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5 Ways to Give Your Story A Wow Factor Ending

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Having organised and helped to judge our short story contest for several years, I can unequivocally say that there is one factor above all others that lets a story down.  Yes, you’ve guessed it: the ending.   Many of the stories we receive have beautiful prose, original plotlines, and excellent characterisation. They start in such a promising way, but when I get to the end, I find myself groaning in despair. Why ruin a good story with a poor ending? The clue is in the name – short story. All good stories must have a satisfying resolution. It doesn’t mean that you need to dot every i and cross every t, but a good ending makes the reader go 'ahhhh.' The reader should feel pleased rather than frustrated when they read your last line.  Here are five tips to help you get your readers sighing with satisfaction: 1.  Make The Reader Feel Something The stories that leave us groaning in disenchantment are ones that have failed to evoke a gut reaction. Without this catharsis, the reader i

Join Other Women at the Women in Publishing Summit 2021

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Elizabeth Ducie will be speaking at an exciting event next month; today she tells us all about it: I’m excited to be able to tell you about the Fourth Annual Women in Publishing Summit, which is coming up next month. The Women in Publishing Summit, sponsored by Bublish and Write|Publish|Sell , runs from 1st to 7th March and covers all things related to writing, publishing, and selling a book. It's created FOR women, BY women. So if you're a woman wanting to write a book, have written a book, are in the process of writing a book, or perform some kind of function related to writing, publishing, and selling a book, this is for you!   March is Women’s History Month. It’s a great time to celebrate, honour, and learn from a line-up of amazing women in the writing and publishing world who deserve some applause. This conference empowers, encourages, and supports women, with a major focus on bringing forward marginalised voices, talking about diversity, and creating a supportive commun

Secrets to Win Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

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How do members of Exeter Writers judge our annual short story competitions? How can you be sure your own entry will actually be read, let alone be considered for longlisting, shortlisting, or even a prize? You can be absolutely certain that every story you send us will be read. I’ve been a short story competition reader and/or judge for many years, and I’ll swear on any Bible you care to offer me that I always read every word of every story sent to me.  After all, I never know when a brilliant twist or revelation is going to surprise me, pull everything together, and finally make sense of a story that’s had me wondering right up to the closing line. What can you do to please someone like me? First of all, have you written (or are you currently writing) a short story, rather than a few pages of descriptive prose or a series of observations?  A short story should ask (or at least imply) a question or challenge right at the outset, go on to develop this question or challenge, and offer so

Go, Go, Gadget PenSmiths (Scribble, Type, Edit, Enter.)

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With just 23-days to go before the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition ends, you still have time to enter.  I do hope you took me up on the 21-day writing challenge posted last month. If this is something you didn’t get around to then it’s not too late to begin.  The basic premise is to get you in the habit of writing every day in a free-flowing style.  Writers blocks are caused when you stop to think about what you’re writing and how you’ve written it and also the judgments and expectations of others.  Yes, you will have to go back and edit your work, but the idea in this exercise is to reclaim spontaneous storytelling.  My guideline is to do this exercise three times a day for 5-10 minutes each time.  Writer Louis L’Amour once stated:  'Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.'  He was absolutely correct.  Once you sit down (or stand to be more ergonomically engaged) and write something, the motivation to add to whatever it is y