25th November. Flashy times in Bristol and Bath

Bath-Flash-Fiction-AwardSome people write a  novel in November. Others write a flash a day. Join in the November flashy fun at Bath Flash Fiction Award’s ‘Flashathon’, an intensive day of writing and editing flash fiction at Trinity College, Bristol this coming Saturday 25th November, from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm. Be inspired by a variety of prompts from Meg Pokrass, flash fiction writer editor and tutor and current judge for the Bath Flash Fiction novella-in-flash award and Jude Higgins  flash fiction writer and founder of the Bath Flash Fiction Award. You’re guaranteed to produce at least six new pieces plus get advice, tips and encouragement on all aspects of flash. £45

NoirflashLater the same day come to ‘Flash Noir’ at, St James’ Wine Vaults Bath, an evening of darker-themed flash fiction . From 7.30-9.30pm. Six writers reading short- short stories. Expect suspense, mini-thrillers and black comedy from published  flash writers, Meg Pokrass, KM Elkes, Jason Jackson Damhnait Monaghan, John Wheway and Christopher Stanley. Cost £5. Free nibbles. Late Bar. Students can come free. Hope to see you there.

Book soon here for both events

Windows and Reminders

stamp windowWe’d like to remind you that Issue 7 of The A3 Review is here. Click here to order a copy. We’d also like to remind you that the November deadline for our monthly contest is just a few days away. November the 25th is when we start reading submissions for our WINDOWS-themed contest.

Click here for inspiration and prompts, and for submission details. You could write about windows you’ve looked into and windows you’ve looked out of. Or write about a character standing at a hotel window, witnessing something they’ll never forget, or something that makes them laugh. Look into the metafictional potential of the window

You could write about broken windows and throwing pebbles at a lover’s window. Write about glasshouses. Write about a particular type of window, anything from a witch window to a bay window. Write about eyes, for they are the window to the soul. Write about a character who loves to window shop, or a day in the life of a window dresser.

You could write about the windows in your day, or a character’s day and call it “All the Day’s Windows” or “A Day of Windows.” You could write a piece and start with the words: “The tiny window in his cell…” or “From the hospital bed she could see…” or, to steal the opening lines of a famous song: “Looking out on the pouring rain…”

This month’s contest is inspired by the Write Around the House Writing Map. As always, we welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

One more reminder… our Brief Critique option is still only $15 (that’s about £11, depending on the state of the world on any specific day!). More and more writers are taking us up on the offer, and this is what some have said: “Very constructive. Good level of detail… Intelligent, direct, and useful suggestions for improvement.” For just $15 we’ll provide a line edit of your submission and feedback on ways to take your work to the next level. Choose the Brief Critique add-on, and you’ll be able to pay together with your entry fee. Critiques are provided after the month’s winning entries have been announced.

And one fnal reminder… Write! Write Write! Write wherever you are. Here’s some suggestions from The A3 Review‘s editor, Shaun Levin.

Don’t Betray Your Calling!

One of the fun aspects of putting together The A3 Review is coming up with the themes and prompts for each month’s contest. This month’s theme is particularly rich. One of those themes that you really need an entire novel to tackle, and we’re inviting you to do it in no more than 150 words! Betrayal. In 12-and-a-half dozen words or less. Do not betray your risk-taking disposition as a writer and an artist! This month’s theme is for you.

We’re looking for stories, poems and artwork that are political, personal or both. Secret betrayals and double crossings. From the banal to the Biblical. Write the Samson story from Delilah’s POV, for example. Or: What would Judas say? Write a poem about feeling betrayed by someone’s Tinder profile. He, or she, is definitely not as cute in real life!

Find inspiration in the words associated with betrayal: back-stabbing, double-dealing, disloyalty, treachery and duplicity.

Or tell the story of the first time you betrayed someone. What happened and where is that person today? Put into words what it feels like to be betrayed. Or what it tastes like, smells like. Write a poem of rage or forgiveness. Possible opening phrases could be: “We knew we’d been betrayed when…” or “This is how I betrayed him…” or “Just before she did it she…” or “It wasn’t the first time that…”

Click here for more prompts, suggestions, and details about how to enter this month’s contest. Deadline is the 28th of October. There’s also info here about the next few contests. If you think “Betrayal” is a juicy one, then there’s “Losing It” and “Brief Encounters” coming up, too.

When you enter our contests, don’t forget our popular (and very affordable) Brief Critique option. For just $15 we provide a line edit of your submission, along with 250 words of feedback on ways to take your work to the next level. Tick the Brief Critique add-on, and you’ll be able to pay together with your entry fee. Critiques are provided once the month’s winning entries have been announced.

We hope you’ll enjoy this month’s theme.

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

short fiction course

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):

writers hq short fiction course writers hq short fiction course writers hq short fiction course writers hq short fiction course

Vote Now and Help The A3 Review Decide

This month’s contest theme over at The A3 Review is inspired by The Raw Soul Food Map and Writing the Love Writing Map. Dates and Dating, respectively!

We’re looking for flash fiction, poems and artwork about sweet fleshy things. Dates! And yes, about dating, too. Sweet fleshy moments of love, potential love, and times when the sugar’s just not there! Write about a couple on a date in a noisy bar. Turn a Tinder, Findhrr or Grindr profile into a poem. Compose a praise song to the perfect dating partner, or an elegy to the date that went wrong!

Deadline is the 24th of June. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel. Visit our Submittable page for more details and to enter. Follow us on Twitter, too. There’s publication, Writing Maps and cash prizes for the winners.

Choose contest themes for The A3 ReviewNow, we need your help… Have your say in the new themes for our next issue, The Gold Issue. If you click here, you’ll be taken to the poll. As a thank-you, we’ll pick three winners from all respondents to receive a full set of The A3 Review (Issues 1 to 6).

Happy writing, and we look forward to reading your work.

PS. There are still three places left on the Write Around Town online course with The A3 Review‘s editor, Shaun Levin. Six weeks of inspiration, writing, feedback, and community. Check out all the details here.

 

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.”

Orange as Inspirational Fruit

orangesThe holiday season is on its way, but don’t let that distract you from writing… and entering The A3 Review’s last monthly contest of 2016.

This month’s theme is Orange Things: an antidote to the grey winter weather (or to echo the sunshine if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Deadline for entries is 24th December. We won’t be expecting you to address festive topics (do people still put satsumas into Christmas stockings?) or even The Donald’s tan and hair dye!

We’re looking for short fiction, poetry and artwork that reflects the complexity and uniqueness of ‘orange’ – an ancient word and one of the few which (fun fact alert) has no direct rhymes in English, only half-rhymes.

Write about the colour orange and its associations with places: an orange beach under an orange sun with melting orange ice-lollies. Write or draw the moods and situations associated with orange: warmth, fire, energy, danger. Or explore the association of orange and religion: Irish Protestant links with Orange in France, the meaning of the colour for Hindus and Buddhists. The Dutch House of Orange.

Visit our Submittable page for more inspiration.

“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now’.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast.

Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication in our six-monthly journal. All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners for each issue receive cash prizes totalling £275.

Follow us on Twitter and sign up to our newsletter. And if you’re looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on your short fiction, editors KM Elkes and Shaun Levin offer a critique service for writers. To find out more about it, click here.