Write a Book in June. It’s doable!

30 days

30 Days of Writing is a practical online course for writers who’d enjoy the challenge of putting together a book in a month.

The course is especially suited to anyone who’d like to take on a short story project not necessarily linked to a book project you’re working on. It’s an opportunity to create that passion project you’ve been mulling over for years, and to explore different concepts of what consitutes a book.

The course is run by the writer Shaun Levin, who is also the editor of The A3 Press, a new chapbook press, and the creator of Writing Maps.

The online course is devised so that you can start a project from scratch and complete a first draft by the end of June. The course is a month-long commitment, and will benefit anyone who’d like the inspiration and support to write daily for 30 days alongside other writers from around the world.

To find out more about the course, please click here.

Whether you’re writing fiction, non-fiction, hybrid writing, creating comics or illustrations, we’ll look at how to create a layered and dynamic work. Some of the elements we’ll focus on will include: movement in time and place, conflict and tension, chronology and tone, as well as ways to enhance your text through research and the inspiration of genre companions.

The primary focus throughout the course will be your daily practice of writing and the creation of your book.

Dates: 1 June – 1 July 2019

Fee: £260 (£200 early-bird rate before 30 April)

limited to 15 participants

About the tutor: Shaun Levin is the author of Snapshots of The Boy, A Year of Two Summers and Seven Sweet Things, amongst other books. He has been teaching creative writing for over twenty years and has worked closely with writers at all stages of their journey towards publication.

 

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Going Round in Circles?

circlesIf you’re going round in circles, we want to hear about it. This month’s theme is the title theme for our next issue, Issue 9, The Circles Issue.

The A3 Review is looking for stories, poems and artwork about circles of trust and circular logic, running circles around someone and being in or outside the circle. We’d love stories and concrete poems in the shape of a circle or a spiral. See our Submittable page for all the details and more inspiration.

Each month’s 2 winners are published in The A3 Review, receive gifts from Writing Maps, and are in the running to win cash prizes. All the details are here.

Our current issue, Issue 8, is at the printers, and should be on its way out into the world by the end of April. Pre-order a copy here.

6 New Themes at The A3 Review

new themesHappy New Year from the editors of The A3 Review. We’re looking forward to another year of inspiration. There are still a couple more themes – Losing It and Brief Encounters – till we start putting together Issue 8 (The Gold Issue). For prompts and more details, click here to visit our Submittable page.

And already the work on Issue 9 has begun, too… the new themes for Issue 9 (The Circle Issue) are up on our Submittable page. Check out our monthly contests and send us your flash fiction, poetry and artwork inspired by thieves, guitars, wheels, and the moon. We hope you’ll enjoy the new prompts and that they’ll inspire you to try out new themes in your work.

Happy Writing!

Shaun Levin and KM Elkes, Editors, The A3 Review

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.

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.)

rebecca-makkai-1

Having a Lovely Time in The A3 Review

wish-you-were-hereYes, the theme for our February Contest is: Postcards. This month’s contest is your last chance to be part of The A3 Review‘s Issue 6, so don’t be left feeling “Wish I was there!”

Deadline is February 25th.

Write about postcards you’ve written and ones you’ve received, that particular postcard you’ve kept since the 80s. Tell the story of a postcard you wish you’d written, or one (from your gran?) that you wish you’d saved. Write about a character who communicates through postcards. What would their last postcard sound like? For inspiration, read Charles Simic’s “The Lost Art of Postcard Writing.”

Read here about the language of stamps, and how they were positioned on postcards to convey a secret message. Write about stamps. Read Craig Raine’s “A Martian Sends A Postcard Home”, then write your own version, updated for the 21st Century.

Think about postcards from the edge. Postcards from the future. Postcards as propaganda and protest. Postcards which say one thing but mean another. Study a picture postcard and use the image to inspire a story.

For more inspiration, visit our Submittable page and follow us on Twitter at @TheA3Review. You can also get special offers and news by signing up to our newsletter.

For full contest details click here. Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication (The A3 Review is published twice a year). All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners in each issue receive cash prizes: 1st = £150, 2nd = £75, 3rd = £50 (approx $190, $95, $65).

The new themes for Issue 7 (The Silver Issue) are now up on our page, so click here to see all six themes.

Happy writing! We look forward ro reading your work.