Monday, 11 March 2019


2018 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
2017 The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
2015-2016 – (no award)
2014 The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
2013 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2012 Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
2011 How to be a Woman by Cailtin Moran
2010 One Day by David Nicholls
2009 The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
2008 On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
2007 The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn & Hal Iggulden
2006 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J K Rowling
2005 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2004 Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
2003 Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
2002 Billy by Pamela Stephenson
2001 Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
2000 Managing My Life by Alex Ferguson
1999 Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
1998 Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
1997 Longitude by Dava Sobel
1996 Delia's Winter Collection by Delia Smith
1995 Writing Home by Alan Bennett
1994 Wild Swans by Jung Chang

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Drabble Winner February

The Ball

Come on. Throw it…

Yeah, of course I’m ready. Throw, throw, throw!


Where’d it go? Where?

It went this way. I know it did. Where, where, where?

Is that it? Nope. Similar, but not right.

This is it! Yay!

Quick. Pick it up, pick it up. Before anybody steals it.

Gottit, gottit.

Now, quickly, which way did I come from? Gotta get back to him.

Back as fast as I possibly can.

Look, look. I found it. Here it is...

Sorry it’s a bit slobbery.

Throw it again? Pleeeeeeez?

Yay! Again.

I could play this game all day long.

(c) Andrew Troth

Monday, 4 March 2019

Does the Title Reflect the Story?

Short Story Writing Tips

We all have different tastes in what we like to read. Some have a particular taste for horror, while others prefer romance or fantasy or crime stories, etc. My favourite genre in short stories is horror, so once the title grabs my attention, I will enthusiastically read the story.

You may want to leave your readers in no doubt of the type of story you have written. That’s fine. You want to grab all the fans out there and/or recruit new readers into the genre you are so fond of writing.

So, how do you select a title that reflects your story?

Should the title always reflect the story?

Not always. But your title must have some sort of connection with your story.

Is There A Connection Between Your Title And Your Story?

If you choose not to have the title reflect the story that’s fine too. But there should be some relevance between them.

If, for instance, your story is about a man walking on the moon, then it wouldn’t make sense to title it, ‘Walking on Mars.’

If your story is an uplifting tale about two characters finding love, then your title isn’t going to mention death, unless of course one of the characters’ die.

At first your title may not give away the nature of your story. But once having read the story, the reader will understand the connection. Let me give you a few examples…

‘The Fire In The Sky’

This can be the title of a story in which an airplane explodes in midair or a story about a meteorite on its way to earth, etc.

‘An Angel Amongst Us’

Can be the title of a story about a person with extraordinary kindness or about an angel that leaves the heavenly realm to reside on earth, etc.


You can be ambiguous in your title if you wish. Your title doesn’t always have to reflect your story. Having more than one possible meaning intrigues the reader but remember…

There has to be a connection between your title and your story.

(c) Nick Vernon
Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers’ funny stories. Visit http://www.we-recommend.com

From Idea to Short Story or Novel

For many writers getting ideas is actually the easier part of the creative writing process. From overhearing a conversation on the train or bus, reading something in a magazine or newspaper, to your own life. However, taking that idea and forming a short story or a novel requires a lot more work.

There are integral aspects that must be followed if you want your short story or novel to stand a chance of being published.

So you have got an idea. It could be anything, for example a woman wanting to flee from an abusive marriage to an idea about a haunted house. The first thing you need to create is a main character that is strong enough to carry your plot/story right through to the end. This is vitally important when writing novels as it is obviously a longer piece of work than say a short story, therefore you need to keep your readers turning the pages.

It is worth spending a large proportion of your time creating the main character including as much detail as possible. Treat it as if you are constructing a real-life person, that includes personality traits, looks, family background, career, relationships, everything you can think of. The more you know about your main character then the easier it will be for you to write convincingly about them.

Once you have developed your main character then you need to create minor characters to support or oppose your main character and thus move your plot along. Although minor characters do not need to be as thoroughly constructed as your major character it will still pay off well the better you know them.

When writing a novel or short story you will need a clearly defined plot. This what your story is essentially about so it is vitally important to devise your plot before you actually start writing. More experienced writers for example Stephen King, write without detailed planning. However, for the novice writer a plan will help with the structure of your novel and will tell you before you start any major work whether this particular idea can be made into longer fiction. If you find that your idea is not strong enough to sustain a full-length novel it can be turned into a shorter piece of fiction such as a novella or a short story.

When writing fiction it may be useful if you see your main character as wanting to achieve something, but something else, usually the antagonist, prevents them from achieving this. Conflict is a vital element of all good fiction and is the reason why your readers will want to read to the end. If we use the above example of a woman wanting to flee an abusive marriage. The woman’s desire is to leave, whilst her husband wants to prevent her from doing this. What happens in between and the eventual resolution is your story and if written well, should produce an engaging piece of fiction.

(c) Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is an aspiring writer who is serious and passionate about the art and craft of creative writing. She has undertaken several courses in this field and has gained extensive knowledge of writing novels and short stories. Sharon has a keen interest in poetry and is an avid reader. Her blog is dedicated to all writers, especially the new writer: https://sharonswriterstidbits.wordpress.com/