Here’s an edited version of our November Newsletter that includes information about one of the best books for writers of short stories (from a master of the craft); information about a brilliant website and community for writers looking to enter (and win) competitions; and some writing prompts and ideas to eradicate writer’s block.
Oh, and we’ve thrown in a winter-themed free-to-enter poetry competition too, just for the hell of it (you just need to sign up for our newsletter to be eligible).
Winter Haiku Competition 2022 – This competition is now closed to entries
Write A Haiku On The Theme of Winter
Prize: £25 to the winner; the five shortlisted entries will be published on our website
Structure: 3 lines of 5-7-5 (syllables) (visit HERE for more information)
Closing time: Midday (UK time) 21st December 2022
To qualify for this free competition, please SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER in the form below.
Your entry must be your own unpublished, original work.
Only one entry per person.
- Sign up the the monthly newsletter (fill in the form below)
- Email your entry as an attachment (ideally MS Word or PDF) to: email@example.com
- Put HAIKU as the email subject.
- include a title at the top of the document.
- Include your name in the EMAIL BODY (not on the entry itself).
The winner will be announced on the website by Friday 13th January 2023 (at the latest).
Book of the Month
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders
This fascinating and insightful book is a must-read for anyone serious about writing brilliant stories. Booker Prize winner Saunders uses his expert analytical skills to dissect what makes stories work using some of the greatest ever story writers to exemplify his points.
Reading A Swim in a Pond… allows you to learn from past masters Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol, and indeed from a modern master of the craft of storytelling, Saunders himself.
This is a brilliant book for writers because Saunders picks apart the amazing stories contained within while also giving insights into how he approaches his own writing and, crucially, revising.
His emphasis on revising stories to ensure they contain rising energy and causality is a recurring theme and he goes so far as to suggest, “there are two things that separate writers who go on to publish from those who don’t. First, a willingness to revise. Second, the extent to which the writer has learned to make causality.”
As you might expect, Saunders communicates his ideas with skill and panache and this is one of the best books for writers we’ve encountered.
*Please note that we get a small kickback from Waterstones if you purchase this book after clicking through the above link.
Website of the Month: globesoup.net
Globe Soup: writing resources, loads of competitions and a fantastic, supportive Facebook group for writers at all levels
We would heartily recommend Globe Soup to any aspiring writers. They run regular competitions and challenges with cash prizes from micro and flash fiction to their Short Story Competition (with a lenient upper limit of 8,000 words). They have also had poetry, historical fiction and travel writing competitions and they often run themed contests that really get the brain cells fizzing.
One of the best things about Globe Soup, however, is their brilliant, supportive, informative and extremely useful Love Writing! Facebook group. Despite having upwards of 10,000 members at the time of writing, the group is brilliantly well-run and promotes an ethos of positivity, support and improvement (which is almost universally embraced by its members).
Globe Soup also have a members-only group that is available to anyone who has entered a paid-for competition with them.
If you are seeking a writing community that is supportive but also pushes you to grow as a writer, visit Globe Soup today.
Writing Event For the Diary
Anglesey Writing Festival / Gwyl Ysgrifennu Môn
What: A fun day of writing workshops with published authors. Crime writing, poetry, fantasy, memoir, gweithdai yn Gymraeg, Q&A, book signings and more
When: Saturday 29 April 2023, 09:00-18:00 BST
Where: Ysgol David Hughes, Pentraeth Road, Menai Bridge LL59 5SS
Cost: Early bird ticket price £22.15 (includes two workshops)
More information: get more info HERE and purchase tickets HERE
Beat The Block Writing Prompts
Seeking inspiration in nature
We are surrounded by nature. Even in the most built-up urban environments, there are pockets of life: a rat scurrying across a tube line, a pigeon crapping your boss’s suit on the way to a business lunch, a damselfly laying her eggs on a pond. But sometimes we forget to notice these potential sources of inspiration for our stories or poems.
Here are a few prompts, inspired by nature, that can be used as starting points for, well, whatever you like:
- A baby sea turtle takes its first steps towards the ocean… write about what he/she encounters.
- Write from the point of view of a tree that has witnessed centuries of comings and goings at a location of your choice.
- Set a story in one of these locations: a coral reef; a rainforest; the Arctic.