Fiction Friday: Nursery Rhymes

rp_friday-300x16411111.pngFriday 22nd August 2014: Nursery rhymes.

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Pick a nursery rhyme (it can be any one you want,) and write a story using it as inspiration for a story. The maximum word count is 1,000 words.) You can choose whether you tell it from first person or third person point of view and it’s your choice as to which character within the rhyme you use.

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Courses and Competitions: The Big Idea Competition

big idea compDo you have an idea for a story that children will love?

The Big Idea Competition is giving you the chance of seeing your idea transformed into a book, TV, movie or theatre production!

The judges are Tess Daly, Neil Blair, Barry Cunningham, Debra Haywood, Philip Ardagh and Sonia Friedman. The closing date for entries is 2nd September 2014.

All you have to do is come up with an original story for children and tell the judges in 500 words (they ask you don’t exceed 750 words,) about your story using the following questions:

. Who’s in it?

. What happens?

. Who’s it for?

. When and where?

To enter, Continue reading

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Novel Kicks Chats To: Janice Preston

janice prestonA member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Janice’s debut novel, Mary & The Marquis was released by Mills and Boon Historical earlier this month. We chat to Janice about her book, her approach to her writing and her advice for new writers.


Can you tell us a little about your debut novel, Mary and the Marquis and how the idea originated?

Mary and the Marquis is set in Northumberland in the autumn of 1811. When destitute widow Mary Vale aids an injured man on the road, she is shocked to discover he is the reclusive Lucas Alastair, Marquis of Rothley. She’s intrigued by him, but when she offers to nurse him back to health in return for shelter he proves a difficult patient. Lucas hides some deep emotion beneath his brusque manner, and a stolen kiss leaves Mary longing for more… She’s able to help mend his physical injuries, but can Mary heal the wounds of his painful past?

The idea came from a mental image of a young woman, with two small children, walking through a gloomy wood. Suddenly a deep, rasping groan sounds from amongst the trees. Who is she? Why is she in that wood? Where is she going? What is that noise?


Did you plan much before starting the novel?

I probably knew more about Mary and Lucas’s pasts than I did about what would happen in the actual story. I had ideas for the turning points, but I didn’t plan in any great detail, which is probably why the editing caused me such headaches! I had to delete a few scenes entirely – always hard to do.


How do you approach editing?

Every day, I go over what I wrote the day before as a way of immersing myself back in the story. I do tend to edit at that point, although I’m well aware it can be a waste of time if that particular section ends up deleted (see previous question). I should try and break that habit!

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Bella’s Scribblings: Procrastinators Anonymous

Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

Last time on Bella’s Scribblings I talked about finding time to write. What I didn’t cover was how to avoid squandering it on non-writing displacement activities. School holidays is the time when most of us grab a couple of weeks away from the proper job to spend time with our offspring and hopefully get some writing done too. What actually happens is that offspring magically eat up all but a smidgen of the time we have and when we do get time to write what do we do?

I’m afraid to say that sometimes, not always, but sometimes we waste the time that we do have. I am thinking of starting a local group of Procrastinators Anonymous, but in the meantime here are my suggestions for combating procrastination:

My family want feeding – This is an easy one. Go back in time and spend a day making batches of food you can reheat and use fish fingers for the other days, they’ll be fine – that’s what vitamin supplements are for.

The house needs cleaning/tidying – scientific fact that living in a sterile environment isn’t good for the immune system so a little bit of dust will be better for your family’s long term health.

I need to go on Twitter to keep my social media presence current – and a couple of quick posts a day should do it. You do not need to read everything from the last ten hours on your feed nor do you need to look up everyone you know to see if they posted something interesting in the last few days. Trust me, they won’t have. Do not get caught up in conversations about dogs, cats or wine – they go on forever. Stop obsessively checking the number of followers you have and trying to work out who has deserted you – it doesn’t matter – well, certainly not as much as finishing your writing does.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday – It’s Not All In Your Imagination.

rp_friday-300x16411111.pngFriday 14th August 2014 – It’s not all in your imagination.

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Your character can be male or female and any age over 18. They have always had an active imagination. What if they woke up one morning to find that their imagination was coming to life? Whatever they thought of appeared in front of them. It’s great at first but if course, like with everything, there are consequences. What happens?

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Book News: Ella Harper

pieces of youPieces of You by Ella Harper was released today by Avon. It’s available to buy digitally from 14th August with the paperback being released next month.

A couple of weeks ago, mysterious post began showing up at my door. First, I got a box containing a picture frame and a letter. This was followed by another letter. Eventually, a copy of Pieces of You by Ella Harper arrived. I love it when publishers send little clues and I now can’t wait to read the book. Going by the clues and the blurb, this book sounds brilliant.


About the book:

The perfect marriage.
A devastating secret.
An impossible choice.

Lucy was always sure of one thing – her future with husband and soul mate Luke. But after eight long, heart-breaking years trying to have a baby, that future is crumbling before her eyes. Continue reading

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News: Harper Fiction Launches Digital Imprint

Killer Reads LogoHarperFiction is launching a brand new digital crime and thriller imprint. It’s called Killer Reads and initially, for a limited period, they are opening their doors to un-agented submissions of crime and thriller novels.

Killer Reads is looking for a wide range of submissions from across the genre, ranging from police procedurals to psychological thrillers, to high-concept thrillers and beyond. The selected manuscripts will be the first titles to be published.

‘This is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to discover emerging talent in the crime and thriller area and bring their work to readers hungry for new stories.’  says, Sarah Hodgson, Deputy Publishing Director.

Submissions will be accepted from 29th August until 14th September 2014. From 29th August writers can submit their full manuscript, a synopsis of their novel and an author biography, by emailing:  

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Writing Room: Colours

rainbow-siezure-colourful-backgroundWriting Room is our online writing group.

We post a prompt.  Once you’ve written your piece, post it in the comments box below. Anyone is welcome to take part and it’s an opportunity to post work plus give and gain feedback.

Today, we’re looking at using colours.

Write a short story. Begin your first sentence with a colour. Then continue to use a colour (different one each time,) at the beginning of each paragraph. Try to use as little description as possible. Try to use dialogue as much as you can.

Write up to 1,000 words.

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Events: David Mitchell

David MitchellWaterstones Piccadilly are holding an evening with David Mitchell.

The author of ‘Cloud Atlas’ will be in conversation with Sam Leith. They will be discussing David’s book, The Bone Clocks which has been longlisted for the Booker Prize.

The event is being held on Monday, 10 November 2014 at the Waterstones in Piccadilly in London. The evening begins at 6:30PM.

Tickets are £8 and it’s £6 for Waterstones Loyalty Cardholders

Tickets are available in store or you can get them online at

For further details, call 0207 8512400.

For more information on David Mitchell, visit his website:

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Book Corner – August

Book Corner – August


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