Thanks to everyone who entered our short fiction competition this year, and congratulations to everyone who was longlisted. I’m sorry that we have to lose most of the longlisted stories at this stage. In 2016 we wrote about the difficulties involved in judging a competition such as this one, and a year later the process hasn’t got any easier. Different judges, following a different process, would no doubt have selected a different shortlist. So we wish all the longlisted authors success with placing their stories elsewhere. Meanwhile, we’re thrilled to announce that our winners will be selected from the following shortlist:
- Sudha Balagopal
- Jill Campbell Mason
- Darrel Duckworth
- Sleiman El Hajj
- Joe Giordano
- Rinat Harel
- Alaric Lejano
- Nathan Alling Long
- Douglas W. Milliken
- Mike Pearcy
- Krystal Song
- Hannah Whiteoak
Many congratulations to all of you. We will announce the three winners on Wednesday 19th April.
Beware the Ides of March! Today is World Book Day, which means you have just under a fortnight to get your entries in for this year’s Online Writing Tips Short Fiction Prize. Remember:
– It’s free to enter
– There are three cash prizes
– We accept stories of 1000-4000 words on any theme
You can find the full submission details here. Good luck – you’ve got to be in it to win it!
It’s a new year and a lot of people will be starting new pieces of writing. In this video we look at how to start a piece of prose fiction. D.D. Johnston considers the differences between the openings of films and novels, and he explains why starting a story is like placing a lonely hearts advert.
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Many thanks to Mandy Keene who has sent us an excerpt from her novel, The Ill-Made Witch. We’ll leave this post live for a week, during which time we’ll welcome any constructive comments. At the end of the week, the author will receive a free critique from one of our writing tutors. (If you’d like to share your work for critique, please see here for all the necessary information.)
Mattie hated hospital food.
Today it was bread that was older than she was. She had no appetite, but all her movements were being watched. Everything, from the beeping of the pulse monitor to each sentence she said. But there was no point complaining to anyone. She could almost hear their replies: “Well, you landed yourself here.” More…
Metaphor: a figure of speech that finds similarities between two things. From the Greek metaphora: meta (among, over, with, beside) and pherein (“to carry”), metaphor literally means to carry one thing into another. It is a way we writers can create infinite shades of meaning, just as an artist can create infinite shades by mixing the colours on her palette. Aristotle believed use of metaphor was a sign of genius. Certainly, it can facilitate economy of expression: to write that one’s room is “like a prison cell” contains a range of meanings that would otherwise take paragraphs to express. But using metaphor isn’t always easy…
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