Next week I’ll be sending out my 100th free newsletter for writers! Quite a landmark and I’m still trying to think of a special way to celebrate with my readers. Any ideas?
If you would like to receive the newsletter every Monday (free, no strings attached ) you can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to my list.
Below I’ve copied in the info from this week’s newsletter so you can see the kind of things I cover
Competitions and Submissions
The Benchmark Creative Writing Competition
‘Our latest competition is a fundraising collaboration between Willow Burn Hospice and writer Rachel Cochrane, inspired by Rachel’s latest drama, Benchmark. Available for everyone to listen as an online radio play, Benchmark takes its inspiration from the ‘In Loving Memory…’ plaques found on benches which are usually situated in a place of beauty or of special significance to those commemorated. This competition, however is to celebrate the living and reflect the ethos of Willow Burn Hospice – treasuring life.
Imagine you had a bench dedicated to you. What would it say on the plaque? ( 30 words max) Where would it be? Why have you chosen that particular place- 200 words ?’
Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition (Red Squirrel Press) -CLOSING DATE: 31st December 2014
Prize: Publication of pamphlet collection. The winner receives 50 complimentary copies and 50% discount on further copies.
Judges: Kathleen Kenny, Ellen Phethean. Entries should be of 2 short stories of a maximum of 2000 words each. MORE HERE
Thoughts on Writing
I really enjoy running workshops for writers; for one things writers are attentive, thoughtful people and the writers in the Stanhope writers’ group I met last week were no exception.
I love to feel I might have interested or inspired a writer or given someone permission to write something new or different. I love the intense quiet and the powerful, tangible energy created when everyone is writing freely and all you can hear is the sound of pen on paper.
If I’m leading a workshop I always try to write myself and I invariably find something that surprises me. This time I found a minor character from my work in progress stepped up and announced herself as a serious contender for a bigger role. Her voice sang off my page in an unexpected way as she staked her claim in my drama.
I’d been toying with the idea of using two voices – now perhaps I will!
This was part of the workshop I ran, which you might like to try for yourself or with a group. For a group you need a collection of objects; I took stamps, a train ticket, a small brass pot, a pair of sunglasses, a penknife, some sea glass, a shell, scrap of cloth, a cup etc. etc.– really anything will do. Put them on the table then ask writers choose an object.
If you’re doing this alone then try to find something in your home that isn’t full of personal associations, try to choose something at random, maybe something quite mundane.
Now answer the following questions: (quickly and without too much thinking – first thoughts are best)
Who owns this? What is his/her name – give first name and surname.
Where are they? And what are they doing?
What time of year is it? How does the air around them smell, taste?
What are they afraid of?
What have they lost?
What do they wish for?
Who or what stands in their way?
Where are they going next?
Now write for 10 -20 mins without stopping and without editing yourself. Begin with the name and then a verb – e.g. Eileen Fisher stepped….
If you can begin with an image, something the reader can see, e.g. Eileen Fisher stepped into the sunlight that slanted through the willows…
Do not edit yourself, write freely, you can do the editing later, let the character and the story take you where it will, let it surprise you.
Inspiration and Quotes
It’ still autumn, in my garden at least – here are some lovely autumn images and quotes