Fletchski has a new site!

Greetings all you wonderful Lobsterites.

I’ve a lovely new blog over at http://fletchski.wordpress.com Why don’t you pop over and have a look at all the stuff I’ve been up to lately?

Cheers.

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Submissions needed from Outsider Writers

NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) are looking for articles on working with young people outside of the classroom for their next newsletter. I will be co-editing the newsletter, so have a look through the guidelines below and get in touch.

It can seem that creativity is a dirty word these days, unless it involves accounting, and that the ability to memorise facts has overtaken the need to be innovative and inventive, but we know better than that. We know that NAWE members are out there, delivering challenging and inspired activities behind enemy lines, as it were, right under the noses of the wrote learners and table memorisers. We want to hear from you inspired foot soldiers. We want to hear about your successes, your failures; about activities you’ve tried, after school clubs you’ve lead; workshops in the community; online development; activities in school that are outside the curriculum; in fact, anything that gives young people an insight into the incredible, diverse world that is writing outside of the curriculum. We want articles, top tips, case studies, interviews, writing activities, advice and so on and they can be as inventive as you want. So feel free to submit a photo essay, comic strip, flow chart, haiku or any of the more traditional journalistic forms. Contact us with article proposals now!

This newsletter will be edited by Garrie Fletcher and Elisabeth Charis both are teachers and writers that work with young people outside of school.

Article submissions should be sent to editorial@nawe.co.uk as soon as possible. For anymore information please contact Elisabeth or Garrie via the NAWE email above.

The NAWE website can be found NAWE

Free Writing Workshops in Birmingham

I’ve just booked myself a place on a series of free writing workshops based at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham. The workshops are to be run by Andrew Killeen a local author who writes historical fiction. Andrew has just had his second book published and you can find more information about that and him here.

I have it on good authority, from Karen, Andrew’s wife, that there are still a number of places left. This is an ideal opportunity to hone your writing skills with the help of a published author, to read your work, or have your work read, at the Birmingham Book Festival and to possibly have you work published in  a book linked to the project. I for one think those are three excellent reasons for signing up, oh, and its free! so there’s four.

The Barber Institute situated in the grounds of Birmingham University.

I attended a writing course at the Barber a few years ago when Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for ‘On the Road’ was on display. It’s a wonderful venue, Birmingham’s finest Art Deco building that the Observer described as “one of the finest small art galleries in Europe.” I’m not going to argue with that. Here’s the info I received with my booking confirmation.

Calling All Writers!

Andrew Killeen. Writer in residence at the Barber Institute.


Would you like your story to be read at the Birmingham Book Festival? Or even published?

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts invites aspiring writers to join a series of free writing workshops exploring the theme of ‘The City in Art’. These 3 workshops will be led by novelist Andrew Killeen; this year’s Barber writer-in-residence.

Participants will write and develop stories inspired by the fascinating exhibition Cityscapes: Panoramic Views on European Coins and Medals as well as other city-themed works in the collection. A selection of stories will then be read out at a live event during the Birmingham Book Festival, on Thursday 11 October, at the Barber, and may be published in a book produced as part of the project.

Workshop dates (all workshops 1pm to 4pm):

Sunday 12 August Exploring exhibitions/collections and developing ideas

Sunday 2 September Sharing and discussing drafts

Sunday 16 September Reading and celebrating finished stories

Participants must commit to attending all three workshops.

For further information and to reserve your place, please contact the Learning and Access Team on: Tel. 0121 414 2261 / 7335 or Email education@barber.org.uk

Short Story Competition for Arc Magazine

I’ve grabbed this info straight from the Arc website. Sorry it’s a bit late but I’ve been busy escaping snow and finishing my entry.

Arc, in collaboration with The Tomorrow Project, is looking for new, original stories – between 3000 and 5000 words – set in the near future. What do we mean by that? Near enough to be recognisable, but not so near as to be boring. Technology, in whatever guise – from robotics 
to synthetic biology to geoengineering – 
should feature prominently, but we’re looking for stories, not theses, and the human element will have to be compelling. The current theme for submissions 
is THE FUTURE ALWAYS WINS.

You’ll find our own approaches to that theme throughout 
Arc 1.1. Distinctive, thoughtful visions inspired by this theme are more likely to be successful, so it’s very important that you follow the first rule of writing and read the magazine first! Issue 1.1 also explains the nature of the Arc-Tomorrow Project collaboration, which you might find useful too.

Arc’s editors will select one story for publication in the next issue, due out in May. We will pay £500 for that story and £200 for each of five shortlisted stories.

You retain all rights over your story until it’s selected as a winner or is shortlisted, at which time we’ll ask you to sign Arc‘s standard fiction agreement. The Tomorrow Project may also ask to use shortlisted stories to stimulate conversations about the future on its own website. All entries must adhere to the competition’s general terms and conditions. Entries must be received by 23:59 GMT on 8 April 2012 and only one submission is allowed per entrant.

The Arc/Tomorrow Project collaboration has been made possible by the sponsorship of Intel.

Snowflake method in full (ish)

Hi, I just swiped this straight off of the Bubble Cow website for those lazy souls out there who can’t click on a link. Here it is.

There are many methodologies and techniques for writing a novel. Perhaps one of the most respected and potentially useful is Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

The founding concept behind Ingermanson’s thinking is that novels are designed. He suggests that if a writer recognises this fact and works to improve the design process, they will produce a better novel.

Ingermanson has constructed a 10 step process, which I have summarised below. This process is based around the idea that a writer begins with a simplistic Deep Theme and then, over time, develops and adds complexity. This makes the formation of the novel a conscience process, rather then a random creative exercise.

The Ten Step Process

1. Write a one-sentence summary of your novel.

2. Expand the sentence to a paragraph describing the story narrative, any major events and the ending.

3. Now consider the main character and write a one page summary for each, considering the following points:

  • A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline.
  • The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?).
  • The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?).
  • The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?).
  • The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?.
  • A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline.

4. Go back to the summary you wrote in 2 and expand each sentence into a paragraph. Randy’s advice here is:

Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how the book ends. Source

5. Write a one page description for each major character, which tells the story from their point of view.

6. Expand your one page plot synopsis into a four page plot synopsis.

7. Expand your character descriptions from 3 into full ‘character charts’.

8. Using the expanded synopsis, make a list of every scene you will need to write to complete the novel.

9. Using the scene list, write a multi-paragraph narrative description of each scene.

10. Write your first draft.

This post is a summary of Ingermanson’s thinking and ideas. I strongly suggest that if you wish to apply the Snowflake Method that you go to Randy Ingermanson’s website to find more details.