Those of you with a Kindle might be interested to know that there’s currently a range of books about writing, available for free (yes, £0.00) on Amazon.
- The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron
This book has the subtitle ‘How to Develop Great Ideas for Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenplays’. Heffron has been a professional editor for more than 15 years, has published many short stories in literary journals and won awards for his writing. Apologies, (this is embarrassing) but I’ve just been informed that this book is no longer free (thanks, Shirley!) but I’ve left the details here just in case the price is removed again (fingers crossed)
- The Author’s Craft by Arnold Bennett.
‘Arnold Bennett writes in a very amusing and accessible style in this short manual of advice for authors which will be useful even to today’s writers,’ says a review.
- Write Good or Die edited by the thriller writer Scott Nicholson.
This is subtitled ‘Survival Tips for the 21st Century’. One reviewer said, ‘It’s a gem of a book, not least because I came away from reading this with the thought that if the writers within this book can do it? Why can’t I?’.
I haven’t had chance to read any of these myself yet so can’t give a personal recommendation but I have just downloaded The Writer’s Idea Book in the hope of finding some inspiration. By the way, free books do tend to come and go on Amazon – so if you’re interested in any of these it’s probably worth getting them sooner rather than later.
Many thanks to Philip Mallinson whose post on Writing Magazine’s Talkback Forum alerted me to these books.
In the last week I’ve come across a couple of quotes posted on Facebook about writing and I thought you might like them as much as I did.
This one, posted by Marilyn Rodwell, made me feel inspired – hope it does the same for you!
The first National Flash Fiction Day will be taking place on May 16th 2012 and if you want to be part of it you need to get your thinking caps on now.
There is a list of specially organised competitions listed here. Some are specific to certain parts of the country (this narrows down the field of entrants, so if you are lucky enough to live in any of the chosen areas – get writing!). Many are FREE to enter and there’s a variety of closing dates (but they’re mostly in April so don’t delay).
If you fancy getting involved in person, take a look at this list of planned events organised geographically. Unfortunately there’s none near me in the West Midlands but Derby ‘s doing well with 2 workshops going on.
So if you like your writing short, sharp and to the point – what are you waiting for?
5minutefiction has launched a short story competition to celebrate its first birthday.
Entries can be on any theme and any length between 100 and 1500 words. Closing date is June 1st 2012 and the entry fee is £2.
First prize is £100, second prize £50 and third prize £25. In addition, the winners will be published as part of an e-book short story anthology, along with up to 20 other additional entries. These stories will receive royalties from the sale of the book.
All entrants will also receive feedback.
Judging will be slightly out of the ordinary with 10 shortlisted stories being put to the public vote. Voters will be charged 10p to vote to help ensure only 1 vote per person.
Full competition details are here.
Also, I am pleased to announce that the e-anthology of selected stories from the last competition organised by 5minutefiction is now available. Time for Love contains 18 of the best entries from the Valentine short story competition – including mine (this could be the nearest I ever get to a book launch so I have to make the most of it)! Someone else you might have heard of, Simon Whaley, also has a story in there.
Time for Love is available to purchase from Amazon here. At only £1.54 it’s cheaper than the Kindle version of Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special – and might just help you win this competition!
If you don’t have a Kindle, download free software here to allow you to read Kindle books on your laptop.
I was a guest of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at St. James’ Palace – at my elder daughter, Eleanor’s D of E Gold Award presentation.
Eleanor travelled from Leeds, I caught the train from Birmingham and we met for lunch at Victoria before strolling over to our appointment at the palace (via Fortnum and Mason, where I ogled some beautiful but exorbitantly priced leather-bound notebooks).
Once inside the palace the young people were drilled in how to stand in horse-shoe formation in groups of 30 for meeting the Duke. Whilst waiting for him to arrive, Phil Brown gave an interesting and motivational talk on his experiences in the 4×4 relay team in the 1984 Olympic Games.
Then it was the moment we’d been waiting for – Prince Philip’s arrival. He spent some time chatting with each of the ‘horse-shoe’ groups plus any of the parents he spotted wearing a Gold Award badge from their youth. Then the certificates were presented (unfortunately not by the Prince) and it was a proud moment when Eleanor’s name was called.
Eleanor is continuing the expedition skills she learned during her D of E time by tackling the 3 Peaks Challenge (climbing Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike within 24 hours) in May in order to raise money for ShelterBox, which delivers emergency shelter to people made homeless worldwide by disaster. Her target is to raise £250 and she’s launched a fundraising page to supplement the cake sales and tin shaking she’s been doing at university. Please take a look at her page and sponsor her for this worthy cause if you possibly can. As they say, every little helps!
And that’s enough showing-off by a proud mum – next post we’ll be back to work and the subject of writing.