The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize 2015 Reply

The inaugural £500 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize is now open to submissions.

Here’s a little bit about them:

‘Building on the success of the monthly Galley Beggar Singles Club, which since its inception has won several national awards, Galley Beggar Press will be running a new, annual short story prize for both published and unpublished writers. The prize aims to sponsor nothing more and nothing less than exceptionally good stories. We want the best – and we want you to be the best.’

Short-lists, long-lists, readings and prizes

Top 10 Tips for Writing a Crappy First Draft Reply

Hilarious and useful thoughts on getting that first draft out there.

Claire Fuller

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All writers have little tricks for how to get the first draft of their novel down on paper. I don’t plan at all, but I do allow myself to go back each time I sit down to write and do a little bit of editing; perhaps just 20% of the writing time I have available. I tell myself it’s to get ‘in the zone,’ but really it’s because I worry that I might be run over by a bus and someone would see my crappy first draft. Another way I mitigate this possibility is by writing [THIS IS SHITE] (square brackets included) every so often. This technique (which I wouldn’t really recommend) also silences my inner critic for a little while which means I can carry on churning out words.

But what other tips and tricks do writers use? I asked a few author friends and below I have compiled…

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Featured Market: Litro Online Reply

This week’s featured market is Litro Online

Here’s a bit about them:

We began as a free print pamphlet featuring just one short story, then a pocket-sized monthly magazine—still free—with a handful of short stories and the occasional spot of non-fiction and poetry, published according to theme, for the reading pleasure of London commuters.
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Can writing be taught? Reply

Can writing be taught? Of course it can! Several times a year, someone starts a debate about whether Creative Writing can be taught. It’s not clear why – after all, those who oppose the teaching of writing are ankle-deep in the ocean, yelling at the tide to retreat – but the recurring debate has been on my mind for some weeks, ever since the Guardian featured me as an example of an author who has benefitted from – and who now delivers – formal education in the craft of writing.

Nobody doubts that music can be taught – we don’t read column after column questioning the existence of conservatoires. Nobody doubts that art can be taught – we don’t need a tri-annual debate on the value of the Royal College of Art. But writing, apparently, is a skill that defies instruction. This curious distinction may owe its roots to the ancients – to the distinction Plato made between poets (who brought new worlds into being) and painters (who merely imitated) – and certainly it’s inspired by the romantic myth of the creative genius, but, I suspect, it’s sustained by the self-images of certain writers who would like to see themselves as something more special than products of a good education (whether that education be formal or autodidactic). Why else do teachers such as Will Self and Hanif Kureishi draw salaries teaching writing while simultaneously condemning the teaching of writing as a waste of time?

Hanif Kureishi said that 99% of his students have no talent and are wasting their time; my thinking is closer to that of Gordon Lish, who must know a thing or two about developing writing. Lish said, “I see the notion of talent as quite irrelevant. I see instead perseverance, application, industry, assiduity, will, will, will, desire, desire, desire.”