Posted by on Nov 30, 2006 in Uncategorised | 2 Comments

This isn’t what I was going to blog about … But since Titania asked, I’ll answer. Do I recommend Zoetrope Virtual Studios as an online workshop for writers? Yes I do. With reservations. I came to Zoe in 2003, as a result of placing second in a contest. I contacted the winner to congratulate her […]

Posted by on Nov 29, 2006 in lichen, publication, short stories, zoetrope | 3 Comments

This is the cover photograph for the latest edition of Lichen, Canada, on the theme of ‘haunts’ and I’m proud to have one of the short stories from my Chinese residency – Peephole – published in it. I’m very pleased too, to be keeping company with that fine writer and good companion, Brian Reynolds, who […]

Posted by on Nov 28, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Still nothing … From One Chapter Promotions – obviously they just don’t respond to emails. I wonder if the people who pay them £10 for their contest would feel to know that this competition organiser can’t even be bothered to answer simple questions when they are asked politely – let along the folk who hand […]

Posted by on Nov 27, 2006 in good writing, grammar | One Comment

The best prose I know … Is to be found in the Chiltern Seed catalogue. It’s not an original discovery, and I’m indebted to Beverley Nichols, my favourite garden writer, for talking about how seed catalogues could produce spring in the gardener’s mind in the depths of winter. Here’s an example of their elegant, informative […]

Posted by on Nov 24, 2006 in Uncategorised | 4 Comments

Listening to Alan Bennett As you do, when you are writing a novel in a month and you’re supposed to be writing an article about greenhouses but you want to boost your novel wordcount, and Mr Bennett turns up on Radio 4 reading from his diaries. And what did he say about writing? He said […]

Posted by on Nov 23, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

The Panic Jar and the fading away folk There is less than a week of November left now, and that means National Novel Writing Month is three quarters over. The Panic Jar has proved a popular item, although people seem much keener to put stuff into it, than take stuff out. We did use it […]

Posted by on Nov 22, 2006 in nanowrimo, novel writing, research | 6 Comments

How far would you go? I’ve never thought of myself as an adventurous person and the idea of living in a tent, eating unknown animal parts and travelling huge distances off the map are all terrifying to me, which is why being accused of being ‘research rabid’ has come as a bit of a surprise. […]

Posted by on Nov 21, 2006 in nanowrimo, novel writing, writer's block | 2 Comments

The value of compression Writing a novel in a month is a daft thing to do. It’s a lot of fun and it teaches you a great deal about the process of writing a novel which comes in useful when you step back to write a real novel in a sensible time-frame, but it’s an […]

Posted by on Nov 20, 2006 in Uncategorised | No Comments

Caveat Emptor Here’s an interesting thing. I heard about a new British contest through a writer who’s based in the USA. I rather pride myself on knowing what is going on, so I thought I’d better find out who Chapter One were, and what chance I, or any other writer, might have at winning their […]

Posted by on Nov 17, 2006 in editing, writing | One Comment

Why writers need editors It’s a funny thing, being an editor for a place that you also get published as a writer. Logically, it should help you produce such perfect prose that it doesn’t need the eye of another editor. After all, if you can spot all the problems and holes in the stories passed […]