*NEW* Writers’ HQ Flash Quarterly Competition

writers' hq flash quarterly competition

Writers’ HQ wants your words! So send 500 of your best to their new flash fiction competition, running quarterly throughout 2019.

It’s free to enter, open-themed, with no restrictions on genre or style. PLUS win yourself up to 12 months Writers’ HQ membership and get access to over £1000’s worth of online creative writing courses as well as UK one-day writing retreats.

ENTER THE COMPETITION HERE

Deadline: 31st March
Word limit: 500 words
Entry fee: FREE! (But optional donations to our bursary fund are welcomed)
Prizes: 

  • 1st place: 12 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats
  • 2nd place: 6 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats
  • 3rd place: 3 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats

Find the full guidelines (for the love of all that’s shiny, please read the guidelines) and entry form HERE

From LGBTQ+ With Love: The Fight Back Flash Competition

Dearest compatriots, collaborators, friends, foes, gentlepeople, unicorns (both sparkly and plain), folkingtons, allies and everyone in between and either side and up and down and diagonal and round and round the whole glorious spectrum of humanity.

You may have heard about a rather unpleasant exclusionary flash fiction competition that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter lately. Not just exclusionary, but implying members of the LGBTQ+ community are somehow comparable to scenes of graphic violence or torture. Yeah. Not exactly what we want to see from a writing competition in 2018.

But you cannot fight hate with hate. The answer is love. Only love and always love. Whatever damn kind of love you’re into. Because love knows no bounds, people.

And so. Writers’ HQ are running a flash fiction competition on the theme: From LGBTQ+ With Love, with all proceeds going to MindOut, a mental health service for LGBTQ+ people.

Specifically, we want your LGBTQ+ stories, your stories of love, grace and compassion (and most importantly your creative swearing). Here’s the lowdown in a handy bullet list – click here for the full rules, FAQs and entry form:

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES HERE!

LGBTQ+ flash competition

Writers’ HQ Online Writing Short Fiction Course (plus membership discount!)

 

Short stories aren’t just easier versions of the novel. They’re a broad, complex and rewarding art form in their own right. Writers’ HQ’s new online short story course will help you see the bigger picture and compress it into short stories with real punch.

Short stories have been here since the dawn of time. Based in the oral tradition (stop sniggering at the back), they’re the apocryphal family legends our grandmas/weird uncle used to tell us over Christmas dinner; they’re the school-yard urban myths; the sleepover ghost stories; the soliloquies in our diaries; the wine-soaked rants to that random person you cornered in the kitchen at that party after so-and-so dumped you. Short stories are all around us.

But super short stories are not super easy for writers, natch. In fact, the shorter your story becomes, the harder it is to distil what really matters onto the page. I would have written a shorter letter, so the famous quote goes, but I didn’t have the time.

So what makes truly great short fiction? The kind that leaves you dribbling, slack-jawed, and slap-faced when you finish it. The kind you remember forever, like some weird dream-memory. Well. We can’t write it for you, but we can give you a nudge, a shove, and a poke with a sharp stick (whatever floats your boat) to help you on your way. With the help of writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, inspiring exercises, and the awesome little Writers’ HQ online community, you’ll come out the other side with at least one fully formed short story to call your very own – and maybe even send out into the world of literary magazines and competitions…

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW or sign up for the full WHQ MEMBERSHIP for access to all seven of our online courses and exclusive discounts and freebies!

Sign up for monthly membership before 31st December and get 25% off your sign up fee with promo code WHQERSRULE25

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FREE short story critique with the Writers’ HQ Writing Short Fiction course

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Get a FREE 3,000 word story critique when you book onto the next Writers’ HQ Writing Short Fiction online course (starting 18 Sept) using promo code CRITMEBABY

Spend six weeks immersed in the art of the short story with Writers’ HQ 5-star online course AND get feedback on the story of your choice (up to 3,000 words) with a special one-off promo code: CRITMEBABY.

The WHQ course is designed to fit in around busy lives, working hours, kids, attention-seeking partners, household chores and inevitable procrastination. Inspiring exercises, writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, and a supportive online writing community will help you come up with some brand new ideas and explore a range of approaches and techniques to get the very best out of your short fiction.

And at the end of the course, submit a story to the Writers’ HQ tutors for detailed, one-to-one feedback and critique!

 

The next Writing Short Fiction course starts on 18 September

 CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE

(and don’t forget to use promo code CRITMEBABY at the checkout to get your free critique!)

 

Still not sure? Here’s what a few past students have said about the course (more reviews here):

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How to turn a short story into a novel

Have you ever had a short story get a little… out of hand? Perhaps it starts out as a mere spark of an idea, maybe just a little piece of flash fiction, and then it grows, and grows, and evolves and morphs and mutates into this enormous monster that’s too huge to possibly be contained in a few thousand words.

So what then? How do you move from writing short stories into the great big daunting world of novel writing?

The short story and the novel are two very different beasts, but the writer’s brain is a wonderful thing, and if the thought of churning out 80,000 odd words leaves you in a cold sweat, what you need is some serious PLOTSTORMING.

novel writing course

Writers’ HQ’s online novel outlining course will teach you the fundamentals of plotting your story from start to finish. Designed to fit around everyday life and a busy schedule, all you need to get started is an idea, and after six weeks’ furious plotstorming, you’ll finish with a comprehensive outline of your novel, so that you’re rip-roaring ready to get that first draft out.

This in-depth online plotting course contains everything you need to expand your short story into a novel. You’ll learn the fundamental elements that make up every good plot and the basics of story structure:

  • Explore who’s in your story, what their roles are, and how to make compelling characters
  • Learn how to add tension and conflict so that your novel is unputdownable
  • Break your story down into chapters and scenes so that it feels more manageable
  • And find out what to do with your outline once you have it (hint: a whole lot of writing lies in your future…)

Exercises, examples, group discussion, tutor feedback, swearing and productive procrastination (eg: research, day-dreaming, tea-drinking) will enable you to grow your fictional world and build your story plan into a detailed outline, taking it from ‘random idea in your head’ to ‘actual real story that’s ready to be properly written’!

The next Plotstormers course starts on the 7th of August. Get ready to help that epic short story reach its full potential and take the leap into novel writing!

If you’re still not sure, try a FREE one-week primer course here, or get in touch with the procrastination-busting whip-crackers at Writers’ HQ who will soothe your fevered brow and bribe you with gold stars. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

And if you’re absolutely, positively sure novel writing isn’t for you, check out the WHQ Writing Short Fiction course instead. It might help you find a way to contain that behemoth of an idea into a self-contained piece of short fiction, and help you make the most of each idea that springs into your head, covering everything from characterisation to structure to narrative voice to getting your stories published.

Find out more about Writers’ HQ online courses and regional writing retreats at www.writershq.co.uk or chat with the WHQ crew on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Seven Days of Story Inspiration from Writers’ HQ

writers' hq seven ideas in seven days online writing course

SEVEN IDEAS IN SEVEN DAYS – 1 WEEK ONLINE WRITING COURSE – STARTS 5th JUNE (£20)

Learn how to see, hear and think like a writer with Writers’ HQ’s 5-star online creative writing course, Seven Ideas in Seven Days.  Designed to fit around every day life and a busy schedule wherever you are in the world, we’ll give you techniques and exercises for generating ideas and turning them into usable outlines for brilliant stories.

If you’ve ever sat down with good intentions to write a short story but find your brain (and the page) utterly blank, then this is the writing course for you. Ideas are the bedrock of story writing. Sometimes they come thick and fast, and sometimes they seem to languish in the dank cellar of your subconscious and refuse to come out to play. Seven Ideas in Seven Days will help you to turn into an idea-generating machine using inspiring exercises, forum discussions, writing prompts, feedback and support.

Over the course of the week, we’ll teach your brain to germinate those idea-seeds. (Seedy ideas? Something like that.) We’ll give you techniques to spot ideas in both the fantastic and the mundane, exercises to encourage them to grow and bloom, ways to record them for when you need them, and generally help you get into the habit of THINKING.

By the end you will have: seven ideas that can be grown into fully fledged stories, or inserted into existing stories to make them even better. Book your place HERE!

WHAT YOU GET

  • Seven ideas that you can use, grow, nurture, or throw on the floor in frustration (then pick up again and hope no one saw)
  • Daily inspiration, whip-cracking, writing exercises and prompts
  • Top tips from tip-top authors
  • A private student forum to discuss ideas, techniques and get advice from your tutors and fellow writers
  • Dedicated support by email from your fantastic tutors
  • Feedback and writerly conversation from the LOVELY social media community of Writers HQers

STARTS MONDAY 5th JUNE (and costs just £20!) – BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

Still not convinced? Check out just a few of the 5-star reviews from previous students:

“More ideas than you can shake an inspiration stick at! Fab exercises for toning up your idea muscles. A fun, inspiring week.”

“Super splendid idea generating joy! I’d been feeling like I’d lost the ability to generate ideas but this course gave me my confidence back. You’ll get the chance to play around with some really fun exercises and just see what happens! I got at least seven really decent ideas to develop further. It’s great value for money and will really give you a great big creative kick. Five gold stars from me!”

“A mysterious benefactor gives you a task a day and – shazam! – by the end of the week you’re a-fizzing with ideas. Tis witchcraft. Do it.”

“Inspiring! A really varied crash course in ideas generation. It was great sharing the course with a small group of fellow students and Sarah is a wonderful course leader. I’ll definitely use the ideas I came up with and the techniques I learned in my writing. Five gold stars!”

” Just a fab way to work. Really enjoyed myself and discovered so many aspects of the writing process I didn’t know or ignored. They throw you in at the deep end but best way to question your process and the way you work. We are so easily stuck in a rut. And this course is a real encouragement to define a box and then think outside it.”

Try a FREE taster of the Writers’ HQ Short Story course!

The next round of Writers’ HQ’s 6-week online Writing Short Fiction course starts on the 20th of March but you can try out a FREE taster week HERE!

writing-short-fiction

Writing Short Fiction

6 Week Online Course from Writers’ HQ

Starts 20th March, £140 (Get 10% off when you use promo code SHORTSTOPS10 before the 12th of March!)

Short stories aren’t just easier versions of the novel. They’re a broad, complex and rewarding art form in their own right. Writers’ HQ’s new online writing short story course will help you see the bigger picture and compress it into short stories with real punch.

Short stories have been here since the dawn of time. Based in the oral tradition (stop sniggering at the back), they’re the apocryphal family legends our grandmas/weird uncle used to tell us over Christmas dinner; they’re the school-yard urban myths; the sleepover ghost stories; the soliloquies in our diaries; the wine-soaked rants to that random person you cornered in the kitchen at that party after so-and-so dumped you. Short stories are all around us. <cue X-Files theme>

But super short stories are not super easy for writers, natch. In fact, the shorter your story becomes, the harder it is to distil what really matters onto the page. I would have written a shorter letter, so the famous quote goes, but I didn’t have the time.

So what makes truly great short fiction? The kind that leaves you dribbling, slack-jawed, slap-faced when you finish it. The kind you remember forever, like some weird dream-memory. Well. We can’t write it for you, but we can give you a nudge, a shove, and a poke with a sharp stick (whatever floats your boat) to help you on your way. With the help of writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, inspiring exercises, and our awesome little online community, you’ll come out the other side at least one fully formed short story to call your very own.

TRY OUT A FREEBIE WEEK HERE AND BOOK YOUR PLACE! (Don’t forget to use promo code SHORTSTOPS10 to get 10% off when you book before 12th March.)

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Writers’ HQ 6 Week Online Short Fiction Course Starts 10th October

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Short stories aren’t just easier versions of the novel. They’re a broad, complex and rewarding art form in their own right. Writers’ HQ’s new online writing short story course will help you see the bigger picture and compress it into short fiction with real punch.

Try a FREE week of the course here!

Running for 6 weeks from 10th October, this online course is structured to work around busy lives and work schedules, and to support writers of all experiences. With the help of inspiring exercises, writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, fantastic published examples, thought-provoking literary analysis, and a great little online community, you’ll come out the other side with plenty of ideas and at least one fully formed short story to call your very own.

book-now-nonsweary

Writers’ HQ is an arse-kicking, procrastination-bust­ing writing organisation based in Sussex (with plans for global online domination). Their motto? Stop f**king about and start writing. With online courses, local writing retreats and workshops, Writers’ HQ is here to help writers get the words out of their heads and onto the page with as little angst as possible. 

Live Spoken Word Flash Fiction Event at Monk’s House

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On the 2nd of September, Writers’ HQ are running a special evening of flash fiction, Moments of Being, at Monk’s House – the beautiful home of Virginia Woolf in Rodmell, East Sussex.

Bring along a story to read at this brand new spoken word event or simply come along to enjoy some fantastic short fiction and meet local authors!

Fri 2nd September: Moments of Being – Live Flash Fiction Event

Moments of Being is a brand new spoken word event hosted by Monk’s House, the home of Virginia Woolf in Rodmell – a literary evening full of bite-sized ‘moments‘ of fiction read aloud by the authors themselves.

Come, fine writers, pull your brave pants right up to your chin and read your words aloud to a room full of expectant ears. We want to hear your story…

Here’s how it works:

  • Bring along a story (no more than 1000 words please).
  • Put your name in the fiction hat and cross your fingers tightly.
  • If you’re picked, leap on stage with verve and pizazz, fill the brains of the audience with the sound of your story and then field their questions and feedback like a true pro. Be rewarded for your efforts with a free beverage.
  • If you’re not picked, then simply enjoy a relaxing evening of original literature, applaud wildly, and put your questions to the chosen authors.

And if you don’t fancy reading, then simply come along to listen to eight stories by eight fabulous writers, quiz them on their methods, techniques and inspiration, and enjoy an intimate evening of literary brilliance at the home of Virginia Woolf.

Booking essential. Visit Writers’ HQ for more details. 

NEW Six Week Online Short Fiction Course from Writers’ HQ

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Writers’ HQ are launching a brand new six-week online short fiction course for writers who are tight on time and money (so… all of us then!) – starting 26th September, 2016.

Short stories have been here since the dawn of frickin’ time. Based in the oral tradition (stop sniggering at the back), they’re the apocryphal family legends our grandmas/weird uncle used to tell us over Christmas dinner; they’re the school-yard urban myths; the sleepover ghost stories; the soliloquies in our diaries; the wine-soaked rants to that random person you cornered in the kitchen at that party after so-and-so dumped you. Short stories are all around us. <cue X-Files theme>

But super short stories are not super easy for writers. In fact, the shorter your story becomes, the harder it is to distill what really matters onto the page. I would have written a shorter letter, so the famous quote goes, but I didn’t have the time…

The energetic, irreverent, slightly bonkers team at Writers’ HQ will help you come up with ideas, hone them into perfectly formed nuggets of fiction and build the confidence to send them out into the world. Spend six weeks developing your short fiction skills with the support of a thriving online community, top tips from award winning authors, inspiring writing exercises, and procrastination-busting tools and techniques.

And, due to funding from the fantastic Arts Council England, Writers’ HQ are able to offer this great course at the low price of £130. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, why not enter their competition to win a fully-subsidised place on all five of their new online courses? Click here for more info.

And if that wasn’t enough, the first 25 people to book will also receive free membership to 750 Words – a fantastic productivity app that will get you writing every day! What more could you ask for (aside from someone to write the darn thing for you)?

book-now-nonsweary

Oh wait, that’s not all.

If you’re based in Sussex and fancy spending a morning at the beautiful National Trust property Monk’s House (historic home of Virginia Woolf and haunt of the Bloomsbury Group) writing and reading flash fiction, come along to the Fiction in a Flash workshop on the 20th of August.

Fiction in a Flashat Monk's House (1)

If you fancy streamlining your writing down into bite-size chunks, or have always wanted to write a short story but didn’t know where to start, flash fiction is your answer! This two hour workshop covers everything you need to know to get you flashing like a – err, no never mind – to get you writing confident, impactful flash. At the beautiful, inspiring Monk’s House, home to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, we’ll cover the basics of form and structure, show you how to make characters come to life in just a handful of words, and experiment with prompts to get your flashy juices flowing.

In this workshop we’ll look at the fundamentals of flash fiction and experiment with different ways of approach writing fantastic minimalist fiction. Learn how to wring every last drop of goodness from your words and tell a story in fewer than 1000 words.

Explore the world of short fiction, write your own flash, and if you’re feeling brave, share your work with the group. We can direct you towards a stiff drink afterwards…

 

 

 

 

 

Win a year’s access to online writing courses with Writers’ HQ!

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To celebrate the launch of FIVE brand spanking new online writing, Writers’ HQ are offering FIVE deserving writers a year’s access to their creative writing programme, worth over £500.

The nitty gritty: 

Deadline: 14th August 2016

Prize: Access to our 5 short courses (7 ideas in 7 days, novel plotting, novel editing, manuscript submission & short fiction) for a whole year.

Submission requirements: Free entry! Just send us a sample of your writing (either the opening of a novel or short fiction piece – maximum 1,500 words) AND a brief statement about why you would benefit from our courses.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COMPETITION DETAILS AND SUBMISSION FORM

More info:

As writers/parents/employees/freelancers, we know all too well how hard it is to hold down a job, wrangle a family, battle imposter syndrome and wrestle the evil guilt that comes with trying to carve out time to write. And in the last four years of running writing retreats we’ve met hundreds of time-starved, finance-poor writers who feel the same.

And so! We decided SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. We’ve put together five new affordable, arse-kicking, profanity-laden, online writing courses, covering everything from idea generation to short fiction to novel plotting to manuscript submission to first draft editing. These short courses, spanning between one to six weeks, will help you to develop your writing skills in small, manageable chunks, whenever you can fit them in. And there’s more! With the generous aid of a development grant from the amazing, wonderful and vitally important Arts Council England, we’re ecstatic to be able to offer five fully subsidised places on all our short courses, giving the winners access to the course material for a whole year.

All you have to do is send us a bit of your work and let us know why you’d benefit from access to our new courses. Do it! Details of how to enter can be found HERE.

Good luck!