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Welcome and News

red pen 760505Hello and welcome to my blog. Firstly, the latest news…

  • My eBooks are now available as paperbacks! (see below for the cover pictures)
  • My six online creative writing courses on Udemy are half price via this blog (see the courses page for coupon codes and links)!
  • Free monthly 100-word competition where you could win one or more of the aforementioned courses! Deadlines: last day of the month (midnight UK time). See 100-word comp for more details. Winners announced the second Friday of the following month.
  • Free monthly 500-word challenge where you set me the task of writing the story. The winner has their story written (by me) and receives a free <5,000-word full edit of a piece (or pieces) of his / her choice – worth £30 (€40 / US$45 / CA$ & AS$60). Second-placed and third-placed won’t have their stories written but will win a free <2,000-word full edit on a piece (or pieces) of their choice – worth £12 (€16 / US$18 / CA$ & AS$24) per person. Deadlines: the 15th of each month. See 500-word challenge for details. Winners announced the first Friday of the following month.
  • If you don’t fancy entering the 500-word challenge (why wouldn’t you?), you can still apply for a free 1,000-word full edit (new clients only) – see Editing & Critique for details and testimonials.
  • I welcome guest poetry (published Mondays), flash fiction (published third Fridays) and 6-word stories (published last Friday of the month).
  • Other opportunities are the guest blogs and author spotlights, as well as the free and paid versions of the blog interviews. I could also appear on your blog and / or if you’d like your writing to travel further afield, take a look at the submission info. area (sub-pages for different formats / genres).
  • As mentioned above, I also provide an inexpensive editing, proofreading and critique service.
  • Any other queries, feel free to email me.

TSDSL  SADM orig (final)  365-day (vol 1)  Fifty 5pm Fictions (Vol 2) cover small  April's Fool (final)

Forthcoming events on this blog…

  • Sunday 15th May: the deadline for the April/May 500-word challenge (where you give me the prompts and if pick them, I write your story and you win up to a free 5,000-word edit and critique!). The results will be announced on Friday 3rd June providing there have been at least five entries. Who wouldn’t want their work pulled apart?:)
  • Wednesday 18th May: I shall review Nick Hamlyn‘s novel Music for a Desert Island.
  • Wednesday 25th May: I shall review another of Paul Gitsham‘s books, details t.b.a.
  • Wednesday 25th May: the deadline for the latest batch of 6-word stories (you can submit up to ten per month!).
  • Friday 27th May: I shall be posting the latest batch of guest 6-word stories (the deadline for those is the Wednesday before the last Friday of the month, i.e. 25th May).
  • late May: I shall be posting June-deadline writing competition details.
  • Tuesday 31st May: the deadline for the April 100-word free monthly competition (May’s theme: headache).
  • Friday 3rd June: the results of the latest 500-word challenge (where you give me the prompts and if pick them, I write your story and you win up to a free 5,000-word edit and critique!).
  • Wednesday 15th June: the deadline for the May/June 500-word challenge (where you give me the prompts and if pick them, I write your story and you win up to a free 5,000-word edit and critique!). The results will be announced on Friday 1st July providing there have been at least five entries. Who wouldn’t want their work pulled apart?:)
  • and so on…

If you’d like to know about me and / or this blog, click the ‘read the rest of this entry’ link below to find out more about me and this blog, or scroll down for the latest blog post…

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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in competitions, short stories, writing

 

Ex Libris; Confessions of a Common Reader

Ex Libris; Confessions of a Common Reader

This grabbed me because Alan Bennett’s ‘The UNcommon Reader’ is one of my favourite books. This review is about a book about books… what could be better?:)

Addlepates and book nerds

Anne Fadiman is–by her own admission–the sort of person who learned about sex from her father’s copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate’s 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice.

This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father’s 22-volume set of Trollope (“My Ancestral Castles”) and who only really considered herself married when…

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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in writing

 

Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 24 May 2016

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript,
do take a look at 
my six online courses… currently half price (coupon codes on the online courses page)
or my 
Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in paperbacks!

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Poetry Writing Exercises 874: Tuesday 24th May

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and / or my Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in paperbacks!! ***.

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

874 prepared 854518Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: load, splitting, Tina, over, bone
  2. Random: at the back of his bed
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Feeling Icky

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 878: Tuesday 24th May

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… currently half price (when using coupon codes)!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2016 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 23 May 2016

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript,
do take a look at
my six online courses… currently half price (coupon codes on the online courses page)
or my
Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in paperbacks!

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Poetry Writing Exercises 873: Monday 23rd May

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and / or my Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in paperbacks!! ***.

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

873 postman 656288Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: dinner, Kings, whole, books, read
  2. Random: a game she used to play
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: first-person poem about getting a new animal

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 877: Monday 23rd May

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… currently half price (when using coupon codes)!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Writing a story from ‘consequences’ prompts

FACEBOOK background books smallHello everyone. I’ve just finished writing a piece of flash fiction from prompts given to me by some of my (sixteen) intermediate students and I thought you might like to read it, especially as I’ve been a bit rubbish recently at telling you what I’ve been up to (mostly getting my eBooks available as paperbacks!!).

 

I was hosting a session on structure last Monday and we ‘played’ the story outline game I do in most of my courses. Take a look at How to write a 28-word story for the details of a previous challenge. This time I had to write a 246-word story featuring Eric and Storm (or Eric Storm), in a conservatory with a russet lion, one of the characters was fearful and it had to be a romance. This took me about twenty minutes to write but fell short of the 246 words (by about fifty) so I added in some description and tweaked it to my satisfaction until it hit the word count. So, without further ado, here’s the story…
Eric looked from the garden to his son. “Why the Wizard of Oz?”

“I don’t know. Why not?”

“It’s not very Christmassy, not very…” Eric did ‘jazz hands’. “Nativity.”

Ben rolled his eyes. “It’s on TV every Christmas.”

“And you’re playing which part?”

Lion 897102Ben wiggled his tailed bottom. “Look at my costume, Dad.”

“The lion then. But that’s red.”

“Russet, Mum said.”

“A shade of red. Not really brown though, is it?”

Ben sighed. “Does it matter? It’s the only bit of material Mum had. I thought it looked really–”

“Alright then, but why have you chosen the name Storm?”

“Because it’s a storm that takes Dorothy to Oz, on the yellow brick road anyway.”

“I thought the lion was called… What was he called?”

Ben crossed his arms. “He’s just called the lion. That’s dumb. He needed a name so I’ve given him one. Storm. It’s also an X-Men–”

“Mmm. And he was… scared.”

Ben coughed and looked at the conservatory’s chequered flooring. “Yeah, that’ll be easy.”

“Why?”

Ben didn’t look up. “Because I’m good at scared.”

Eric leaned forward. “No, you’re not. You’re the bravest boy I know. Take that time when–”

“Daaad!”

“You are. What have you got to be scared about? You’re good at learning your lines and…”

“Lucy’s playing Dorothy.”

“Lucy?”

“Falkner. You met her dad, Andy, at last month’s barbecue. They’ve just moved to…”

“Oh yes. Really nice girl. Why are you…? Oh…” Eric giggled.

Ben blushed.

***

365 covers montageThere you have it. My 246-word story. If you’d like to have a go at writing something from a consequences sheet, let me know how you get on. If you’d like to write from some of my prompts, take a look at my home page for the weekday writing prompts (or click Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 20 May 2016 for yesterday’s)… or you could buy one or both of my Writer’s Block Workbooks, each containing over 1,000 prompts and weekly tips. I’m currently devising no.3 which will be sets of prompts (two characters, a location, an object, a trait, and a dilemma each day for a year!).

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2016 in short stories, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 20 May 2016

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript, do take a look at my six online courses… currently half price (coupon codes on the online courses page)

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Write Stuff Author Spotlight — The Other Man #FREE #Ebook — May 19-22 — Cristian Mihai

Originally posted on The Write Stuff Radio Show: In celebration of my newest release, Vengeful Vows, coming out on May 31st, the second book of the Sins of the Flesh series, The Other Man, will be free from May 19-22. Just click on the picture below to download your copy. Or click on this link…

via Write Stuff Author Spotlight — The Other Man #FREE #Ebook — May 19-22 — Cristian Mihai

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in writing

 

Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 19 May 2016

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript, do take a look at my six online courses… currently half price (coupon codes on the online courses page)

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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