Writing stories

How do you find a home for your short stories? Some folk put them on a blog, some people go in for competitions and others look out for opportunities on line. Of course one could always collect them in an anthology, or try sending them to “Scribble” and a lucky few get accepted by magazines.

It can feel good to get them onto a website on line, but then one is exposed to comments, or, even worse, one may still be ignored.

I tried one this month and I’ll let you know the result. Meanwhile I have almost completed my new talk on Sussex in Fiction and will try it out on the Sea Scribes at the next meeting of our writing group. I really need to concentrate on verses for the upcoming anthology but Brexit is getting in the way. I don’t seem able to concentrate on anything else at present. I am trying to write a story for an American competition but it’s crime and I don’t know how to do it so that both sides of the pond have nothing to criticise. The use of firearms is so different that I’ll have to find another method!bookwormclipart

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Competitions

Writing Magazine came yesterday and I was hoping for a new Year Planner but there wasn’t one for 2019. However, there were a host of competitions and I resolved to enter some, even if they were not free!

I have started with a poetry competition but I had to find one that had not been published so I used one old one and wrote one new one – in completely different styles. I looked at the winning poem from last year and it was freestyle but I usually write in rhyme.

I started tearing up old papers, from as far back as 2015. I’m afraid I am a terrible hoarder. Being on committees meant I had loads of minutes. I don’t know why I kept them. I had to pull out the stories I had written and the reviews I had had and shred the rest.

I have left Twitter. If I can’t use the time saved writing I’ll have to use it trying out recipes from my new book, or tearing up paper! It’s better than tearing my hair out trying to think up a new novel plot. If I can convince myself that poetry is the way to go I might cheer up. What we all need is recognition. Hey ho!youth-active-jump-happy-40815.jpeg

Writing a talk

No more poems at present as I am researching Sussex Writers for my 2019 talks at Womens’ Institute meetings.

After talking for about two dozen times on my life and works I thought I should branch out and introduce people to other local writers, old and new but this involves reading about their lives as well as sampling their books so it is taking time. Thank goodness for the internet or it would be a much harder job.

My story for the competition has been posted and, as usual I thought of ways to improve it after it had gone. Never mind, it was a free one!

This weekend is all parties and Christmas lunches. It seems early. I haven’t done my Christmas shopping yet. The weather has been unpredictable so we are beginning to hibernate. I did buy a Christmas wreath for the front door but it isn’t up yet.WP_20161214_001

What kind of poetry?

As I am not writing a novel at present I thought I might try some competitions. The one in the Writing Magazine looked promising. We needed to write an autumn poem that didn’t seem hackneyed ( No mists and mellow fruitfulness) When I was a schoolteacher we used to ask the children to think of lots of words that reminded them of autumn and then turn them into a poem. Naturally we had loads of red and golden leaves, along with bonfire night and getting ready for Christmas.

I looked at the winning poems in other competitions and found that free verse, without rhyme, usually won first prize. OK – I thought, I’ll try that. So I did and the fourth line rhymed with the second line in spite of my efforts. What should I do – write in sentences and then split them into phrases or give up and write the kind of verse I usually compose? I forced myself not to use rhyming couplets.

Serious poets would only sneer.

If I don’t enter the competition

I’ll post it somewhere here.

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Short Stories

With no new novel on the go I have turned to Competitions to find a subject for a short story. Maybe I’m odd but I avoid all the ones with no theme.

Writing Magazine always has lots to choose from but when I tried to write one on ‘Love’ I could not think of anything original. I thought about entering the one on ‘Hate’ but found that even more difficult.

‘Scribble’ magazine always has a great selection of stories but the last two I sent in were rejected. I could see why – they just weren’t fascinating enough. Also, my writing style has changed over the years and dialogue is taking over. It should be appropriate for short stories but there has to be a balance.

The UK Southern Book Show now has a website with notes about some of the authors who will be attending. This promises to be an exciting event so I am looking forward to October.bookwormclipart

Writing Group

On Wednesday 13th September the writing group run by Wendy Hughes at Worthing Library returned from their summer break. Wendy asked us all what we had been writing and our plans for next year. I was happy to tell them I only had 14 copies of the poetry anthology left and will be starting a new course at the end of the month.

Wendy then gave us some insight in how to approach historical novel writing, where to do research and where to find information about times we know little about. She sited children’s books as an example.

We were given a short exercise in historical writing to do and then we moved onto manuscript reading. Each of us had the opportunity to read something they had been working on or the previous ‘homework.’

We were given lists of competitions and outlets and homework ( optional) for next month. This is the perfect stimulus for writing and all comments are encouraging and positive. I recommend writing groups.

Review. Scribble.

Scribble is a little short story booklet published by Park Publications in the UK. The Summer 2017 issue has twenty stories and comments on the last issue by readers. Each issue has a competition and readers decide their three favourite stories. It is always interesting to see how different people’s opinions are.

The annual subscription is £15 for four issues (£21 overseas) and the stories are more varied than the usual magazine fare. If you are a writer looking for a home for a story of up to 3000 words you might find Scribble the best place to try.

http://www.parkpublications.co.uk