Long-time member, Sophie Duffy is moving to the North of England to become a Royal Literary 
Fund Fellow at Manchester University and, although we’re all very pleased for her, Exeter Writers are sorry she’s leaving. 

How To Write a Blog Post (People Will Enjoy Reading)

Picture this scene:

A gnarly hunchback in a dark cave (office). 

Deformed hands poised over keyboard. 

The glare from a computer screen casting light on the dark circles under their eyes and shadows in the hollows of their cheeks. 

Where once a creative human full of hope and inspiration sat, a withered husk remains. His contorted expression fraught and wild with desperation.

He's stuck.

He's tormented by rejection.

He's laboured over his novels. He's laboured over his blog posts. He’s poured his heart and soul into all the words he’s ever spilled forth. 

Frantic for the world to hear his message.

But nobody does. 

Nobody cares about his posts. Or by extension his novels. 

He receives few views, and even fewer likes.

If you listen really hard. In a moment or so you’ll hear the subtle crack of his spirit breaking.

BOOK CHAT - The Motion of the Body Through Space by Lionel Shriver

Welcome to our first Book Chat! 

At Exeter Writers meetings we regularly discuss books we're reading. Not just to stay current in the world of literature professionally speaking, but because we simply adore reading as much as writing. 

This month, Dianne Bown-Wilson picked an especially interesting book.

Lionel Shriver is an American author and journalist living in the UK.  Her book The Motion of the Body Through Space was published earlier this year, 7th May, 2020.

Shriver is not afraid to use her words to bring uncomfortable things to light. She often plays devil's advocate, broaching topics that provoke hot debate.

Literary Festivals in Lockdown and Beyond

It’s fair to say 2020 has been a challenging year for the arts in general, with theatres, cinemas, concerts and other public events forced to be shut, cancelled or postponed during lockdown. 

Literary festivals are no exception and organisers have faced difficult decisions, including whether to cancel altogether or deliver events in a different format. While the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented writers and readers from gathering in the traditional way, many literary festivals have embraced the creative challenge of uniting book lovers through alternative modes. Going online is the most popular choice for literary festivals which have gone ahead.

(Re)Finding Your Writing Mojo

 (by Hayley Jones)

 Losing your writing mojo can happen at any time, but living through a pandemic doesn’t help. Whether you are struggling to feel a sense of connection with your writing or can’t write anything at all, try these tips to rekindle your enthusiasm.

1. Take care of the basics
Taking steps to improve your sleep, nutrition and physical fitness may seem obvious, but it’s easy to lose track of the basics when you are worrying about other things. Make time for things you enjoy and keep in touch with friends. Ensuring your health (physical and mental) is as good as possible means you will be in a better position to get your writing mojo back.

Writing in Lockdown by Hayley N Jones

My original plan for this post was to explore the effects of lockdown on writing habits, refining it to a single question: has the Covid-19 pandemic improved or impaired productivity in relation to creative writing? Social media seemed to represent the issue in a very binary way, particularly towards the beginning of lockdown. There were “inspirational” posts suggesting everybody should use the extra time saved (whether from being furloughed or minimising other activities) to finally write that novel and produce masterpieces, citing the productivity of Newton and Shakespeare during plague years as encouragement. These calls to action were met by numerous writers sharing the opposite experience, pointing out the difficulties of focusing on anything when one is flooded with anxiety and uncertainty.

In the Kitchen

Exeter writer, Dianne Bown-Wilson is delighted to have a story included in a forthcoming new anthology: In the Kitchen.
Every kitchen has a story to tell, and the collection showcases the best of kitchen-inspired writing from UK and international authors, summarised as: ‘A surprising platter of delightful and peculiar short stories that allow you to lose yourself in their magic.’

Interview With 3rd Place Runner Up - Alexis Wolfe

Hi Alexis, 

Firstly can I ask… is Alexis Wolfe your real name or have you used a Pseudonym because it’s so cool!?

Hello, Alexis Wolfe is my real name.

You won the Third Prize in our competition this year with your story Cane Life. What were you doing when you found out? How did you feel?

I found out during the Coronavirus lockdown so I was at home. I was a combination of very surprised and delighted. 

Interview With 2nd Place Runner Up - EJ Robinson

Hello EJ Robinson! Can I call you EJ or do you have a first name I can call you by? 

Hello, my name’s Eileen and the J is from my middle name, but I was never keen on Eileen. 

When I decided to make a go of getting into writing I didn’t want to publish under my given name, so I abbreviated myself forever more.

So well done on winning 2nd prize with A light Supper With Friends this year.  How do you feel about that?

Interview with Devon Prize Winner - Bruce Harris

Bruce Harris has been writing and publishing short stories and poetry from his home in Seaton, Devon since 2004 and his first novel was published last year, 2019.

Hello Bruce, well done for winning our Devon Prize with Night Caps For Wild Boys. As a Devon based writing group it's always heartening to support local writers. Tell us how you felt when you found out you'd won.

I’ve been competing in short story competitions and publishing them in online and print magazines for eleven years now, with three full collections on the way, but I still cannot find it in me to be blasé or indifferent when a new piece does something. 

Interview with Competition Winner - ALASTAIR CHISHOLM

Alastair Chisholm is this years winner of the Exeter Short Story Competition with his story On Talon Moor. Alastair is a published children's book author with both a picture book and a young reader novel for pre-teens published by Nosy Crow. 

Hello Alastair….So first off, how does it feel to be this year’s Exeter Writer’s Competition Winner?

Amazing! I read the runners-up, and I was hugely impressed with the quality and the range of stories you must have received. And it’s an absolute delight to put something out into the world and have other people read it and see what you saw.

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2020: RESULTS!

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2020

We are pleased to announce the winners to our 2020 competition.

First prize: On Talan Moor by Alastair Chisholm, Edinburgh.
Second Prize: A Light Supper with Friends by EJ Robinson, Kent.
Third Prize: Cane Life by Alexis Wolfe, Berkshire
Devon prize: Nightcaps for Wild Boys by Bruce Harris, Seaton, Devon.

See our Competition page to find out who wrote the other entries in our short list and our long list.

Flashlight - The new anthology from Exeter Writers

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51iukwp4xIL.jpgExeter Writers are delighted to present a new anthology, Flashlight, featuring some fantastic flash stories from many of our current members.

Flashlight will be published on National Flash Fiction Day (June 6th), and the e-book is available from Amazon at the absolute bargain price of 99p.

Dip into a treasure trove of magic, romance, ghosts and much much more!

The Short List!

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2020

The wait is finally over! 
We are pleased to annouce the short list!
Well done to everyone who entered our competition; there were so many outstanding choices - it was very difficult to whittle them down to just these few.
 Don't despair if your story isn't here; we had lots of tough decisions to make, and with a few tweaks your story might catch the eye of a judge in a different competition. Keep writing!
In alphabetical order, the stories 
nominated for the short list are:

A Light Supper with Friends
A Moonless Sky
Cane Life
Miller's Court
Nightcaps for Wild Boys
On Talan Moor
Scorched Earth
Shifting the Mouse Complainers 
Something Unsaid

Please keep your story name secret if you share your success on social media.
Well done!

Long List!

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2020

Well done all our entrants. We are pleased to annouce the long list!
In alphabetical order, the stories 
nominated for the long list are:

A Light Supper with Friends
A Moonless Sky
Beyond The Sea
Cane Life
Clown Face
From Across the sea
In Case of Emergency, Pull Cord
Miller's Court
Nightcaps for Wild Boys
Northern Nights
On Talan Moor
Scorched Earth
Shifting the Mouse Complainers 
Something Unsaid
The Compass
The Pioneer Spirit
The Secret Eater

Well done to everyone who entered our competition. We had hundreds of entries, and it has been an extremely difficult task to whittle the entries down to just these few. Don't be too disheartened if your story isn't here - keep writing, keep practising and keep entering competitions. One day, it might be you!


The Covid-19 Coronavirus has hit us all sideways, and we're all reeling from the impact and figuring out a whole different lifestyle. As a result, posts from us here at Exeter Writers may be less frequent.

However, writing is something that can be done in isolation and 'virtually'. In the weeks (or months) ahead, pouring our troubles onto paper could be a good way to manage our mental health and create a social record at the same time.

Groups all over are having to re-think how they stay in touch, and if you aren't already a member of one, now is a good time to look for an online writing group. Try hashtags such as #amwriting on twitter, and once you search for 'writers' on facebook new possibilities pop up all the time.

Where ever you are, we wish you the best in these troubled times, and in case you're wondering about your short story competition entry, you can rest assured that we're already reading your stories, and judging will not be affected.
Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the longlist!

Magazine Success

Exeter Writer, Angela Wooldridge, is in this week's copy of My Weekly with her short story 'Blind Date'.  


Short Story Competition

The Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2020 is now closed!

Thank you to everyone who entered, we look forward to reading your stories.

Image by Jess Watters from Pixabay

Short Story Competition

Don't forget that our Short Story Competition closes at midnight on 28th February.

First prize is a whopping £700!!

Second prize £250
Third prize £100

plus a prize for writers in Devon of £100

See our competition page for further details.