Online Tools for Writers
A guest post by Kelly Gardiner

There is a whole range of free online tools that are useful for organising your work as a writer. Here are a few basics:

Browser

Most of us take our web browser for granted. If you own a PC with Windows like most of the world, you might use Internet Explorer. Nowadays many people use other browsers like Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

Whichever browser you use, you need to know that they have changed a lot over the years and you need to keep updating (they’re free, so why not?). They also come with a great many more bells and whistles than they used to, such as better management of your bookmarks or favourites.

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Stephen King's Reading List

Last month we shared Stephen King’s Reading List for Writers, a collection of 96 books recommended by King in his acclaimed guide, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

When a tenth anniversary edition of On Writing was published in 2010, King included a new reading list. It was published in the afterword with the following introductory note:

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Pinterest Writers Community Board

Last year we started a writers’ community board on Pinterest. It’s a place for writers of all styles and genres, and all levels of experience, to share news, resources and inspiration.

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Throughout the month of June unpublished and emerging writers will have a rare opportunity: the chance to submit their work directly to one of the world’s most prestigious literary imprints, Jonathan Cape.

UK-based Jonathan Cape is a imprint of Penguin Random House’s Vintage Books. It publishes the likes of Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, Audrey Niffenegger and Anne Enright.

Jonathan Cape - Unsolicited Submissions

This account of Jonathan Cape’s development was published in 1971 to mark its fiftieth anniversary.

Unsolicited submissions will be open between 1 June and 30 June. To submit their work, writers are asked to email an initial 50 pages of prose fiction as an attachment to [email protected] These pages can be part of a novel or novella, or they can be short stories.

Together with the 50 pages writers should also include their contact details and a covering paragraph with ‘any information you think might prove helpful in considering your submission’. The submitted writing can be a work in progress.

Submissions sent after 30 June will not be read so get in quick. After this date, Jonathan Cape will once again only accept submissions via a literary agent.

Source: Cape Open Submissions


How to Write a Short Story: Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

“Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

In this video, narrated by the author himself, Kurt Vonnegut shares eight insightful tips for writing a great short story.

This advice was published in the introduction to Bagombo Snuff Box, a collection of Vonnegut stories written during the fifties and sixties for popular magazines including Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post.

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Competitions and Fellowships for Screenwriters

Competitions, fellowships, workshops and residencies for screenwriters. Please check the relevant websites for full terms and conditions, and don’t forget that entry fees are applicable in many cases.

Nick Darke Award
celebrates the best writing for screen, stage and radio, awarding the winner £6000 to allow them to complete their script. It is open to all writers aged over 16. The theme is the environment; entrants may interpret the theme widely. The first submission stage involves outlining an idea in the form of a 25 word or less pitch, followed by an outline for the story idea in 750 words, suggesting character, plot and structure. Applicants are asked to also submit 20 pages that represent their writing, either in the form of a new or existing piece. Entries close 14 April.

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
were established in 2003 by an alliance of Hollywood producers, agents and development executives. This competition awards a cash prize of $25,000 to a screenwriter who has written the best screenplay in any genre. There are also prizes in ten genre categories. The final date for entries is 15 April.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. All entrants must be aged over 18.The final entry deadline is 1 May.

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I.

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath

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