Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I've just read my first ever issue of Writers Forum, and am so impressed I decided to post about it. What a writing tool! The magazine is not only a way of keeping in touch with what is going on in the writing world, the articles have useful information from how other writers succeed in a very competitive field to tips on writing novels, children's books, short stories, poetry and more.

Writers Forum also runs a monthly fiction and poetry competition and also discusses the winning entries which gives an insight into why these pieces are winners.

So, whether you are looking for a useful resource to enhance your writing skills or a market to submit your stories, poetry or articles; you will find it in Writers Forum.

Keep writing....

Thursday, August 11, 2011


In my opinion the ideal position to be in as a writer (besides getting a story acceptance or reading your published piece in a magazine) is being involved in a writing project. Ideally the muse triggers something in my brain and gives me a kick-start, but left to my own devices here are a few things I do to get myself started on a writing project:-

I read short stories in magazines and set myself a project to write for a particular magazine. I take note of the variety of writing styles, the genres and how the twist stories work. I enjoy the challenge of tackling a project outside my comfort zone. If you usually write murder/mystery try a twist.

Scanning the newspapers is a good trigger for writing projects. Headlines can spark up an idea and letters to the editors can get you asking questions. What if that person against junk mail deliveries decides to take matters into their own hands and it backfires? Read what gets up people’s noses; be those characters – the ones with the gripes or the ones being ‘griped’ (I just made that word up) about and see where your story takes you.

Visit writing forums online. The aspiring writer is keen to improve their writing skills (Aren’t we all?). If I can answer a question because I’ve travelled that road and found a way to overcome a particular writing dilemma, I set myself a project to write an article to submit to a writing magazine. (And yes, if I can help in the forum, I do.)

I drag out stories I wrote years ago. I revamp them with fresh eyes and what I like to think the capabilities of a more experienced writer. Sometimes a change in point of view or adjustments in the plot transforms it into a better story, but more often than not a major overhaul is required.

What do you do to get yourself started on a writing project?

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Many of us have been passionate about taking a proactive approach to the dwindling short story market and doing something about it. I have noticed that the consequences of our actions have reaped some positive outcomes:-

Articles, emails and messages left on magazine facebook pages of those who have dropped the fiction slot, have made magazines aware of our disappointment; not only as writers, but as readers. We have been acknowledged and assured that our feelings are heard.

Take a Break’s Fiction is still accepting the occasional story and Fiction Feast seems to be still going strong (sigh of relief). That’s Life and That’s Life Fast Fiction has not let us down! There are other magazines that I know of who accept unsolicited manuscripts; Womans Weekly, The Weekly News, Yours, Peoples Friend and Womans World. We all hope they will continue their fiction slots, so it is important for us to let them know that their fiction is read and enjoyed.

There has been a return of fiction to Best magazine. Hopefully this will prove to be a successful venture and the trend continues.

The Lady and Candis will read anything sent in and if it is ‘brilliant’ they’ll publish it. Which makes me wonder whether an exceptionally good story sent to any of the mags who have dropped fiction might stand a chance of getting published!

The facebook page, Bring Back Fiction to Women’s Magazines, has grown to 113 members and rising.

It’s fantastic how writers have united. We congratulate each other on our successes and we support each other through the hard times. How good is that? So, although the reality remains that we do need more markets and that our quest is far from over – there is hope for the short story!

Keep on writing ….

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I woke Diane up at 1.30am this morning (chuckle, chuckle). She told me to go away but my persistence won over in the end. Her memory of ignoring me on previous occasions was pretty sharp and back then although she told herself she'd write it all down in the morning she sat there, pen poised with a blank look on her face. Diane kicked herself so many times for ignoring me, the pain of the bruising lingered on for some time.
So there she was in the early hours writing like a woman possessed, and if I may say so myself, Diane was impressed with the material I had on for offer. She stumbled back into bed grumbling something that sounded like a vague gesture of thanks.
Her little one woke her at 5.30am sharp (more chuckles) and as Diane recalled the night before she flung open her note pad and realising our encounter was not a dream, a wide grin spread across her tired face. I'm feeling quite chuffed that Diane is excited about her new writing project; perhaps now she will pay particular attention when I present her with words that flow, instead of telling me where to go.
So beware writers because I, the muse, may strike at any time of the day or night in any location whether you're prepared or not, and although your first impression of my timing may be a hostile one, make an effort; take heed and listen. But most importantly write it down. I can promise you it will be worth your while. Trust me, you'll be glad that you did!

The Muse