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Reblog your WP writing content (for free)

Do you have a WordPress.com website and write about writing?

Have you written a brilliant post that you want to share with my audience?

If so, please complete the form below (click on the orange ‘read the rest of this entry’ link if viewing this on the home page).

While I can’t promise instant fame (loads of likes / feedback), I’ve had over 400,000 hits to this blog since 2011 so someone’s reading it. 🙂

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in articles, blog

 

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Poetry Writing Lessons for Children #guestpost by Robert Lynch

Today, I welcome a new guest, online writer Robert Lynch with poetry tips for children… of any age…

Many people love poetry but writing a poem is not simple. Students who are studying at school, college, or university used to attempt to poetry for various purposes. Children try to write poems for fun, to get away from their boredom, to contribute to school magazines, and so on. However, most of the time, they end up writing poor poems. Many students will have ideas but may not be able to write even a single line. It can happen if they are not familiar with writing poems based upon their lives.

Since writing poems seems to be difficult for them, they should ask poetry experts. Writing poems will aid the children to express their ideas, feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc. They can write amazing, stirring, thoughtful, and witty poetry that will astonish their friends, parents, and teachers. All you want to do is to understand how to prepare a poem, and know how to get started.

Here are some effective poetry writing lessons for children that will aid them to come up with good poems:

Read Poetry

Children who are interested in writing poetry should read some popular poetry so that they will understand how famous poets write. Reading poetry will help the children understand how these poets arrange their thoughts, ideas, and communicate their emotions to their readers. So, go to your school or college library, or search online in order to choose some books of poetry. You will be able to find a wide range of children’s poetry, and it will let you understand how to prepare poetry within your age range. Read some poems to realize how the lines of poems end, how they form rhythm, have an effect on the meaning of the poem, etc.

Recognize Your Goal

Children should primarily understand their goal of writing poetry. None of the students can write a good poem without knowing their goals. You cannot simply write a poem. You should have some ideas and thoughts with you to prepare a good poem. Children can write poetry for the reason that they would like to capture a feeling they have experienced. Your goal is to communicate with the readers and make them understand what you have to tell them. You can choose to write from experiences etched in your mind, some remarkable e achievements, an incident that you witnessed, and much more.

Avoid Clichés

When children are preparing to write a poem, they should think about something out of the box. They cannot make a good impression on people who read their poem if their it has no new elements. Readers need originality and freshness in poetry. If children love making their poetry interesting, they should keep away from common clichés. You have to keep in mind that people give importance to creative content and they will ignore your writing if it contains common clichés. When readers notice poetry without clichés, they will find that the writer has made a good effort to write original content.

Poem Structure

The poems that children write should have structure. If children desire to learn how to write poetry and how to become a successful poet, they should aim to understand the structure of a poem. If children write poems with no structure, none of the readers will be interested to read their poem. Hence, children should understand how should a poem be divided into lines, how to arrange their ideas into perfect lines, how to communicate their goals through ideal lines, etc. You have to find some superior ideas about selecting the exact structure for your poem.

Poetry Techniques

It can be observed that famous poets used to use poetry techniques in order to make their poetry excellent. They have the custom of adopting some poetry techniques that helps them to communicate their thoughts, ideas, knowledge, understanding and experiences. Poetry techniques will give children a good idea about how to write poetry, what to write about, how to get started, and pick the right words to add in the sentences. It will also lead you to identify how to get poetry ideas and convert them into poems.

Pick a Subject

Children can never write poetry without a proper subject. Hence, they should pick a subject before they write their poems. Picking a subject gives the children a perfect understanding about how to write poetry. There are many topics in the world to choose as your poetry subject such as death, love, nature, animals, friendship, politics, education, health, and much more. You can choose any topic but you have to come up with unique and original thoughts to make your writing authentic.

Choose a Pattern                                 

Children should know poetry patterns when they write poetry. It will aid the children to write in a manner to attract the attention of people with ease. Children should select free verse, rhyming couplets, or a usual poetry style. The ideas, thoughts, and words of your poetry should flow with the style that you have selected for your poetry, and you can also convert ideas into a completely new scheme if you choose a pattern to prepare your poem.

Other Tips

There are in fact many things that children should take care of while writing poetry. I recommend they stay away from sentimentality, but make use of images, bring into play metaphor and simile, exercise tangible words rather than abstract words, communicate a common theme, pass up ordinary ideas and thoughts, and finally, they should revise many times what is written. Children have to be creative so that they can create creative poetry. As poets always observe the world another way, children should also observe the world differently so that they can have a different point of view.

Author Bio

Robert Lynch is a freelance writer who enjoys his career as it offers opportunities to improve his writing, as well as every facet of his life. Presently, he works for a professional custom essay online writing service which allows him to aid students in making their assignments look simple. Robert also loves to write articles for blogs, online magazines, and content for a variety of websites.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2017 in articles, childrens, poetry, writing

 

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Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest

Hello everyone. I have received the following information regarding an end-April contest. I will put the details on this blog’s Competitions page but in the meantime…

TITLE: Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest
FINAL CLOSING DATE: 11:59 P.M. April 30th 2017 (US Central time)
ENTRY FEE: $15
ENTRY FEE for submitting up to three pieces (Best Short Story and Best Essay categories), except for POETRY category where up to three submissions are accepted for $15.
GENERAL CRITERIA of the competition: https://hourglass.submittable.com/ .
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.hourglassonline.org
PAST CONTEST (results, etc.): https://hourglassonline.org/pastcontest/
CONTACT: contest {at} hourglassonline.org or editors {at} hourglassonline.org

At the confluence of the West and the East, Bosnian based, Hourglass Literary Magazine proudly announces its second international writing competition for:

Best Short Story
Best Poem
Best Essay

The jury: Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox.

AWARDS:
1. The Winning Entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Authors of winning entries will receive printed copy of the Hourglass Literary Magazine No. 2.

2. The jury has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category).
3. Special prize of the Literature and Latte – Scrivener Award – consisting of the one licensed software solutions “Scrivener” and US$250.
4. Special prize of The Literary Encyclopedia – an online reference work for English-language readers interested in broad literary and cultural matters – consisting of one 2-year subscriptions and one 1-year subscriptions to LE for shortlisted authors.
5. Editorial staff and board members will take under consideration shortlisted works (not awarded a prize) for publication in the second issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. The selected works will be FINANCIALLY compensated.

The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin.) There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries. Work must be original and unpublished. One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively. Limited multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions)

Short story: should not exceed 7000 words or be less than 700 words. Entry fee: $15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three pieces).

Poetry: Poems should not have more than 3500 words. WRITERS CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE POEMS/SONGS. Entry fee: $15 USD.

Essays: Essays should not exceed 9000 words or be less than 1000 words. Entry fee: 15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three papers).

We accept submissions via online “submission tool”: http://hourglass.submittable.com/ .

To stay updated, please follow our Social Media pages: Facebook (www.facebook.com/hourglassliterarymagazine), Twitter (www.twitter.com/hourglasslm) and LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/company/hourglass-literary-magazine/). Alternatively, subscribe to our monthly newsletter – http://hourglassonline.org/news-press/.

FIRST ISSUE AVAILABLE VIA: https://www.hourglassonline.org/store or via Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Hourglass-Literary-Magazine-Various-Authors/dp/1542487072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487636662&sr=8-1&keywords=hourglass+literary+magazine)

(Important) Editors’ Note (optionally)

Hourglass Literary Magazine strives – and this is our manifesto’s core – to mix voices in one polyphonic structure, i.e. to connect writers who write in English, whether as native English speakers or international, with authors who write in what it used to be one language – Serbo-Croatian. With that being said, Hourglass Literary Magazine’s Issue No.1 featured authors are Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Irish short-story writer and David Albahari. Praised by many, academics, writers and (common) readers, Hourglass Literary Magazine – thanks to Ms Mirjana Miočinović and Pascale Delpech – gained exclusive rights to be the first to print Danilo Kiš’s unpublished works in English, including interviews, essays and short stories. After Mark Thompson’s (who is also contributor of the first issue), “Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kiš” and book edited by Susan Sontag “Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews”, collection that introduced Danilo Kis to a wider, global audience, we are the third literary venture, and the first literary journal to continue rich saga about Danilo Kis.
For us – writing competition is essential! WE FEEL that our effort in scavenging works in three categories (Best Short Story, Best Essay and Best Poem) would be insufficient. That is exactly why we pursuit, why we solicit contributions from widely recognised authors and finally why we simultaneously challenge ourselves seeking and exploring various editorial methods and models. Hourglass Literary Magazine is staffed mostly by writers. Therefore, for us, publishing literary magazine is creative process – every syllable counts, every word counts.

Our “manifesto” can be found here: http://hourglassonline.org/about/.

 

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Opportunities on this blog

Hello. Seeing as I’ll be busy with family today / tomorrow, then with friends on Boxing Day, I thought I’d spare a thought for anyone at their computer over the festivities (or those not celebrating!). There’s a lot you can do on my blog, some fun, some serious…

100-word comp: a free competition where you can write up to three 100-word stories (no more, no less) and submit them by the end of the month. There’s a different theme each month and December’s is ‘just what I never wanted’, used in any way you like. You can win free Editing and Critique or Online Courses, and the results are posted on the second Friday of the month.

6-word FFFs: with a deadline of the Wednesday before the last Friday of the month (not necessarily the last Wednesday of the month), I invite you to submit up to ten six-word stories. Think that’s impossible? Click on the link and see what others have done. These are posted on the last Friday of the month.

First Sentence Fridays *NEW*: started on 16th December, I invite you to submit the first sentence (not line, it’s where the first full stop goes, even if it’s one word) then your book’s purchase link in the comments section. Nothing more than that. You can post one per week and not just on Fridays, but whenever the relevant post goes up (and it’s at the top of the blog page).

Flash Fiction Fridays: on the Fridays that I’m not releasing the winners of the 100-word comp (second Friday) or 6-word FFFs, I can post your stories up to 500 words.

Poetry: I can post your poems on a Monday morning.

And if you’ve got a book to promote you can do an author spotlightguest blog or interview.

It just leaves me to say that I hope you have a wonderful break from work, or more relaxed shifts if you are working. See you next week!

 

Guest post: The Truth About Fiction by sff author Shirley Golden

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of how believable our writing should be, is brought to you by sci-fi fantasy author Shirley Golden.

The Truth about Fiction

shirley-goldenThe first novel I ever wrote fell into the genre of historical fiction. I have to confess, it was driven by my characters and the excitement that I had embarked upon a book-length story. Later, I calmed down, and began to research, adding details and removing sections in a bid to make it more authentic. I worried it wasn’t “real” enough. But I needn’t have worried because after about fifty rejections from agents and a handful of publishers, it became clear that no one else was going to read it. Interestingly, an evaluation from a paid critique was more concerned that my protagonist was not likeable enough, rather than finding fault with the details of time and place.

As I continued to write, I read lots of advice about sticking to your preferred genre. I studied my book shelves. Yes, I certainly had a fair few historical fiction titles. But I loved the Otherworldly and fantasy in all of its forms, regardless of if it was set in the past, present or future. I experimented with other genres. I joined writers’ groups but became a little frustrated with the current trend of sticking to realism in fiction. Of course, I understand the need to suspend disbelief, and that in certain genres (e.g. mis lit, crime fiction) realism is expected. However, from my perspective, so long as I’m invested in psychologically believable characters, and the story has its own internal consistency, I’m prepared to stretch that disbelief far, far away.

When I embarked upon writing my novel, Skyjacked, a space fantasy, I began to research such things as how long it would take to travel to various planets, time-travel and teleportation. I realised my story fell beyond the parameters of what’s currently deemed theoretically possible.

I reminded myself that one of my favourite novels is set during the Napoleonic wars, the protagonist has webbed feet, can walk on water, and her heart is kept in a jar by an ex-lover. Not once during reading Jeanette Winterson’s, The Passion, did I question the credibility of these things. And why should I? I was reading fiction and loving it. Not that I’m comparing my work to hers, or indeed to any “literary” work. But I can’t help feeling that stories are often more fun when we’re prepared to loosen our hold on reality.

After watching the TV series, Sleepy Hollow, I went back to the original short story by Washington Irving. I remembered that some of the underlying themes related to veracity in storytelling. The narrator is unreliable, not privy to the defining moment of the piece, and some of what he relates cannot be known to him, unless one of the other characters told him or, horror of horrors, he made it up! In the postscript, one man says he doesn’t enjoy the story because he can’t believe it, and perhaps serves as a reminder that the joy of reading fiction can be lost if we become too critical.

I’d love to know what others think – do you prefer fiction that conforms to reality, or stories that leap into the fantastical?

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Thank you, Shirley. I think that as long as something is believable and doesn’t jar with the reader then anything goes. As Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction” and there are often things that happen in real life that you couldn’t write about because no one would believe it… which is a real shame.

Shirley Golden spent ten years working in factories, where making up stories in her head saved her from terminal boredom. She returned to education in her late twenties, gained a degree in psychology, and worked in research for a few years before deciding to dedicate herself to writing fiction full time.

Many of her stories have found homes in the pages or websites of various magazines and anthologies; some have found their way on to competition long and short lists. She won the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition in 2013. She loves flash-fiction and is one of the editors for the FlashFlood Journal, created by Calum Kerr, to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day.

She is door person and arbitrator to two wannabe tigers, and can sometimes be found on Twitter when she should be writing. She likes to bake jumbo chocolate and pecan cookies and goes for long bike rides to burn off the calories. You can find out more about Shirley from her website (http://www.shirleygolden.net/index.html) and her sci-fi/fantasy novel, Skyjacked, was published by Urbane Publications in May, 2016.

skyjackedcover1Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home …

The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter’s prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son.

Unable to fight – or smooth talk – his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities.

Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.

You can purchase Shirley’s book from…

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Related articles:

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

hitman-sam-cover-front-smallI wrote a crime lad lit novella (48,000 words) called Hitman Sam in 2008 and over the years, edited it, left it to marinate, re-edited it, put it back, then finally this year (2016), I edited it again and sent it to my beta readers who were kind enough to give me their feedback which led to more alterations and finally, on November 2nd, it was published!

It is available for 99c / 99p (or the equivalent in your country) via http://mybook.to/HitmanSam (links to Amazon in your country) or directly via Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com etc. but before you rush over to purchase this quirky novella, do read on to find out more about it…

Blurb: Newly-redundant software designer Sam Simpson is looking for a new adventure – a cryptic advert in his local paper gives him that, and more. With two women vying for his affection, going behind their backs isn’t the smartest things he’s ever done.

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This follows on just a month after my crime mystery novella, After Jessica, was published. Yay! Details below…

after-jessica-cover-front-smallThe second book I wrote, back in 2009, was After Jessica, a crime mystery novella published in October 2016. You can download this novella for just 99c / 99p via http://mybook.to/AfterJessica (which links to the Amazon page in your country) or directly from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com etc.

Tagline: Wind up his late sister’s affairs, Simon gets more than he bargains for.

Blurb: Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between Simon’s sister and Alexis?

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2016 in articles, ebooks, ideas, novels, tips, writing

 

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Guest post: Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue by Kristen Bailey

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of dialogue, is brought to you by novelist and short story author Kristen Bailey.

Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue

kristenWhen I was little, I was always slightly in awe of the cinema. I was a child of the eighties, when films were always a big event and I spent many hours with my sister and brother watching films over and over again until the video tapes sometimes snapped. It didn’t stop there, we would re-enact them, and commit a vast repertoire of classic lines to memory. I would like to say I’ve matured a lot since then, but still now Sunday lunch will be spent with the three of us quoting entire scenes from films that no-one else has seen, to the despair of my parents who wonder where they went wrong raising us…

It’s why I often think I’m obsessed with dialogue when I write. It’s the part of writing I actually love the most as it gives my characters life and purpose. By rights, this means I should probably be a screenwriter but instead I write contemporary women’s fiction where dialogue always features heavily and which often has to have an acerbic comedy edge to it. Does this mean my work is brimming with one-liners and jokes? Not really, and especially when it comes to dialogue. Few people speak like stand-up comedians and I know immediately if I’ve forced a joke in my dialogue as it will feel unnatural on reading it aloud. A lot of comedy is actually in the delivery and the situation, but it’s also not always explicit. It can be observational or paired with the reaction of someone’s inner thoughts. An editor once gave me the good advice to limit the amount of swearing I used in dialogue too. Saying ‘f***’ a lot can be amusing but can be jarring to read in print. It’s far funnier to be inventive instead: consider the usual ‘f****** hell!’ and how a replacement like ‘mother of arsebiscuits!’ is more memorable yet equally as impactful.

In both my novels, Souper Mum and Second Helpings, I also gave myself the challenge of tackling a variety of dialects; Tommy McCoy is a Mockney TV chef, Jools’ husband, Matt is Scottish, his mother Italian, Cam is American and Remy, Luella’s husband is French. Why not just ensure all my characters are from South London? Well, where would be the fun in that! I think it’s a tribute to my background and line of work. I’ve always loved, listening to the way that people talk; the intonation, the rhythm, the dialect that sets any one speaker apart from another. I trained and worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language so have always been fine tuned into listening to people’s accents but it’s also something I grew up with having a Singaporean mother and Guyanese father. Of course, authenticity is key here, so when writing dialogue in dialect I always read it aloud. My husband knows this better than most as he often wanders into a darkened room confused as to why I’m doing bad impressions of Shrek…

Inspiration to write dialogue can come from different sources too. I am admittedly a bit nosy and a great eavesdropper, nothing gives me greater joy than being sat on a crowded train and being inspired by two drunk people having a conversation about nothing. Because sometimes conversations have no purpose, their credibility is in their normality. In Second Helpings especially, there are scenes between Matt and Jools littered with incomplete sentences and a conversational ‘shorthand’ that is often evident between couples who have lived with each other for so long that they implicitly know what the other is talking about. In these scenes, economy is key: the prose takes over but I annotate the action with periods of comfortable silence too.

However, I’m still a TV/film addict too. I believe some of the best writing today is on television, and hearing dialogue being read out, as it should, can give you such great clues into how people really speak. Orange is The New Black has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever heard, the dialogue is not only slick but the comedy comes with how quick they spew out those lines, one on top of the other. For comedy inspiration, I always go back to shows like New Girl, Sex and the City, Modern Family and anything by Graham Linehan.

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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in articles, ebooks, novels, short stories, tips, writing

 

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Talking to a real-life private investigator

gq-screenshotMy eNewspaper, the Morgen Bailey Daily, picked up on an article by GQ magazine where they, as the title of this blog post says, talk to a real-life P.I., Patrick Hoffman. The picture, in case you’re wondering, is of the American actor Carl Malden who starred in one of my favourite TV programmes (at the time), The Street of San Fransisco.

The link to the original article is http://www.gq.com/story/talking-to-a-real-life-private-investigator or you can click on the photograph on the right…

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in articles, interview, writing

 

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