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This Week on Writers Abroad 17th April
Category: Site News

Happy Easter Monday to everyone!

Monday Muse: Vanessa has posted some seasonal and travel-inspired prompts for us to get out teeth into this week. She recently visited Paris in the springtime. Hey, I feel a song/poem/story coming on.

Blog: Sue has written about an issue that can plague the best of writers, self-doubt. What do we need to do in order to write that winning story? Change our style, chop up our sentences, throw in an errant Oxford comma? These are some of the questions Sue mulls over. Also, more controversially, the trolling of a cancer sufferer is a storyline in Coronation Street which has got a lot of people up in arms; should writers exploit this kind of suffering or has a line been crossed?

Bragging Stool: WA members have got four stories in Ad Hoc (it's starting to look like a coup). Sue with story, The Gown; Chris, Stag Undone; Crilly, Freedom and yours truly, Revenge Served Hot. There's still time to hop over and cast your vote; http://http://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook It's Sue's 61st week in Ad Hoc and she has also supplied an evocative illustration for one of the winning stories! Sue is keeping the BS hot with third price in the Morgan Bailey's 100 word competition. Absolutely no reason for self-doubt!

April Challenge: Still plenty of opportunities in our April Challenge and Alyson has posted a picture-inspired story for critiquing. She would love to hear your comments and of course there is still time to post your own challenges. So cast aside the self-doubt (and Easter eggs and hot-cross buns) and let rip!

An exciting week ahead as I prepare to fly to Spain tomorrow for some wonderful days of writing, horse-riding and getting to know fellow WA member, Nicola! Now, let's see if I can jam my riding helmet and type writer into my carry on...

Why do we doubt ourselves? Tags: author readings author responsibilities Ad Hoc Morgen Bailey

photo credit V. Conrad

 

I was all set to write a blog about the benefits of reading our work in public. Note the pic of me seriously reading Love on a Wednesday Afternoon, the one about the bouncy 4-poster bed and the trombone lessons, from my Ad Hoc collection to an appreciative coffeehouse gathering recently.

 

But then this topic drizzled out of a couple of our recent blog posts - and it won’t give up:

 

Why do we doubt ourselves?

 

You made the resolution this year to just keep sending your writing out - and to keep track of what you’ve sent where and when to expect results. Many of these lit-mag-comps only tell you if you’ve been placed - so when results day arrives, you trawl the sites to read long lists, short lists, and finally the selected work. To find that you’re not there.

 

You swallow hard, tell yourself you can’t win them all - but you ‘tip-toe’ away from the websites thinking - ‘again - not good enough’ and it can leave you with a feeling of giving up, doing something completely different, stop banging your head against quite a high brick wall. Consider signing up for donkey rearing for beginners instead.

 

Because standards change. You want the standards to be high. You don’t want it, ever, to be a piece of cake. But you work so hard at the writing game and you begin to wonder if you are ‘edgy’ enough. If you should break more grammatical rules, chop your well-constructed sentences into fragments, forget about well-place commas, and if you should write more about the current world problems. e.g. The annual Canada Reads CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Awards novel contenders this year needed to be books that ‘Canadians need to read now’ - in other words, novels that centre around current issues, immigration, the environment, world peace (or torment), politics, etc and so forth. A little dictatorial on the part of the CBC - in your honest opinion. http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads

 

None are novels that you are desperate to read - for those reasons above. You can explore those issues via other means. Can’t you? For you, isn’t a novel a means for you to lose yourself, travel to another world? It is fiction. After all. (please note the chopped unstructured sentences here.)

 

So, you ask, is this the reason your work does not hit the mark right now? Are you too fictitious, or do you dwell too much in another era, when dialogue was different, when street talk was polite and grammatically correct?

 

You have, this past week, been in correspondence with a British TV producer regarding a shocking storyline on Coronation Street (always known for its quality writing.) You received a reply telling you that the drama uses ‘real life’ situations that people can relate to. You tell them that their writers should be fired for total lack of insensitivity and that cancer is no joke. The upset this story line caused btw was all over the UK tabloids that week. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4369954/Coronation-Street-fans-slam-Sally-Webster-storyline.html

 

Writing is a responsibility for sure; your dilemma is this - do you want to be published and to hell with the consequences? Or do you take your responsibility more seriously?

 

Footnote - after writing this, your sweet little greyhound story was placed 3rd in the 100-word comp run by Morgen Bailey - so maybe, just maybe, all is not lost.

 

https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/results-of-morgens-100-word-competition-march-2017/

 

And this is Nelly (RIP old gal), who never won a race and inspired the story. 

This Week on Writers Abroad 10th April 2017
Category: Site News

As we prepare to soon release Issue Six of Writers Abroad Magazine, it’s a bit quiet on the website but there’s still things happening if you have a look.

Monday Muse: Lesley has supplied several diverse prompts to stimulate your imagination as well as 3 intriguing images. To get your creative brain working and kick off a piece of writing, she has included a scenario to use a starting point, a first sentence, a story title and a memory prompt. There’s enough variety here that it will be impossible not to find something that appeals to you.

Blog: Alyson has discovered the value of ‘literary travel’. In this post, she tells us about her trip to Iceland and how it has inspired her to delve into Icelandic literature and writers. She also suggests that any writer will benefit from being exposed to other writing traditions when they travel.

Bragging Stool: This week WA members have taken possession of Ad Hoc with four of our members included in the publication. Reggie’s Stoop by Sue, Helping Hands by Chris, The Captain & Dad by Crilly and a story by Laura are all in this issue. Well done to all of you!

April Challenge: There’s lots to choose from this month and members are still adding to the Challenges so there’s no dearth goals to strive for. If you haven’t picked one or more, have a look at the list and see what appeals to you. But, don’t neglect Laura’s advice in her blog posted at the end of last week: don’t let yourself become too competitive and forget why you enjoy writing.  

Have a good writing week.

 

 

 

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This Week on Writers Abroad 17th April
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