Silver, Gold, and Some Hard Cash

gold thingsWe’ve got a silver-themed contest with a looming deadline; six new themes for Issue 8: The Gold Issue; and an increase in our cash prizes.

There’s still one last chance to be part of The A3 Review‘s Issue 7, The Silver Issue. This month’s theme is SILVER THINGS, so make sure to get your sparkly work in by Saturday the 26th August. Click here for glittery inspiration and to submit. The issue will also include a story by guest flash-fiction writer Kathy Fish alongside the winners of the last 5 months of contests, and this month’s winners, too.

In other news… The A3 Review‘s founding editor, Shaun Levin, is launching a new online writing course, How to Map Your Book. The course is suitable for writers at all stages of a book project, so if you’re putting together a collection of short stories, you might want to check out the details here.  There’s an early-bird rate for bookings up until the 20th August.

Do please spread the word about our new themes for Issue 8: The Gold Issue. Naked and Nude, Windows, and Betrayal are just some of the dramatic themes coming up! And, because our submission numbers are up, we’re able to increase the prize money from this issue. Click here for inspiration and more details.

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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.

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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.”

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.

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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. 

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)?

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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!

 

London Lit Lab writing courses

London Lit Lab Logo

London Lit Lab is offering two creative writing courses:

‘Beginning to Write: putting pen to paper‘ is a six-week course starting in June, on Thursday evenings at Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch. It’s designed for those who have just started writing fiction – either short stories or a novel – or those who want to develop their skills. In each session we’ll use writing exercises to explore one of the following aspects of fiction: plot, character, place, point of view, dialogue and description. The course is taught by writers, and we aim to provide a friendly, home-from-home experience, where you’ll feel comfortable putting pen to paper. You’ll leave the course with a toolbox of literary skills, a few new friends, and the confidence to keep on writing. Click here for more info.

‘Continuing to Write: developing your work’ is an eight-week course starting in September, also on Thursday evenings at Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch. This course is for writers with some experience (e.g. our Beginning to Write course) , or have a body of work, such as a short story collection or novel, that you would like to develop. The course is also ideal for students who have recently finished a BA or MA in creative writing, and want a bit of a refresher, or further support to complete work. Likewise, if you are considering applying for a Creative Writing MA, we can help you hone your portfolio. In each session we will discuss texts in relation to characterisation, place, plot and voice. We will be looking at openings, endings and everything in between. The second half of each session will be dedicated to critiquing work in progress. Click here for more info.

Feel free to get in touch at info@londonlitlab.co.uk or find us on Twitter @LondonLitLab!