Posts Tagged Morgen Bailey

Twixmas Thoughts

We’ve just entered Twixmas – that funny sort of no-man’s land between Christmas and New Year. The big event, for which we’ve planned, prepared and worked, is over. The slightly lesser event is still a few days away. Many of us are still off work, surrounded by leftovers, chocolates and the Christmas TV Guide. It’s a good time to relax, ponder and mentally prepare for the year ahead.

Here are a few things to ponder, as you sit with your feet up and enjoy another mince pie:

Morgen Bailey’s Email Critique Group

Morgen writes the regular competitions feature in Writers’ Forum magazine. She is now organising a free email critique group for pieces of fiction of up to 3,000 words. It works on a mutual, writers helping writers, basis. For every submission you critique, you will get one piece of your own work critiqued. This sounds like a great way of getting feedback on your work and honing your own critique skills (which will help you edit your own work in the future).

Should E-Books be VAT Free?

Books and other printed matter have always been free of VAT because it is thought taxing these items is akin to taxing knowledge. However, digital publications are subject to VAT. This hits many disabled people, who find digital reading far easier than handling a paper book.
On 4th December 2018, an EU directive was passed allowing member states to bring VAT on digital publications in line with VAT on books i.e. 0% in the UK. Whether or not to follow this directive is down to the individual countries and, of course, after Brexit, the UK will be able to decide for itself. A campaign has been started to persuade the UK government to abolish VAT on digital publications. If you would like to get involved, sign the petition or read more about it, nip over to Axe the Reading Tax.

Regional Writer Development Agencies

Most regions have a body dedicated to promoting writing in their area. This is likely to be done predominantly through workshops, events and conferences. Many of these agencies also have mentoring schemes. Living in the Midlands, I’ve attended events organised by Writing West Midlands and Writing East Midlands. Both run mentoring schemes. A list of similar organisations is provided by the National Centre for Writing and Jamie Edgley Rhodes. Take a look and get some writing outings into your 2019 calendar!

Finally, if you’ve got a Christmas gift card from a certain online retailer burning a hole in your pocket, The Promise is currently only £5.75 in paperback.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful 2019! Hope it’s filled with lots of reading and writing.

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National Short Story Week 2015

It’s a mystery to me why National Short Story Week takes place in November when writers are hammering away at keyboards trying to complete 50,000 words of a novel. But it’s worth taking a break from your magnum opus and celebrating the art of the short story. A change is as good as a rest.

This year National Short Story Week is the 16th to 22nd November 2015.

National short story week was launched in 2010 by Ian Skillicorn of Corazon Books. It aims to:

  1. Get more people reading and listening to short stories
  2. Get more people writing short stories
  3. Develop creative and commercial opportunities for individuals and organisations involved in the short story form.

I was hoping to point you to lots of resources and activities related to National Short Story Week but there seems to be very little happening online. So here’s a couple of free to enter competitions to get the creative juices flowing:

Morgen Bailey runs a monthly 100-word story competition. There is a different theme each month and the prizes are access to up to three of her online courses.

Words Magazine has an open-themed short story competition closing on December 31st 2015. First prize is £50 and second prize is £25. Word limit is 2,000.

Finally, in celebration of National Short Story Week, my latest story collection, House Guests And Other Stories, is only 99p/99c until 22nd November 2015. House Guests and Other Stories

It’s a cornucopia of contemporary short stories about modern life. Enjoy a plethora of twist endings, some humour plus a tiny bit of romance.

Happy Short Story Week!

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