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

Magazines

When I go on holiday I usually take a novel to read but this time I took a short story magazine. Once I had finished reading them I looked for something else to do. I didn’t feel inspired to write anything so I bought a “Take a Break” magazine – full of different puzzles. I don’t usually like crossword puzzles. I find them difficult – but there were variations on the theme from simple wordsearch puzzles to’guess the meaning’ type puzzles. My favourite turned out to be one where they give you three words and you have to find the word that connects them. We took the dog for walks but I am getting very out of breath on hills so we can’t go as far as we used to.Still, it has been a break – back to sorting out the poetry anthology on return.

Talk

Have just returned from a talk that eight of the Sea Scribes gave to members of Worthing’s Phoenix Club at their speaker’s lunch. The food was delicious and we were treated to a glass of wine each.

Then we took turns in talking about how to write and publish books. Elaine Hankin had ordered it so that we each had a subject, non-fiction, plotting and character, proof reading etc. and then three of us told how we self published. I go-it-alone, Elaine uses Feedaread and Angela uses Createspace.

We took books as examples and hoped for sales but, although we did get some interested folk asking questions, it was not intended as a selling event and so it transpired.

When I came home I found my play was not going to be used in a local festival and the competition I entered closed yesterday, although I only found out about it today. They asked for a sonnet and if  they don’t want it I’ll post it on here next week.

All good fun!

Where next?

Have you ever written a short story and then wondered what to do with it? I used to send to Scribble and I had a look at AlfieDog but I suppose I ought to try for another competition. The trouble is, I am reluctant to pay for any more entries until I am,at least,shortlisted

I never thought I would lack ideas but it is happening now. If I get a thought it only comes as a poem and this is still not the ideal place to post those. I expect I could change the spacing but I’m a coward and don’t dare try.

The only thing I have written this week is a ‘letter to the editor’ but I do have planning to do for the next recording for the blind. Sorry to miss the London Book Fair but the trains are so unreliable this year I’m giving it a miss.