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Updates from the day-to-day about various writing projects, special guest posts, and any other events that may come up

November Speculative Fiction Prompt

Another month gone, and another month beginning. As we move into November, it is time for a new prompt. This month I want you to think about the wonderful speculative fiction of authors such as Neil Gaiman, especially works such as Neverwhere. Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series is another that you could look to for this month’s prompt. Both of these writers take the modern, real word, and overlay the fantastical. Fantasy and reality woven together to create engaging stories that suck the reader in and have us wondering what really lurks in the shadows. The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about …

Self-Publishing: Planning A Launch, Holding The Proof

Back in June I talked about my plans to self-publish my poetry collection, in a post I called To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish? That Is The Sleep Depriving Question. In all honesty, it really was a tough decision to make, and I questioned myself every time I told someone I was self-publishing because I almost always got the same response. ‘Oh, why have you decided to go down that route?’ At that point in the conversation I could point them towards the blog post where I list all the reasons I decided to go down that route. Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing from writing that post to finalising the manuscript. There were moments where I wondered if I was making a huge mistake and if I had made the right decision to following this path. However, today I finally felt that it was all worth it. Today I got to hold the proof copy of my poetry collection in my hands.   There are still a few tweaks to be made before I’m …

October Speculative Fiction Prompt

Well September is over and October is here in full force. Leaves are on the turn, England has turned grey and rainy (well even more so than usually) and everywhere you look people are prepping for Halloween (or in some cases Christmas). This is the second month that I’ve had the honour of hosting the Speculative Fiction Prompt  and hopefully this month’s image inspires as much as last month’s. If you want to read the stories for last month then you can check them out at the September Speculative Fiction Prompt. The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and …

September Speculative Fiction Prompt

Earlier this year a new speculative fiction prompt was kicked of by D Wallace Peach on her sight Myths Of The Mirror. Unfortunately she had to set this fantastic prompt aside due to personal matters after only a few months, despite the fantastic success and take up that it was met with. After asking for her blessing, I decided that I would pick up where she left off and host the prompt here on Writing and Works. It will follow much the same format, publishing on the 1st of each month, using imagery from Pixabay, and focusing on the speculative fiction genre. Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements Oxford Dictionary Our September image is the one directly below. For any visually impaired writers, it is a black and white image showing a young woman with a septum piercing, wearing a scarf or hood which casts her face into shadow. Post your response to your site …

Not A Word To Waste, The Horror Of Redrafts #WeekendCoffeeShare

This weekend the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge is taking place. Last month I posted my entry for the second challenge of the first round: Stolen Silence and at the moment I’m working on redrafting my submission for the first challenge of this year’s first round. Redrafting is the part of the process where you quite often find yourself doubting that you have any ability to put one work in front of the other at all. You find typos, spelling mistakes, words that you didn’t even know existed. Tenses switch back and forth, character names suddenly change, and out of nowhere you move from mountains to city surroundings. Editing is where all your mistakes come to the forefront and you have to go back and fix them. If you’re luck you will have brilliant people who will help you with your redrafts and edits. These people (if you can find the ones that will give you an honest review rather than just ‘yeah mate, good job’) are invaluable for getting your past that snow-blind stage …

To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish? That Is The Sleep Depriving Question #WeekendCoffeeShare

About five years ago I self-published a collection of poetry through lulu. I made exactly nothing despite apparently selling at least one book through amazon (according to the less that encouraging review posted), and in the end I retired the project. The experience taught me a number of important things. Lulu is not the way to go if you want to sell a physical book on Amazon and make any margin. I am not a good enough editor. I need to outsource this element to avoid the number of typos and mistakes that were in the last book. Reading poems you wrote five or more years ago can be a painful experience. Especially when you realise the bad review hit the nail directly on the head. So why am I about to give self-publishing another shot? Well clearly I’m a glutton for punishment. When I published ‘Before The Words Run Out’ there were thirty-two poems, a series of haiku, and some pieces of flash fiction (all of which can be found somewhere in the depths of …

New Notepads, NaPoWriMo And Open Mic Nights #WeekendCoffeeShare

March turned into a slower month than planned for me and I’m not entirely sure why that was. Perhaps it was the expectation for April and NaPoWriMo, or the relief of getting my submission in to The Poetry Business for their Book and Pamphlet Competition. Either way, I didn’t really write much in the second half of March and I feel a little guilty for letting myself slip into old habits for those two weeks. On the other hand, I’d managed to be pretty productive during January and February in terms of submissions to journals and competitions, and March isn’t particular busy when it comes to deadlines, so if you’re going to pick a month to kick back, March would be it. April has been busy with NaPoWriMo kicking off and the first week is just about to come to a close. So far I have managed to post a-poem-a-day for the prompts provided and unlike some years, I’ve found myself connecting with the official prompts. Previously I’ve sat there staring at the screen wondering …

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Submissions, Publications And Getting On With It

It’s been almost a month since I wrote a WeekendCoffeeShare post so I feel like I’m probably overdue an entry. My last post was January 13th, less than two weeks into a new year, and now we’re chasing towards the middle of February with the same chaotic speed that always comes with being busy. One of my goals for 2019 was to try and get some more poems and short stories published online and continue putting myself forward for writing competitions. So far this seems to be going relatively well. While I didn’t get anywhere in the Write Out Loud poetry competition that I entered in December, the two poetry submissions I made to The Drabble and Ink Sweat & Tears were both accepted and have now been published. ‘Until The Light Gets In’ went up in January and ‘Newborn‘ was published this morning. I’m now in the process of working on my next round of submissions for a few other sites and journals in the hopes that I can keep this momentum going. Aside for …

#WeekendCoffeeShare -Happy Poems Are Still Not My Thing

It’s Sunday already and so far this morning I’ve managed to procrastinate and avoid doing any sort of constructive work. To be fair there’s quite a bit that I could be getting on with. I have an exam on Thursday and another the following Tuesday, there’s a submission deadline for Barren Magazin. today that I wanted to have something written for, and I still have a number of poems that I wanted to go over and redraft. Instead of doing that though, I’ve decided to write this post and fetch myself another brew to see if I can kick my brain into some sort of functioning gear. This week life has gone back to its normal routines. This has meant that my evenings were a little busier than usual and I didn’t get the chance to post as much to my blog as I wanted to. This year I’m trying not to get myself down about that. I know it means that I don’t get the same rate of stats on the site but I’m …

Getting A Head-start On The New Year – If We Were Having Coffee

I could look back on 2018 and bemoan the fact that I didn’t finish writing my novel, I could grump about not winning any of the competitions that I entered, or I could pout about once again failing to come up with any sort of posting schedule for my blog. Instead, I’m going to see this year out by having a look at the things I did achieve with my writing this year, and how I’m going to build on that next year.