Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘red pen session’ no.5

** Please note that I no longer run red pen episodes but do offer critique (first 1,000 words free) via** 

This week’s podcast was released today, Monday 10th October, the fifth of my episodes dedicated to reading a short story or self-contained novel extract (with synopsis) and then talking about it afterwards.

I run a fortnightly critique group as well as critiquing other authors writing which I really enjoy so I thought I’d create podcast episodes doing this. Please remember that it’s only one person’s (my) opinion and you, and the author concerned, are welcome to disagree with my interpretation – I will never be mean for the sake of it, but hope that I’m firm but fair. I also type the critique as I’m reading the story for the first time so by listening to the episode you will have had the advantage of hearing the story in full before hearing my feedback.

Regardless of what genre you write I hope that this helps you think about the way your stories are constructed and that you have enjoyed hearing another author’s work, the copyright of which remains with them.

Today’s story was from Aneesa of Glasgow, Scotland who brought us ‘Finally you found me’ in episode two. Aneesa has been writing for some time and has always had an ambition to write her own book but was side-tracked with studies and work. Only recently has she come back to writing and is enjoying it very much. She has written a few short stories and sometimes likes to indulge in poetry. She is also fluent in three different languages: English, Urdu and German. This story, at 1,047 words, is entitled ‘You are my reasons’.

I read the story, critiqued it and concluded with: “Overall the story is extremely well written, with some minor tweaking it could easily be submittable. Unlike her previous story this ends really sadly but we know that she has the friendship of the man’s sister, although they only meet once a year. Then there’s the house, she’s said it’s her dream so there is a chance of redemption for her but as with good stories like this it’s up to the reader to chose an ending and whether mine would be the same as yours it doesn’t matter as with the joy of fiction, where the writer leaves, the reader continues.”

Aneesa’s blog is (which has a really neat visitor location application!). She can also be ‘liked’ on Facebook and followed on Twitter.

If you have any feedback on today’s episode or any other podcasts or aspects of my website or blog, I’m always delighted to hear from you – my email address is

And if you’re feeling brave enough to email me an (ideally up to) 1,000 word short story or novel extract (with a brief synopsis please) for these red pen sessions then feel free. I suggest you listen to at least one of the red pen episodes to get an idea of what happens.

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe). Episodes include hints & tips (currently episode no.40) and author audio interviews – see this blog’s podcast page for more information.

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