I have to empty my dilapidated studio which is being rebuilt and I have an extraordinary range of eclectic items for sale, from an Adana letter press with type, to Byko sets and a whole lot more in the household range. So to pick up a bargain please go to:
www.patriciasbeachhut.com and click on the For Sale page and scroll down to view until you come to the final item a shoe last.
It is the season for writing competitions with several closing dates looming in the coming days and weeks.
It can be difficult to decide which story to match to a competition, and checking out the judge doesn’t necessarily help, given that your stories first obstacle is the small army of dedicated readers. They filter the entries for the judge and it is impossible to predict their tastes. Added to which one has to juggle a story that may have been entered into a competition that is somewhat vague about the period when the shortlist or winners will be announced.
There is no easy way around this, sometimes one is permitted to submit simultaneously, so long as (should your submission be shortlisted or placed elsewhere) you inform and withdraw your entry immediately. This can leave the writer with a difficult choice, as some competitions carry more clout than others. Deciding where to enter and when is therefore tricky. I think you have to go with your gut and also you need to have a range of short stories in you writing portfolio; stories of varying word lengths with a variety of topics and variation in voice, subject matter, pace, setting and style.
One of the things I enjoy about writing short fiction is that unlike a novel it does not demand an ongoing commitment to. Plot, characters or setting, you can ring the changes. Short fiction gives the writer an opportunity to flex their writing muscles and experiment.
In May I am booked onto a Norwich Writers Centre course lead by Joe Dunthorne. I see attending courses as part of my professional development, a chance to refresh, hone and reboot my writing skills. I also like being taught for a change. It is an opportunity to write out of the box, nudge the bad habits out of the way and challenge my comfort zone, hopefully finding new, progressive and diverse pathways.
In the meantime I’m checking my Mslexia diary for those closing dates and matching stories to competitions with an eye on placement and timing.
Please see below for information on the Pensthorpe poetry and fiction day workshop, which is booking briskly.