Breve New Stories is now accepting submissions for new short stories and flash fiction.
Selected works will be published in Issue Three in the autumn.
Breve New Stories is now accepting submissions for new short stories and flash fiction.
Selected works will be published in Issue Three in the autumn.
Yes! It’s that time of the year again. Fellow speculative fiction fan, Sheri Yutzy, and I are hosting a flash fiction contest and this time Laura L. Zimmerman is joining us! We’re so excited to see the amazing flash fiction work YOU come up with. We’ve got some great prizes lined up to feed your […]
Pure Haiku is currently OPEN to Submissions.
The THEME is PORTAL.
This time, you are not allowed to use the word Portal in your haiku/senyru (and you cannot use this word in the title, if you choose to provide titles for your submissions). I want to receive haiku/senyru that are implicit in their mentions of PORTAL.
The OED defines the noun PORTAL as “a doorway, gate, or other entrance, especially a large and imposing one.”
Delight me and surprise me with your haiku that paint vivid pictures of PORTALS, real or imagined. Explore the Final Frontier, take me to universes I did not know existed or simply make me see an ordinary real-life portal in a different way … As always I’m looking for excellent use of language and words that conjure up clear, vivid pictures; show, don’t tell.
There will be 28 slots for individual haiku plus a week’s slot for a single featured haiku writer.
The DEADLINE for submissions is 21st September 2018 at midnight.
PORTAL themed haiku written in the traditional/classical form (5-7-5 syllables) will be posted on this site between October and December 2018.
How to submit to Purehaiku
If you would like to submit your haiku for publication on this site, please send a maximum of 5 haiku written in the classical form on the current theme to: –
purehaiku (at) gmail (dot) com
with SUBMISSIONS, the current THEME and your NAME in the subject line.
Please include the following in the body of the email: –
Your first name
Your last name
Your email address
Your haiku (all 5 in one email please) (they do not have to be titled)
The full address of your blog or website if you have one
The name you want to appear on the copyright
One sentence introducing yourself. Be quirky and interesting – you want people to visit your blog, don’t you?!
By submitting your haiku you confirm that you are the author of the work and that you give me permission to publish your work at Pure Haiku. The copyright remains with you, the author.
Please send me each haiku with just one or two lines of spacing between each one in the body of your email.
When you have emailed your submission, you should receive an auto reply informing you of the date when I will be in contact with you. If you do not receive an auto reply within 24 hours, please feel free to send a second email enquiring about your original submission.
I can only accept haiku for consideration if they are EMAILED to me at the above mentioned address. Please DO NOT submit haiku via the comments box or via a facebook message or via G+ messaging.
Please do not send attachments. I can only accept haiku that are submitted in the body of the email.
If you read the following pages you are more likely to have your haiku accepted: –
The Clevedon Community Bookshop is offering a flash fiction workshop from 7-9pm on Thursday 4 October 2018 delivered by Gail Aldwin.
Everyday lives are packed with tasks and activities that leave little time for reading or writing at length. Flash fiction has the ability to fit into the breaks and provides satisfying stories with all the elements of a longer piece of fiction. This workshop will explore opportunities to incorporate flash fiction into your writing and welcomes those who are already writing flash fiction and those who would like to start. Through activities and prompts you will be able to develop new pieces of flash fiction and understand more about the process of writing in this a short form.
Gail Aldwin is an award-winning writer of short fiction and poetry. Paisley Shirt(Chapeltown Books, 2018) was longlisted in the best short story category of the Saboteur Awards 2018. She is a visiting tutor on the Creative Writing BA at Arts University Bournemouth and Chair of the Dorset Writers’ Network.
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.
Reflex Fiction is a quarterly international flash fiction competition for stories between 180 and 360 words. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition.
We’re very excited to announce a new feature on our website: the flash fiction forum – a place to share advice, ask questions, discuss stories and share your success. To celebrate the launch, we’re giving away ten free entries to our competition. Head over to the forum page for more details on how you could win a free shot our £1,000 prize.
The entry period for our Autumn 2018 competition closes in one month. Here are the important details:
Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: £7 / $9 / €9
Entries close: August 31, 2018
Judge: Annemarie Neary
“The world of John O’Connor is a world of the freshly snedded turnip, the new-sawn plank, the sod shining under the plough. His gift is to render the life of the Mill Row in Armagh as deftly and definitively as Steinbeck renders Cannery Row or Bob Dylan Desolate Row”
The John O’Connor Writiing School and Literary Arts Festival, sponsored and supported by internationally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has a two-fold purpose. It aims to to celebrate and commemorate the life and works of John O’Connor as well as offering practical guidance and assistance to aspiring writers through its workshops and master classes in the various literary genres and writing for commercial purposes.
Entries are currently invited from aspiring writers for the third John O’Connor Short Story Competition. It is being held to commemorate the Armagh born writer whose impressive literary legacy includes a collection of short stories which still retain a timeless appeal.
The prize winner will be awarded a full bursary to attend the John O’ Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival which will be held in Armagh from 1st to 4th November, 2018, plus a cash prize of £250. The bursary prize allows the recipient to enjoy all events in the John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Festival 2018, and to attend one class in the writing genre of his/her choice. The winner will be notified by 2 October.
The winning entrant will be formally announced at the opening of the Writing school on Friday 2nd November, and will have the opportunity to read at an event on Sunday 4th November 2018. Single room accommodation will be available free of charge to the winning entrant.
Ts & Cs
The competition is open to those 16 years and over. Short stories must be the original work of the author and not previously published or have received awards in other competitions. Entries must be in English and between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. There is an entry fee of £10. One entry per person. Submit your entry online by 12.00 noon on 28 August 2018.
Find full terms and conditions, and online entry form on http://thejohnoconnorwritingschool.com
re-blogged from ShortStops
New from Fictive Dream is September Slam in which we will feature seven new short stories, one for each day of the week, from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th September 2018.
As always we’re interested in stories with a contemporary feel on any subject that gives an insight into the human condition. But here’s the twist. Your story must include two sentences courtesy of short story writer, novelist and publisher, Nicholas Royle.
Nicholas Royle is the author of three short story collections—Mortality (Serpent’s Tail), Ornithology (Confingo Publishing), The Dummy and Other Uncanny Stories (Swan River Press)—and seven novels, most recently First Novel (Vintage). He has edited more than twenty anthologies and is series editor of Best British Short Stories (Salt). Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, he also runs Nightjar Press and is head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize.
Check out the Fictive Dream website here.
See our September Slam 2018 submission guidelines here.
For standard submissions (500–2,500 words) we remain open as usual.
We’re looking forward to receiving your best!
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.
I am not here to convince you of anything, I am just sharing my personal experiences
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