In this video, D.D. Johnston discusses a classroom exercise that he uses to illustrate an important difference between short stories and novels.
Heading off to start a Creative Writing degree this September? Lucky you. If you’re wondering what to expect, here are some tips from Philip Bowne, who has just finished his degree in Creative Writing, and D.D. Johnston, who has taught Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire since 2010.
Phil: Studying Creative Writing has been worthwhile for me in so many ways. The lecturers and the course itself helped me to get my work published in magazines and anthologies, work for a month as a travel writer, and gain the confidence to read my own writing out on stage. But in my first year, I wasn’t so sure how to go about studying Creative Writing. I wasn’t even sure I was capable of doing it.
This September, we decided to start a weekly Featured Market post. Each Wednesday, we’ll pinpoint a magazine, competition or anthology that we think you should pay attention to. We know it’s time consuming to trawl through the thousands of markets out there, find one that’s suitable for you, scan through their submission guidelines and then eventually submit; so we thought we’d do the hard work for you.
This week’s Featured Market is The Lampeter Review – TLR for short.
What’s great about TLR is that they’re a really high quality publication. Seriously, it looks amazing. They publish prose, poetry and plays from writers such as Joe Dunthorne, David Vann, Rachel Tresize, and many other household names, including Online Writing Tips very own Tyler Keevil & DD Johnston!
But they also publish new and emerging writers. And that’s why it’s brilliant. If you’re an unpublished writer, you have a great opportunity to be published alongside some established authors, in a beautifully compiled publication.
Take a look at their Submission Guidelines below:
One submission per issue, in one file, of the following:
Prose: no more than 3,000 words in length.
Poetry: either 3 short poems or 1 long poem.
Plays/Screenplays: 1 scene (10 pages max.)
Please also include a short bio (4 sentences max.)
If your work is accepted, please wait an issue before submitting again.
Have a look, read some previous issues, and get submitting!
This week we’re looking at selecting material for writing fiction. Writers are often told to write what they know, but what does that advice mean? The video ends with a writing exercise to practice the skill of writing what we don’t know – or what we’ve only just learned about.
Writing exercise: Choose from the following list of places somewhere you’ve never been and write a detailed description of what a character experiences as she or he travels through this location.
The harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Aabpara Market in Islamabad, Pakistan
The Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Riverfront in St Charles, Missouri, United States
Brick Lane in London, England
Dalton Post, Yukon, Canada
Keleti Railway Station, Budapest, Hungary
If you want to make it harder, change the date; for instance, try to describe the location as it would have been in 1982 or 1956.
read video transcript
Working on a novel? Writing fiction stories? Studying or teaching Creative Writing? Online Writing Tips offers free advice videos for novelists, authors, and students of Creative Writing. We also offer a free writing critique service and run the Online Writing Tips Short Fiction Prize. Our tutors are all experienced writers and university Creative Writing lecturers, so please enter your email address at the top of the sidebar to receive regular writing resources – and nothing else. Thanks for visiting!