to a thin or obvious character. Problems people think are related to plot are often symptoms of a deeper issue with the characters. Mark highlights what is at the core of character, the importance of motivation, trauma, obstacles and how every little detail can enrich an experience for an audience and ultimately make people care.

How do you get to know people? By asking questions and getting to know them so you move past the shallow. Do the same during character development and your story will be so much more engaging for it.

Each chapter focuses on an aspect important to character development and ends with exercises so you can apply the concepts to your work.

The book includes:

  • Goals, desires, lessons
  • Stakes to your character’s goal
  • Character flaws
  • Developing your character’s voice and world view
  • Generating truthful obstacles
  • How to write anti-heroes and compelling villains
  • Character and personality traits
  • Common mistakes in character writing
  • Character research
  • A character questionnaire

The majority of the ideas originate from the author’s screenwriting experience, but they apply to all forms of story, whether it be fiction writing or playwriting, because the focus is on what really makes a character stand out and memorable.

The job of the writer is to deliver an emotional experience. Character is the heart of that. This is an invaluable tool for beginner and experienced writers.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Have You Settled On First Choice When Choosing A Title?

We’ve established what a title should be and we’ve also established your title is your selling tool. So if it can make or break the sale of your story, then we’ll have to agree that it is extremely important. How much emphasis have you placed when selecting a title?1) You can’t write a story before titling it, so you jotted down the first thing that came to mind.
2) You added it as an afterthought when you completed the story.
3) You put a lot of thought into it and selected the best one.
I hope it was the latter – and I hope you did this…
1) You noted down as many titles as you could think of
2) Then crossed out the titles you thought were ‘so-so’
3) And kept the most grabbing title of them all?
You did do this, didn’t you?

© Nick Vernon
Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Save the Cat!

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You'll Ever Need by Jessica Brody

Amazon: The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 "beats" (plot points) that comprise a successful story--from the opening image to the finale--this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate--and a novel that will sell.

Start as a 5-minute Writer

5 minutes. That's all you need to begin writing. You don't have to set aside a morning, a day or even a weekend to write.

If you do, it will only put pressure on you; writing then becomes a chore, an appointment in your already busy schedule.

And like your other appointments, you'll be tempted to move your writing schedule some other time.

So rather than put yourself in a position where you "have" to write because "it's in my schedule," start by finding 5 minutes in your day and then use those minutes to write.

How long does it take for your e-mails to finish downloading? There's your 5-minute writing time.

Your casserole takes how many minutes to simmer? There's your 5-minute writing time.

How long do you have to wait for the bus (or train) at the terminal? There's your 5-minute writing time.

Stuck in a long check-out line at the supermarket? There's your 5-minute writing time.

How long before it's your turn to do your morning ritual in the bathroom/toilet? There's your 5-minute writing time.

I'm certain you can think of other situations in your life where you can snatch those 5 minutes.

In 5 minutes, write how you're feeling at that moment; describe where you are; do a one-paragraph character sketch of the tired-looking cashier; make a list of things you want to do or don't want to do at the present,

Snatch those 5 minutes of writing time every day. That's not a lot to ask for when there are 1,440 minutes in a day.

Start as a 5-minute writer. Give yourself time to be comfortable and used to this new habit. Allow those 5 minutes of writing time to blend in with your every day life. Soon you'll be writing beyond your 5-minute writing time, and you won't even notice your 5 minutes are up!


© 2003 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Shery is the creator of WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 1,000,000 Story Sparkers for Writers.

How to Write a Mi££ion

The Complete Guide to Becoming a Successful Author by Orson Scott Card, Michael Ridpath, Ansen Dibell, Lewis Turco

Amazon: Revealing the secrets of successful authorship - plot, characterization and dialogue - this guide contains everything the aspiring author needs to get started. It explains how to build short stories and novels that don't fizzle out, how to invent characters and how to revise drafts.

Monday, June 24, 2024

How To Write A Novel: From Idea to Book

On Amazon: Writing a novel will change your life.

It might not be in the way that you expect, but when you hold your book in your hand and say, “I made this,” something will shift.

The process of getting to that point will light a spark in your creative soul and help you discover unexpected aspects of yourself. It will be one of the things you are most proud of in your life. This book will help you get there.

This book will help you write your first novel, or improve your creative process so you can write more books and reach more readers. It covers mindset, ideas and research, aspects of craft, how to write a first draft, and work through an editing process to a finished book.

​50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark

Amazon: A special 10th anniversary edition of Roy Peter Clark's bestselling guide to writing, featuring five bonus tools.

Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America's most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.

Organized into four sections, "Nuts and Bolts," "Special Effects," "Blueprints for Stories," and "Useful Habits," Writing Tools is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature. This new edition includes five brand new, never-before-shared tools.

Accessible, entertaining, inspiring, and above all, useful for every type of writer, from high school student to novelist, Writing Tools is essential reading.

Do You Plot With Your Character In Mind?

You are plotting the story. You write down what will happen, what problems will arise, what obstacles you will place so the character won’t reach his goals immediately, what he’s going to do to overcome these problems etc…

So all these things will be happening to your character since it’s his story we are telling.

Does it make sense then to have your character in mind as you plot these things?

It does. Because it will depend, based on the type of person he is, how he will face these problems, what he will feel, what he will think, what he will do.

Different types of personalities make up our world. Some people worry too much, so whatever problems come along, they will worry with the same intensity. Other people view the lighter side of life. Minor problems do not affect them as largely as major problems. To some challengers are welcome - they thrive on them. To others, challengers are viewed with fear and uncertainty.

As you’re plotting the events of your story they have to correspond with the type of personality your character possesses.

What happens when you plot without thinking of your character?

He will act ‘out of character.’ He will do, say, think, feel things that don’t suit his personality.

For instance…

If your character is a worrier and you place him in a situation where he doesn’t worry, then that’s making him act according to how you want him to act in your plot.

You’re manipulating him to suit your plot - You’re not writing with his personality in mind.

As you plot the events in the story, simultaneously build your character.

Cross-reference what you have written about your character and the situation he is in. Do they correspond?


© Nick Vernon

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Penguin Writer's Manual

On Amazon: The Penguin Writer's Manual is the essential companion for anyone who wants to master the art of writing good English. 

Whether you're composing an essay, sending a business letter or an email to a colleague, or firing off an angry letter to a newspaper, this guide will help you to brush up you communication skills and write correct and confident English.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Seán Ó Faoláin

International Short Story Competition

Open for entries 1 May – 31 July

Word limit: 3,000

Closing date: 31st July (midnight)

Entry fee: €19 per story

Prizes: €2,000

Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival (with four-night hotel stay and full board)

Publication in Southword

VISIT WEBSITE

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New Writers

Poetry Competition

max 42 lines

Entry fee: £10 per entry

1st Place: £1,000; 2nd Place: £300; 3rd Place: £200

Deadline: 31st July

VISIT WEBSITE

Fiction Factory

Short Story Competition

Top Prize £500

Deadline: 31st July

Max 3000 words

Entry fees apply

VISIT WEBSITE

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Women's Prize for Fiction - Winner

Winner 2024

The winner of the 29th Women’s Prize for Fiction is Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Sashi wants to become a doctor. But over the next decade, as a vicious civil war subsumes Sri Lanka, her dream takes her on a different path as she watches those around her, including her four beloved brothers and their best friend, get swept up in violent political ideologies and their consequences. She must ask herself: is it possible for anyone to move through life without doing harm?

Amazon


Friday, June 7, 2024

Paul Cave Prize

The Paul Cave Prize for Teenage Fiction 2024

Stories up to 5000 words

Closing Date: July 30th

VISIT WEBSITE

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

How to Write Clearly


How to Write Clearly: Write with purpose, reach your reader and make your meaning crystal clear by  Tom Albrighton

Amazon: Whatever you're writing, you have to make it clear.

You could be writing a website, a brochure or a client presentation. You could be preparing a job application, an email or a classified ad. Or you might be writing an article or a book.

Whatever it is, the clearer you make it, the better your results will be.

How to Write Clearly will help. It's an authoritative yet easy-to-read guide that will make your non-fiction writing more colourful, expressive and precise.

Writing is more than just words on a page. It's a process of communication.

That's why How to Write Clearly draws on cutting-edge ideas from psychology, education and linguistics to look deep inside the reader's mind and explore the 'why' as well as the 'how' of writing technique.

It's ideal for marketers, businesspeople, journalists, educators and anyone who needs to communicate with the written word.

You'll learn:

  • How to understand your reader and tune into what they need
  • How to use plain language to make your writing accessible, readable and relatable
  • Ten treacherous traps you must avoid
  • Proven techniques for explaining new ideas
  • How to captivate your reader with storytelling, humour, intrigue, perspective and more
  • What really changes readers' minds
  • How to craft clear sentences and paragraphs
  • Using empathy and pacing to put the reader at their ease
  • How to choose the right structure, length and title

Pages of pro tips for drafting, editing and using feedback.

Fully illustrated and referenced, with a wealth of examples throughout, How to Write Clearly is the definitive guide to non-fiction writing today.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Globe Soup

Inspired by Art Flash Challenge

PRIZE: £750 

CLOSES: 15th July

WORDS: 500 max

Entry fees: £4.50 for one story, £10 for three stories, £15 for five stories.

VISIT WEBSITE

Saturday, June 1, 2024