Category Archives: General

Free writing prompt ebook

This book is a nice overview of a lot of the classic prompts and offers something for all disciplines. A handy resource to have on hand when you want to stretch your muscles, or just shake off your last project.

I don’t know the website very well but I have downloaded it, opened it in Chrome and not experienced any issues so that’s as much information as I can offer! You’re supposed to sign up to the newsletter to get it, but the page seems to accept an empty field so just click through.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 19, 2015 in General



by Judy Ross

Edwina was at every meeting of our knitting group. However, she never seemed to be part of the group. She sat silently hunched up with her head down, concentrating on a grey looking garment that she had been knitting for ages. When someone asked her she replied that she was knitting a shawl for her baby. This was a surprising bit of information as we all thought that Edwina was well past the childbearing age, but maybe we had misheard and it was not actually for her own baby.

After our session whilst we were gathering our work together and getting our coats on, Edwina quietly disappeared. We were a friendly lot and there was plenty of laughing and gentle teasing before the group split up and went our separate ways. Sometimes a few of us would suggest coffee or a sandwich and those of us who had no plans for the afternoon would go to a local café and carry on with our nattering. Inevitably the talk would turn to the subject of Edwina. She was such a strange woman and a bit of a mystery to us. We had over the months that our group had been going, become friends and in the way of friends had learnt a bit about each other’s lives. There was Julia who had two troublesome teenagers who we knew were a real worry to her. Those of us whose children had grown up reassured her that her moody teens were presenting normal teenage behaviour and they would eventually turn into perfectly nice young people. Sally’s husband was out of work due to ill health and we knew she was struggling, but she was always cheerful and we did not probe. Serena had just become engaged and was full of talk about her wedding plans. We listened to each other and where asked, gave friendly advice. Therefore Edwina’s strange behaviour was a bit of a puzzle to us. We were mystified as we had never heard her mention a baby before. Some of us felt sure we had heard right and she had said it was for her own baby… We decided to try harder to include her in our circle and find out more about her.

The following week Edwina was once again in her regular place, head down and concentrating on the shawl that never seemed to get any bigger. Sarah asked how she was getting on with it, but Edwina just shrugged her shoulders and grimaced slightly. The talk around the table was about annoying husbands and we tried to draw Edwina in. She looked up briefly and said in a quiet voice that she was not married. This was a bit of a surprise as when she had first come she mentioned that she had to leave early to make her husband’s lunch. We changed the subject and Chrissie in our group mentioned that she and her husband were trying for a baby. I happened to glance up at Edwina and saw her shoulders go stiff and with such a strange look on her face. It was difficult to describe, a bit like sneer but also suffering at the same time. I looked around but no-one else had seemed to have noticed.
I carried on going to the group but did not enjoy it so much, Edwina had spooked me and I found myself studying her. Once she looked up and caught me looking and the look she gave me made my stomach churn. Who was this woman and why did she affect me so?

One week Edwina turned up pushing a very old fashioned pram. We were all very surprised, but when we asked to see her baby, she told us not to wake her. Her tone of voice made us all go quiet and she gave a small shrill laugh and said it was so difficult to get her off again if she woke. The following week Edwina once more came in with her pram. Her baby must have been asleep again as there was no sound from the pram. Chrissie suddenly stood up and said I just can’t resist a peep at this baby and before Edwina could stop her she lifted up the covers in the pram and looked. There was a lock of horror on her face as grabbed her coat and without a word and rushed from the room bumping into one of the chairs as she went, sending it flying. We sat there stunned, what was going on? Within minutes Edwina was pushing her pram towards the entrance. The group broke up, but there was no cheerful chatter this time, only an embarrassed silence as everyone hurried into their coats and left the building.

The next morning I opened the paper to read over my cup of coffee and there was Edwina’s face on the front page, with the headlines “LOCAL WOMAN STABBED ABUSIVE HUSBAND TO DEATH”. I sat shocked and trembling, the cup of coffee going cold and forming a skin at my elbow. So that was the mystery that poor woman had been hiding. Her one escape seemed to be the knitting group once a week. Over the coming weeks the full story came out, how she had been abused by her violent husband over the years, and how he had kicked her in the stomach and she lost the baby she was carrying. Later Chrissie told us that as she lifted the covers in the old pram she could see, instead of a baby, an old doll with china blue eyes staring out. This made me cry and the story of the doll never reached the papers. Soon after the knitting group disbanded and we all lost touch with each other. The story of the doll in the pram never came to public notice.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 15, 2015 in General



What Editors Want – Fiction

Seren Books Blog

Over the course of the coming year, we’ll be doing a series of blog posts on what editors and publishers are looking for in a book submission. Our fiction, poetry and non-fiction editors will be telling us what makes a great submission and sharing their tips for getting published.

Up first is fiction.  Seren’s fiction editor, Penny Thomas has had great success since she joines Seren in 2006 and consistently has books on major prize lists. In 2011 she preceded over The Last Hundred Days, which made its way on to the Man Booker longlist. Recent commissions include The Rice Paper Diaries, which won the  2013 fiction category at Wales Book of the Year and the 2013 Edge Hill shortlisted The Scattering. Penny was the driving force behind the hugely successful series, New Stories From The Mabinogion, which brought together ten top Welsh authors to rewrite…

View original post 432 more words

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 11, 2015 in General


Short story competition

The link to Leicester University’s short story competition, as promised:

Anyone struggling to submit online can bring their files to the next meeting and I will try to help you. We will not meet again then until after the deadline has passed.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 10, 2015 in General


Author talk: Mary Wood

Local author Mary Wood will be talking about her route from self-publishing to a Pan Macmillan seven-book deal and launching her latest title, To Catch A Dream, at Oadby Library on Wednesday 10th June at 6pm.

Tickets are free but must be reserved by calling the library on 0116 3058763 or emailing .

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in General, local, special event


The Booker prize winning formula!

An interesting infographic from… just a bit of fun 😉

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 30, 2014 in General


Top 10 Writing Mistakes Editors See Every Day


…because I have no idea how to link to it any other way! Someday I will learn how to use wordpress… someday.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 26, 2014 in General


An interesting and helpful article on writing poetry – 10 top tips.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 11, 2014 in General


The things I never knew about llamas…

…but thank goodness, Kameron Hurley is here to fill me in in this interesting article about the importance of writing misogyny out of our narratives and not just relying on thoughtless tropes.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 4, 2014 in General


Tags: , , , , ,

Some competitions I came across on Facebook

I like what it says in the poetry one about people being worried about their poems: ” it’s as though they’re going to visit a fearsome auntie and they think they’re going to do the wrong thing or speak too loudly or knock something over.” I’m a bit like that with poetry!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 5, 2014 in General

%d bloggers like this: