Monday Motivations

After missing last week’s post from Esther, I didn’t want to let another Monday Motivations slip by.
Esther, thank you, as always! Your dedication is greatly appreciated!


I’m just about coming back down to earth after the excitement and buzz of last week’s London Book Fair. So here is this week’s Monday Motivations word prompt:

The Hiding Place

And here’s this week’s picture prompt:

IMG_3287 (1)

Last week’s Monday Motivations was a rollover, featuring a photo and word prompt. Here are your wonderful creations:

EDC Writing was quick off the mark:

They sat
She wriggled some
Gave a yelp
Jumped up and stripped
Touched her toes
He pulled splinters
One by one
By reflected light
A perfect moon

Steve Walsky wrote a beautiful piece:


Lights strung around, and between the trees
forming a halo above the old, worn-out bench
A bench of wood, now so less inviting
yet tempting for the tired
A place to rest within the shade
a place to contemplate one’s days

Please visit Helen Jones‘ blog to read her wonderful piece of…

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Markets For writers

Esther Newton brings us a newvMarkets for Writers today. The event is the Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition.
Thank you, Esther, for always keeping us informed!


This week’s market is the Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition. There is an adult category inviting stories of up to 2500 words. The junior competition (two categories: 8-11 and 12-16) has a word limit of 1000 words. Entry is £5 for adults and it’s free for juniors.

The prize in the adult category is £150 and the winners of the two junior age groups will win £30 each.

The closing date is 24th March 2017.

Shortlisted entries, including the winning entries will be published in the Evesham Festival of Words 2017 Anthology. To find out more, please visit the competition page


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Monday Motivations

Re logging a little late in the day, but it’s still Monday! Monday Motivations from Esther Newton for February 27, 2017.
Thank you for a wonderful list as always, Esther!


I’m taking a while to get going this Monday morning. If you’re struggling to get your writing brain active, here are some writing prompts for you:

  • The letter
  • Secrets
  • Passion

Last week’s writing prompts were:

  • Laughter
  • Cold
  • The Future

Here are your creative works:

Robert Griffiths has written a beautiful story:

Charlie’s bluebird        1961

“Charlie, why are you staring out of the window?” Jess asked.

“It’s that cat,” said Charlie.

“What about it?” said Jess.

“It’s in our garden again. It watches my bird, it waits for her eggs to hatch, then it will eat my chicks. I want to kill it!” said Charlie.

“You can’t, it’s Mrs Jones’s cat,” said Jess.

“Sisters are a pain, I’m going out,” said Charlie.

He walked out of his sister’s bedroom and down the stairs and out the front door. He crossed the pavement and sat down on the kerb stone resting his…

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Writing Tip: Start writing

Sharing words of writing wisdom from author Libby Sommer.
Thank you,
Libby! This is a wonderful way to think about writing, especially when the paper is blank!

Libby Sommer, Author

fountain pen on page of writing

When I used to teach classes to beginning writers, it was good.  It forced me to think back to the beginning to when I first put pen to paper.  The thing is, every time we sit down and face the blank page, it’s the same.  Every time we start a new piece of writing, we doubt that we can do it again.  A new journey with no map – like setting off towards the horizon alone in a boat and the only thing another person can do to help is to wave from the shore.

So when I used to teach a creative writing class, I had to tell them the story all over again and remember that this is the first time my students are hearing it.  I had to start at the very beginning.

First up, there’s the pen on the page.  You need this intimate relationship between the…

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Markets For Writers

Esther Newton shares another new writing completion in today’s Markets for Writers.
Thank you, Esther! You always keep us writing!


If you enjoy writing flash fiction, you might like to enter Writing Magazine’s 750-word story competition. Stories are accepted on any theme. You have until 15th April 2017 to enter.


1st prize: £200 and publication in Writing Magazine

2nd prize: £50 and publication on the website

Entry fees:£5 or £3 for subscribers

To find out more, visit the competition page



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10 Writing Tips – Part 4

Here is a reblog of some writing tips that I originally saw on Don Massenzio’s blog ( here on WordPress). It contains links to the first three parts of this tips series.
Thanks for sharing this!, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

This is the last in my series of Writing Tips. I hope they have been helpful. If you want to check out the first three parts, you can click on the links below:

dotsTip 31 – Let the Reader Connect the Dots

You don’t have to account for every minute of your characters day. You just need to provide enough information so that time jumps won’t lose your reader. If nothing happens to advance the story during a certain interval, you can leave it out.

Good-talkTip 32 – Tell a Good Story, but Make Your Dialog Count

You can have the best story in the world and do a masterful job describing the people, places and things, but if your dialog is weak, you’ll lose your reader.

smell-oTip 33 – Your Readers have Five Senses

The best writers can transport their readers to real…

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Monday Motivations

Today’s Monday Motivations from Esther Newton…
Thank you, Esther!


After a fabulous writing weekend away, which has inspired and motivated me, I hope to do the same for you. Here are some writing prompts for you:

  • Laughter
  • Cold
  • The Future

Last week saw a single writing prompt: Spring. Here are your super creations:

Take a look at Steve Walsky‘s blog for four fantastic spring poems:

Jason Moody has written something a little different:

“What is it?” asked Simon.

Camille looked at him. Her features fought to display a blank expression.

“I dunno,” she whispered.

Simon edged towards it. He prodded it. It was smooth and shiny, and it was red.

“Well?” said Camille, demanding an answer.

Simon backed away, shaking his head. He screwed up his face.

“I dunno. Not seen anything like this before.”

The front door opened and Jasmine walked in. Her face lit up.

“Hello my little babies. Did you like the spring Mummy…

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Writing Tip: Use the Senses

From author Libby Sommer count mes this tip on including all sensory elements in your writing, not just visual ones. Read on!
Thank you for sharing this, Libby. It is amazing to me how a few words about aromas, texture, sound can enrich a visual description!

Libby Sommer, Author

using all five senses quote on green board

Sounds, sights, and smells are all part of  creating an atmosphere.

‘The creation of the physical world is as crucial to your story as action and dialogue. If your readers can be made to see the glove without fingers or the crumpled yellow tissue, the scene becomes vivid. Readers become present. Touch, sound, taste and smell make readers feel as if their own fingers are pressing the sticky windowsill.

‘If you don’t create evocative settings, your characters seem to have their conversations in vacuums or in some beige nowhere-in-particular. Some writers love description too much. They go on and on as if they were setting places at the table for an elaborate dinner that will begin later on. Beautiful language or detailed scenery does not generate momentum. Long descriptions can dissipate tension or seem self-indulgent. Don’t paint pictures. Paint action.’ – Jerome Stern, Making Shapely Fiction

Bringing in sensory detail is…

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Studying the Masters of Detective Fiction II – John D. MacDonald

Here is the second in a series on the masters of fictional crime detection from Don Massenzio. Enjoy!
Thank you for posting these, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

This post is the second in a series that I’ve been writing about the individuals that I view as the masters in my genre of choice, crime/detective fiction. I am a firm believer that you become better in whatever field you pursue by following those that excelled and paved the way before you.

john-d-macdonaldPhoto Credit:

Studying the Masters of Crime/Detective Fiction

Part 2 – John D. MacDonald

Just the name of his fabled character, Travis McGee, starts your imagination working overtime to picture this man. McGee was the opposite of Sherlock Holmes as described in my earlier post on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was more of a playboy who lived on a houseboat, bedded beautiful women, and took half of the profit from stolen goods that he recovered.

MacDonald himself was a well-educated man a degree from Syracuse University, my hometown, and an Ivy League MBA. He then entered…

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Markets For Writers

Today’s Markets for Writers, posted by Esther Newton, is a flash fiction competition. Enjoy!
Esther, thank you for posting these wonderful opportunities!


Here’s an excellent flash fiction competition for you. Fish Publishing’s Annual Flash Fiction Competition is open for another two weeks. They’re looking for stories of up to 300 words. 


1st: €1,000

2nd: online writing course with Fish

The top ten stories will be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2017

Entry Fees: €14 for the first entry, €8 for any subsequent entries

Closing date: 28th February 2017

To find out further details, visit the competition page



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