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
This is just a quick reminder about the Chandler’s Ford Book Fair happening this coming Saturday, 28th October at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road. The Fair will be open from 10 am to 12 noon and there will be a wide range of authors and genres represented. [Read more…] about REMINDER: Book Fair – 28th October 2017
Image Credit: All images kindly supplied by Anne Wan.
This is a slightly strange post from me as I’d hoped to go to Anne Wan’s recent book launch in Southampton but was, unfortunately, able to do so in the end.
However, I share my thoughts below on what a book launch means to an author and the work involved behind the scenes. I then hand over to Anne for her report on her special night.
Book launches are special nights for any writer lucky enough to have them. It is a visible achievement for one thing. The writer concerned will inevitably have dreamed of being published/having their own launch for a long time – years in many cases. And here it is, suddenly happening! There is, of course, no “suddenly” about it as I discuss below but it can seem like it to the writer. The goal you have worked towards you are now fulfilling and that is very special.
You also hope that this one visible stage in your writing career leads on to others – more book launches for that particular book, writing and having more work published and so on. The encouragement you feel as you reach a stage like this should not be underestimated.
It is one of those oddities where writers, so often renowned for leading a solitary life chained to their desks scribbling away for all their worth, also know they have to “put themselves out there” and spread the word about their writing. Well they do if they want any sales!
Some writers take to the spreading the word idea readily and get right into the spirit of things by taking along props. I know a crime writer who takes a noose to her events – and you should see what is on her tablecloth. Let’s just say it wouldn’t pass the old Daz advert for being “whiter than white”! [Read more…] about Writers Getting Out and About: Book Fair 2017
In association with the Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017, the Chandler’s Ford Authors organised a children’s poetry competition. We had support from Chandler’s Ford Library, the Extravaganza Committee and Goadsby’s Estate Agents.
Participants had to write a poem on ‘Where I Live’. It did not have to rhyme, it did not have to be about your house. We looked forward to seeing how children would interpret the title and we were not disappointed. [Read more…] about Children’s Poetry Competition in Chandler’s Ford
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
Gill James is a prolific writer and publisher. As well as running Bridge House Publishing, Chapeltown Books and Cafelit (along with Debz Hobbs-Wyatt), Gill has written dozens of books ranging from science fiction (The Tower Trilogy) to historical fiction (The House on Schellberg Street). She has also been a university lecturer in creative writing. [Read more…] about Writing Historical Fiction – Interview with Gill James Part 1
This is just a quick reminder post about the Children’s Poetry Competition being organised by Chandler’s Ford Authors with Hampshire Libraries in association with the Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017. [Read more…] about Reminder: Children’s Poetry Competition
I think the hardest form of writing is humorous writing because humour is (a) subjective and (b) changes over time. Good humorous writing is a joy to read but it is so difficult to do well.
Two of my favourite authors, P.G. Wodehouse and Terry Pratchett, have sold millions of books each and have been translated into many languages. That aspect is another reason why humour is difficult to write: not all aspects of “English” humour translate well. For it to work the humour in the stories has to be universal. Still there is plenty about the human condition to send up so the material is out there, ready to be used! [Read more…] about Humorous Writing (and why it is a serious business)
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
Given publishing is a tough business and it is the hardest it has ever been for a writer to find a publisher and/or agent, why on earth would writers want to form groups? Surely they should focus on their own books?
Ironically, it is because the world of publishing is so tough, that writers forming co-operatives is (a) becoming more common and (b) a fantastically sensible thing to do. [Read more…] about Writer Co-operatives
By the time you read this, I will be coming to the end of a much needed break in stunning Scotland. (Sadly it’s not one I can write about for CFT as there’s no question of using our lovely railway station as a starting point!). [Read more…] about Signing at the Station by Allison Symes
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