11 December, 2011

Christmas schedule

The next meeting of Renegade Writers is on Wednesday 14 December, at the usual venue (see right). This is a Christmas meeting -- so please bring seasonal stories or poems and festive food.

The meetings for 21 and 28 December are cancelled. We start again on 4 January 2012.

01 July, 2011

Rod reports on this week's meeting

Welcome to new attendee Gerry!
Congratulations to Jan on the nomination of her short story ‘Otterburn’ in the British Fantasy Society Awards 2011 short story category.
After the standing-room only attendance of last week we were down to just six of us this week, but small in number though we were the quality of the writing was good.
Jan kicked off with a new short story called ‘Midnight Twilight’ set on a desolate artic island ‘somewhere north of Fennmark’ and involving the experiences of an intrepid reporter Ellie as she tries to get to the bottom of the nightly appearances of a mysterious sledger. We were all agreed that the piece was well written and the planned hook a good one.
Peter read a short story entitled ‘Ghost House’ which was a tale of a sceptic challenging his disbelief by spending some time in ‘the most haunted house in Britain’ where he has a close encounter of the weird kind. Again a good, strong story.
Rod read an excerpt from the end of ‘The Demi-Monde: Spring’, the sexy bit involving the seduction of one of his characters. It seemed to go down well with the listeners.
--- Rod Rees

03 May, 2011

Renegade Writer Nominated for Award

Jan Edwards, a member of the Renegade Writers group, has been nominated for a British Fantasy Award, in the Short Story category, with her tale of otter hunts and a missing woman, entitled ‘Otterburn’.

‘Otterburn’ first appeared in the December issue of Estronomicon ezine. (Published by Screaming Dreams Publications.) http://www.screamingdreams.com/ezine.html

11 April, 2011

Fantasy Book Review Fantasy Short Story Competition 2011

This year, Fantasy Book Review with Swift Publishers are running a short story competition. The writer of the winning fantasy short story will receive an Apple iPad, the two runner-ups will receive Amazon Kindle’s. Each applicable entry will receive a free copy of Frank P Ryan’s fantasy ebook The Snowmelt River.

Full rules and conditions can be found on their website but in brief: all submitted work be the author’s original work, between 2,000 and 5,000 English words with a fantasy theme woven throughout. Entries can be submitted from 10 April 2011 up until 10 September 2011, with the winners being announced on 1 November 2011 and published on the site exactly one week later.

Fantasy author Frank P Ryan has supplied a guide to how to write a fantasy short story especially for the Fantasy Book Review Short Story Competition 2011. Full of advice and tips it can be downloaded by clicking here.

When you are happy with your mini-masterpiece, simply email   fantasyshortstorycompetition@fantasybookreview.co.uk with your entry as an attachment. Include your full name (first name and surname) and country of residence.

Market update: Where Are We Going?

From Allen Ashley, editor of forthcoming Eibonvale Press anthology Where Are We Going?  

“After several requests, I have now officially decided to extend the submission period for this anthology to now close at 10.00pm British Summer Time on Tuesday 31 May 2011.

The Fiction Desk: submission guidelines

From their website: "At The Fiction Desk, we're committed to keeping the door open for new writers, and we aim to source at least a third of the content of our publications from unsolicited submissions. Our publishing plans will change from time to time, so we'll keep this page updated with information on what we're looking for."

07 April, 2011

Poetry & the Poetry Scene: Taking a longer view

Tutor: Matthew Welton. Venue: School of English Studies, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD. Day / Time: Tuesdays, fortnightly, 7.00-9.00pm. Duration: 5 sessions - you can start at any point in the term. Start Date: 10 May. Price: £53, £41 (60+), £35 (concs). Level: open to all. To book: call 0207 582 1679 or online at http://www.poetryschool.com/

"Each of us is probably involved in poetry in a number of different ways – as writers of our own work; as readers of books and magazines; through attending readings or workshops; or by submitting work to publishers, magazines, and competitions. Sometimes, though, writers can feel that, however involved they become in the poetry scene, there is something excluding them from the routes to success – and sending poems out to publishers feels like shooting in the dark. The content of these sessions is designed to give you a view of the bigger picture of how the different aspects of poetry – and the poetry scene – fit in with each other. The importance of the actual poems you write remains central, and provides the basis for developing a strategy for getting published. Lots of practical writing tips included. In association with the School of English Studies, University of Nottingham."

01 April, 2011

Two Great Opportunities for Writers to Develop their Skills

Do you think you’ve got a great story to tell? Want to make your prose sparkle?
You’ve started writing, but now you really want to push on and see just how good you can get? Perhaps you’d like to see your name in print?

Following on from Stoke City Libraries’ All Write and Write On projects, we now have funding for another project called 'What’s the Story?'.

As part of 'What’s the Story?', we are running two longer courses - one for writers of prose fiction, the second for non-fiction writers. Both of these courses will be led by Nicholas Corder, who was writer-in-residence for the libraries and who also writes both fiction and non-fiction.
The courses are aimed at developing writers to a professional level.

What will we be doing?
For the fiction course, we’ll be looking at what makes a story or a novel work and how we go about developing characters, show & tell, dialogue, narrative tension, plotting, point of view, theme and setting. We will try to work out what makes people turn the page and do it ourselves. What you write is entirely up to you – we’re not worried about genre here.

For the non-fiction course, we’ll be looking at both feature article writing and the writing of longer works. You can work in any non-fiction genre – life-writing, travel writing, biography, opinion pieces, humour….

In both courses, we would expect to see work-in-progress and everyone will be allocated a slot for that in the workshops.

By the end of the course, you should be writing work of a publishable standard.

How will it work?
The courses will consist of five Saturdays in June, July, September and October. August will be free for you to write/research. Then, after the final session, you’ll have the chance to have email/telephone support whilst you put together a portfolio of writing. This needs to be finished by the end of November and you will receive a full feedback report on it.

Who can come?
Anyone who’s prepared to put in the work needed to produce quality writing. But you do have to apply – see more below. You also need to part with a small amount of cash.

Do I have to have been to any of the 'All Write' or 'Write On' courses or workshops?
No. You may find it helpful if you have, but talent and commitment are more important than past experience of writing workshops. The important thing is that you should be committed to producing work of publishable standard (even if your goal isn’t publication).

What are the dates?
Fiction 18 June, 2 July, 16July, 30 July, 10 September .
Non-fiction 25 June, 9 July, 23 July, 17 September, 1 October
August is free for you to do some writing. You’ll also get email/phone support (1-1 feedback) whilst you’re putting together your portfolio in September to November.
At the end of November, you need to send off 4,000 words of well-crafted prose for comment. You’ll get detailed written feedback.

What happens when the workshops finish?
You’ll then get e-mail/phone support and personalised feedback on work-in-progress until the end of November, when you will deliver a final portfolio of writing. You’ll also be encouraged to submit your work to publishers, magazines, etc.

Will I get to see my name in print?
We can’t guarantee it. But our aim is to help people produce work of a publishable standard. After that, it’s up to you. Nick will try to point you in the right direction for agents/publishers/editors, but that’s not entirely what this course is about.

Do I have to come to all the sessions?
No, we realise you may have other commitments, but it is best if you can come to most of them.

Can I attend both series of workshops?
Yes, you can. However, we need separate applications and you need to realise that it is a big commitment to do both.

Is there a fee?
Yes. It’s £50 for each course. For that you get the five workshops, email/phone support and a final report. Yes, it’s a bargain. It costs more than that to fill the average petrol tank.

So, can just anyone do it provided they’ve got £50?
No. You need to apply. We want the best local talent, so that we can develop it and create a buzzing community of serious writers. We want to see a sample of your work.

How do I apply?
For each course, please send us the following in a Word (or Open Office or similar) attachment:
  • Your contact details
  • 200 words saying what you would hope to gain from the course
  • 500 words of either prose fiction or non-fiction (i.e. no more than 2 sides of A4 double-spaced) For the prose fiction, try to avoid a section that is either all description or all dialogue – show us you can mix it up a bit! For the non-fiction, again avoid something that is all description. Perhaps you could do a little bit of life-writing if you’re not sure what to send.
Email this to Anne Mackey (anne.mackey@stoke.gov.uk) with the words “Fiction Course” or “Non-fiction Course” in the subject line. You need to do this quickly. Submissions must be in by 3 May and we’ll let you know if you’re successful as soon as possible thereafter. If you are successful, we will then ask you for the course fee.

28 February, 2011

After death

If you write thrillers the state of a body may be crucial to solving the crime -- and writing convincing fiction. This website may be of immense benefit.

The Staffordshire Hoard – A Day for Creative Writers

Author Nick Corder will lead a workshop using the Staffordshire Hoard as a springboard for imaginative writing at City Central Library, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on Saturday 19 March 2011, 10.00-3.00.

“In Saxon times, the Lord would thank his warriors when they had been victorious in battle with a huge feast in his Great Hall. Part of the entertainment would be story-telling.  Probably the most famous of these stories is Beowulf.  The bravest warriors would be rewarded with spoils from the battle-field. We’d like to create some imaginative writing around the theme of the hoard.”

Email central.library@stoke.gov.uk or phone 01782 238455 to book a place.

19 February, 2011

The Short Story Website

"Welcome to Story, the campaign to celebrate the short story. We believe that the short story is one of the most exciting and important literary forms, that can and should reach the widest possible readership. We believe that the short story matters."

To find out more visit their website.

18 February, 2011

Renegade Writers' Group

This picture is historical -- we now meet at the Red Lion, Stoke Old Road.

Jolly Potters is back in business!

The Jolly Potters pub is to re-open this weekend after a month's renovation. Therefore next Wednesday's meeting -- the 23rd February -- will once again take place here. the usual venue.

If you are a writer and you would like to meet like-minded folk over a drink, have a chat, then do come along. We are a friendly and supportive bunch.

06 February, 2011

Bristol Short Story Competition

3000 words  /  entry fee £7  /  prizes up to £1000  /  closing date 31 March

Details:  Bristol Prize website

Fish One-Page Story Competition

300 words  /  entry fee 14 Euros  /  prize  1000 Euros  /  closing date 20 March

Details: Fish Publishing

Rider Haggard Story Competition

3000 words  /  stories inspired by Rider Haggard  /  £10 entry fee  /  prize £200  /  closing date 20 March

Friends of Morley Competition

Friends of Morley Literature Festival Story Competition

3000 words  / free entry  / prizes up to £50  /  closing date 1 July

Email fmlitfest@yahoo.com for entry form

The Cinnamon Press Awards

The first 10,000 words of your novel or novella  /  short story 2000-4000 words  /  ten poems (40 lines max)  /  £16 entry fee  /  prizes up to £400  /  closing date 30 June

Biscuit Publishing Story Competition

1000-5000 words  /  £10 entry fee  /  prizes up to £1500 / closing date 9 May

Details: Biscuit Publishing Ltd

27 January, 2011

The Writer's 2011 Short-Story Contest

The Writer has announced its 2011 Short-Story Contest. "Once again, we're partnering with Gotham Writers' Workshop to bring you this contest, which offers great prizes to the top three finishers."

For all the details visit The Writer website.

15 January, 2011

Rod's blog

Group member Rod Rees writes on his blog about his book signing session at London's Forbidden Planet. He was signing his debut novel, Demi-Monde: Winter.

13 January, 2011

Giggle Magazine. Competition

 Giggle Magazine has announced its first short story competition: “Send us your wild and wonderful words, make them count and make them funny. We want to giggle!  Giggle Magazine is a platform publication offering a voice to Artists, Writers, Comedians, Photographers and Musicians. Giggle Magazine provides a promotional outlet for fresh talent in a competitive industry, simultaneously we provide high quality entertainment for readers in Wales and the South West of England and the opportunity for struggling talent to earn a bit of money promoting their own material and the work of others.

1st Prize: £50 plus publication in February issue and copies of the magazine. 2nd and 3rd Prizes: Publication in April issue and copies of the magazine.

Entries must be no more than 1000 words in length, typed, double spaced, and have the author’s name, address and contact details on the cover page. Please also include a word count at the end of the manuscript. We can only accept stories in English. Entries over the word count will be disqualified. No correspondence will be entered into.
Entries may be on any topic, but remember, we want to laugh.

Entries must be previously unpublished. Submissions are accepted from both published and unpublished writers.

The entry fee for each story is £3 sterling, please pay by cheque if possible, and make it payable to ‘Giggle Magazine’. For alternative payment methods contact Jess Dando. You may enter as many stories as you wish. Entries may be sent be email or post."
Contact Details:  Jessica Dando, No 3 Arthur Street, Cardiff, CF24 1QR. Tel: 029 2030 2196

For more information and updates visit their website.


Group member Jan Edward's short story "Otterburn" saw publication recently in the Christmas issue of Estronomicon. This is an online magazine -- and free to download.

Dark Horizons

Renegade Writers' group members Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards now edit Dark Horizons for the British Fantasy Society. DH publishes fiction with a fantastical element -- fantasy, SF, ghost stories, noir, weird, horror, supernatural...

Submission guidelines can be found here.

The Demi-Monde

Congratulations to group member Rod Rees. His debut novel Demi-Monde: Winter is published this week by Quercus.

"Funnily enough I began ‘world building’ without realising that this is what I was doing but then being a novice writer I suppose I started the whole of the writing process without realising what I was doing.

No matter.

World building is the term applied to the exercise undertaken by all Science Fiction and Fantasy writers involving the creation of a believable and coherent backdrop – be it an alien world, a dystopian future or an alternative reality – to dress the stage upon which the writer’s fictional thespians can perform. And its purpose is just the same as scenery; to allow the audience to more easily suspend disbelief and willingly to enter the counterfeit world of the writer’s imagination, a world (hopefully) made so speciously plausible, so consistent, so logical, and so precise that the reader is persuaded to think…well, why not."

Read more by Rod here.

Closure of venue

Our regular venue, the Jolly Potters pub in Hartshill, Stoke, is temporarily closed for repair work. They expect to open in five or six weeks. We hope to arrange alternative venues for meetings. Please email for details. And keep an eye on this blog and on our FaceBook page (search for Rene Writers-Group)