Linda Spurr's Critiquing Workshop Handout
Some useful sites to assist with editing.
- www.flash500.com website with competitions eg novel writing competition that offers a critique on synopsis and first three chapters – at a price. This site also runs quarterly flash fiction competitions.
You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Each issue, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy explore and critique a reader's opening page. If you would like to participate in their Opening Page Mini Masterclass, send your opening page (400 approx words) as a Word Document attachment to email@example.com with the subject ‘Cornerstones Masterclass’. Pieces for critique are chosen at random from those submitted to Words with JAM.
Mine was chosen for the June newsletter and I submitted the required 400 words. I got a critique of over 1000 words which I found extremely interesting, useful and incredibly in-depth.
I would definitely suggest anyone who has an opening page sending it in. It’s free.
· http://cornerstones.co.uk/ Cornerstones Literary Consultancy which offers paid critques
· Cracking the Short Story Market by Iain Pattison on Amazon : used for 1 penny plus £2.80 p&p, even cheaper if you order other items
Example of a checklist
This one is for fiction and it can be used at any stage eg planning, while writing, for editing
- What is at stake ie what does your protagonist want, what have they got to lose?
- What makes that (the answer to number 1) important to the reader?
- What is driving the story ie the setbacks?
- How will the sequence of events allow the main character to change?
- What relationship does the story have with time? Your protagonist has had a life before the story starts; the duration of the novel is the “illuminated” part of the protagonist’s life; life will continue after the story ends. How many years will the “illuminated” bit cover?
- Where is the story set and what impact does the setting have?
Other Writing Groups
Harrow Writers Circle
Verulam Writers Circle
Short Story Markets (Popular, General and Online Submissions)
Bonmarché Magazine (quarterly)
Magazine in Bonmarché shops. Short story of around 600 words. Pays £ 100.
Readers Fiction, BM, Victory House, 14 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BZ. *You need to enclose the voucher from the magazine.
Ellery Queen Mvstery Magazine (US)
Mystery/crime short stories.
Scottish literary magazine. Short fiction, poetry, essays. High standard.
Joy Hendry, Editor, Chapman, 4 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EHI 3RX
New Scottish print magazine. Fiction and Poetry.
Email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: vvww.guttermag.co.uk No payment yet, but might change. An agent is onboard.
Traditional short stories of around 2000 words, with an Irish orientation if possible.
Sean Nolan, Editor, Channing House, Rowe Street, Wexford, Republic of Ireland
Scottish magazine accepting fiction, articles and poetry. Up to about 3000 words.
44 The High Street, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfiies & Galloway DG7 2HP
Women writers only. Regular New Writing competitions. Short stories and poetry with a particular theme; see magazine for closing dates and subjects. Also regular Flash Fiction (theme).
Mslexia, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE99 lBR
New Love Stories (US)
Short stories about male/female love and romance, contemporary, historical, etc. Length 3000 to 5000 words, submitted by emaiI, including a story synopsis.
Editor: Ron Victor. Email: email@example.com
New Writing Scotland
Annual publication of literary short stories, poetry and prose. Submit by September.
ASLS Department of Scottish Literature, 7 University Gardens, University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8QH, UK
Short stories with an undercurrent, by established and emerging writers. Up to 5000 words. Regular competitions.
Website for short stories set up by Robin Pilcher
Submit to: www.shortbreadstories.com
Solander (Historical Novel Society Publication)
Twice-yearly magazine, using one short story an issue. Must be historical fiction of around 4-5000 words (will consider 2000-7000 words). Good storytelling.
Take a Break (weekly)
One page twist-in-tail; strong plot; about I 000-1200 words.
Norah McGrath, Fiction Editor, Take a Break, 24-28 Oval Road, London NWI 7DT
Take a Break Fiction Feast
Short Fiction to suit women's magazine market; length 800 to 2,000 words. Twist in tail, mystery, ghost or general interest story.
Margaret Nicholls, Editor, Fiction Feast, 24-28 Oval Road, London NWI IDT.
That's Life (Australia)
Contemporary, positive, humorous stories, good dialogue, around 700 words. Will take reprints of published stories and pay slightly less for them.
The Weekly News
DC Thomson Newspaper - Strong stories including ghost and crime 800 to 2000 words.
Jill Finlay, Fiction Ed, The Weekly News, DC Thomson, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DDI 9QJ
While Jill is on maternity leave, email Billy Higgins on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Yellow Room
Women's short stories up to 5000 words. Must be well-written; check website for layout etc. Also regular competitions.
All submissions must be sent by post to: Jo Derrick, Editor, The Yellow Room 1 Blake Close, Bilton, Rugby CV22 7LJ
Woman's Day (Australia)
Short stories of around 1500 words: romance, humour, mysteries, with good dialogue. Occasional stories of around 850 words, with a twist. Take reprints of published stories (except W . Weekly)
Email stories to: email@example.com
Woman's Weekly. (weekly)
Short stories: 1000 words (1 page) or 2000 words (2-page). Stories should reflect real life but have a quality of warmth, and humour is always popular.
Gaynor Davies, Fiction Editor, Woman's Weekly, IPC Media, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 OSU.
See also Woman's Weekly Fiction Specials (1000 to 5000 words)
Writers' Forum (monthly competitions)
Between 1000 and 3000 words. Free online submission just now for subscribers; £3 for others. Optional critique. Pay well for 1st,2nd and 3rd. Entry form in magazine.
Writers' Forum Story Contest, PO Box 6337, Boumemouth BHl 9EH
Website: www.writers-forum.com (you can also enter online)
Writing MagazinelWriters' News (monthly competitions)
Writers' News on subscription (comps for subscribers only); Writing Magazine can be bought in WH Smith. Good variety of fiction competitions every month.
Hilary Bowman, Editor, Sth Floor, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, W. Yorkshire LS 1 SID
Study their published short stories - should be suitable for age group but not stereotypes.
Marion Clarke, Short Stories, Yours, Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA.
Email: yours@.emap.com (subject line: Short Story Submission).
See also Yours Fiction Special
Requesting stories 1 000-lS00 words, with a 100-150 word synopsis.
Good US website. Short Story submissions and fiction competitions throughout the year. Can check your submission progress online.
UK site for darker fiction and horror. Monthly competitions and publications.
Best of British (monthly)
Wide variety of subjects including nostalgia, war, collections. Welcomes contributions, especially with illustrations. Yesterday Remembered section.
Linne Matthews, Editor, The Clock Tower, 6 Market Gate, Market Deeping, Lines. PE6 8DL
Website: www.bestofbritishmag.co.uk - has great links to information sites.
Recent travel articles of up to 2500 words and photos.
Hannah James, Editor, Create Publishing Ltd, 2nd Floor, 15-16 Lower Park Row, Bristol BSI SBN.
Scottish Home & Country Magazine (monthly by subscription) Articles on a wide range of subjects of interest to women - up to 1000 words.
Sample copy from SWRI. Note that members of the SWRI are not paid for contributions.
Liz Ferguson, Editor, SH&C, 42 Heriot Row, Edinburgh EH3 6ES
The Highlander (US bi-monthly)
Historical articles on Scotland: people and places. Prefer photographs with article.
Neill Kennedy Ray, Editor, 87 Highland Avenue, Hull, MA 02045
The Oldie (monthly)
Irreverent 'older' magazine; witty or interesting pieces. Articles of 600 to 1,300 words.
Send to: Jeremy Lewis, Features Editor, 65 Newman Street, London WIT 3EG
The Scots Magazine (Monthly)
Articles on Scottish themes. Illustrations/photos welcomed. Length 1000-2000 words.
The Scots Magazine, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DDI 9QJ
Woman Alive (monthly)
Articles with a Christian perspective for women. Contact for guidelines.
Jackie Stead, Editor, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing, W. Sussex BN13 lBW
Writers' Forum (Monthly)
Accepts articles of interest to other writers, including interviews. Length 1000 for 1 page; 1700 words for spread. Letters; First Draft. Fun details on website.
Writers' Forum, Select Publisher Services Ltd, PO Box 6337, Bournemouth BH1 9EH
Freelance Market News
This is an excellent monthly newsletter/magazine with regular details on markets in the UK and overseas. In addition, subscribers may enter the monthly competition which varies between short stories, articles, poetry and limericks. The winner receives £50.
There is also the opportunity to obtain a free professional critique of one piece of work during each year's membership. All members receive a membership card to the Association of Freelance Writers.
Freelance Market News takes articles of interest to writers. One-page is 700 words; 2-page is 1500 words. Payment on acceptance - £50 per 1000 words. FMN is owned by Writers Bureau, which offers one of the most respected, long-running Writers' Courses. www.freelancemarketnews.com
Telegraph Travel Competition
A weekly competition for a travel article of no more than 500 words. Winner receives £200 in the currency of their choice. Advisable to read previous winning entries for the style and tone used. www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition
Mobile Phone Text Competition
www.txtlit.co.uk enter this monthly competition by texting a story to fit the theme in no more than 160 characters.
Leaf Books and Magazine
Publisher of most types of fiction, prose and poetry. Regular competitions. New magazine out in April
Online writing magazine & community of writers. Become a contributing writer and produce at least 10 articles every 3 months on your chosen subjects.
My Reading and Writing Blog
Regular information for writers about markets, competitions and books
Rosemary Gemmell 2010