Sunday, 30 September 2018

Booker Prize

Previous Winners

The Milkman by Anna Burns
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Gathering by Anne Enright
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
The Sea by John Banville
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Last Orders by Graham Swift
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
Life & Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee
Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Rites of Passage by William Golding
Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
Staying On by Paul Scott
Saville by David Storey
Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
Holiday by Stanley Middleton
The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G.Farrell
G. by John Berger
In a Free State by V.S.Naipaul
Troubles by J.G.Farrell
Something to Answer For by P.H. Newby

Saturday, 29 September 2018

A Guide to Creative Writing That Sells

It's unbelievable that with all the creative writing courses out there, that no one teaches the necessity of researching your market before you set pen to paper.

Yes, we all want to be creative and let our imagination go. At the same time, wouldn't it be great to have some of your work published? Even better wouldn't it be awesome to know that you have upped your chances of getting published by around 80% by simply doing a tiny bit of browsing in a library or bookstore?

Here is a way to make sure that there is an interest in your type of story before you pick up a pen or pull out your laptop:

1) Go to the local bookstore and read the writing magazines. Editors actually tell these magazines what they are interested in, in a fairly timely manner. Most of the guess work is taken out for you. You know which editors are looking for what type of stories.
2) Look at the current Writer's Guide. It is filled with editors and publishers looking for fresh material. And guess what? They also tell you what each editor wants and what they are sick to death of.
3) Check out the bookshelves to see which children's books are featured. Is there a trend or pattern? For example the last few years Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and Charlie Bone have all been hot. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that magical characters have taken kids and editors by storm.
4) Ask kids what their favorite books are. Ask them why they like one over the other. Ask if their friends are into the same books. Model these themes.

There is no need to make over the wheel or hire a psychic to figure out what publishers, editors and your audience - kids, are looking for. Gather this information and apply it to your writing.

Watch the number of your submissions rise, while your rejection letters become few and far between.

(c) Caterina Christakos is the author of How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less and countless articles both on and off the net. For easy tips on how to write a children's book, click HERE

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Factors to Consider in Creative Writing

Creative writing is more than providing people with information. It is the art of sharing one's thoughts and emotions. It is like giving your readers a part of yourself. Not everyone is given the talent to compose one. But if you are willing to learn, there are a lot of ways to consider. Here are some of them.

1. If you are not a college student yet, think about taking up Journalism, English literature or other related courses. This will equip you with the necessary knowledge. You may also consider enrolling in short courses specifically for this form of writing. It may be best to attend workshops as well. There are also online courses available.

2. Write and write and write. Every time you see something that amazes you, write. Each time you feel happy for a reason, jot it down. If possible, do this every day so you can finally find your momentum.

3. Identify when is the best time for you to write. This is to be able to manage your time perfectly. This is also to enable you to produce more inspiring pieces.

4. Read and read and read. If you want to learn about creative writing, you have to know how each creative writer expresses their ideas. Read their works. Study each of them. Discover why people love them.

5. You must also be sensitive to your environment. Study everything that is around you. Interact with people to know their thoughts. Read blogs online. In this way, you will know the plot or highlight of the stories that will interest most of them.

6. Prepare yourself to rejections. Take every rejected work as your chance to improve. Know if in which aspect of writing you still need to harness. Consider every comment or feedback as an inspiration. Remember, some famous writers have experienced rejections several times.

7. You have to be imaginative as well. See in your mind's eye the flow that you will like for your writing.

8. Know your niche. You cannot be a good creative writer if you will cover all the disciplines. You cannot possibly do that. Discover where you are good at and focus from there.

Creative writing is not confined to poetry, short stories, essays and others. It is not all about fiction. It can also be non-fiction. Today, personal blogs can be considered one form. Bloggers share their own tales, which is mostly about travels or other things they enjoy doing. They do this artistically.

If you write for a living, make it a point to track your work hours by using a time tracking tool. It helps analyze your time better.

(c) ​April Dee Barredo

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Why Fiction Matters

There are some strange folks out there who don't like fiction. Or rather, they don't understand its purpose.

Robert Mitchum -- otherwise an actor I greatly admire -- said he never read fiction because it wasn't true, so there was no point.

To any budding novelist this attitude is as heinous as it is incomprehensible. Unfortunately it is also surprisingly common.

My father for one thinks that novels are too hard to follow so he never bothers with them.

'If it's any good, they'll make a movie out of it,' is one of his favorite lines.

How many times have you heard this?

The implication here is obvious. To non-readers, it's not the writing that's important. It's the story.

Whilst great writing might profoundly impress you or me, most people just want the message, rather than the medium.

People like stories for 4 main reasons:

1. Entertainment

2. Enlightenment

3. Validation

4. To gain hope & salvation

These reasons have been the 'point' of telling and listening to stories since the beginning of time.

As a species, we need them.

They divert our attention from the mundane and take us out of ourselves for a while.

They can show us things we didn't know about ourselves and others. We may gain valuable new perspectives to help us to better understand our neighbors, foreigners, even our enemies.

We need stories to make us feel better about ourselves -- as human beings, as well as personalities. That's why we like to identify with heroes and warriors -- indeed, anyone who can show us how to overcome obstacles.

Finally we need stories to help us make sense of life and the world around us.

In real life, there are no beginnings and endings, just infinite sequences.

You know how it is. You listen to the news. Everything is a segment, a teaser, a sample of every day life. Nothing makes sense because there's no structure.

Without the confines that fiction offers us, we are drowning in a bewildering sea of actions and feelings and urges with no meaning.

Stories 'frame' real life into manageable chunks that have tangibility, involvement and purpose, whether for us individually or as a race.

Surely that's what we were placed on this earth to do!

To make sense of who we are and why we are here.

THAT'S why fiction matters!

(c) Rob Parnell

Writing Academy