Funny Of The Week

Fancy a crisp? Chocolate? Hay?!

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Bite Size Writing Tips

We all do it – overuse words like ‘that’, ‘very’, ‘really’, ‘then’ etc. They’re not necessary. Use the ‘find’ facility in Word and you’ll be surprised at how many of these words you’re using in your writing. Then go back through your work and get pruning!


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Book Review: Stone Cold Heart

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

The blurb says:

A fractured marriage

A silent family

A secret worth killing for

It only took me a few pages and I was hooked. Caz has a way of getting you to care for her main protagonist, police officer, Cat Kinsella, who is instantly likeable, but has plenty of flaws, with things going on in her private life, left, right and centre. Caz’s characterisation is superb; she makes you feel as if you yourself know the characters intimately, even if you don’t want to (the very dodgy murder suspect, Joseph Madden, being a prime example)!

If you like twists and turns, to deduce that the murderer is a certain person one minute, only to find that another suspect is thrust into the limelight the next, then you’ll love Stone Cold Heart. It’s packed full of shocks and secrets, as well as poignant moments to make you think, great banter between the team and a very satisfying ending. Sweet Little Lies was Caz’s first novel in the Cat Kinsella series. I’ll certainly be reading it and looking out for more books from Caz Frear in the future.


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Can You Tell A Story In…

It’s time for your weekly five-word challenge! For this week’s challenge, can you tell a story in five words, using the word Camera in it somewhere?

Last week, your story needed to contain the word Date. You sent in some great stories. Here they are:

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

My date is waiting outside.

The date will be agreed.

Lovely date and walnut cake!

Set date and time now.

She said the date quickly.

International date line crossed yesterday.

Kissed on her first date.


Kids at Grandparents… Date night!

Surprise surprise, blind date’s weird!

Need a date for prom.

Mum’s date roll is delicious!

Date eaten. Fast broken. Phew!

Ruth Scribbles:

The blind date was doomed.

She loved eating dates everyday.

The date made her scream.

She cooked for her date.

Every day is a memorial date.

Dare to date your love.

Bonfires blaze on this date.


Date fixed. Minds concentrated. Unblocked.

Blindfold off. Date unexpectedly off.

Paul Mastaglio:

First date is a nightmare.

Second date is much better.

Third date. Get a room!

Simon Farnell:

Online dating? Not a chance!

Carbon dating proves it’s age.

I don’t date strange women.

Val Fish:

Was love at first date.

First date was the last.

Blind date disaster, never again…

Blind date was my ex!

I’m late, dates checked; Inconceivable!

Peter Wells:

Was that really a date?

Charles Norman:

You are not my date!

The date is wrong again!

Nice date, I just eat.

Sharon Harvey:

I’ve got a date tonight.

What’s the date today?

The date had a meaning.


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Markets For Writers

Do you enjoy writing for children? Ever thought about writing a picture book? Writing Magazine are holding a competition with a fantastic prize – a lunch consultation with top children’s fiction agent Julia Churchill, a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine and £200. There are also second and third place prizes.

Here’s what they have to say:

The picture book industry is very competitive and although there are many prizes for new talent in the children’s fiction category, there is currently little available for aspiring picture book writers. Being passionate about inspiring and encouraging new writers, Writing Magazine, author Amy Sparkes and literary agent Julia Churchill launced this award to highlight new talent and help open doors into the world of publishers and agents.

New picture book authors are important to the industry as fresh voices and imagination keep picture books fun and dynamic. Yet it can be very difficult to break into this area of publishing. Picture books are very expensive to produce, and sometimes there can be reluctance to invest in unknown authors. This can particularly be the case with rhyming picture books, which can be harder to sell internationally. The Picture Book Prize aims to raise the profile of picture book writers.’

There is a £5 entry fee and the closing date is 31st October 2019. Entries with a maximum of 800 words are invited. To find out more, visit the competition page.


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Funny Of The Week

10% satisfaction guaranteed? Who could ask for more? Well…

10% Satisfaction
Posted in humor, humour | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Bite Size Writing Tips

Entering a writing competition? Here are a few tips to ensure your entry is on the shortlist:

  • A judge wants to read something unexpected, exciting and compelling so think outside the box.
  • Make sure your story isn’t over the word count. Your story may only have gone over the limit by five words, but if all the other entrants have stuck to the limit, why should you be allowed extra words?
  • Checking your work through is vital. If a competition judge has to decide between two entries, both with brilliant storylines, but one with mistakes and the other without, the prize is likely to go to the one with no mistakes.
  • If you send an entry in with the typing slanting upwards, splodges of ink dotted over the crumpled pages and faded words here and there, you’re obviously not concerned about your sloppy presentation. The same goes for an e-mail entry. If your story has missing text, different fonts, a mixture of block and indented paragraphing etc., the judge will be put off your story straight away.
  • Post or e-mail your story in plenty of time before the closing date. An entry sent in after the competition has closed will be disqualified.  
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