Party girls - Margaret, Sophie and Cathie
The team has been out partying again. Meeting up with old friends and yes, we did have a glass or two and quite a few canapés. The main focus of the evening was to applaud those shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year and Joan Hessayon Award and to congratulate the winners Jenny Colgan and Leisel Schwarz. It was a very happy occasion. More information about the evening can be found HERE. There are more photos HERE.
Of course, the RNA summer party was also a great place for us to spread the word about The Exeter Novel Prize and everyone we spoke to was very enthusiastic. Our esteemed judge, Broo Doherty was also there and she is as keen as we are to discover new talent. The local launch of the prize is at the Writing Competitions: How to be a Winner event at Exeter Central Library on June 27th at 7pm. We're hoping for a big audience (to eat the cakes).
An RNA party has to have some mention of shoes but instead of the usual photos of stilettos, platforms and sparkly bone-crushers, here's what happens a little later in the evening.
Phew! I can still hear the collective sigh of relief.
Writing groups are brilliant. Exeter Writers has generously supported writers for over 60 years and this year they are sponsoring The Exeter Novel Prize. The group has successfully run a short story competition for the last five years, encouraging all those who were listed to further their careers. Later this year Exeter Writers will be publishing an anthology that will include the winners.
Competition placing is a great way to build a CV and something to say when it comes to writing those important letters to agents and commissioning editors. They take notice.
There are many competitions for short story writers and for those who take brevity to the limit in flash fiction writing but for the novelist there are few, and those there are, often have restrictions.
The Exeter Novel Prize is for both unpublished and published writers for a novel not currently under contract with a commercial publisher. Any genre is acceptable except children’s (under 12).
I wish I could enter!
The way to Narnia?
One of the things I like about writing, is how useful information haps along just when you need it. I know this sound flaky but I'm a bit of a believer in 'what you focus on expands'. I don't know who said this, but it seems to work for me.
I'm probably half way through my latest and the world of that novel is real to me now. Actually, it's two worlds because it's a time slip novel, so I'm back in Renaissance Naples quite a lot. It's very hot and rather smelly.
I'm always on the lookout for authentic detail and this morning I came across something really pertinent. But only because I'd decided to pursue something that on initial glance didn't look that interesting. A novel is a massive investment and I don't 'write into the dark' anymore because it feels too time wasteful. Sometimes, however, doors appear along the way and I can't resist opening them to see what's behind. Having the novel outline written is a bit like making sure the door is left open so that you can get out again. Otherwise there's a good chance of ending up in Narnia.