The Morland Scholarship for African Writers

Applications are now open the Morland Scholarship for Writers for 2015. Three scholarships of £18,000 (US $30,000) each will be awarded to writers who were born in Africa or whose parents were born in Africa. The 2014 scholarship attracted over 350 applications.

About the Scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by the Miles Morland Foundation. The foundation’s focus is culture and education with a particular interest in writing. Other projects supported by the foundation include the Caine Prize for African Writing

The three successful applicants will each receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of the 2015 calendar year. Each of the scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to be mentored by an established author or publisher.

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Research Tools Every Writer Needs

In this guest post historical fiction author Kelly Gardiner shares some of the wonderful free resources that writers can use to make the most out of their research time.

‘Do research. Feed your talent. Research not only wins the war on cliché, it’s the key to victory over fear and its cousin, depression.’ – Robert McKee, Story

All writers need research. Whether you’re writing a memoir based largely on your own life, a story set in a neighbourhood you know well, a fantasy in a created universe, or a feature article, research can add depth, verisimilitude, and those telling details that further plot or character.

I write historical fiction, which involves more research than some other forms – luckily, I love the process of imagining, seeking, finding, interrogating and then integrating (or not) material that helps me populate an imagined past and draw its people.

So here are a few things I’ve learned that can help you, no matter what form your writing takes.

Find, don’t search

It seems so easy to look stuff up, doesn’t it? A quick Google search, and there’s a world of information at your fingertips. But is it what you really want, and is it any good?

Some tips on searching well: first, start with a broad query then refine it. You can add extra words to it if they are useful refinements, but don’t just keep adding terms. Think about what material you want to find. Who would write that? Try to imagine the words they would use to describe it. A good example is health information. If you want to see results from a whole lot of health forums on which people discuss their symptoms, use common words. If you want to read informed medical advice, search using terms a doctor or medico might use.

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“Criticism – however valid or intellectually engaging – tends to get in the way of a writer who has anything personal to say. A tightrope walker may require practice, but if he starts a theory of equilibrium he will lose grace (and probably fall off).”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

This infographic created by EssayMama.com draws heavily from a 2012 blog post by Roger Colby that we’d highly recommend to anyone wanting further inspiration. Colby himself refers to The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien which was published in 1981 and edited by Humphrey Carpenter assisted by Christopher Tolkien.

J.R.R. Tolkien's 10 Tips for Writers

Tolkien was close friends with C.S. Lewis, with both men working in the English Department at Oxford University. A movie about their friendship is due for release in 2015. Read the advice Lewis shared with aspiring young American writer here.

 


Short Story Masterclasses - Eight Successful Writers Discuss the Short Story Form

Short Story Masterclass is a specially commissioned podcast series produced by Thresholds, an online international short story forum based at the University of Chichester, in partnership with the Small Wonder Short Story Festival. Each episode features an award-winning author discussing their approach to short stories. The series is hosted by Steve Wasserman, creator of the Read Me Something You Love podcast, and K.J. Orr who was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2011. 

Episode 1: Sarah Hall and the sexiness of the short story form
Listen here
After writing four highly acclaimed novels, Sarah Hall published her first collection of short stories,The Beautiful Indifference, in 2011. The collection won the 2012 Edge Hill Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize. Hall is a tutor for the Faber Academy, The Guardian and the Arvon Foundation.

Episode 2: Joseph O’Connor and super-charging your language
Listen here
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The Twin Peaks Project Invites Contributions

“Making the pilot episode, we knew we were doing something different, must-see TV, but I don’t think anyone involved thought it was going to continue past a one-off. David Lynch comes to television? The inmates are going to take over the asylum! The plan was to make a movie of the week and then go home. But then it was screened – and everybody was stunned at how good it was.”
– Kyle MacLachlan who played FBI agent Dale Cooper

Broadcast in the United States between April 1990 and June 1991, Twin Peaks was a television phenomenon. The series created by David Lynch and Mark Foster received 18 Emmy nominations and gained a cult following around the word. Twin Peaks is seen by many as a creative turning point in US television drama and a foundation for the ‘golden age of television‘.

A new project seeks to explore the ways in which the program influenced and inspired a generation of writers. According to the official website ‘The Twin Peaks Project invites these authors to write about their experience with the show, its influence, and its impact. The result—everything from critique to memoir, personal essay to poetry—will be published on participating online journals and blogs.’

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How to Submit Your Writing to Literary Magazines

Would you like to start submitting your work to literary magazines but don’t quite know how to even begin? Or perhaps you are unsure if you are making the right first impression with editors. This wonderful guide for writers seeking to get their work into print comes from the editorial team at Neon, a UK-based literary magazine published every quarter.
If you are looking for places to submit your work to be sure to get out our latest Opportunities for Writers post or see our list 9 Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers.

This article is designed to be a complete and thorough guide for anyone who is interested in having their short story or poem published in a literary magazine, but doesn’t know where to start. You’ll probably find it most useful if you’ve never sent out your work before, or if you’re just beginning to try and get published. This guide is also quite specific to literary magazines. If you’re looking to publish an article, interview, review or feature then the process is quite different. If however it’s a short story, poem or other piece of creative writing that you want to publish, read on!

Step 1: Find A Suitable Publication

The first step is to find a magazine that you’d like to be published in, and which publishes the kind of thing you write. There are thousands of different literary magazines in the world, and each has its own unique tone and style. Familiarising yourself with a magazine by reading a few back issues greatly increases your chances of being able to publish your work there – and also helps support the magazine itself! If you can’t afford to buy a copy of the magazine, many have samples available to read for free on their websites.To help you find the right magazine for your work, there are a number of resources available. Duotrope’s Digest is by far the most comprehensive – for a small monthly fee you get access to a searchable database of over 2000 different literary magazines. Ralan.com,
PoetryKit and Neon‘s own list of UK-based magazines are also worth browsing.

Step 2: Read And Follow The Guidelines

Once you have found a magazine that publishes the kind of work you write, you should look for the magazine’s guidelines. These will usually be on a page on the magazine’s website, or printed in the magazine itself. By reading the guidelines you can find out things like maximum or minimum word counts, and the format in which the editor would like to receive your work.There’s some language which might be a little unfamiliar to you that crops up often in guidelines pages. Here’s a brief glossary: Continue Reading…

Opportunities for Writers September and October 2014

Over 100 competitions, publication opportunities, fellowships and more.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many cases.

Oxford American 
welcomes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions, as well as proposals for Points South and feature articles. Submissions for the winter issue close on 1 September.

subTerrain Magazine
is based in Vancouver and is published three times a year. Submissions for its winter issue with the theme ‘meat’ close on 1 September.

The Fiction of Relationship
is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) being conducted by Brown University. The course seeks to explore relationships and literature through readings of ten great works of narrative fiction from the 18th to the 20th century. The course commences on 1 September and runs for 14 weeks.

Nano Prize for Flash Fiction
awards publication and US$500 to a previously unpublished work of fiction of 300 words or fewer. While there will be only one winner of the contest, all submitted pieces will be considered for publication. Entries close 1 September.

McSweeney’s Quarterly
publishes fiction and non-fiction and there are no genre restrictions (refer to the magazine to get a sense of the type of work they are interested in publishing). McSweeney’s are keen to discover and nurture new and developing writers, but writers should be aware that the response time can be fairly lengthy. Submissions reopen 1 September. Continue Reading…