Genres: Do You Know Your Horror From Your Romance? By Hannah Green

What are genres and how do we tell them apart? Genres are used to group stories that contain common elements, such as themes, settings or characters. They are useful (if not necessary) for publishers to know whether your story is marketable or not, and for readers to know what type of book they’re in for. Blurbs can be sometimes be misleading and without genre classifications you may find out that the romance novel you were expecting turns out to be

What’s Wrong With My Story?

Having a hard time getting your story to the level that you want it at? Struggling to sell it or get positive feedback? As writers, we often feel too strongly about some things and not strongly enough about others, so a fair amount of errors can be grouped under 'over-doing it' or 'under-doing it'.   Here are some of the common mistakes that writers can make...   BY HANNAH GREEN   Over-doing it   Drama, drama, drama: One of the keys to good fiction is keeping your characters

Publishing Poetry Online

  Poetry has seen a huge revival over the past few years. Beginner poets can now join a multitude of online communities to showcase their work, and young and old poets alike have been captivated by the thrill of slam poetry. One question that aspirant poets have - after they've managed to write a few poems - is where to submit their poems for publication. There are thousands of options available, especially for online journals and e-zines, but finding a popular, respected and credible

My Six Favourite Short Story Competitions – by Trish Nicholson

Writing courses

Competitions don’t just develop your skills. They can be a source of inspiration and motivation to keep going with your writing. Here is a collection of credible competitions to enter this year. Plenty to Choose From There are masses of writing competitions: from the questionable ‘ads’ asking for entry fees but not mentioning judges or prizes, to the internationally prestigious big winnings like The Bridport Prize. The latter attracts thousands of entries from established writers, so the most we beginner writers are likely

The Making of a Book Trailer

Award-winning author Alex Smith teaches creative writing at UK Writers' College

Award-winning author ALEX SMITH tells us about the making of the trailer for her upcoming novel Devilskein & Dearlove. While I was writing Devilskein & Dearlove, I saw the story unfold in pictures, like a Studio Ghibli animated film. When Cherry Potts, my UK publisher and owner of Arachne Press, said she wanted to make a book trailer, I thought that sounded like fine plan. I had no idea, though, that between Cherry and the brilliant animator Nick Page they would

10 Fascinating Articles for Fiction Writers

  We thought we’d kickstart your week with these ten recommended articles for fiction writers. Got a few minutes? Then grab a cuppa and enjoy the read. The Best Writing Advice. Ever. By Larry Brooks. A meaty piece to help writers of fiction construct their narrative. Write Lean and Mean - by Nancy Kress. A breakdown of the Parts of Speech and the important role they play in good writing. The 6 Degrees of Show vs. Tell, Rated by Quality, by Victoria Mixon. An

Developing Your Character’s Character – By Ginny Swart

  Whoever he or she is, your main character has to be someone your reader can identify with. If he's the hero, they need to like him and empathise with him throughout the story. If your protagonist doesn't grab your reader from the start, you're lost. Let's say you have a great plot in mind with a strong central character, Greg, who's a doctor. You describe him as good looking, having a subtle sense of humour, loving his mother and being kind

Creative Writing Corner

Do you have a piece of creative writing you would like to have published? This area of our webzine is for creative writing: short stories (up to 2000 words) and poems. Submit your writing for possible publication to Nichola at In a Moment - By Michele M. van Eck Amber Walker should be used to death by now, but she wasn’t. Her stiletto heels clicked against the ceramic tiles. Each brisk stride echoed through the corridor, announcing her arrival. She knew

How much factual research do you need for fiction writing? By Louis Greenberg

  Craig Higginson, a historical novelist, has a brave approach to research in fiction. He claims that many writers in the genre are so keen to show off how much they’ve read about the period that they bog their stories down in detail. Readers get a painstakingly drawn (and painsgivingly taxing) account of the carriage that someone drove in 1896, the cut of his cloth and the provenance of the leather on the horse’s reins. If this information is well researched, the

The recipe for writing science fiction, fantasy and horror – by Sonny Whitelaw

One of the most enduring fallacies is that speculative fiction—science fiction (SF), fantasy and horror—is centered on the implausible. Some spec fic, such as fairy tales and absurdist works like those written by Dr. Suess and Terry Pratchett, play on the implausible. However, most fantasy, SF and horror stories seek to transform the implausible into the plausible. Put simply, to be a successful speculative fiction writer (or spec fic, as it’s commonly known) your readers must fall in love (or hate)

Break through your Writing Barriers – Understanding How Creativity Coaching Works

Creativity coaching for writers is a relatively new field in the creative industries, one that is cutting-edge in terms of assisting writers to achieve their personal dreams. What is Creativity Coaching? It was Sylvia Plath who famously claimed: "Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished manuscripts". She could also have said that nothing stinks like a pile of incomplete manuscripts, or imaginary manuscripts. These are common problems faced by many writers:  not getting started, not finishing, not submitting completed manuscripts, or not revising rejected

The Lowdown on e-Book Publishing – by Hannah Green

E-books are fast becoming a legitimate way of publishing your manuscript. There are many advantages to e-books: for one, they are more cost effective and easier to distribute than hard copies. Secondly, if you are not yet recognized as an established author then self-publishing an e-book could be your answer. There are various options available for publishing an e-book. You can go the whole process alone, get some help along the way or find a publisher to do all the hard

Writing Horror – by Hannah Green

The horror genre has a special appeal to its readers, and to its writers too. It is one of the most difficult genres to write because different people fear different things. So how do you write a good horror story? Here are some tips from an avid horror fan: Write about something that scares you: If you write about something that scares you, you’re sure to get more emotion into your writing. It can be that childhood monster in your closet, the

Reading to Write: what to look for in a poem when you want to write your own – by Hannah Green

If you want to write poetry, you need to read it. The good and the bad! When reading poetry you instinctively judge the poems. By reading a variety of poetry you will be able to see what works for you, but the key is to figure out why you think it’s a good poem. You don’t need to do a line by line analysis to work out why you like a poem. Here are some aspects of a poem to look at

10 Tips for Creative Writers – by Hannah Green

This article contains ten tips on writing that I have found useful as an aspiring writer. (1) Don’t underestimate your reader You have a fantastic plot, your characters are realistic, the setting is ideal and you want to make sure that the reader gets every little detail that you have in mind. Great! The only problem is that you may be tempted to bombard your reader with many intimate details so that they see it exactly as you do. In-depth descriptions can be

Writing Competitions: Opportunity or Scam – by Ginny Swart

Everyone wants to be published, to see their name in print and enjoy that glow that comes from a publisher or a magazine editor saying, “I like it! I want it!”   That email of acceptance from the editor is what we’re all hoping for when we do a writing course, be it travel writing, magazine journalism, short story writing or whatever. But there are some scam artists out there who know how keen people are to see their work in print. They