Posts by Jo Gatford

WHQ Flash Quarterly Round 2: THE WINNERS!

  Holy flapping melonballs. It’s time to reveal the TOP THREE stories in Round 2 of our Flash Quarterly contest. The WHQ judges have deliberated and conferred and got all…

Pep & Prompt #5: What’s the point?

A brief pep, a brief prompt, then come and chat to us on our community forums for feedback and chat. Another rejection came rolling into my inbox this morning. <le…

Break Through the (Writing) Blockage

Frustrated af with your writing? Stuck? Hit a wall? Feeling totally meh about the whole thing? Looking for a way out of the world of sticky writing blockages? (ew) Ok, how’s…
characterisation tropes

WRITING EXERCISE: Let’s get subversive

Okay, let’s be honest. We’ve all started writing a character only to realise that we’ve inadvertently borrowed traits from well-known, well-worn stereotypes or tropes. In most cases, it’s down to…

Get Excited About Your Writing Again

Look, we get it. This writing thing can be exhausting, right? Forging through a first draft can often feel a bit like wading through treacle. Editing the living heck out…
writing exercise no regrets

WRITING EXERCISE: No regerts

<LE SIGH> Where does the time go? All those things you planned on doing (like writing your novel – natch), all those things you wish you’d appreciated, all those things…

WHQ Flash Quarterly Round 1: THE WINNERS!

… DRUMROLL PLEASE… The time has come to reveal the TOP THREE in Round 1 of our Flash Quarterly contest. The WHQ inner sanctum is finally in agreement. And we…

WHQ Flash Quarterly Round 1: THE SHORTLIST!

  It’s time. <heavy breathing> Round 1 of our Flash Quarterly competition is over. We’ve read and re-read and re-re-read over 400 entries from almost as many writers. We have…
writing exercise start at the end

WRITING EXERCISE: Start at the end

Here’s a quick ‘n’ dirty game to spark off a brand new story idea: 1) Grab a novel from your bookshelf 2) Flip to the very last page 3) Copy…

Writing Competitions & Opportunities – March 2019

Hark, what spring-like sunshine through yonder window breaks? Quick, before the climate apocalypse descends, write something worth publishing and send it out into the world! Join us in our #Submit2019…

Storycraft #5: Sowing Story Seeds

You know when you read an amaaaazing novel and you think: “Gosh, that’s so clever the way the author interweaved all those little clues and hints together, dropping breadcrumbs all the…

Storycraft #3: The Magic Of Scene Summaries

  Saddle up, novelleers, ’cause today we’re gonna talk about how to make the whole ‘writing 70,000+ words of coherent narrative thang‘ feel a leeetle bit less like conquering Everest…

From LGBTQ+ With Love: THE WINNERS!

Drumroll please… After much deliberation, much love, and much excited squeeing, we have in our hands the winning stories from our Fight Back Flash Competition… Gird your goshdarn loins –…
writing prompt

WRITING EXERCISE: Forbidden words

  For today’s exercise, writing is hereby FORBIDDEN. Wait, what? Only kidding. But what would you do if fiction was illegal? What would you do if you were no longer allowed to…

From LGBTQ+ With Love: THE SHORTLIST!

You guys. We have a shortlist. Ten amazing LGBTQ+ stories, chosen by our illustrious judges Kirsty Logan and Paul McVeigh, from which the final 4 will be hand-plucked verrrrry soon……

Storycraft #4: Suplots Ahoy

Wait a second… Dealing with the main plot is a big enough pain in the arse, and now we have to worry about subplots, too?! Uh huh, pull up your…

From LGBTQ+ With Love – THE LONGLIST!

Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you to all the writers who submitted to our LGBTQ+ Fight Back Flash Competition. We had over 300 entries, raised £277.37 for MindOut,…

Storycraft #2: Narrative Voice

No matter how good your premise, how twisty your plot, how loveable your characters, if you don’t nail that narrative voice, you won’t do your story justice. You know when…
writing exercise

WRITING EXERCISE: On The First Day

Saddle up, peeplets, it’s time for a fresh start. Here’s a quick ‘n’ easy writing exercise to spark off some new ideas. It’s about as simple as you can get…

How Not To Write A Novel #2

Uggghhh so it turns out writing a novel is, like, super freakin’ hard? And, like, you actually spend a massive proportion of your writing time, like, NOT writing? Right? Well,…

10 Ways to Write Like a Kid

Over the last five years we’ve run hundreds of writing workshops for both adults and kids. The adult ones tend to be a lot more sweary and the kids’ ones…

Shiny Thing Syndrome: A Writer’s Malady

In the spirit of our ‘Beginnings‘ series, Jo Gatford tackles an all-too-familiar complaint of the garden-variety writer – when the grass is always greener… We’re here today to talk about…

How To Cope With Rejection

In the latest instalment of our Fear & Failure series, here’s a little treatise on REJECTION and how ‘no’ does NOT mean ‘you’re a terrible writer, you might as well…

100 Submissions in 2018

To celebrate our Fear & Failure series, let’s all make a great big commitment to REJECTION and make story submission a weekly habit…  What’s this? What’s this? YOU WANT US…

The 7 Stages of Literary Submission

Stage 1: Nausea Clamp your lips tight, clench your buttocks, and click the ‘send’ button while your stomach tries to escape through your throat and your guts play Cat’s Cradle.…

Editing a novel: What the frick is a zero draft?

First things first: if you’re here because you’ve finished your first draft and are venturing into the big bad world of editing… HUGE FUCKING CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU! No really, take a…

WRITING EXERCISE: Increments of a Story

Where do story ideas come from? And how do you grab hold of those raw ideas and turn them into something more.. story-ish? How come some people are able to…

Beware the overused novel opening…

If you’ve already read our blog on How to Write a Kickass Opening Chapter then you’ll know it should be full of intrigue and engaging characters and conflict and all…
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