I first met Jennifer C. Wilson in 2016 at the first Swanwick Writers’ Summer School for us both. We became friends and this year we had the great joy of “racing” each other to Swanwick’s Book Room to put our books out for sale! [Read more…] about Ghosts, History and What Might Have Been: Introducing Jennifer C Wilson
Gill talked about why she wrote this book (it is based on her late mother-in-law’s life) and shared the difficulties in bringing it to publication. In Part 2, Gill shares what she feels are the joys and woes of writing historical fiction, gives useful advice to those new to this genre, and reveals what happened as a result of the book. This includes the development of material for use in schools. Now over to Gill…
[Read more…] about The Joys and Woes of Writing Historical Fiction – Part 2 of Gill James Interview
I mentioned in my recent post about Writers’ Co-operatives that the new local writing group I am now part of would be organising a children’s poetry competition.
I’m glad to now share details of this competition, which is being organised by Chandler’s Ford Authors and Hampshire Libraries in association with the Hiltingbury Extravaganza with prizes sponsored by Goadsby Estate Agents. [Read more…] about Children’s Poetry Competition News
Last week Anne Wan, local children’s author, talked about why writing for children is fun and what she learned from writing her debut novel, Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices. In Part 2 she shares her three top tips for writers and what she loves and loathes about editing. There will be a lot of common ground here for writers in all genres! [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan Interview Part 2 – Allison Symes
I enjoy interviewing authors for Chandler’s Ford Today. I love finding out their top tips, how they work and what inspires them.
It was a joy then to meet local children’s author, Anne Wan, for tea, coffee and a chat at Bay Leaves Larder recently. Anne has a background in primary school teaching and her book Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices is now out (North Oak Press). [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan – Interview Part 1 by Allison Symes
I like one-liners. Comedians use them of course but one-liners are invaluable to fiction writers too. One-liners can end a story or film with a gasp or a giggle. They can turn a story on its head at the very last moment.
Equally, use one-liners at the start of a tale and they can draw a reader into the story with powerful imagery. They can convey information in a few, well chosen words and because the good one-liner has to have impact, there’s no room for waffling and so can make a great writing exercise for learning how to “write tight”. [Read more…] about One Liners by Allison Symes
Themes are an interesting topic for writers. Do you deliberately write to one or see what you come up with and then look to see what theme emerges?
I have done both. Sometimes a theme really does emerge after you’ve written the story because you’ve focused on portraying this particular character, what they do, what they don’t do and the consequences of all of that for them and others in the tale. [Read more…] about Great Themes by Allison Symes
One writing exercise that came out of my trip to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School last year was to write to my 20-year-old self with advice based on knowing now what I didn’t know back then. This was fun, really made me think and I thought at the time this could make a good CFT post because I can throw it open for you to join in. What would you tell your 20-year-old self? I am only talking in general terms for this but my list is below. [Read more…] about Advice to My 20 Year Old Self – Allison Symes
I loved the cyber launch for From Light To Dark and Back Again held at the beginning of the month. Thanks again to Chapeltown Books and Cafelit for hosting the event. I was co-host. This post looks at how I prepared for the event and what I learned from it. I hope it will be of use to other writers. The images used in the post were those I used during the launch itself.
[Read more…] about Cyberlaunch Lessons by Allison Symes
My post last week was the first part of my interview with Martin Kryle, former local Liberal Democrat councillor and published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, edited by Barbara Large , is now out.
Reviews are crucial for all writers and one for this book reads:- [Read more…] about Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway – Part 2: Martin Kyrle interview
A cyber launch is basically a Facebook online party celebrating the publication of your book and promoting it. There are usually quizzes with prizes, giveaways, special offers and so on. The only requirement is to be logged on to Facebook at the time of the event. [Read more…] about What is a Cyber Launch? by Allison Symes
Martin Kyrle, one of the authors of Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, is best known locally as a former Liberal Democrat Councillor. He served on the Chandler’s Ford committee for 50 years. He wrote his new book based on notes he kept as he travelled and long term friend, Michael Roberts, took the photographs. [Read more…] about The Trans-Siberian Railway: Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts
I love interviewing authors and reading interviews in publications like Writing Magazine. There is always something to learn from how other writers work.
One interesting comment about my recent joy of radio post came from Chippy when he discussed Desert Island Discs and felt it was a good show because it wasn’t just about people plugging things. The best interviews are those that encourage the interviewee to reveal more about what motivates them. [Read more…] about The Joy of Interviews by Allison Symes
Last weekend the zip on my jacket got stuck and I spent several unsuccessful minutes trying to release it. Eventually, my partner grew frustrated at my display of ineptitude and took the garment from me – well, she is a mum, therefore well qualified and experienced at solving all clothing malfunctions and failures.
No, she couldn’t free the zip either. After a few minutes she gave up and went to do something more interesting and useful (and there are lots of things that are more interesting and useful than freeing a stuck zip). [Read more…] about How Do You Solve Problems?
I am really pleased to bring news of two events happening at Chandler’s Ford Library this month. I’m pleased because the events themselves sound fun. I loved the recent link up between Chandler’s Ford Library and Merdon School for the Story Shuffle Project and the following two events are also excellent ideas.
I hope all who can go to these events have a wonderful time at them. [Read more…] about Books of 2016; Ebook Surgeries at Chandler’s Ford Library
This is Part 2 of my interview with Barbara Large, MBE, founder of the Winchester Writing Conference as it was known. Now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival, it is recognised as one of the major writing events of the year.
Despite stepping down from running the conference in 2013, Barbara is as busy as ever running workshops, leading tours around the CPI production plant at Chippenham for those interested in self-publishing and having her own creative writing consultancy – Creative Words Matter. [Read more…] about The Writing Life – Barbara Large, Part 2
I had the great joy of meeting Barbara Large at the Winchester Writing Conference (as it was known) many moons ago. Now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival, this three day writing event was started by Barbara in 1980. She led the conference until 2013.
Barbara is as busy as ever and runs workshops. [Read more…] about The Writing Life – Barbara Large, Part 1
I regularly attend the Winchester Writers’ Festival, which was originally the Winchester Writing Conference started by Barbara Large, MBE.
I am glad to say I will be interviewing Barbara soon. Her help and encouragement to so many writers over the years, including me, has been phenomenal and much appreciated. [Read more…] about What Makes a Good Writing Conference?
It’s that time of year when new students are leaving for university. This post is for them.
University is the greatest opportunity you will ever get for meeting new people and taking up new hobbies and challenges. Make the most of that opportunity. [Read more…] about Leaving for University
In the week when the centenary of that marvellous writer, Roald Dahl, is celebrated, I thought about whether the tools a writer uses matter.
Dahl (and the brilliant Wodehouse) had their faithful typewriters, Shakespeare swore by his current quill (and probably at it when the nib broke, how many did he get through?!) and of course story telling originates from the oral tradition. [Read more…] about Writing Tools: Why I use Scrivener Writing Software