Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Circle of many talents...

Our very own Peter Spalton will be performing a stand up comedy routine! You can see Peter for yourself on Saturday, the 9th of April at the Atrix. The Atrix is located in Bromsgrove, B60 1AX. http://www.artrix.co.uk/Comedy/Stand-Up-Comedy-Workshop-Show/607

So come on Worcester writers lets get together for a great night out and cheer Peter on.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Saturday, 26 March 2011

End of week, over to you...

Tips and advice

So to round off the week, post a comment and share your writing tip.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

It's spring!

It's spring, it's spring, it's spring. Time to start new projects and attempt to take on everything. Then collapse the second week of May, when I realize I have two exams and an ECA. For now I will sing about spring and all things new.

So whether spring to you, means blue sky and daisies

Or if spring is a lot more... well


Spring is worth writing about, if only so you have a stock pile of fillers to submit this halloween.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Web page of rules...

Thank you photo blog :)

Well, lame as it may sound there is a fair number of funny and worthwhile tips. Have a boo when you are taking a well earned midweek pause.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Worcestershire Literary Festival presents ...

Earth Hour

The Worcestershire Literary Festival Team and Transition Worcester are proud to present Earth Hour: An Evening of Poetry & Music to Prmote Climate Week Awareness and raise money for charity on Saturday 26th March 2011, 7.00pm.

Poets & Musicians so far confirmed for the event include:

Sophia Dimmock
Jenny Hope
Sarah Leavesley
Amanda Bonnick
Sean Jeffrey

With more to be announced very soon.

The event will start at 7.00pm and The Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Mike Layland, will be in attendance. We will be raising funds for the Mayor’s charities – Acorns Children’s Hospice and the three city cadet units (Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps cadets).

At 8.30pm all power and electricity will be switched off and for an hour performances will take place under “greeen” or non-electrical related lighting.

There will be refreshments, cakes and snacks available on the night.

Tickets cost £5.00 in advance and £6.00 on the door on the night. ALL proceeds will go to the Mayor’s charities, and a raffle will also take place on the night.

This event will be held at The Assembly Room, Worcester Guildhall (The High Street, Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom, WR1 2EY)

worcestershire literary festival logo

Tip no3

Join a good writing circle.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Some thoughts

Puzzle Pieces

The first piece of writing advice I believe has merit, is to write often and write properly.

While it sounds redundant, it is far too easy to procrastinate. Days pass and suddenly 6 months have rushed down the river and you are still standing on the river bank. Alone, with that good idea. Now, you feel self conscious and unconfident. It is daunting to restart, so don’t stop.

I say write properly, because this is my own personal weakness. It is so important to use good grammar and punctuation. Johnathan Swift is quoted as saying, ‘Proper words in proper places makes the true definition of style.’

So you are ready rock at using commas, and write regularly as you drink a cup of tea?

Well, second on my list would be assessing the market. Determine where and who accepts freelance or unsolicited work. Study them until you are comfortable with their style, and then start searching for topics. Make a list of ideas, then discard the first three. If you thought of them first... so has someone else.

Now for individual publication analysis. Really assess their publications under a microscope. If you are looking to publish something with a magazine make sure your opening sentence has the exact same number of words as every other article in their issues.

Saying that if you have an awesome piece that is already written search out a place that already publishes things in the style you have already used.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dreaming of great paychecks?

So I was off in cyber space trawling through writing resources, and
web pages promising success. I have read writing blogs which make me
laugh and those that bore me into a vegetative state.

One tiny, itsy, bitsy thing I noticed is how many ‘ehem’ writing web pages
and writing bloggers out there claim to have step by step instructions on how you will become vastly rich and famous by writing their way. Am I the only one who feels there ought to be virtual gongs we can ring? Nah, I want to beat the gong. Let's have gongs we can beat. Gongs that will sing a warning to all those that read that expert writing advice. Since there's no gongs, let's consider these 5 easy steps.

Step one: Set your rate. The most important thing a writer must do, is
decide how much they want to be paid and stick to it.

Now WHAT is up with that? Am I the only writer that just
feels so darn appreciative to see my name in print that I would do anything short
of actually paying for it (*whispers* cause having four children is
darn expensive, but seriously after their uni fees are paid, I will
totally use the spare cash...)

I am starting to think the ship left without me on it, because I have,
and no I am not exactly Asimov here, never had an editor ask me 'so uh
how much do you want?'.

Step 2. Guide to copy right and protection laws. Seriously at
this point this writer hasn’t even written anything and is already
sending out preemptive invoices. Are they copy writing the invoices?

Step 3: Managing your finances. Finances, what finances? Unless some
poor person has paid you upfront, there is no money that needs

Step 4: Marketing. Obviously marketing is important, and I do not mean
to suggest perhaps step 4 in a writer’s guide should not be marketing.
However, I still don’t see any actual product to market.

Step 5: How to handle rejection. (No kidding, eh!)

Wow, well there it is folks, my summary of the ‘writing - how - to' web page's least
helpful guides to becoming infinitely rich through your impressive writing.

Over then next week we'll look at some of the best advice I've been told, read about, and seen.

Sunday Funnies

0310wwfc 009
Great big thanks to inkygirl!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Have a memoir?

Book Club

Following a great response to their memoir competition, Leaf books is offering a memoir printing Service. From as little as £5/ copy they will print a bound, fully laminated book with a colour cover, inc photos. For more information please contact cecilia@leafbooks.co.uk

Warm Applause to our very own Andy Kirk

Prize Giving.jpg

"Dying to Meet the Stars" is Andy's first attempt a short (150 Word) piece of Flash Fiction. Andy decided to enter the story into an on-line flash fiction competition judged by local author, Sue Johnson, at www.writer-toolkit.co.uk. While he was surprised and very pleased to find out that out of 150 entries I had attained 2nd position and a prize of £25.00 plus on-line publication, we are simply proud to see some excellent talent recognized.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Worcestershire Literary Festival - Volunteers

Comic Relief (Red Nose Day) BBC

The Worcestershire Literary Festival is presenting - A Live Reading Of P G Wodehouse’s Classic “Carry On Jeeves” – To Raise Funds For Comic Relief.

These readings will take place at Worcester City Library, on March 18th from 10.30am till 2.00pm, then at Waterstones book shop in Worcester from 3.00pm till 7.00pm.

They are currently recruiting more Volunteers to be readers. Of course all are encouraged to come along, listen, and raise funds for comic relief.

Tonight's meeting

Daffodils bring me out in a rash

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Has it been a while?

Worcester Library

Honestly, how long has it been since you were last in a library?

Are you still in a self imposed exile because of that over due book from 1997?

You know the one.

Yes, that paperback that is still under the wardrobe, because the wardrobe had a tendency to lean just a little to the left, so the door hung open. That book was just the right thickness... and now you can't go back, just in case...

Well, the Worcester City Library is seeking to increase it's adult membership by a 1000 this month and is giving away prizes. Anyone who signs up for a new membership or refers a friend will be entered in a draw to win gift certificates to the Little Ginger Pig Company.

Perhaps you the possibility of free food might tempt you into a health dose of self forgiveness.

To find out more contact Nicki Hitchcock at Worcester City Library on 01905 822722 or email WorcesterLib@worcestershire.gov.uk.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

March 9th

Writing prompts for today's date

- Barbie made her debut at the American toy fair. (1959)

-The premiere performance of Nabbucco, Giuseppe Verdi’s third Opera , in Milan. Which would secure Verdi’s success. (1842)

Gold is found, for the first documented time, in California. (1842)

So, a rising Opera star plays opposite Zorro, to win the hand of the beautiful, but shallow damsel....

That needs more juice.


Captive Fricans who seize control of the ships carrying them are deemed to have been taken into slavery illegally by the US Supreme court. (1841)

Napoleon Bonaparte marries his first wife Josephine de Beauharnais. (1796)

Well that could set quite a sub plot...

I will leave you to it.

Colour you ideas

Sometimes, when inspiration is waning and you find yourself stuck, it might be worth your while to try seeing your ideas in a different colour.

Romance...... romance..... romance

Mad..... mad..... mad

Sky..... sky..... sky

Somehow mad and mad just don't feel the same.

Monday, 7 March 2011

15 days free advertising

How to Make White Chocolate Mocha Coffeethumbnail

BookBarista.com is a website designed to help promote new writers. They generously give 15 days of free advertising space on their webpage to any author who provides them with a free jpeg of their book and a link. BookBarista is hoping to become a social hub for authors, booksellers, and buyers to network and play.

Amazon customer?

So it seems with Amazon's new Kindle Singles all you need to do is be a amazon customer and you are half way to being published.

That is not meant to be mocking, honest.

It just almost seems too good to be true.

On the off chance you are interested, this is a worthwhile read:


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Saturday Night laughs

Images d'humour de cinema

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

Ode to the Spell Check

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It cam with my pea sea

It plainly marques four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee fore two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer tolled me sew!

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.

March Competitions

Closing March 11

Northern Stage Award for New Theatre Residency in summer 2011.

The award is for an innovative, thoughtful and intriguing proposal for a new piece of theatre. To submit complete the proposal form available from the website. Prizes: A £2,000 production budget; company support from the Northern Stage team; a mentor; a showcase event; ongoing support for the artist/company moving forward. The residency is only open to artists or company committed to working in the North East, who demonstrate a unique way of looking at the world. www.northernstage.co.uk

Closing March 14

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets

Looking for an outstanding work of poetry published in pamphlet form in the UK during 2009 (open to self-published work); and an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, based on their 2010 publishing programme. Prizes in each category: £5,000. www.bl.uk/poetrypamphlets

Vintage Script Short Story Competition

Send in a short story on any historical theme, no more than 2,500 words. Entry fee is £3 per short story. Winning entries will be published in Vintage Script magazine.


Closing March 15

The only short story chapbook contest in the UK. Submit: 3 stories of any genre (inc. cross-genre work) of between 10,000-15,000 wds total, by one author. Prizes: £100; £75; £50; plus all winners will receive 20 copies of the chapbook. www.treehousepress.co.uk

Closing March 20

The Rider Haggard Society Annual Short Story Competition 2011

Prizes: 1st, £200 and a year's membership of the Society / 2 Runners-up, a year's membership of the Society. If there are more than 25 entrants the prize will be increased proportionately. Copies of the winning entry, and possibly others, will be circulated in the Rider Haggard Society Journal, which has members world-wide. Entry fee: £10. Cheques payable to Roger Allen. All entrants will be given a special offer with regard to the Society and Rider Haggard books. Address: Roger Allen, 27 Deneholm, Whitley Bay, NE25 9AU. E-mail: rb27allen@blueyonder.co.uk.

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition

Prizes: 1st, £150 / 2nd, £60 / 3rd, £40. For short stories up to 1500 words which have not been previously published, or accepted for publication, on any subject or style. Winning entries will be published in Sentinel Champions magazine (paperback and e-Book). Entrants will receive a free copy of Sentinel Champions 4 e-Book. Entry fee: £5, or 2 entries for £9, or 3 entries for £12. Cheques/Postal Ordes payable to Sentinel Poetry Movement. Address: Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London, E18 1AB www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk

Closing March 25

Indigo Dreams Collection Competition

Seeking a selection of 10-15 poems of up to 36 lines each. Prize: Three winners will have a poetry collection published by Indigo Dreams Press and receive 50 copies. www.indigodreams.co.uk

Cardiff International Poetry Festival

Award-winning poets, Don Paterson, Philip Gross and Tiffany Atkinson, will be judging this competition. Submit poems no longer than 50 lines, entry is £6 per poem.


Closing March 31

Merseyside and Cheshire Writing Competition

For stories of up to 700 words on the theme of ‘celebration’ in three categories: under 12, under 16, and adult. Judges: Dame Joan Bakewell and Margaret Murphy (adult); Alan Gibbons and Jonathan Mayhew (under 12, under 16). Prize: winning and runner’s up stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside. entries from those under 16 will be free. http://merseysidewritingcompetition.wordpress.com/

The Queen Mother Memorial Poetry Competition

Prize: £50 For poems of 3 verses, 3 lines per verse, 10 words per line. Entry fee: £3 per poem or £10.00 for 4 poems . Address: 19 Westbourne House, London, SW1W 8SJ E-Mail: kumbi.johnson@googlemail.com

Bristol Short Story Prize 2011

Closing Date: 31 March 2011 Prizes: 1st, £1,000 and £150 Waterstones gift card/ 2nd, £700 and £100 Waterstones gift card,/ 3rd, £400 and £100 Waterstones gift card / 17 further prizes of £100 for writers whose stories appear in the shortlist. For stories on any theme or subject, with a maximum length of 3000 words. Entries must be previously unpublished. All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 4. The winning story will also be published in Bristol Review of Books and Venue Magazine. The 20 shortlisted writers will also be invited to an awards ceremony in Bristol on 16 July 2011, when the winners will be announced and the anthology launched. Entry fee: £7 per story. Entries can be made on-line or by post. For full details visit www.bristolprize.co.uk

Greenacre Writers Short Story Competition

Prizes: 1st, £100 / 2nd, £50 / 3rd, £20. In addition, 3 runners-up will win a subscription to Greenacre Times. For stories of up to 2000 words. Postal submissions only. The competition is open to anyone in the United Kingdom who is over the age of 16. Stories should be in English and should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere. Stories that have won or are under consideration in other short story competitions are not eligible. Entries should be original, double spaced, typed (12 point) on single sided A4 sheets of white paper with each page numbered. The winning stories will be published online and in the Greenacre Writers 2011 anthology. Copyright remains with the author. Entry fee: £5. More than one entry is acceptable but each entry must have a separate cover sheet. Address: The Administrator, Greenacre Writers, 25 Chislehurst Avenue, London, N12 0HU E-mail: greenacrewriters@gmail.com

Academy of Children's Writers - Write a Story for Children Competition

Prizes: 1st, £2000 / 2nd, £300 / 3rd, £200. The twenty-sixth Annual Write a Story for Children Competition, and is for stories not exceeding 2000 words suitable for children of any age group up to teenage. Entries may be short stories or the first 2000 words of a novel or longer story. The independent judges will be looking for such qualities as originality, imagination, flair and, most importantly, how the story will appeal to children. The competition is open only to previously unpublished (for profit) writers of children's fiction over the age of 18. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form. Only one entry per person is allowed. Entry fee: £3 (10 x 2nd class UK stamps preferred). Non-UK entries, US $10 bill or €10 note. Address: ACW, Competition Entry, PO Box 95, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 5RL. Entry form available from www.childrens-writers.co.uk

David Burland Poetry Prize 2011

Prizes: 1st, £500 / 2nd, £100 / 3rd, £30 For poems with an open theme written in English or French. The competition is open to poets worldwide over the age of 18. The sole judge will be award-winning bilingual poet and writer, Michel Fran├žois. Prizes will be offered for both languages. Entry fee: £8 for first poem, £4 for each extra poem. Address: Anna Burland Services Ltd., 39 High Street, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, WV11 1ST. E-mail: annaburland@btconnect.com Full rules, terms and application form available at www.davidburlandpoetryprize.com

Meridian Writing Spring Short Story Competition

Prizes: 1st, £100 / 2nd, £50 / 3rd, £25 plus firstwriter.com vouchers For short stories of up to 3000 words, in any genre or theme. Open to new and published authors. Entry fee: £5 per story. www.meridian-writing.co.uk

Lincolnshire Association of Healers Poetry Competition

Prizes: 1st, £50 / 2nd, £25 / 3rd, £25 For poems of up to 40 lines, typed or hand-written on A4 paper, on anything of a spiritual nature. Do not include your name on the actual entry but enclose a separate A4 cover sheet showing name, address, and contact details. Poems must not have been previously published or won a prize in a competition. Prize winners will be asked for permission to publish in the Association's newsletter and website. Address: Competition Secretary, Coppins Cottage, Habertoft, Alford, Lincolnshire, LN13 9NU

Leaf Books Tiny Weeny Writing Competition 2011

Prize: £75 plus publication in Leaf Writers Magazine and a free subscription to the magazine. For a short piece of writing, up to 140 characters (not including the title) - short fiction, epigraphs, poetry or anything else that takes your fancy. Enter on-line or by post. Entry fee: £2, or £10 for 6 entries. Buying a copy of the Leaf Writers Magazine entitles you to one free entry. http://www.leafbooks.co.uk/New/For%20Writers/CurrentCompetitions.html

Flash 500 Quarterly Competition

Prizes: 1st, £250 + publication in Words With Jam / 2nd, £100 / 3rd, £50 / Highly Recommended, copy of The Writer's ABC Checklist. A quarterly open-themed competition, now in its second year, with closing dates of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. Results are announced within 6 weeks of each closing date and the 3 winning entries are published on the competition website. The judge changes each quarter, with details on the Judges Page of the website. Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories.. Optional Critique, £10 per story. www.flash500.com

Exeter Writers Short Story Comp

Stories up to 3000 words. Fee is £4. Prizes £250,£100,£50 plus website publication. Details on www.exeterwriters.org.uk Or by post at Exeter Writers Short story Competition, 4Albion Place, Exeter EX4 6LH.

Friday, 4 March 2011

World Book Night

March 5th is World book night.

40,000 copies of 25 selected titles will be given away free by members of the general public in conjunction with literary events world wide.

To participate local events are as follows:


Birmingham B2 4ND

Meet at Coffee Lounge anytime between 11am and 4pm Saturday 5 March, book giving will take place after this into the evening, come along to the Coffee Lounge to prepare for a write in. The Coffee Lounge is opposite The Navigation Street entrance to New Street Station

Waterstones Birmingham

24-26 High St, Birmingham, B4 7SL; 19:00-21:00

How to get published event – local author, publisher and bookseller on panel.

Contact: 01216334353