Friday, 27 January 2017

Deconstructing Back Cover Copy

We've been talking a lot about cover blurbs at recent meetings. It's a topical subject for us as we move into the last stage of finalising the layout for Tick Tock, our anthology.

Last week I shared an online course on writing a blurb. Here's an article that offers a different approach, by deconstructing the blurbs from two big selling novels and analysing the elements that go into creating a compelling and enticing blurb.


I've also shared the link to the website where I found the article. Some of you may also find this to be a useful resource.


Happy writing!

Mjke

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

NaNoWriMo





National Novel Writing Month

Members may be interested in this event/site.
I have just signed up for it, only took 2 minutes. The idea is that authors get 1 month - November -  to come up with a 50,000 word novel! I know, it's a lot when you're doing other things like, bringing up a family, doing a job, or enjoying retirement!

But I thought some might find it a useful tool if nothing else. I personally could do with having a kick in the pants as far as writing goes - don't get me wrong, I love writing; I'm just so damn lazy.
 
 NaNoWriMo, 'na-no-RY-moh' is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words, from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. The website provides participants with tips for writer's block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author's discretion. NaNoWriMo's main goal is to encourage creativity worldwide. The project started in July 1999 with 21 participants, but by the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part and wrote a total of over 2.8 billion words.

I personally spend far too much time doing research, I get side-tracked, bogged down in minutiae, plus I don't type too well! This could be an opportunity to get some real bulk down on paper. If others are watching, so to speak, it might be the impetus needed to just get on with it.

People get published too, if that is what you're after. See, 14 Published Novels Written During NaNoWriMo;

http://mentalfloss.com/article/53481/14-published-novels-written-during-nanowrimo

http://nanowrimo.org/


 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Maynah Lewis Cup 2016

Judith Railton (Left) presenting the cup to Chris Black
The winner of the 2016 Maynah Lewis Competition is Chris Black, with her version of the Hare and the Tortoise fable in a modern setting. Congratulations Chris, on a well deserved win!

A big thank you to Judith Railton for judging the competition this year, and for providing detailed and encouraging feedback on every story that was entered.

The Maynah Lewis Cup has been awarded each year since 1989, and is a key event in the Wirral Writers' calendar.

Wirral Writers' meet every first and third Friday in the month, at Bebington Civic Centre. Prospective new members are always welcome to come along and find out what we do.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Let's all help Nicola


Well I’m old(ish), with no dazzling smile and I certainly don’t ooze charisma from every pore. I’m catagorised as severely disabled, as I am quite badly autistic (ASD). I don’t believe in giving in, and I  WON'T let it spoil my life, but in order to do that I need your help - each and every one of you.

I have put this into medical, as 
this is a campaign to save my life...  (Please click here to read more)


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

How to Write a Bio

The Wirral Writers’ anthology is nearing completion. Now is the time to set aside our famous British reserve and modesty, and get writing some bios. Here’s some tips.


Always write in the third person. It is the expected form and it is easier to say nice things about another person than to say them about ourselves.

Start by introducing yourself and your writing. Joe Bloggs has had a passion for writing short fiction since leaving school.

Mention your biggest achievements first. If you feel you have none you are probably wrong. All writing activity is an achievement in itself. Jo has entered several writing contests and regularly submits work to her favourite magazines. 

Mix up the third person use for variety, sometimes using your name, sometimes he or she.

If you have any relevant qualifications, mention them. An MA in English literature might be more relevant than a swimming certificate, unless of course your story is all about a long distance swimmer.

Include some geography and non-writing interests. These often work well as a closer.
Joe was born in Sicily, but now lives on the Wirral with his wife, Annie and seventeen cats. When not writing he collects antique firearms.

You should save your bio on your hard drive and keep it up to date, because you never know when you might need it again. It’s a good idea to have at least three different lengths of bio, short medium and long, but you should also be prepared to customise each one for specific markets.

Look at other people’s bios. You’ll find them on the back of books, in online magazines; or just google your favourite writers with the word bio after their name. See what works and what doesn’t.


Now go and write one. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Anthology


Progression...

 
 
 
 

Remember way back to 2015 sometime around autumn? The idea of putting a Wirral Writers anthology together was mooted.

The idea was received with a mixed response, but generally fairly positive. A rough timeline was agreed upon - the idea being to publish around Christmas 2016.

So where are we up to?
Everyone who wanted to be part of it has completed his or her submission, some have written more than one; the word count was equal for all. We have played 'Pass-the-Parcel' with each other's words, proof read, pencilled in corrections, added suggestions and so on and so forth. As far as I can tell, we are making good progress - I believe there are around 15 stories and a smattering of poetry to pull together now.

The hard work is yet to begin as far as I can tell, from author blogs I have been visiting to gain some insight on how to publish an anthology. We have to agree on the order of the work, we need author bio's, we need an editor (or do we?), type size, font, layout, preface, acknowledgements and cover design.  Then it has to be published, we're looking at self-publishing, online, with the option for hard copies. Price, promotion and distribution of money from sales.

So, “Onward and Upward! To Narnia and the North!”
C.S. Lewis

If interested, here are just a couple of the sites I have perused:-

http://www.lindsayburoker.com/guest-posts/how-to-create-publish-and-market-an-anthology/

http://www.strongertogetherni.org/writers-groups-have-your-work-published-in-poetry-anthology/

http://selfpublishingrelief.com/design-a-book-cover/














 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Singularity - Issue 3


Now on Sale for e-reader and in print. 

What is especially cool about this issue of one of Britain's leading SciFi magazines is that there are two Wirral Writers on the ToC. 

Two!




Wirral Writers' were once a small provincial writers' group. No longer. Now we rock!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Planning Ahead

I signed up for the Early Bird Option for the London Screenwriters Festival. This year it starts 2nd September 2016. Right at the start of the school year. If my sabbatical dream comes true then this is the perfect kick start.
It will be the third time I've been. First time I went was the first time it ran. I absolutely loved it. The energy was great. Hadn't got a clue about anything, but it made me appreciate how ignorant I was (no idea what a three act story line was!) and to do something about it. Second time was in 2014. I was in a grumpy place and had just seriously injured my ankle. Still gave me a lift though.
This time I want to go there with a written, fully edited screenplay plus more and really go for it.

Of course, if I haven't been granted my sabbatical I could be in for some interesting negotiations. But then, that's what makes life interesting.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year


Happy New Year to members of Wirral Writers and to followers/readers of this blog.

Well there it was, gone. Another year.
Right, let's get cracking. I think we will be rather busy this year what with an anthology to get together, the Maynah Lewis Competition to do and WW in-house competition, plus, all the writing we do for personal pleasure and submissions.

There's some competition out there when you consider how many books get published in the UK alone; according to The Guardian newspaper in 2014 -

 "UK publishers released more than 20 new titles every hour over the course of 2014, meaning that the country published more books per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world."

When I worked at a well-known book store, I read an article that said around 2,000 new children's books were published every week. In terms of quantity only China and the United States publish more than us; and look at our geographical size in comparison too!

We're not a "nation of shopkeepers" as Napoleon said; we are a nation of writers and readers and I'm very proud of this fact.

So best pen forward and best wishes to you all with your literary endeavours.






 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Wirral Writers' Christmas Meal

For the second year running Wirral Writers' Christmas Meal was held at the Celtic Arms in Northop. Excellent food, sparkling conversation and above all, excellent company.  

It has been an especially good year for Wirral Writers', and I believe we have a great deal to celebrate. Our Maynah Lewis competition entered its 27th year, and our September competition was one of the closest results I can remember.

I thought I'd just scribble down some of the accomplishments by members of the group this year. Apologies if I missed anything, but it makes impressive reading, even so:

  • Five published short stories (one print magazine, three online mags, one anthology)
  • Three acceptances for publication forthcoming in 2016.
  • Three indy-published books
  • One movie option
  • One first place competition success
  • One performed theatrical play
  • Several performances of folk songs, lyrics first aired at Wirral Writers
  • Two interviews (one blog, one radio)
I for one am looking forward to more in 2016. Look out for our forthcoming Tick Tock anthology that will be hitting an Amazon store near you, some time in the year. Our Maynah Lewis competition will be a story based on the fable, The Hare and the Tortoise in a modern setting, and in 2016 we'll see at least three published stories, by members, that have already been accepted.
Wirral Writers' are going from strength to strength.
2016. Bring it on!