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
I’m delighted to report there will be a Storytelling Festival between 10th and 22nd April 2017. The Festival will be marking the first year of the Write Now development programme at The Berry Theatre, designed to encourage writers. [Read more…] about The Storytelling Festival – Allison Symes
I am thrilled to announce my debut flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again, has now been published by Chapeltown Books. It is available in paperback and in Kindle format via Amazon and, of course, directly from me but more on that later.
The stories range from 100 words tales to 500 words to 750 and there are one or two which just creep in as flash fiction, being just under the 1000 words limit. This is generally recognized as the cutting off point between flash and standard short story lengths. [Read more…] about Published – My Debut Flash Fiction Collection
My post last week was all about Classic Books but the problem with this topic is it will be inevitably biased towards fiction. Tonight’s post will redress the balance.
I look at why reading non-fiction widely is vital for fiction writers (as well as being a great thing to do given it widens your reading “diet” and general knowledge). [Read more…] about Fiction -v- Non-Fiction? No Contest!
One of the great joys of writing for Chandler’s Ford Today (and in reading it too) continues to be the wide variety of topics it covers. It’s only due to CFT that I found out about the Road to Agincourt Project and, due to my love of history, started writing about it.
I’ve particularly liked The Story Shuffle Project and the Sir Bevis of Hampton posts as the first is a phenomenally good idea to get kids involved in creative writing and a local legend. The second post was, of course, all about that local legend. [Read more…] about Introducing Guy Stauber – Marvel at Sir Bevis Comic
Review of 2016
(not quite a poem)
You gave me Vice-Captaincy,
coffee with friends,
massages, the gym, weight loss.
You gave me a published poem
about a girl in white socks. [Read more…] about Review of 2016 – by Sandra Gordon
Someone intending to visit the UK for the first time asked me for some tips on British etiquette. This is what I came up with.
Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet once wrote A Man’s a Man for a’ That. My advice to you therefore is – be yourself and you will be fine. However, since you ask, I will jot down some thoughts accumulated over a quarter of a century on this island. [Read more…] about British Etiquette: a Survivor’s Guide
It is typical there is no Local Author News for ages, then there are two at once!
I am delighted to bring you news of my latest publications, including the production of my first book, From Light to Dark and Back Again, which is a flash fiction collection being published by independent press, Chapeltown Books. [Read more…] about The Writer’s Journey: Allison Symes
My memory is leaving me.
This morning I packed a suitcase with clothes and my Hungarian goose down pillow ready for my next business trip. The intention was to leave the suitcase in the office, so I could travel at short notice. But then I met the crossword man on the platform and started chatting to him. We were soon joined by Jan, my colleague, and the three of us talked about heirlooms and how these were more valuable than Nikon cameras and so on. Generally shooting the breeze, but enough to make me forget all about my suitcase which I had stored on the luggage rack near the doors. [Read more…] about Memory: I am Sure I Knew What it Meant
As you know by now, I love train travel but I’m pleased to say I am easily outdone (in terms of distance and time taken to complete the journey) by two local authors who are bringing out a new book shortly.
The furthest I’ve been in a day from Chandler’s Ford Station is York (to date anyway!) but the new book, written by Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts, is called Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway. Now there is considerable commitment to long distance train travel! [Read more…] about Book Launch News: Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts
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
Further to my recent post on the Story Shuffle Project, I’m glad to share some further images of the app.
The Story Shuffle Project encourages children to write and ten local schools are taking part, one of which is Merdon Junior School. The schools partner up with local libraries and naturally Merdon is linked to our library.
[Read more…] about The Story Shuffle Project Update
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?
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
Just a quick reminder that Barbara Large’s new creative writing workshops start later this month at The Dovetail Centre.
Further details below. [Read more…] about Reminder: Creative Writing Classes at The Dovetail Centre
Barbara Large will be running creative writing classes at the Dovetail Centre in Chandler’s Ford from 21st September 2016.
This is great news for any writer who is looking for the mutual support creative writing classes can give and who want to develop their skills. [Read more…] about Barbara Large: NEW Creative Writing Classes in Chandler’s Ford