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HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone – and let’s hope that the Year of the Dog is lucky for all of us.

Check out your horoscope and see what you are. (I’m a Wood Horse).

Create a mind-map or collage for Chinese New Year. Use it to create a story for next year. (Remember to submit it in good time!) Think about food, Chinese dragons and fortune cookies.

Have fun.

Evesham Festival of Words Writing Prompt Meeting – Brew Bear Cafe – Monday 12th March

If you’re anywhere near Evesham, come and join us. Bring a short piece of writing to share with the group. We meet at 2.00 for one hour. The prompt for this meeting is: ‘The scariest moment is always before you start.’ Don’t worry about going off at a tangent or if the finished piece is miles away from the starting point. The key thing is to write. If you live nowhere near Evesham, then feel free to try this prompt anyway. Let me know how you get on with it.

Evesham Festival of Words – Meet Up for Local Writers, Readers, Artists, Song Writers…

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 7th March at Jellypicklejam in Vine Mews.  The meeting is for anyone who is interested in anything creative – and we also welcome readers. (Every writer needs readers!) We start at 10.30 and stay until about midday. The aim is to give people a chance to network, discuss ideas and promote anything they may be doing. Please bring any leaflets, business cards, books – and come and enjoy great company, good coffee and lovely cake. For more information, please contact me on 01386 446477.

 

Meet the Authors – Evesham Festival of Words Event – Friday 9th March

The next session will be on Friday 9th March  at Evesham Library beginning at 11.00 a.m.

The visiting authors will be Tracey Bryant, Ellie Stevenson and Jann Tracy.

The idea of these sessions is that people have a chance to meet some of the writers involved, buy their books and ask questions. We are especially keen to help and encourage new writers and nurture local talent. The sessions are free and coffee, tea and biscuits are provided. For further information, please contact the Library or Sue Johnson 0n 01386 446477.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

Begin with this prompt:

‘A pink and gold morning sky above frosted rooftops…’

Create a romantic story ready to publish next year.

 

 

Apple Orchard, Lemon Grove

Really happy that my latest novel ‘Apple Orchard, Lemon Grove’  (published in December by Endeavour Press) is now available as a paperback and also on Kindle.

The book began life as a competition entry in 2015. The competition was organised by W H Smith, Kobo and Mills & Boon and entrants were asked to submit a 5000 word first chapter and a detailed synopsis. I made the short-list of ten but didn’t win anything. However, the hope that I might spurred me on to finish the book.

I am hoping to produce a recipe book and some flash fiction stories created when I was writing the novel.

Weekly Writing Prompt – Five a Day

If procrastination is your main problem – or a feeling that you haven’t got time to write – then tune in for this series of Five a Day exercises!

The ‘five’ refers to minutes and most of us, however time-poor, can manage five minutes with a notebook at some point in their day. Sometimes you need to be devious. You can write in the bath, on the loo, or on the train going to work.

Use the following prompts for this week – and see where they take you.

I lived on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams…

He was a man who tasted of apricots…

I saw a flickering shadow on the wall…

The clock fell off the sideboard and shattered…

In the ashes of the fire I found…

My favourite nursery rhyme character was…

She smelled of freshly-dug earth…

 

Have fun with these prompts. Keep in touch with me on Twitter @SueJohnson9 and I’ll suggest a few flash fiction sites to send your work to.

 

NaNoWriMo – November 2017

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which takes place in November. Writers all over the world register on the website with the intention of producing 50,000 words during November.

This will be my fourth year and it is something I very much look forward to. Nobody checks what you write so you could spend the entire month typing the same word over and over again. It is a time when I look forward to exploring a new idea – or several ideas. It can also be a time to complete projects that have stalled.

You still have time to register. When you have done so, set up a file on your computer. Remember that you’re not allowed to import words into that file from elsewhere on your computer. They have to be new words. You could explore different versions of the same idea. In order to complete the 50,000 words in 30 days, you’d need to do a minimum of 1,666 words per day. It doesn’t matter if you do a larger amount of words on one day and then take a day off. There is no rule to say you have to work every day!

Even if you only manage an additional 10,000 words, that will be like money in the bank where your writing is concerned.

You don’t even have to register officially – just make a pledge to yourself. Think of a reward system and go for it. You have nothing to lose!

 

 

 

15 Minute Coffee Break Exercises – Writing Magazine

I am very happy that Writing Magazine are publishing my 15 minute writing workouts on their web page. Check these out and give them a try. Please get in touch and let me know if you find them helpful.

Get that writing muscle moving!

 

My Weekly Pocket Novel

I’m really excited to be able to report that my first Pocket Novel has been accepted by My Weekly. It’s working title is ‘Girl With Amber Eyes’ but I am fully expecting that they will change the title.

This isn’t my first attempt at a Pocket Novel. My first attempt was the story that is now published novel number three (‘Fortune’s Promise’ – published by Endeavour Press in March 2017.) The first version of that story was 30,000 words long and I submitted it to the Romantic Novelists Association for a critique. By the time the critique was returned to me with ideas for improvement, the required word length had increased to 50,000 words. I put the story on one side and eventually added another couple of plot strands, making it more suitable for a full length novel.

The idea of writing a Pocket Novel hadn’t disappeared from my wish list. I wrote down ‘the bones’ of the story in November 2015 during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and submitted the synopsis and first chapter last July. I received a lot of positive encouragement from Maggie Swinburne at My Weekly – and she also told me the elements of the story that she didn’t like. I sent regular instalments of the story – acting on any suggestions I was given in between times. I submitted the full story at the beginning of November 2016 and was thrilled when I got the news last week that My Weekly wanted to buy the story.

Pocket Novels are published once a fortnight and are available in newsagents and supermarkets or by subscription.

More news soon!