I’ve got a few bits and pieces that might be of interest:
- Lois Maddox has dropped me a line about two weekend creative writing courses that she is organising. They are both aimed at all levels of writing ability and take place at Swanwick in Derbyshire. The first is ‘From Memories to Memoirs’ . It is led by Alison Chisholm, who will deal with creating a scheme for a life file and selecting a theme or time period to write about. The second is ‘Write Crime’. It is led by retired policeman Nick Oldham and as well as dealing with plot and characters, it will look at setting the scene with up-to-date procedures. Further details are available at www.malagaworkshops.co.uk.
- My Weekly Pocket Novels have upped their required wordage from 30,000 to 50,000. Payment has also gone up from £200 to £300. As some of you may know, I’m having a go at writing one of these as a stepping stone to a ‘proper’ novel. I did have my ten 3,000 word chapters mapped out. So now it’s back to the drawing board to find a subplot or something else to extend (without padding!) the story. Further details here.
- www.writing.ie is a new website, billing itself as ‘the home of Irish writing, online’. The events and courses listed on the site will mainly be of interest to those living in Ireland but there is also loads of free writing advice to be found on writing.ie. under the Writers’ Toolbox tab.
- The Telegraph has launched a short story competition for young writers aged between 16 and 18. It will be judged by John le Carre and the closing date is April 14th 2011. Full details here.
- I have to mention two small personal successes that I found out about last week. Firstly I have short piece about the Festival of Britain in the Cornucopia section of the current (Spring) edition of This England magazine. Secondly I have won the Writers’ Forum subscription that is up for grabs each month to the person sending in the best bit of news for the magazine’s NewsFront page.
- Finally, look out for an extra post on Wednesday – I am taking part in my first ever blogfest.
Many years ago when I was starting out on my writing career I did a correspondence course with The Writers’ Bureau. For one of my first assignments I wrote a short article about Birmingham Botanical Gardens and my tutor suggested I send it to This England. I did and they published it in their Cornucopia section. I got paid and felt like a real writer.
This is a good market to aim for if you want to have a go at non-fiction writing.
This England is a glossy, quarterly magazine for “all who love our green and pleasant land.” It contains illustrated articles on English history, traditions and towns and is “read by two million patriots all over the world”.
The Cornucopia section consists of several short pieces, some written in house and some supplied by freelances. They range in length from around 250 to 400 words and cover topics such as the centenary of a Brighton cinema, Digswell Lake near Welwyn Garden City and recyling at Chatsworth House. I’ve found that the easiest pieces to get accepted are those based on an anniversary of some kind, e.g. 50 years since the birth of X, 75 years since building Y was opened.
The magazine’s Guide for Contributors states that articles should be “about our country’s people and places – its natural beauty, towns and villages, traditions, odd customs, legends, folklore, surviving crafts, etc. ” Short poems (6 to 24 lines) that are meaningful rather than clever are also accepted.
The best way of getting a feel for the style and content of the magazine is get hold of a copy (it is available in WH Smith and other good newsagents).
Submit your article (with an SAE) to:
The Editor (MSS)
P.O. Box 52
Material related to a particular date or season should be sent at least 6 months in advance. A decision on work submitted can take up to 3 months and be warned if you chase the fate of your piece before the full 3 months has elapsed, the Guide says “Material is invariably returned without further consideration to an over-zealous contributor.”
Payment is £25 per 1,000 words plus a contributor’s copy of the magazine.