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 #10: Narrative Arc

Last Tuesday was the last in my Café Stories series of workshops* so we looked back on everything we’d covered, pulled it all together with a look at the narrative arc, did a bit of editing, and wrote one last story. I gave students a list of all the things we’d worked through: Session 1: […]

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 #7: On a Dig

I’m a day late with this post for a stew of reasons, the culmination of which being I couldn’t get any purchase on this week’s story until I woke on Monday morning and realised what it was about. Then had to rewrite it. Stephen King is right, I think, writing is akin to excavation. The […]

Story-A-Week #6: Twenty-Eight Years Gone

In last Tuesday’s Café Stories workshop instead of starting with character I got participants to start with an object. I asked them to choose an object in the cafe and describe it. But first, I told them, or reminded them really, about the value of simile. I gave them a few, and asked them to […]

Story-A-Week #5: Myrtle Davis is Lost

I said in Friday’s post that I had written a complete story in the course of my first Café Stories workshop. I realise now that I only felt it to be complete. I knew it needed work, nothing comes out perfect first time, but not quite as much as it actually does. Distracted by other […]

On Not Being Frank

I’ve heard tell from multiple people – some who knew him, some who teach him – that Frank O’Hara took his typewriter everywhere, and would prop it up on any available surface, in whichever situation, to write a perfect poem. He was famous for doing this at parties: cigarette attached to his bottom lip, he’d […]

Story-a-Week: #1 Maggie’s Chairs

Having decided to try the Story-a-Week challenge, and write each week’s offering about a different character from the novel I’m currently working on, I sat down last Monday to decide which one. That was the easy bit. I chose Ellie, a particular favourite. The hard bit was trying to visualise her in a different context. […]