- £1500 OR
- A novella (guess that's around 50,000 words) or collection of short stories published PLUS £500
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
athlete's build, a sword and a shield,
he followed him to the battlefield,
the crowd's roar,
his charmed foot on the ball ...
Thursday, 25 March 2010
The programme was about to end when he realized that he hadn't mentioned one book on his list. He put it in front of his face so the camera couldn't miss it, shouting: it's brilliant! Buy it! Buy it!
Now that's what I call a review...and it made for great television...
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
The very first writing class I ever attended was a workshop in London run by the American playwright Bernard Miller. I can still remember some of the things he said: get sex out of the head. Get it back in the bed where it belongs...
I'm not sure what he was referring to - I don't remember my writing or anyone's else going anywhere near such subjects. There was some debate but mostly we just listened to him comment on our offerings. He was tough, praise was a rare commodity, but he was also inspirational.
It was inspirational in a different way - a mixed group of writers entered into detailed, pertinent discussion under the thoughtful and reflective ear of Alison Burns. It was a productive experience where trust was earned and equality respected. I am still close to several of the writers I met there and my novel grew out of those sessions.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Food for thought and a reminder that when you enter a competition you don't have to write up to the maximum word limit. Be dictated by the idea - some stories need room to breath, others are better told in tight prose that forces the reader to do most of the work.
No standard word count - here is how the Bridport Writing Competition describes it. http://www.bridportprize.org.uk/flashfiction.htm
This year for the first time there is a special category for Flash Fiction
Flash Fiction is fiction of extreme brevity. The number of words can vary widely - for our competition it will be a maximum of 250. Other names for flash fiction include sudden fiction, microfiction, micro-story, postcard fiction, prosetry and short short story. Flash fiction work contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications and resolution. However unlike the case with a traditional short story, the word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten: hinted at or implied in the written storyline.
Digression number two...Whelan is an anglicised version of O' Faolain. (Phelan is another) Sean O' Faolain was born John Whelan in Cork around 1900 and his mother was Bridget Whelan...just thought I'd mention it)
Grace of the Gamblers is a ballad pamphlet performance poet Naomi has developed as part of her PhD thesis. It tells the story of Grace O'Malley, a pirate queen who lived off the Mayo coast at the time of Queen Elizabeth the First. The two queens met and are supposed to have liked each other. Or at least Elizabeth saw the promotional opportunities of being associated with a woman who was a legend in her own life time.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Our task as judges was to go live six new lives. We hung out in a millionaire’s pad, the editorial department of a top magazine, a cake shop, an animal sanctuary, a regency theatre and we also went to the races. We met intelligent heroines, bright eyed and confident; we met intelligent heroines, bright eyed and absolutely convinced no man would give them a second glance. And the heroes? They weren’t all tall, dark and handsome (although some certainly were) but they did have one characteristic in common: they were all men you remembered after the story ended.
ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID is a gentle love story. The heroine is a believable mix of contradictions: brave and shy, positive and indecisive, sexy and full of self doubt. And the cakes she bakes in her one woman business are as tempting as the handsome hero who captures her heart. Author: Nina Harrington
In contrast, CLAIMED FOR THE ITALIAN’S REVENGE is a story brimming with passion rather than love. Marco sweeps the heroine off her feet. He thinks it’s lust; he thinks it’s payback for something that happened in the past, but the reality is he has found the only woman he could ever love. Author: Natalie Rivers
A host of characters from a dyslexic wedding planner, to a teenager in a coma and a fifty something ex wife come together in THE WEDDING PARTY. This is an intriguing tale of love and loss that has many layers, all of them absorbing and all of them revolving around a second chance romance. Author: Sophie King
ANIMAL INSTINCTS is also a contemporary story. An animal sanctuary is on the brink of bankruptcy and a dashing property magnet shows a keen interest. But is it love or is it land that sets his pulse racing? A foul-mouthed parrot adds a running commentary to the on/off romance. Author Nell Dixon
The intelligent, compelling hero of THE NOTORIOUS MR HURST -- is matched by an equally intelligent, compelling heroine. In this Regency love story it is society and class prejudice that threatens to keep them apart and keeps the reader turning the page. Author Louise Allen
FAIR DECEPTION is also set in the Regency period but this time we go inside the world of touring theatre and meet a real villain. He’s not the kind you boo off the stage. He’s the kind you fear. The air of violence that surrounds everything the would-be seducer does brings real tension to a touching love story. Author: Jan Jones
And we had to choose the winner. It was a tough decision but the panel not only fell in love with the hero and heroine but also with the cast of characters: especially the celebrity-with-a-heart (and-a-drink-problem) and a parrot that just will not keep its beak shut. --- the Love Story of 2010 is Nell Dixon for ANIMAL INSTINCT
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Here's how to find the spark that ignites a new work of fiction on Google. Or more precisely Google searches.
Click on the title of this post to go to writer Tim Challies' blog where he reconstructs a sad story from one surfer's search. If you're inspired, you don't need access to confidential information from AOL; not when you can imagine it...
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Fiction writers don't even have to open the front door.
Today's exercise was about finding inspiration from a newspaper. Each group had to select three or four items from Friday's Evening Standard. Then individually each student wove these elements into a coherent story and it is was wonderful to hear the magic that came out: small details from adverts were the trigger for well rounded, fully formed characters, a one paragraph business report was part of a surprising twist, a feature article provided the nuts and bolts of a who-dun-it.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
If you want more from Mr Pepys you will find his blog by scrolling down the right hand column
Friday, 5 March 2010
Join the debate and find other recent UK/US book covers by clicking the title of this post