Thursday, September 6, 2012
Create the opening lines of a novel - between 50 and 150 words - and introduce the word 'train'. The setting could be a gym or a railway station or you might use the word to mean a train of thought, the train of a wedding dress or whatever inspires your plot. Winner receives £400 in book tokens and a place on an Arvon writing course. 5 runners up receive book tokens £150 - £300. Judges are: Fay Weldon, James Buchan and Simon Brett. Send entry typed or clearly written with name, address, tel numbers and email address all on the same page, by Monday October 29th, to The Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, 84 Drayton Gardens, London SW10 9SB. Results announced next summer.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This was sent to me by a Twitter friend and may interest some of you. I run short one-day writing retreats in London, and recently the Nottingham Writers Studio and Nottinghamshire Libraries asked me to run one for writers in the Midlands. We're taking over Beeston Library on Sunday 16th September, and I wanted to let you know about it and offer your writers a discount. At the moment this is a one-off event but the feedback I get is that the retreats are really valuable for writers, so I'm hoping that we'll get enough writers attending to allow the guys at NWS and the library to carry them on in the future. So to get things off to a good start I'm contacting local(ish) writing groups to offer your members £5 off on the 16th. I appreciate that a day sounds quite short, but actually you can get a lot achieved in that time without distractions, and it's designed to fit into a regular working week and still give people a day of weekend to rest. We basically do introductions, switch off distractions like phones and the internet and get on with writing, and there's always food and home-made cake provided to pamper the writers a bit. The London retreats have a good regular following, and some people say they do more in that one day than the rest of the month because it's so hard to find peace at home or fit writing time in alongside all their responsibilities. It's all very well me saying that, but there are also some comments from writers on the right-hand side of the website (under 'Tweetstimonials') and reviews on the About page if you want to take a closer look. If you or your members would like to take advantage of the discount, go to http://www.urbanwritersretreat.co.uk/one-day-writing-retreats/ and pick the 'Discounted - Nottingham Writers' Studio Members' £30 special price option. Then when you go through to pay there's a box that will say 'Enter writing group here for discount' for you to put the name of your writing group so I know it's a valid discount!