Archive for October, 2007

Tynedale Writers’ Festival

I am delighted to be invited to give a workshop on Writing for the Magazine Market at the Tynedale Writers’ Festival in Hexham. The festival runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 November and offers a plethora of talks, workshops and shows on writing, music and theatre. Check out the full programme at Tynedale Writers’ Festival. Don’t forget to sign up to my free workshop on Sunday 4th, 10.30 – 12.30. We will be looking at how to find out if a magazine takes freelance work and how to put a proposal together.

Creative writing course takes a break

For all my regular online visitors and students, the Introduction to Creative Writing Course is taking a break for half term. We’ll be back next week with characterisation. In its place I’ve asked Science Fiction author Simon Morden to write a guest blog on using feedback to improve your work. You may also want to check out this Friday’s blog on non-fiction writing which will be all about writing autobiographies.

Fiction know how – getting feedback

simon-morden-the-lost-artIn this first of a series of guest blogs by other writers, the Crafty Writer is delighted to have Science Fiction author Simon Morden share his views on how to deal with feedback. Simon is the author of the recently released The Lost Art and has also had a number of novellas and short story collections published. Simon says:

When you start writing, just showing your work – especially fiction – to anyone else is a nerve-wracking experience: assuming, of course, you don’t have such a gargantuan ego that you believe everything you do is wonderful. To those people, you may move along, nothing to see here, for you will learn nothing and never become a better writer. To the rest of us mortals who are prepared to have our hopes, dreams and very sense of self crushed beneath the withering sarcasm of others, good. There may be hope. Continue reading ‘Fiction know how – getting feedback’

Non-fiction market opportunities


The following magazines are currently looking for freelance work:

Atrocious teenage poetry

Came across this brilliant opportunity to finally get my poetry in print. Fame at last! Continue reading ‘Atrocious teenage poetry’

My First Poem competition

On National Poetry Day I was delighted to receive an invitation to judge a poetry competition at my daughter’s nursery, Westerhope Village Nursery School. Megan is only two-and-a-half, so it was the ‘big’ children who entered the My First Poem competition run by Forward Press. With over a dozen budding poets completing a ‘fill-in-the-gap’ sheet, it was desperately hard to pick three winners. These were the ones that caught my eye … Continue reading ‘My First Poem competition’

Science Fiction, fantasy and Faith

madeleine-lengle-a-wrinkle-in-timeI’ve never written SF myself, but I’ve always seen something ‘spiritual’ in its exploration of mankind’s inner and outer worlds. In fact, SF and fantasy are one of the last realms open to Christian writers to present an ‘alternative’ world view. Continue reading ‘Science Fiction, fantasy and Faith’

Children’s Literature and the Quest for the Divine

Children’s books are often the battle ground of religious zealots with many Christians boycotting the likes of JK Rowling and Philip Pulman. In this article, on, I contend that spiritual themes can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Young Adult vs Adult fiction. Where’s the line?

david-almond-clayI’ve just finished reading Clay by David Almond. This is another gem by an award-winning author. (See my article on What Makes A Good Children’s Book for more on Almond’s work). Although it’s aimed at the YA market, it’s one of Almond’s most adult books and, like Pulman’s Dark Materials, is sure to find a crossover market. Continue reading ‘Young Adult vs Adult fiction. Where’s the line?’

Writers in residence

The BBC are looking for five writers to work in residence with young people in various British cities. If you think you fit the bill, log onto