Re-blogged from The poetry archive.
Re-blogged from The poetry archive.
Celebrating a seventh year in 2019, BeaconLit is a one-day event that combines a high quality literary festival with an intimate village atmosphere. Entirely staffed and run by volunteers, the festival raises funds for the Beacon Villages Community Library that serves the villages surrounding the Ivinghoe Beacon landmark in the heart of thee beautiful Chilterns.
This year’s lineup includes author panels, live interviews and interactive sessions, featuring debut authors, crime writers, indie talents, TV and stage stars, broadcasters and much more!
When? Saturday, July 13 2019
Where? Brookmead School High Street Ivinghoe Buckinghamshire LU79EX ,United Kingdom
Who? 2019 – ROBERT DAWES: TV (including Poldark) and stage actor and bestselling thriller writer; LEIGH RUSSELL: Bestselling crime novelist and chair of Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger judges; JANE WENHAM- JONES: author, journalist, presenter, interviewer, creative writing tutor, writing competition judge, and speaker; QUENTIN BATES: Author, translator and co-founder of Icelandic Noir Festival; PLUS Morgen Bailey, Alison Bruce, West Camel, Adina Campbell, Jane Davis, Noelle Holten, Lesley Lodge, Fiona Vigo Marshall, A B Morgan, Dave Sivers and Georgia Twynham
Festival Director? 2019- Dave Sivers
A four day Festival of authors, poets, dramatists and commentators with over 20 events all in the charming market town of Buckingham. From politics to poetry, from history to current affairs, comedy to crime – there is something for everyone.
When? June 14th – 16th, 2019
Where? The Radcliffe Centre, Buckingham, MK18 1EG
Who? 2019 – Louis de Bernieres, Elif Shafak, Luke Jennings, Conn Iggulden, Terry Waite, Nick Hewer, Harry Baker, Kathy Slack, Christopher Lee, Victoria Hislop, Adrian Wooldridge, Matthew Stadlen, Jane Wenham-Jones, Annabelle Dowler, Sunny Ormonde, Maggie Gee, Fanny Blake,Amanda Malben, Violet Moller, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Julie Summers, Omar Meziane, Charles Cumming, Gerogina Godwin, Euan Cameron, Charles Ellilngworth, Leslie Cavendish, Annabel Leventon, Alison Baverstock, Gangsta Granny, Susannah Stapleton, Castle Theatre Company.
Download the 2019 Programme (PDF 2.70MB)
Website? Tickets and further information on Buckingham Literary Festival
Festival Director? Christopher Woodhead.
A Gothic Short Story Writing Competition
Hosted by Tavistock Library https://www.facebook.com/TavistockLibrary/ and supported by Tavistock Heritage Trust https://www.heritageintavistock.org/ as part of ‘Tavistock’s 1st Gothic and Neo-Gothic Celebration – Literature, Art, Architecture, Theatre, Film and Creative Fun.’
From Saturday the 12th of October and culminating in a market and author event on Saturday the 19th of October 2019.
This new celebration aims to encompass writing, film, drama and art activities. There will be a Gothic market for writers and traders to showcase their work, and a range of related events.
Theme: A short story in the Gothic tradition incorporating folklore and myth.
Prizes: A cash prize will be offered to the overall winner 30% of all entry receipts will form the prize fund. There will also be a second prize of 30% of all the entry fees awarded to a ‘Gothic’ story based in Tavistock and incorporating its Gothic and Neo-Gothic Heritage. Additional runners-up prizes of books will also be awarded. The prize winners will be notified approximately two weeks prior to the prize giving. The remaining 40% of the entry fees will be used for administration costs and for festival and library events.
Presentation of the Prizes: The results will be announced, and the prizes presented at an event to be during the celebration.
Judging: The judging will be in two stages. The final short list of stories will be judged by a panel of librarians, authors and publishers. Shortlisted entries will be ranked by a final judging panel.
Tips: The judges will be looking for interesting and original stories that are factually correct where appropriate.
Publication: Depending on the number and quality of the entries received an e-anthology may be published.
A Gothic Short Story Writing Competition
For anyone over the age of 18
Rules and Conditions of Entry
READ Foundation has teamed up with prize-winning novelist and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Qaisra Shahraz to launch this year’s contest.
The entry guidelines are simple: a poem, short story or first person essay on the theme of “My education helped me….”. This does not mean the writing has to start with this phrase, but this theme must be felt throughout the work. Submissions must be a maximum of 500 words and should be received before midnight on 10th October 2018.
We know how important education is in a young person’s life. Which is why we want entrants to help inspire the next generation of creatives by telling them all about the role education played in their own lives. We’re open to entries from all walks of life and abilities, so you don’t need to be a professional to enter: simply write from the heart.
The winning entry will be displayed in hundreds of READ Foundation schools to inspire today’s students. It will also be published on READ Foundation’s website. The winner and two runners up will also receive feedback on their work from Ms Shahraz.
I love reading and writing – writing can be an incredibly inspiring tool, taking the imagination to amazing places and experiences.
As an educationist and lover of learning, I really value READ Foundation’s incredible work in promoting and offering education to those who need it – such amazing work and achievement, led by an amazing team.
I am really glad this competition will encourage writers to inspire young minds with their words. Above all else, it is about the importance of education: how it literally transforms lives and gives children a passport to a better world.
I’m really looking forward to reading the entries and seeing how different entrants have approached the topic of education.
The tone must be inspiring. The children who will see the winning entry have fought very hard to get to school – some walking hours a day. Reading an inspiring story or poem will, I’m sure, offer them a lot of encouragement and a goal to achieve and do well in education themselves.
The submissions window for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2019 is now open.
During Flash Fiction February we will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout February 2019. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February for the entire month. As always we’re interested in stories with a contemporary feel.
We’ve put a squeeze on our usual word count though, so only stories of between 200 – 750 words please.
Read our Flash Fiction February submission guidelines here.
Check out the Fictive Dream website here.
For those of you who prefer to write longer stories we remain open to standard submissions (500 – 2,500 words).
We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!
Spots are still available!
For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising! If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal books and would like to be featured, send me your info. Free publicity, book sales (hopefully!), new authors to follow, and more books to buy – what’s not to like?
Each post will feature one of your releases, a blurb, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview. If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m open to suggestions.
This is the fourth year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at email@example.com.
If you search for alternative dialogue tags to use in your story, you’ll find many lists. While some synonyms for ‘said’ read naturally (such as words conveying volume like ‘whispered’), others come across as overwritten and forced, particularly in the wrong context.
Here are 5 simple ways to avoid clunky overuse of ‘he said/she said’:
Sometimes we say ‘she said’, ‘he said’ or ‘they said’ when we don’t need to. Just because it’s a writing device commonly used in dialogue doesn’t mean you have to use it. When you get to the end of a line of dialogue, ask yourself:
If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these, you don’t need tags.
For example, you wouldn’t need to use dialogue tags in the following example. The narration beforehand makes it clear who’s speaking, and the details of the characters’ speech give away who says what:
She picked a bit of fluff off her top, looked out the window. He wondered whether he was boring her.
“You seem distracted.”
“Hmm? You’re being intense again, Guy.”
It’s clear from the narration, description and actions who is saying what in the scene. The girls’ actions make it clear she’s the addressee of ‘You seem distracted.’ Her response also gives us a sense of how her date says this.
The stranger the tag, the more colourful and quirky, the more it will stick out in your dialogue.
Ideally, your reader is getting as much clarity from what characters say as they get from howthey say it.
The infographic below (via The Puppet Show) has some good alternatives. Yet it suggests words such as ‘enunciated’ as a synonym for ‘said’. However, if you were to use this tag randomly in the middle of dialogue it would seem arbitrary.
“You seem distracted,” he enunciated.
Because ‘to enunciate’ means ‘to say or pronounce clearly’ it doesn’t completely make sense in this context, since there isn’t a clear reason for the boy to ‘enunciate’.
However, if clarity of speech were relevant to a scene, you could use this word as a tag as it would fit. For example:
“Speak slower.” The speech therapist’s eyes were stern.
“The w-wascal wabbit wan-” he enunciated, wishing each ‘R’ could be clearer.
However, you could achieve a similar effect other ways, too. For example, using ellipses, i.e. punctuation, to show concentration; pauses:
“The w-wascal … wabbit … wan … ” He wished each R could be clearer.
This shows the effort the character is putting in, thus you don’t need a dialogue tag necessarily.
When in doubt, a simple ‘said’ is often enough. Instead of letting different ways to say ‘said’ do heavy lifting, remember this sage advice from Toni Morrison:
‘I never say “She says softly.” If it’s not already soft, you know, I have to leave a lot of space around it so a reader can hear it’s soft.’
Other ways to say ‘she said’ avoid dialogue tags entirely. You may draw attention to the character who has said a line by immediately following speech with that character’s actions.
“No I absolutely will not!” She banged the pitcher of water down on the counter so hard Sarah was surprised the bottom didn’t crack open.
It’s clear from just this line that a female character is in the scene with Sarah, and she’s furious.
The advantages of showing who said what via movement and gesture are:
Using gestures and actions such as the following, as outlined above, helps to lend character and emotion to dialogue:
Also think about ways to say said that convey volume and tone, i.e. atmosphere. Although Toni Morrison’s advice above is good (creating quietness using the spaces around characters’ lines), the occasional ‘she whispered’ has its place, too.
Synonyms for said that show volume include:
The above words remind us that tags that indicate volume and tone are typically reserved for extremes – of tension, emotion or environment. A kid protagonist might whisper in a creepy graveyard, a pranked neighbour might ‘bellow’ in pure outrage. Yet these are suitable tags for climactic moments. Make characters bellow or whisper every other line and the device loses its effect.
Because dialogue is relational, an exchange between two or more characters, it also works to switch to another character’s reaction instead of focusing on the character who’s just finished speaking.
For example, read the following brief dialogue:
“You wouldn’t believe what happened next. I was-”
“John, can we pause this for a second, I really need the bathroom.”
When I returned, I couldn’t believe he was still going. Something about what not to do in an avalanche. As if he were the only one at the party who’d ever had any adventures.
Here, because the second character addresses John by name, we know who’s been speaking. Because of their interruption, as well as their shock that John is still speaking when they return, we also get a sense of how John speaks. It’s a one-way street, John holding the floor (and holding his listeners ransom).
As you can see from the above, there are many ways to show who is speaking in dialogue. Other ways to say said can avoid dialogue tags entirely. Use gesture, movement or reaction to show your reader details of character and setting.
Need help improving your dialogue? Get help with everything from formatting to context when you enroll in our four-week writing course, ‘How to Write Dialogue’. Or join Now Novel for constructive feedback on your writing and help brainstorming ideas.