Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
Many thanks to Wendy H Jones for supplying the book cover credits for Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing.
Many thanks to Gill James at Chapeltown Books for the cover pictures for The Best of CafeLit 10.
Screenshots of Mom’s Favorite Reads, Friday Flash Fiction, and new ACW Flash Fiction Group details were taken by me, Allison Symes.
This summer, I have been kept busy with more Zoom talks. I spoke again to the Dundee City Writers on 19th July and am due to speak to another Scottish group, Byre Writers, right at the end of the month.
This is made possible thanks to the wonders of Zoom and a huge thank you to both writing groups (as I know here and now Byre Writers will make me very welcome!).
I had a lovely time talking about short story writing to Dundee City Writers. I am looking forward to talking about flash fiction writing with the Byre Writers. And there has been plenty else going on too.
Separately, the Association of Christian Writers has various affiliated writing groups but, thanks to Zoom, we are branching out into genre-based groups. One of these is the ACW Flash Fiction Group led by my colleague on the Committee, Annmarie Miles, and me.
Great fun to do and we meet once a month online. Could never do it in person. Annmarie and I live hundreds of miles apart! Writing exercises are set with the idea being those willing to do so can share what they’ve written at the next meeting. We also share competition news and hints and tips on writing flash.
Also I have discovered a new flash fiction website called Friday Flash Fiction and I am regularly having 100-word stories accepted on here. No payment but it all helps raise the profile and what has been lovely has been getting feedback from readers. That is incredibly useful to any writer and naturally I hope it will drive people to find out more about me via my website, Amazon, social media links etc. Below are screenshots of two fairly recent stories I have had published here.
I’ve also been busy on the publication front and I am delighted to bring news of two successes. For the first time, I have a foot in both camps in print in the fiction and non-fiction categories. Naturally I am thrilled by this.
My work regularly appears in the CafeLit anthologies and I am pleased to say I have two stories in the new collection. My tales are called Breaking Out and Taking Time Out Of The Day Job. What is especially nice here is the stories to be included in the print anthologies are voted on by other CafeLit readers. I am honoured to have one story voted on and even more so to have two.
The CafeLit books are a wonderfully eclectic mix of stories and writing styles so if you like a mixed assortment in your reading, I highly recommend checking these out. I would do this even if I wasn’t in the books. Honest!
CafeLit is a wonderful place to develop a writing voice and, as you know, it is thanks to them I discovered the joys of flash fiction writing in the first place. They were the ones to issue the 100-word challenge I responded to and, two books later, I am so pleased I did respond.
I am also pleased a dear writing friend of mine has recently been submitting stories to them and I have noted our own Mike Sedgwick has been on there too. More power to your pen, Mike, and hope to see more work of yours on CafeLit soon.
Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing
This book is being written and edited by Wendy H Jones. Different authors, including yours truly, are contributing a chapter, based on our field of expertise. My chapter is called Why Write Flash Fiction and Short Stories? The book is due out on 1st September and it will my first non-fiction work in print. Naturally I hope for more here! I had to write a chapter to about 3000 words.
As I prepare this post I’ve got the edits on my chapter back to Wendy though I suspect there will be more editing to come. There usually is with this kind of thing. I’ve also been editing for Bridge House Publishing recently so I have been on both sides of the editing fence this summer. It makes for an interesting dynamic as I understand where the editor is coming from and how the author feels on being edited.
I also hope to share here an interview with Wendy later on about what made her go into publishing other authors. I’ve mentioned before the writing journey is not a static one and this is a big change of direction for Wendy, as well as for the authors taking part in this book.
MIXING UP FICTION AND NON-FICTION – AND GAINING A NEW TITLE IN THE PROCESS
Mom’s Favorite Reads
As you’ll gather from the spelling, this is an American based online magazine and I am now a regular contributor to it, focusing on flash fiction writing. I set a theme for the month on the Mom’s Favorite Reads Facebook page and then write an article and flash fiction story around that theme which I submit for appearing in the next edition.
I wrote about Flash Fiction and Sharks for the June issue (where I also discussed my writing journey) and Patience in Flash Fiction Writing for the recently released July issue. The latter theme is about patience which you can show in a character (or show where they don’t have it and what the consequences could be) as well as needing patience to develop your craft.
The magazine is free and is obtainable from Amazon.
I have wanted to develop the non-fiction side of my writing more and am so thrilled at the recent developments. Again, I am hoping writing for Mom’s Favorite Reads raises my profile (and yes I do have to remind myself to type the American spellings here!). They have christened me their “Flasher Queen”. I like that and will run with it!
The last year or so has been strange for everyone. The usual writing events and book launches have had to go online and in-person events were a non-event. Hopefully the latter are on their way back. I’m looking forward to returning to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in August to name one example.
But I have been most appreciative of the possibilities Zoom has put my way and I hope that continues, not just for me, but for all writers who have been able to take these possibilities and run with them. After all it is another way of developing your career.
I am encouraged my own writing journey is not static. It shouldn’t be. Even for longer term projects where not much seems to be happening for ages, there should still be progress. You are that much nearer to getting that novel or non-fiction project written, for example.
When anything like “normal life” resumes, I would like to see a mixture of online and in-person events and writers able to make the most of these.
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
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