12 Writing Tips To Get You Started

As Anne Frank poignantly wrote: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Writing can be an incredible outlet, but sometimes there are stumbling blocks along the way.

Which is why the team at READ Foundation has put together a list of 12 Writing Tips to Get You Started.

Children writing in a classroom

READ is an education charity which builds schools and enables children from poverty-stricken backgrounds to access schooling. We’re currently running a writing competition for short stories, poems and personal essays which will inspire children in their educational path. Scroll down for more details on how to enter.

The charity has gathered the best tips from well-known writers, blogs and the wider web to help writers in their pursuit of the perfect prose.

  1. Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. – Linda F Rad
  2. We love the tips in this Guardian article on the Top 10 Writers’ Tips on Writing. Particularly this one from Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
  3. Enter competitions, send off examples to agents, read up on literacy festivals to attend, join writing clubs either locally or online – research as many places as you can which can help you on your writing journey, whether the aim is to get published, receive feedback, or simply learn more about the writing process from the people who do it professionally.
  4. Write on a computer which is disconnected from the internet (after you’ve finished reading this blog, obviously). It’s a distraction you can do without.
  5. The “show don’t tell” mentality is well-known for a good reason: it’s true. As fiction author Anton Chekhov puts it: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
  6. Oxford Dictionaries has some excellent general advice on better writing, whether it’s a letter, speech, email or something more creative. We like the tip “guide readers through what you write”. The advice is to “help readers understand your message quickly and precisely. To do this, it is necessary to show them clearly how the different parts relate to each other.”
  7. How about a writing tip from a Nobel winning author? Alice Munro, who was given the Nobel for Literature in 2013, has spent most of her writing life focussing on short stories. She said: “Usually I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it….stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them.”
  8. Proofread proofread proofread. It’s relly obviously when a sentennce has speling errors in it. If you’re entering a writing competition, judges may penalise you for the errors and it could mean the difference between winning or losing a contest.
  9. Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. If you can commit to writing for a certain amount of time each day, for 30 days, it’ll soon become second nature. About 30-40 days is all you need to make a new habit stick.
  10. Recognise it’s not just your characters that are human – you are too! So if you have periods of struggle, you’re not alone. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  11. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Julie Duffy, founder of Story a Day, says “Don’t wait to write until you’re older/wiser/invited to the party. Don’t wait until you have something ‘important’ to say.” Other experts have revealed their best writing tips for beginners.
  12. Enjoy the process! It’s a journey you’ll be proud you’ve taken. Good luck!

While you’re here, we have some exciting news for you. Education charity READ Foundation is running its very first writing competition and needs people like YOU to take part. Read all about it here. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 10thOctober 2018.

Writing Competition: Short Story, Flash Fiction, Poetry

Just over a week to go now for this great competition for a great cause. So get finalising those poems, flash fictions and short stories. Closing date is next Friday 20th July at 17.00hrs.

Just over 3 weeks to go on this one so get the biros, pencils and laptops working. Closes 5 pm on 20th July

Writing Competition in aid of the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund.

Michael Mullan (26) is battling cancer for third time and needs funds to continue availing of life saving treatment in Boston that is not available in Ireland.

How to Enter

  • Email your short story, flash fiction or poetry entry to: mmcancerfundwritingcompetition@gmail.com.
  • Pay: PayPal.Me/mmcancerfund or by clicking here. Donations in excess of the stipulated entry fee would be most welcome for this deserving cause.

  • Competition is open in Ireland and internationally.

  • Longlist of top 20 authors will be published on www.michaelmullancancerfund.com in mid-August 2018.

  • Shortlist of top 6 authors will be published in early September.

  • Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at Kildare Readers Festival on 3rd October 2018.

  • Please read the Terms & Conditions before entering: Terms & Conditions

World Kindness Day Party- stories can change the world

November 13th is World Kindness Day, and we at White Rabbit are celebrating it with a FREE storytelling event at Arts Admin!

World Kindness Day Party

Fundraiser, book launch and the “Story of Kindness” extravaganza!

When: Monday 13th November 2017 7.30pm- late
How much: FREE- donate whatever you are able to
Where: Arts Admin,Toynbee Studios,28 Commercial St, London E1 6AB. Tube: Aldgate East
Details here (no need to book just turn up or let us know you are coming on our facebook page here):

The Little Book of Kindness

What’s occuring?:
Bernadette will be telling a story and reading from her new book “The Little Book of Kindness”, there will also be short stories on the theme of kindness from storytellers Heather Burton, Jules Craig and Vanessa Woolf, plus a poem from Dan Thompson and some surprises on the night. We will be joined by representatives from 999 club, a homeless charity in SE London for whom we will be fundraising on the night. They will be showing  a film of their work and letting us know how to get involved.  There’s free party food, nice music, a bar serving cocktails in teapots, and a chance to join in crafting/creative writing by sharing your own story of kindness on the night. We hope to counter the negative narrative about our fellow humans, share more positive stories, and have fun!
Bernadette’s books will be on sale on the night, all profits to go to the 999 club.

“Be Kind” sign from People United

NEWS FLASH! we’re mega proud to announce that we have been chosen as one of the recipients of People United’s Be Kind signs, which will be on proud display in our HQ in Deptford from the 13th November!

Come join us and help change the world!


Stories for Homes vol 2 – open for submissions

What does ‘home’ mean to you? With millions of people driven from their homes all over the world, ‘shelter’ often equates to ‘safety’. Closer to home, at least 120,000 children in the UK were homeless for Christmas 2016. Shelter, the charity that helps people who are homeless or in poor housing, needs our help more than ever.

We’ve been here before, of course. Three years ago, we formed a community to produce an anthology which raised over £3,000 for Shelter. We are now open for submissions for Stories for Homes Volume 2. The plan is to launch the e-book in September 2017 and a paperback version in November 2017. As before, all royalties will go directly to Shelter.

Submission guidelines:

  • Stories (poems also considered) should be between 100 and 3000 words long (not including the title).
  • The theme is HOME.
  • Please send your story as a Word document in an attachment to sforh2@gmail.com AND copy in debi.alper@gmail.com. It’s important to send it to both email addresses.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE ATTACHMENT. Submissions will be considered anonymously. All writers are welcome to submit – published, yet-to-be published and those who were included in Stories for Homes Volume One. Anonymous submissions will give a level playing field to all those submitting.
  • The deadline is midnight (UK time) 14th February 2017.

Whether or not your story is accepted for the anthology, there are many ways to get involved with the project. The whole process of creating and marketing the book is a community effort, with artists, photographers, techy experts etc joining with the editors and authors to create a world-class anthology. Most of the conversation takes place in a Facebook group, which is always open to new members. Updates will also be posted on the Stories for Homes website.

Bunbury Here. How have we missed you? Let us count the ways…

Hello to all of you from us at Bunbury Magazine. We hope you are all well. Are you well? Are you? We’ll keep asking until you answer. Oh, you are? Great! We are in very high spirits here at the moment as we start to move forward with some very important things.

First thing is first, we are looking, as we said right above – just there, see? – to move forward in some very big ways. We have two wonderful authors who are publishing through us full collections of their work. We want to help promote their work as fantastic writers, give them the professional support they deserve and open up this service to all of you people. We want to help give you a platform for your passions. We want to advertise to everyone we can just how good our clients are! We want to get the authors we work with into print, give book launches, get more editors involved to enrich the editorial support and guidance we love to give to you all. We also want to open up our events to the whole community and make them a true spectacle of which everyone involved can be proud. There is so much we want to do to make Bunbury the company and support network we need. To do this, we are asking for your help. We want to get this project off the ground and that means having some dough. Even if you only donate £1, that £1 will be going towards something of which we can all be proud. If you do have that spare £1, click the link below and do your good deed for the day:

Bunbury back logo

As you know, we are always trying to make everyone’s life a little nice by bringing the best in grass-roots and established creativity. Well, we are trying to make things even shinier and prettier for you all. The beautiful Keri-Ann, our Editor and co-founder, has been making some gorgeous jewellery for you, our dear Bunburyists, and everyone else! We have set up shop on Etsy where you can procure yourself some very fine things indeed and there will be much more to follow. Click the picture of the Gamer Dice Earrings below to take a look. Funds received from you great people will be going towards funding some exciting things we are doing here at Bunbury and our chosen charity, FMA.


Issue nine is right around the corner. As always, we have worked out tiny little socks off (well, Keri’s are tiny. Christopher has large, unwieldy plates)  to bring you the very best in writing, art and features from right around the world. With submissions from America, the Middle-East, Australia, Mexico, right here in the U.K and everywhere in between, we feel we are bringing the world of creativity a little more tight-knit and cozy. We will not reveal too much of what we have planned for issue nine but it is an absolute cracker.

We are also accepting submissions for issue ten of Bunbury Magazine. The theme is politics so there is a lot of scope for you great writers to have some fun! Come and wow us with your words, pictures and everything else. If you have a project you are working on, a new book coming out, going on tour – anything! – and you would like to talk to us and our readers about it in interview form, let us know. Our submission guidelines can be found here:


If you can’t wait for issue nine, you can always catch up on previous issues by visiting us at our website by clicking the lovely picture below. You can find beautiful links to issues eight, seven and all the back catalogue of Bunbury.

Issue 8

Until next time, you lovely people, take care of yourselves, each other and all those you care about. Oh, and


Love Christopher and Keri.