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I am a writer. I create innovative creative and business writing courses. I inspire others to tell their stories. My company's name is Writers Write. My email address is amanda@writerswrite.co.za

Cut to the chase - Three ways to get your short story started →
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, Three Hours Between Planes, a man decides to look up an old girlfriend while he has a few hours to kill in his old hometown. This is established in the first paragraph. By the second page, the dark-haired little beauty is welcoming him into her house with a highball and a smile. No time wasted in this brilliant comic piece.
In Ian Rankin’s chilling crime story, Someone Got to Eddie, the assassin narrating the tale lets us know his victim is lying bleeding and dying on the floor in just over fifty words. We’re gripped from the start.
In Gina Berriault’s classic, The Stone Boy, written in a longer short story format, the tragedy that changes the life of a young farm boy happens on the third page. She gets to the heart of the story as soon as she set up her characters and the world of the farm.

Why do we go wrong

— 1 month ago with 82 notes
#Three ways to get your short story started  #Short Stories  #Writing Advice  #Lit  #Writers Write  #Anthony Ehlers 
The Long and Short of It -€“ The difference between a novel and short story →

What is the difference between a short story and a novel?

One of my favourite writers, David Leavitt made his career with the short story before breaking into novels. “Novels are the long haul,” he wrote. “They are marriage.” Short stories, on the other hand, are like a love affair. “Though betrayal by either party is a necessary risk with the story,” he wrote, “less is at stake than with a novel.”

Rather than length as a dividing line, short stories—the good ones anyway—have a stronger sense of unity than a novel. Brander Matthews wrote in his brilliant essay, The Philosophy of the Short Story: “A short story deals with a single character, a single event, a single emotion—or a series of emotions called forth by a single emotion.”

One could take the idea of a single event and say it should reflect in a crucial moment of change for the character or, at the very least, reflect a new awareness or attitude for the character. It can be subtle or dramatic—but there must be an arc. Brander advises on a classic structure: one action, in one place, on one day. 

While this may be constraining, it can be good discipline for the writer. My short story, Cappuccinos and Goodbyes, takes place in a coffee shop one rainy afternoon and tells of a simple encounter between my heroine and a stranger. And it worked. In other stories, I’d tried to show too many settings over too long a stretch of time, with less effect. Of course, a story could span decades as long as it is tied by a distinct emotion or theme.

How long is a short story? Hemingway famously wrote the six-word story: “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” So a story can be anything from a few lines to twenty thousand or more words. From thirty thousand words, we’re looking at a novella.

Edgar Allen Poe argued that the short story should have a totality and should be long enough to be read in a single sitting. “During the hour of perusal the soul of the reader is at the writer’s control,” he wrote. That’s a great way to measure length, I think.

by Anthony Ehlers

— 4 months ago with 152 notes
#What is the difference between a short story and a novel?  #Short Stories  #Writers Write 
The Top 10 Reasons to Write Short Stories →

We love short stories at Writers Write. We’ve recently added posts about short story competitions and a list of our Top 20 Short Story Quotes. We’ve had a great response. We’ve also been asked this question - Why write short stories? - so many times that I decided to list 10 reasons to write short stories.

  1. Practice. Short stories are an excellent way to develop a story with a beginning, middle, and ending. They are also easier to finish than novels.
  2. Cellular world. Readers have smaller screens and shorter attention spans. You may reach a different market with your short stories. Literary journals, online journals, and consumer magazines, which are often read online, publish short stories.
  3. Connected. Short stories are a great way to write for the Internet. You can develop e-book anthologies and series stories. You can do this by starting a blog and posting instalments.
  4. A way to start. Many great writers started by writing short stories. Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain became famous novelists, but they honed their craft publishing short stories.
  5. Experiment. A short story is a good way to try a different genre without putting 80 000 words, which have to be revised, rewritten and reworked, on paper. You may find that your voice is suited to a completely different type of story.
  6. Reputation. Short stories are a good way to help you build up a body of work. This shows publishers that you are a working writer. Fiction magazines that publish short stories are often read by reviewers, publishers, and editors.
  7. Competitions. Entering short story contests could jump start your career. Winning a prestigious competition, or having a story included in an anthology, is good for your resume and your ego. You may even win some money. You also get feedback on entries in some competitions. This is almost unheard of when you submit novels today.
  8. Concentrate. Short stories force you to get to the point. The lack of sub-plots, as well as a limited number of characters, makes it easier to concentrate on the plot. This is good for writers who need to stop filling their novels with back story.
  9. Nobel. Alice Munro, a short story writer, won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  10. Love. Write short stories because you love writing.  

Writers Write’s short story course, Short Cuts, will run in Johannesburg on 27 October 2013. 

Look at this list of Literary Journals for places to submit your short story. We’ve heard that The Puffin Review is looking for short stories, as are these publishers. You can find a list of publishers who publish short stories here

by Amanda Patterson

— 6 months ago with 209 notes
#The Top 10 Reasons to Write Short Stories  #Short Stories  #Writing Advice  #Lit  #Writing Competitions 
The Top 20 Literary Quotes About Short Stories →
  1. A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film. ~Lorrie Moore
  2. The great thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to trawl through someone’s whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side. ~Emma Donoghue
  3. A short story is a different thing all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. ~Stephen King
  4. Women want love to be a novel, men a short story. ~Daphne du Maurier
  5. A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit. ~David Sedaris
  6. Newt Gingrich wrote a novel, and he’s a short story. Bill Clinton wrote a biography, and he’s a novel. ~James McBride
  7. A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. ~Edgar Allan Poe
  8. A short story is a shard, a sliver, a vignette. It’s a biopsy on the human condition but it doesn’t have this capacity to think autonomously for itself. ~Will Self
  9. Short fiction seems more targeted - hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it’s a lot smokier and less defined. ~Paolo Bacigalupi
  10. My highest point was the first thing I won, a short story competition in a women’s magazine in the Eighties. It was the first time I’d had my writing validated, and the first thing I’d ever shown anyone else. ~Kate Atkinson
  11. My short stories are like soft shadows I have set out in the world, faint footprints I have left. I remember exactly where I set down each and every one of them, and how I felt when I did. Short stories are like guideposts to my heart… ~Haruki Murakami
  12. With a novel, which takes perhaps years to write, the author is not the same man he was at the end of the book as he was at the beginning. It is not only that his characters have developed—he has developed with them, and this nearly always gives a sense of roughness to the work: a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov’s story, The Lady with the Dog. ~Graham Greene
  13. I believe that the short story is as different a form from the novel as poetry is, and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer in spirit to poetry than to novels. ~Tobias Wolff
  14. The short story is still like the novel’s wayward younger brother, we know that it’s not respectable - but I think that can also add to the glory of it. ~Neil Gaiman
  15. I used to write things for friends. There was this girl I had a crush on, and she had a teacher she didn’t like at school. I had a real crush on her, so almost every day I would write her a little short story where she would kill him in a different way. ~Stephen Colbert
  16. I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story. ~Annie Proulx
  17. If you look at my last songs and first short stories, there is a real connection between them. ~Kazuo Ishiguro
  18. I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing. ~William Faulkner
  19. Somewhere around the place I’ve got an unfinished short story about Schrodinger’s Dog; it was mostly moaning about all the attention the cat was getting. ~Terry Pratchett
  20. When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you. ~George Saunders

Join us for Short Cuts – How to write a short story in a day.

— 6 months ago with 1473 notes
#The Top 20 Literary Quotes About Short Stories  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write  #Short Stories 
Short Cuts - How to write a short story - Writers Write →

I was asked to judge five creative writing competitions in a period of 18 months in 2010 and 2011. One of them was a short story competition for a popular writer’s group. The theme of the yearly competition was Almost Strangers. The stories ranged from ghosts of the past to children of the present and machines of the future.

Which made me wonder, ‘What do people want to read today?’

Follow the link to find out

— 10 months ago with 84 notes
#Short stories  #lit  #writing advice 
IRELAND’S NEWEST STAMP features an entire short story written by a talented Dublin teenager.
Source

IRELAND’S NEWEST STAMP features an entire short story written by a talented Dublin teenager.

Source

— 11 months ago with 242 notes
#Stamps  #Writing  #Short Stories  #Ireland  #lit 
Short Cuts
Writers Write has developed a recipe for writing a short story in one day.
‘I was asked to judge five creative writing competitions in 18 months,’ says Amanda Patterson, Writers Write founder. ‘Thank goodness the entrants had pseudonyms! Every winner had completed a Writers Write course.’ 
Everyone knows that a story needs a clear beginning, a middle, and an end.
Our short story recipe equips you with a more refined plot recipe, which you could use repeatedly. There are probably as many methods and plot structures out there as there are writers and stories. However, we know that this one works. 
Join us for Short Cuts. Learn the recipe, apply it, and you will leave the workshop with a completed story.
When? 26 January 2013Where? Ten Bompas Road, Dunkeld, JohannesburgHow much? R2000 excluding VATHow long? 09:00 – 15:00
Email neo@writerswrite.co.za if you want to book.
From Writers Write

Short Cuts

Writers Write has developed a recipe for writing a short story in one day.

‘I was asked to judge five creative writing competitions in 18 months,’ says Amanda Patterson, Writers Write founder. ‘Thank goodness the entrants had pseudonyms! Every winner had completed a Writers Write course.’ 

Everyone knows that a story needs a clear beginning, a middle, and an end.

Our short story recipe equips you with a more refined plot recipe, which you could use repeatedly. There are probably as many methods and plot structures out there as there are writers and stories. However, we know that this one works. 

Join us for Short Cuts. Learn the recipe, apply it, and you will leave the workshop with a completed story.

When? 26 January 2013
Where? Ten Bompas Road, Dunkeld, Johannesburg
How much? R2000 excluding VAT
How long? 09:00 – 15:00

Email neo@writerswrite.co.za if you want to book.

From Writers Write

— 1 year ago with 14 notes
#Short Stories  #Writing Courses in South Africa  #Writing Courses 
"If you do not have an alert and curious interest in character and dramatic situation, if you have no visual imagination and are unable to distinguish between honest emotional reactions and sentimental approaches to life, you will never write a competent short story."
Edward J. O’Brien
— 1 year ago with 171 notes
#quotes  #writing  #short stories