Writers Connect Newsletter Issue 40

writing tools in cafe for Writers Connect newsletter issue 40

Welcome to the Writers Connect Newsletter Issue 40.

Writing is a human experience. It’s about connection with everyone and everything around us.

We understand you’re busy. So the newsletter usually has just four or five main items of content. A brief but satisfying read.

In this issue:

  • Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing
  • Word of the Day. An unusual or new word to keep your writing fresh
  • Inspirational Quote
  • Writing Tip

Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing

Competitions featured in this issue of Writers Connect cater to poets, short story writers and flash fiction writers. Closing dates are from 8—31 March 2021.

For competition closing dates, bear in mind these relate to the time zone where the competition originates, so check the relevant site.

Comp 1: Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law – Essay Competition

‘The aim of this competition is to encourage students to explore the fascinating questions that animals rights raise, and to discuss these questions in an original piece of writing that may inspire them to engage further with the topic in the future.’

About: Entries welcomed from various disciplines – not limited to a legal perspective

Open to: International students and researchers who have not yet completed a doctoral degree. Only one entry per person

Word count: 3,000

Theme/Genre: Animal rights and law – ‘Is it lawful to enslave the unconsenting?’

Entry fee: Free

Closes: 8 March 2021

Prize: First = £750, Second = £500, Third = £250

Send: Send essay, as a Word document, and CV to Dr Raffael Fasel ([email protected])

Further details: https://animalrightslaw.org/essaycompetition

Comp 2: Zizzle Literary Flash Fiction Contest

Every week during the submission period, the organisers post one-sentence dialogue writing prompts on their social media platforms. Choose a dialogue prompt that inspires you and write a story that includes the prompt.

About: All entries must be in English and include a dialogue prompt as above. Simultaneous and multiple submissions accepted (conditions apply). Submissions must be unpublished works. The social media platforms are:


Open to: International

Word count: 500—1,000

Theme/Genre: Fiction that appeals to readers from age 11 to grown-ups

Entry fee: $5

Closes: 15 March 2021

Prize: First = $1,000, Second = $500, Three finalists = $150 each

Find out more: https://zizzlelit.com/contest-rules/

Comp 3: Enchanted Forest Publishing – Poetry Competition

Your poem might be about the power of love, lost love or any other take on the theme of love.

About: ‘All about love’

Open to: International

Word count: 50—500

Theme/Genre: Love

Entry fee: £5 per poem

Closes: 31 March 2021

Prize: £10, publication and copy of eBook

More info: https://enchantedforestpublishingltd.com/submissions/

Comp 4: 2021 Horror and Fantasy Short Story Contest

This free-to-enter short story competition is for either horror or fantasy.

About: Work must be original, unpublished and copyright registered (details given at link below)

Open to: International

Word count: 2,000—10,000

Theme/Genre: Horror or fantasy

Entry fee: Free

Closes: 31 March 2021

Prize: First = $50

Further details: https://pressfuls.com/2021-horror-and-fantasy/

Word of the Day

sober curious

This term made the Macquarie Dictionary’s 1 February 2021 blog on New words to watch this month. It means ‘the exploration of a life without alcohol’. You might use this term in your writing for a character who’s a habitual drinker and who habitually ends up with a hangover. Example in sentence: ‘Ronald woke up with a thumping head for the fourteenth time that month but today, through the pounding and pulsating, he was sober curious: what would it feel like to never drink again? he wondered.’

Inspirational Quote

If you are too full of yourself, then just like an overflowing teacup, you leave no room for anything else―Unknown.

Writing Tip

Three ways to hook your reader with a good beginning to your novel.

  1. Use the literary technique in medias res, meaning ‘in the midst of things’ (see blog post In Medias Res and the Three-Act Structure) and start your story/novel in the middle of the story. The events in your story do not need to be chronological. ‘Grabbing’ your reader with an action hook, or the inciting incident of the plot, or a curious observation: it can be anything, as long as it is captivating in some way.
  2. Dialogue. You could have two characters talking about something mysterious. Intrigue your readers by telling them something through the dialogue, but not everything. They’ll want to keep on reading to see what happens.
  3. Introduce the bad guy or girl first. By starting with the baddie rather than the protagonist, you’re sure to capture your readers’ attention.

(Acknowledgement: Masterclass Articles, How to Start Writing Your Novel: 6 Tips for Beginner Novel Writers, by MasterClass, 8 Nov 2020 https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-start-writing-your-novel#6-key-tips-for-starting-the-novel-writing-process).

The Writers Connect newsletter Issue 40 is produced approximately fortnightly 🙂

Gail Tagarro is a Book Writing Coach and Accredited Editor. She works with writers in any genre, fiction and nonfiction.
Her book coaching program Get Your Book to the Finish Line is designed to help writers get their book to first draft stage within 12 weeks. To find out more, book a free chat.

You’ll find recommended writing resources here.


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