Where Stories Begin

Last week saw me running my first afternoon of regular, weekly creative writing sessions at the newly opened Peter Pan Moat Brae, Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature & Storytelling. Which isn’t only for people under a certain age. We all need to free our inner child from time to time, and that’s what my […]

Writing in a Taxi in Mauritania, Virtually

Now I’m earning a regular wage I’ve been able to buy a new phone. Not brand new, but a year old iPhone 8, quite an upgrade from my old 4s which was apt to randomly switch itself off, and overheated if I tried to use apps such as Instagram. Now I have all the latest […]

Ten Minute Post

For the last two and a half months I’ve been working for/with a company that runs conferences. I only do three days a week so I still have four days to work on my writing and other aspects of my practice, in theory. In reality I’ve been finding it difficult to get everything else done […]

Rational Velvet

I began this post yesterday, and spent all day trying to format it using a flashy editor called Elementor. I use it for constructing pages, but blimey it was a struggle for a blog post, and I inadvertently published before adding all the text and images. I’ve sorted that now, and will have to keep […]

Literature Ambassador 2019: Writer Opps #11

It’s Wednesday again, seems to come round faster every week! This post brings you a residency opportunity in possibly the most beautiful location in the world; a new Scottish cultural magazine looking for poetry and flash fiction; and twenty five publishers seeking young adult fiction. The first two opportunities came into my inbox from Creative […]

Literature Ambassador: 2019 Writer Opps #10

Writer Opps Wednesday’s Pah Dah…! Scotland’s International Poetry Prize, open to all Based in Scotland’s National Book Town, for over a decade Wigtown Poetry Competition has become one of the UK’s best established writing prizes and a launchpad for many writers’ careers. Refreshed and rebranded in 2019, Wigtown Poetry Prize welcomes entries from poets writing […]

Literature Ambassador: 2019 Writer Opps #9

Writer Opps Wednesday today brings you an Emerging Writers Contest; a Screenplay Writers Contest; a link to a great site that lists 33 children’s book publishers looking for submissions; a magazine looking for submissions on three themes, and an acoustic music festival delighted to welcome spoken word performers, poets, storytellers, anyone, in fact, with text […]

Story-a-Week #9: Memoir and Monsters

For last Tuesday’s Café Stories I put together a lesson that combined memoir writing and plot types. There are umpteen theories on the range of narrative structures, but to keep it simple I stuck to the one that holds there are only 7 Basic Plots, and that all creative texts – films; novels; short stories; […]

Story-a-Week #8: The Art of Losing

Another hard won story which started in the Café Stories workshop on Tuesday. We did the art of writing about place. The setting for a story is more than merely a backdrop for the action, when done right it can tell your reader a great deal about your character, and help move the action on. […]

On Becoming Unstoppable #3

After last week’s meltdown I feel I’m back on the sea-plane of unstoppability with #8 of Benjamin Hardy’s thirty behaviours:  Become More Playful and Imaginative Hardy begins with this quote from Einstein : “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, […]