There’s something about August that makes me feel wistful. Summer starts to wind down. Elderberries are darkening, apples swelling, and if we’re lucky there’s a glut of runner beans. For writers, it’s a useful time to think of ways in which we can improve our skills and seek to become the most successful writer in our house, then in our street, then in…, well, you name it.
Maybe you’re at the stage of not knowing which genre you’d like to concentrate on. That’s OK. Try poetry, or playwriting; a fantasy or ghost story; an article for your favourite magazine. At this stage, no-one has to see your work except you, and, with a bit of polishing, it might be good enough to send off somewhere. A competition, perhaps, or the editor of a magazine.
AN INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING, lead by UEA (University of East Anglia) begins on 11th September, and runs for 2 weeks.
START WRITING FICTION, lead by the Open University, begins on 25th September, and runs for 8 weeks. I gave this one a test-drive a few years ago, and found it interesting, challenging, and do-able.
PERHAPS YOU’D CONSIDER A COURSE YOU PAY FOR?
Writing Magazine offers its own courses, and there are often others advertised within its pages.
If you Google ‘writing courses’, or ‘courses for writers’, you’ll find a wealth of options. (You’ll be spoilt for choice, actually!)
WHY NOT PLAN TO GO ON A WRITING HOLIDAY?
I’m heading off to the Swanwick Writers Summer School this month. It offers a fantastic week of courses and entertainment for ALL writers, from beginners to the multi-published, multi-talented. You can do as much or as little as you wish, and you can decide on the day which course to join. There are ‘ambassadors’ to look out for newbies (they know who you are, because you’ll be wearing a white badge).
Successful writer and creative writing tutor Della Galton has some good advice about choosing a writing holiday on her blog.
WHY NOT FIND A WEBSITE OR BLOG OFFERING TIPS AND HELP?
Writers Vanda Inman and Linda Lewis have recently launched their new website www.vnlwritespace.com. They’re offering tips, advice, courses, critiques and competitions. To get the site off to a flying start, there’s a free to enter competition.
It involves writing a 500 words story about a photograph on their competitions page, reproduced above.