Category Archives: Re-blogged

Items of interest from other blogs, woe:-)th visiting

Why Pinterest May Be The Greatest Website For Writers

A Writer's Path

by Teagan Berry

There are countless social media sites out on the internet, each of them offering us different means to share our thoughts and life with other people. For authors, social media can help us out in many different ways. Book promotion, connecting with fans, networking with other authors… and that’s just to name a few.

A little while ago I was introduced to a site called Pinterest by a fellow author and let me tell you, I will be forever grateful to her for it. In this post, along with another one I shall be putting up in a couple days, I hope to give you a few reasons why I believe Pinterest is so useful for authors. Right now, I’m going to focus on the private side of Pinterest, and what it can do for you and your specific writing.

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TOKEN Magazine Issue 2 – Call for submissions

Another exercise to help you get your voice heard

ShortStops

new-header-token

TOKEN Magazine is calling for submissions for Issue 2, and this time we have a theme – BODIES. This can be interpreted as you wish.

We are accepting:

– Fiction/Non-fiction of up to 2500 words (maximum 2 pieces per submission).

– Artwork/Photography (maximum 4 pieces per submission) and a summary of your work to go alongside the piece(s).

– Illustrations – please send across recent illustrations, and once we have the writing sorted you will be given briefs.

With your submission we ask that you please also include your biography (max 200 words). If it is not obvious please can you also write why you feel you are under-represented in the arts and literature. It is important that you do this as we want Issue 2 to have as many diverse voices as possible.

Send your submissions to tokenmagazine@gmail.com by 15 July 2017 (midnight). Any submissions after this time will…

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Reflecting

Upon reflection

well, may we wonder

at the thought within his head

perhaps reflecting

we disregard the hunger

and can see only beauty

 

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The Best Literary Facts about London

Fine recommendation of a book that I am certainly planning to read following this wee soupcons, note the book burning incident, not only Fascists through the ages engaging in this activity.

Interesting Literature

What’s the most interesting trivia about writers in London?

We’ve recently been enjoying the wonderful book, Literary London, by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison. It’s that rare thing: a book that includes something interesting on every page. There are many good books available about London’s literary heritage and its connections with famous authors, but Literary London is the best yet: it’s a raft of great trivia about the capital and the writers who have eaten, drunk, lived, and died there. If you enjoy books about London or books of literary trivia, we recommend getting hold of a copy, pronto.

Below we’ve listed some of our favourite literary facts about London which we learned from Millar and Jordison’s wonderful book. This really is just the tip of the iceberg: you’ll have to get hold of the book to discover the many more treasures it contains. For instance, we haven’t included…

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A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’

Food for thought, but despite the arguments for ulterior lyrical meanings it doesn’t diminish my admiration for these wonderful words.

Interesting Literature

A reading of Blake’s classic poem

‘Jerusalem’ is one of the most famous hymns around, a sort of alternative national anthem for England. Yet the poem on which Hubert Parry based his hymn, although commonly referred to as ‘William Blake’s “Jerusalem”’, is actually from a much larger poetic work titled Milton a Poem and was largely ignored when it was published in 1804. It became well-known when it was set to music by Parry during the First World War (curiously, it was Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate and the one who got Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems into print, who suggested the idea to Parry). In this post, we’re going to delve deeper into the poem we know as ‘Jerusalem’, focusing on William Blake’s use of language.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

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A Short Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Afterwards’

Interpretation of a finely crafted contemplation of life’s journey’s one, true, inevitable destination

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic poem

‘Afterwards’ is one of Thomas Hardy’s most famous and widely anthologised poems. The poem was published in Hardy’s 1917 volume Moments of Vision. Like many of Hardy’s poems, it has received relatively little critical analysis – little when we consider that Hardy is thought of as one of the major writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Afterwards

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
‘He was a man who used to notice such things’?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid’s soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
‘To him this must have been a familiar sight.’

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10 Short Amy Lowell Poems

Admirably sharp shorts to savour.

Interesting Literature

The best short poems by Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell (1874-1925) is perhaps best-known for being the figurehead and ringleader for Imagism after Ezra Pound, who had founded that movement, grew jaded with it and moved on to Vorticism. Although her poems were less ‘classical’ and restrained than those by Pound, Lowell’s poetry is often true to Imagist ideals of brevity and vividness, and the ten poems included in this blog post bear this out. There are ten of the finest short Amy Lowell poems – we hope you enjoy them.

Middle Age

Like black ice
Scrolled over with unintelligible patterns
by an ignorant skater
Is the dulled surface of my heart.

Wind and Silver

Greatly shining,
The Autumn moon floats in the thin sky;
And the fish-ponds shake their backs and
flash their dragon scales
As she passes over them.

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An advisory gem from Nick Daws Entrepeneur Writer

Ten Top Tips for Winning Short Story Contests
APRIL 10, 2017

Ten Top Tips for Winning Short Story Contests

As well as being fortunate enough to win several short story contests, I have been asked to judge a few. So I thought today I would share some tips that come at least partly from my judging experience..

1. Most important of all, obey the contest rules. It they say the maximum is 1500 words, don’t submit 2000. An entry that clearly breaks the rules has no chance of winning.

2. Don’t enter the same story in more than one contest at a time. It will be embarrassing to both you and the organizers if the same story wins or places in both contests, and you may end up forfeiting your prize (or prizes).

3. Try to come up with an original idea or angle. Remember that your story will be competing with many others, so avoid the predictable plots that have been done to death, or at least give them a fresh twist. A clever double-twist ending that surprises the judges and subverts their expectations can be a winning formula.

4. Twist endings aren’t essential, though (unless that is specified in the rules). A story that engages with the reader on an emotional level and leaves him/her something to ponder can also be a strong contender in a short story contest.

5. Other things being equal, avoid submitting stories that are laden with doom and gloom. As a judge I’ve been amazed (and depressed) by the high proportion of miserable, downbeat tales that are entered in competitions. That’s not to say such stories can’t be good, but judges are only human. Faced by story after story brimming with misery, when we come across a tale with a bit of humour it really stands out. So go easy on the negativity. Witty, humorous stories (even dark humour) are far more likely to catch the judge’s eye, partly because they are so unusual. And even if you don’t end up winning, my fellow judges and I will be grateful to you for brightening our day!

6. Avoid cliches such as ‘she was a mine of information’ or ‘he was as cool as a cucumber’. These are signs of lazy writing and won’t impress the judges.

7. Likewise, try to avoid stereotyping. Just as judges are familiar with all the usual plot twists, so they can recognize flat, two-dimensional characters. Admittedly short stories don’t allow much space for characterization and character development. But if you can go beyond the standard stereotypes and present readers with interesting and surprising characters who spring to life off the page, it will greatly boost your chances of success.

8. Check and double-check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. No story that demonstrates a lack of attention to the basics of good English is likely to win a contest. Ideally, have someone else who is good at this check your entry for you before submitting it.

9. Don’t be too despondent if your story doesn’t win or even place. In most competitions there are hundreds of entries, and luck and the judges’ personal tastes inevitably play a part. I have had a story come nowhere in one contest and win another. If you are confident of the quality of your story, give it another polish and send it out again when a suitable opportunity arises.

10. If possible, though, take the trouble to read the stories that do win and see what this tells you about what the judges were looking for. Compare your own story honestly with those of the winners and see what they did that you didn’t (although bear in mind my comments above).

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10 of the Best Elegies Everyone Should Read

A collection of writings that are the clearest example of why certain feelings can only be drawn out in the words of the poet

Interesting Literature

The best elegies in English

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an elegy as ‘A song or poem of lamentation, esp. for the dead; a memorial poem’. Death, and memorialising the dead, has long been a feature of poetry. Here are ten of the best elegies from English poetry, from the Middle Ages to the 1980s. What would you add to our list of the greatest elegiac poems in English? (Shelley’s Adonais, by the way, would have been number 11 on this list if we’d extended it beyond a top ten.)

Anonymous, Pearl. One of the first great elegies in the English language, Pearl was written by an anonymous poet in the late fourteenth century – probably the same poet who also gave us Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. A lament for a child who has died, and a classic example of the medieval dream-poem, Pearl

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The Woods, the Trees, and The A3

The opportunities keep coming in. Without submissions, the written words of the many will not be printed and therefore available for digestion by the many. Keep them well-stocked so that we can introduce ourselves to the best.

ShortStops

We’re busy as beavers here aTree Map SIDE B NEWt The A3 Review, assembling Issue #6 and choosing the overall cash-prize winners. The issue will be out in early April, and we’re wild about the fact that ShortStops’ own Tania Hershman will be our Guest Writer!

Meanwhile, talking about wildness, Issue #7 is already, ahem, logging up entries for our March contest on the theme of Forests and Woods (deadline is March 25th).

Woodlands have inspired writers and artists for hundreds of years – now it’s your turn. Submit stories, poems and art inspired by the arboreal! Whether it’s tropical, mystical, tundral (is that even a word?!), or your own backyard. So many folktales and fairytales happen in forests. Find a story you love and update it. Think “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Hansel and Gretel”, and Baba Yaga. Think: Robin Hood or Tarzan. Be outrageous. Be controversial. Surprise us with new…

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