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BeaconFlash round 2 now open and round 1 results announced!

BeaconFlash is BeaconLit’s new 500-word competition (with month-end deadlines/themes July to May). Just £2 per entry (no limit on entries) with £325’s worth of prizes! You can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service. See https://beaconlitblog.wordpress.com/500-word-competition for full details. The results for July have been announced.

BeaconLit is a non-profit festival where all proceeds go to local libraries. http://bvcl.org.uk

The competition opened in July (round 1) and therefore August is round 2 etc. There will be 11 rounds until the final winners / runners up are announced at the 2018 festival on Saturday 15th July 2018.

 
 

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August’s free 100-word competition now open

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words EXcluding title) and submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

 

Hello everyone. Yes, July’s competition – with the theme of ‘strangers on a train’ is now closed. The theme for August is ‘ticking’ which you can now submit and any time during until Thursday 31st August (midnight UK time).

And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified. This happened again last month. <sigh>

September’s theme is ‘afraid, very afraid’ to use however you wish. You can write them whenever you like but don’t send them to me until Friday 1st September.

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Calling Northants writers aged 8-12…

Are you, or (more importantly) a child you know, based in Northamptonshire? I’m delighted to be one of the judges of the Althorp Children’s 500-word story competition. (See details and poster below.)

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Welcome to Morgen’s blog!

blog pic smallHello and welcome to my blog. Depending on content received, this blog’s usual schedule is (when content available)…

  • Monday – poetry;
  • Wednesday – book review (either by myself or a guest); the last Wednesday of the month is the deadline for the 6-word stories (you can submit up to ten per month!).
  • Friday – the results of the previous month’s 100-word free monthly competition (the second Friday of the month), a <500-word flash fiction (posted every first and third Friday), or the latest batch of 6-word stories (the last Friday of the month).
  • Saturday – a spotlight or guest post, which then heads the blog for the weekend.
  • Every weekday (6.30pm UK time), I also post writing exercises on / from the Online Writing Groups.
 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in competitions, short stories, writing

 

Writing Competitions and you… success? near miss? the judge? Let me know!

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Today’s poetry and story exercises: 17th August 2017

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

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 1196: Thursday 17th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

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.

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

  1. Keywords: children, chilly, chilli, chick, chide
  2. Random: not quite good enough
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Thursday Title: The Wrong Time

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 1200: Thursday 17 Aug

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… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s poetry and story exercises: 16th August 2017

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

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 1195: Wednesday 16th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

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.

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

  1. Keywords: team, curdle, capable, genius, same
  2. Random: matching Anne’s record
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Sentence start: With his knowledge…

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 1199: Wednesday 16 Aug

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… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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500-word comp Round 1 – July 2017 – winners announced

and my 100-word results will be online shortly…

BeaconLit

I’m delighted to announce the top three stories from July’s entries are:

  • Zapped
  • Wrongful Retribution
  • Knickerbocker Holiday

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the final (eleventh) round closes on 31st May. The results of that month will be revealed mid-June and the final ten authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2018 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 14th July.

It’s always a pleasurable though difficult job picking favourites from any batch of entries and there were two vying for the month’s shortlist, both excellent for different reasons but one just had the edge. Although I judge on the impact of the stories and the quality of the writing, it’s always disappointing when there are simple spelling mistakes or even simpler errors that should have…

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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in writing

 

Today’s poetry and story exercises: 15th August 2017

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

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 1194: Tuesday 15th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

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.

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

  1. Keywords: impressive, fight, crumble, steel, money
  2. Random: three steps ahead
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Closer to Home

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 1198: Tuesday 15 Aug

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… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in ideas, novels, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s poetry and story exercises: 14th August 2017

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

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 1193: Monday 14th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

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.

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

  1. Keywords: former, country, capital, faced, foe
  2. Random: pick an item from today’s / the weekend’s news
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: first-person poem about standing up to a bully

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 1197: Monday 14 Aug

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… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in ideas, novels, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Lois Austen-Leigh’s Incredible Crime

Lois Austen-Leigh’s Incredible Crime

For historical and crime fans… most of us, I think. 🙂

Interesting Literature

In this week’s Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle returns to the Golden Age of detective fiction with this crime classic

Before Colin Dexter breathed new life into the genre with his Inspector Morse novels published from 1975 onwards, the Oxbridge crime novel was already a sizeable subgenre within detective fiction: there was the Queen of Crime Dorothy L. Sayers, whose Gaudy Night (1935) had helped to blaze a trail for the Oxford crime novel, and in her wake, Bruce Montgomery, under the pen name Edmund Crispin, wrote mystery novels set in Oxford, where he was studying for a degree when he wrote his first, The Case of the Gilded Fly, in 1943. Crispin’s creation, the amateur sleuth Gervase Fen, is also an Oxford don and English Literature professor at the university.

But before these, there was Lois Austen-Leigh’s quartet of Cambridge crime novels, of…

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Posted by on August 13, 2017 in writing