Calling all Flashers – November Flashers’ Club

Cheltenham’s quarterly live flash fiction night, Flashers’ Club, will be opening the mic once again on Thursday 29th November, 7:30pm, at Smokey Joe’s Coffee Bar. Got a story between 100 and 1000 words? Bring it down and share it! We welcome everyone and every story – no submissions, no genre restrictions. Flashers’ is a great night out for fans of flash, whether you’re coming to read or just soak up the stories.

This month we’re very excited to feature flash author Santino Prinzi, who’ll be sharing some of his stories alongside our open mic readers. We’ll also be giving away a copy of literary journal Popshot Quarterly to one of our lucky open mic performers. Tickets are just £4, and all profits got to the charity First Story. Head over to our website to find out full details, or find us and chat to us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Free Membership @JerichoWriters – LISP 4th Quarter 2018 News!

Writers! We have great news.

The London Independent Story Prize 4th Quarter Deadline is on 12th November 2018.  And beside the £200 cash prize, our winner will also receive One-Year Membership from Jericho Writers, which is worth £195.00!

LISP is accepting 300 Word Flash Fiction stories NOW! Deadline is coming, so hurry up.

Don’t miss the great prizes!

Jericho Writers is a club for writers, created by writers. They organise wonderful courses, webinars, one-to-one agent meetings, and great events that you can extend your network.

Simply, Jericho Writers is helping writers to get published.

Click to read the success stories!

Could you be next?

Please click the link to find out more about this wonderful platform!

AND CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY !!

Story Friday Feast – call for submissions!

As we hurtle towards Christmas we’re planning our next Story Friday and the theme is Feast!  We’re looking for stories long and short that touch on feasting. You might go traditional and give us tables laden with roast meats and suet puddings, or take us to far-flung corners of the globe for fresh mangoes and newly dropped coconuts. You might decide that lack-of-feast, or famine, is your interest, or look at a feast that has nothing to do with food. However you want to interpret the theme we know we will be intrigued by your offerings!

Story Friday Feast will be on November 30th, deadline for submissions is on 19th November.  Please check that you are available to come along to Burdall’s Yard in Bath on the 30th November before you submit.

We are looking for short stories or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction), maximum 2,000 words. If you want to enter a flash piece that can work too, either for the stage, or in print – recently we’ve included a flash piece in our programme for the audience to read in the interval and take home with them. No poetry, thank you.

We have some wonderful professional actors who are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Olly Langdon of Kilter Theatre (who is also our brilliant host) will read a male voice, and we have a number of female actors who can read stories which need a female voice.  Let us know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.

To submit, click here.

The Nottingham Review now open for submissions

The Nottingham Review is now open for submissions for our second print issue (to be published in December). We’re looking for fiction between 100-3000 words. There is no theme. The closing date for this reading period is Wednesday 31st October 2018.

For full submission guidelines please see our website for details. Our first 10 issues are archived on the website and are free to view. You can also purchase a copy of our first print issue from our online store, priced only £3 including free delivery.

Launch of new Stroud Short Stories Anthology

Stroud Short Stories

We are launching the new Stroud Short Stories Anthology 2015-18 on Friday 28 September 2018 at the Ale House in John Street, Stroud from 7.00 to 10pm.

img_09147The new anthology covers stories from the six events from November 2015 to May 2018. That’s 57 stories by 45 authors including Joanna Campbell, Rick Vick, Melanie Golding, Steve Wheeler, Chloe Turner, Jason Jackson, Ali Bacon and Andrew Stevenson.

The first print run is 300 books and we already have 270+ reservations, so why not reserve your copy and then collect it at the launch? Email me on stroudshortstories@gmail.com

The anthology is priced at £10.

The launch is free and unticketed. Please come along. There will be a few words from me at 7.30 and then Mark Graham will read his story ‘Wayland Smith: Warrior of the Milky Way’ from the anthology.

More information on our website.

I hope to see you there.

John Holland

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.

That Killer First page, Dublin, Oct 13

That Killer First Page, Oct 13

Venue: Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury Street, Dublin 2.

Date: Oct 13    Time: 10.30-4.30

Places are limited. This event sold out in Adelaide, Bali, Bath, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster, London, Melbourne & Singapore.  

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Focus:
How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact
Writing that killer first page
How to edit your story
Where to send your work

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in anthologies and journals inc. The Stinging Fly and Faber’s ‘Modern Irish Writing’. Stories have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Arts TV. He was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year 2017 at the Irish Book Awards. His short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over 2 million views. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, Elizabeth McCracken and George Saunders for The Irish Times. Paul co-founded the London Short Story Festival and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national centre for excellence in the short story. He is a judge for national and international short story competitions including, in 2018, the Sean O’Faolain Prize, the Edge Hill Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He is also the current fiction editor at Southword Journal where he recently commissioned Kit de Waal and twice Booker shortlisted Deborah Levy.                                                                                   

“I emerged from the sleepy hamlet of my writing infancy last Saturday and was sky-rocketed, hurricaned, tsunamied, autobahned and g-forced out of my head by Paul McVeigh’s “That Killer First Page” Masterclass at Waterstones, Piccadilly. He’s on top of his game, gives instinctive, constructive criticism and in a few short hours, had conveyed the essence of how to make a story compelling and unputdownable from the first few lines. Get on one of his courses if you can.”

Reviews for his short stories:
“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore
“How moving and stunning that story is. It’s so raw and incredibly human.” Costa shortlisted Jess Richards
“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.  Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4
“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Paul’s debut novel The Good Son’ won 2 awards and was shortlisted for a further 5.

‘A work of genius…’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Robert Olen Butler

“Both dancing and disquieting, complex and vivid, I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Bailey Prize-winner Lisa McInerney The Glorious Heresies                                       ‘

‘A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.’ Donal Ryan

Places are limited to 15

FOR CONCESSIONS PLEASE EMAIL: paulmcveighwriter@live.co.uk

Brooks are offering a special lunch deal – two tapas plus a glass of house wine at €18.50 per person.

PaulMcVeigh short story