new book!

7. Aug 2019
Siobhan Carew
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Bones of Contention: an occasional series

23. Jul 2019
Les Brookes
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(3) Point of View

Is this the biggest bugbear of the lot? Are you irritated, like me, by readers who raise an eyebrow at any change of viewpoint? By those who say, “I was just getting interested in Kate when Hugh poked his nose in”? Or worse: “The whole thing should be told from Harry’s viewpoint”? Perhaps you feel like retorting, as Ian McEwan did to Philip Roth in another context, “But that’s the novel you would write; it’s not the novel I want to write.”

Bones of Contention: an occasional series

24. Jun 2019
Les Brookes
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(2) Show don’t tell

I’ve been thoroughly irritated by this advice ever since an agent accused me of ignoring it. It seems to me a neat formula trotted out blithely. So I want to examine and challenge it. First, is the distinction between showing and telling as clear as this maxim suggests? We might concede that we see a kind of distinction here, but is it easily spotted? Showing is surely a form of telling and vice versa; the two blend almost imperceptibly. Open any piece of fiction and I guarantee you will find long passages where the line between showing and telling is blurred almost to the point of invisibility.

Revenge - Short Story Competition 2019

23. Jun 2019
Harry Goode
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‘Revenge’ – our latest short story collection has been assembled by Siobhan Carew, our Secretary, and Thure Etzold, our Website Controller. It is available on Amazon as an e-book priced at £2.99 or a paperback.

Bones of Contention: an occasional series

17. May 2019
Les Brookes
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(1) Write about what you know

I’ve long thought of writing a series of pieces for the newsletter on contentious issues in writing. So I’ll begin with the above. For me, the problem here is the suggestion that we should confine ourselves to writing about what we’ve actually experienced. But surely much of what we “know” comes to us through our imagination. If we were to confine ourselves to the former there would be no historical fiction, no fantasy and a huge reduction in crime fiction. The loss of the first might suit some, but would be unfair to the likes of Hilary Mantel, Marguerite Yourcenar, Guiseppe de Lampedusa, while the lopping of crime fiction, which might bring some benefits, could rob us of fine novels by P.D. James, Raymond Chandler and Dostoevsky. I’ve no idea what these writers “knew”, but I’m willing to bet that many crime novelists have never so much as seen a corpse, much less committed or investigated a murder.

Cambridge Writers Short Story Competition 2019

1. Mar 2019
Thure Etzold
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From our juror of this year's competition, Ingrid Jendrzejewski: "First of all, huge congratulations go out to everyone who submitted a story to this year's Cambridge Writers' Short Story Competition.  The overall quality was exceedingly high – much higher, on average, than most other competitions I've judged.  I found something to admire in every single story submitted, and I found it incredibly difficult to pare down my longlist to only three prize-winners and three commended stories.  I suspect this is partly down to the wonderful community that Cambridge Writers fosters!

Simon L'etoile : Black Widow & Me

11. Dec 2018
Peter Dean
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Simon L’etoile: Black Widow & Me is the story of a fictional rock band from the 1980s. It is told as a memoir, through the eyes of the lead singer, Simon L’etoile. Following the band and its members through touring and recording, to great success when they play festivals and have chart hits – but then hit the rocks with a bang!

Worlds Apart by Helen Culnane

19. Jul 2018
Helen Culnane
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Forgive me for bragging but I’m cock a hoop because I’ve just published my first novel, “Worlds Apart”. It’s a historical story of friendship set in Scotland at the time of the women’s suffrage movement and WW1.