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This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

In this week’s in her Blog Bieke reflects on the delightful world of Young Adult Fiction. Maggie has set us musing on themes of a loss of value, opportunity, a stoppage, with two stunning pictures of wild spaces.

Celebrations of our authors’ successes continue to flow on the Bragging Stool with attention drawn to a recent publication of a teaching article by Laura, short stories by Crilly and Vanessa reaching the long list stage of the Finchley Literary Festival competition.

Meanwhile, the writing room has been busy with new postings of Works in Progress and in Writing Challenges there are links to new writing competition opportunities for June and beyond. Next week, June 15 is the deadline for submissions to the Brilliant Flash Fiction short  story (750 words, no theme, free entry) brilliantflashfiction@gmail.com

Our next informal meeting is on Sunday 12 June and today (6 June) is the deadline for voting on proposed timings of our formal chat meetings.

Have a great writing week!

Hamish

 

The delightful world of young adult fiction Tags: Writers Abroad writing ex-pat writers Y/A genres

It is not necessarily easy to describe my interest in young adult fiction since not all YA fiction appeals to me. Having said that, when YA fiction appeals to me it draws me in with a force that is unique and mesmerizing. I always dreamed of one day being able to write a YA novel that could transport the reader. YA fiction that appeals to me tends to be literary, as for instance Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief and Ursula LeGuinn’s Earthsea, or it brings much creativity, imagination, and innovation with it, as say the Harry Potter series does. For that matter, I am also an avid fan of Roald Dhal and Lemony Snicket. 

What all these novels hold for me is a richness of language and imagination that enhances young minds and challenges them rather than that it exploits them. Like all great literature, these novels are simply excellent and enhance the world of literature. I am aware, though, that YA fiction embraces a much wider range than just the literary. I have come to understand YA as a collection of books that is particularly suited to adolescents. I also understand it as a category that helps book keepers and book sellers happy. Lastly, it is a category that has the whole writing world flocking to it now because that is where the money is in writing. Supposedly. 
YA has spawned a whole new discussion on the phenomenon of writing. It is simply delightful to now have a category of writing that embraces all genres, all forms, and can be multi-media. It is also delightful to see how writing YA will not bring down a literary writer’s status. Science Fiction has long fought for this kind of respect but its literary writers seldom garnered the kind of respect they deserved. 
While YA fiction has opened up a whole new field and embraces all genres, I sometimes fear writing that focusses too much the world of adolescents and, in a way, exploits them by catering to them rather than challenging them. The Harry Potter series invited adolescents into a complex and dark world and it exposed them to the harsh struggle on the part of the main characters to remain “good” in the face of much temptation. The Twilight series, on the other hand, played into an egocentric view in a rather self-indulgent world. Hermoine makes young people think, Bella only seems to have one concern which was the mindless submission to the boys in her life.
However, it all is what it is. I am simply delighted that adolescents find their way to books long after their parents stop reading to them and after school makes them. The YA category has done that and it has also given the world new and exciting characters. I would like to add my little novel to this world and I hope the course will help me understand what I must do in order to make it so. 

This Week on Writers Abroad 30th May
Category: Site News

A lot to keep us amused and busy on the site this week. So without further ado;

Blog: Sue suggests we ponder the art of naming; characters in fiction and in our everyday life animals and boats. Names can vary from the sublime to the ridiculous and of course as writers it's a skill we need to acquire and master. Dickens is perhaps most well known for his apt and witty naming; a hard act to follow!

Monday Muse: Alyson has posted some inspired and varied prompts. Something for all of us in there methinks! Also two photos which should spark some pieces set in an age of castles and knights.

Bragging Stool: Well, where do I start? The bragging stool is positively smouldering with our successes!

  • Sue got her story, Girl in a Green Dress accepted in Ascent, an arts and lit journal which she kindly shared with us via the email. Looks wonderful, Sue.

  • Jo has had her story about the creepy doll accepted by the Story Shack. Yet another Monday Muse success. Looking forward to seeing the illustration for that one.

  • And, and big drum roll here, Alyson won the Writer's Bureau flash fiction comp! The prize is three hundred pounds and free writing course with them. Do hop over and read her winning story with its unusual structure and skilful use of the five senses.

Call for Votes: Please go to the Notice Board and place your vote for our decision on the Formal Chat times. We have till 6 June to put our votes in, so don't delay.

Welcome: Last but not least a warm welcome to Bev Jackson who is on her trial month membership. I met Bev at the York Festival of Writing last year so let's hope we can all inspire each other to keep practising and improving our craft. Do hop over to her profile page and greet Bev when you have a minute.

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. A day of lesson-planning awaits me so off I go.

Have a great writing week!

Angela


 

 

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