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WRITING HACK: Harvesting Kids’ Ideas

Writing is theft. We steal mannerisms and snippets of dialogue and memories and life experiences all the time. It’s what we DO. And you know where the very richest seam…

WRITING EXERCISE: Walk it out

We’re going on a story hunt… It’s summertime. Forget about the housework. Slap on some suncream, stick on your stomping shoes and let’s get out of here. Today’s task is…

Get in the writing ZONE

Ahhh ‘the zone’. That mystical plane of existence in which the words flow and inspiration is channeled directly into our brains and we become mere vessels for unbounded creativity and…

WRITING EXERCISE: Location, location, location

The ability to transport yourself into a fictional location is pretty vital for a writer. But it ain’t easy. Describing imaginary places and spaces so a reader can vividly visualise…

Writing Lessons From Groundhog Day

Well hey there. Who’s ready for some tough talk about how setting yourself up for failure can be one of the most helpful approaches to writing? Yes! Failure! One of…

Deconstruct Your Summer Read

Hey. Watcha readin’ this summer? Something light and fluffy or something deep and meaningful or a mix of both? Something you’ve read a zillion times before? Something someone recommended to…

The Story Genius of Moana

If you’ve got (or have ever had) small children in the house, it’s likely you’ve watched and re-watched your fair share of animated movies, possibly to the point where you…

How to Write in 30 Second Bursts

No time, no motivation, no muse, no brain, no writing, blahhhhh mehhhh ughhhh etc. Fuck that. None of us have time. Motivation is self-propellant. The muse is a slippery bitch.…
writing exercise overheard voices

WRITING EXERCISE: Overheard Voices

Dialogue! One writer’s bane, another’s best friend. Some characters are naturally chatty while others find it hard to string a sentence together. And do they always say what they actually…

Pep & Prompt #8: Make A Book Cover

Today’s Pep & Prompt is ripped straight from our super productive (no, really) mini course: Seven Ideas in Seven Days! Have a bit of pep, do a lil’ prompt, then…
turn a day out into a story

Turn A Day Out Into A Story

This one goes out to all my parental homies wrangling ankle-biters and grouchy tweens and hyperactive screen-addicted little womb-fruits over the summer holidays (and, like every day). Chances are HIGH…
mindful writing

Mindful Writing (without the wafty bits)

Let’s start with a little disclaimer, shall we? Although we all love a bit of yoga and nature and witchiness at WHQ, we’re not exactly the most mindful bunch. We’re…

Pep & Prompt #7: Switch the POV

A brief pep, a brief prompt, then come and chat to us on our community forums for feedback and chat. Howsabout a little light psychology to fuel your writing brain…

Writers’ HQ Declares A Climate Emergency

Alrighty motherflippers, shit is getting real and we are throwing our hats in the ring. Buckle up cowboys (and cowgirls, and cowgendernoncomformers), because *this* is how you declare an emergency:…

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…

31 Days Of Summer Writing

Summertiiiimeeeeee, and the weather is distracting. And there’s lots of cool things to do. And the kids are on holiday. And you don’t want to be at work because it’s…

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…

5 Reasons Why Glasgow Is The Place To Be For Writers

Glasgow writers! We’re a’coming for you! Our procrastination-busting, productivity-boosting writing retreats have officially arrived in your awesome – albeit a little rainy – city. And in case you don’t know…

The Perils of Over-Planning

Planning your writing is a great idea. Understanding your characters and their motivations, knowing their arcs back to front and having an idea of how and when you’re going to…

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…

Writers’ HQ Book Horoscopes: April 2019

In which our resident Mystic, uh, Peg (?) Poppy O’Neill compiles a list of literary horoscopes pulled straight from the nearest novel to predict YOUR bookish future… This month’s offerings…

Writers’ HQ Book Horoscopes: March 2019

  Want to know what March has in store for you, using a highly accurate and totally not randomly-chosen combination of literary wisdom and astrology? We thought you might –…
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…

5 Reasons Why Brighton Is The Place To Be For Writers

Brighton writers’ retreat: the biznitch for word-pushers Hey. You. Brighton writer. What’s good? 1. Coffee shops Many of Brighton’s digital freelancer open plan flexible working spaces also serve coffee to…

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……

5 Reasons Why Leeds Is The Place To Be For Writers

Yup, you heard right. Writers’ HQ are fiiiiiinally bringing their whoop-ass writers’ retreat (wh)oop North, starting with Lovely Literary LEEDS. Wanna know why? ’Appen as not an mebbe*, we hear…

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,…

#Submit2019

New Year’s Resolutions are slippery little bastards, aren’t they? We make these grand promises at the beginning of the year, full of good intentions, and by the end of January…
storycraft

Storycraft #1: Telling A Story

Any fool can tell a story. Humans do it all the time: “Hey, you’ll never guess what happened to me on the way to work!” “Omg funny thing about the…

Where Are The Working Class Writers?

I read my first Roald Dahl book, The BFG, to my daughter at the age of twenty-seven. Although I was a keen reader from the age of three, we didn’t…

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,…

5 Tips for First Draft Triumph

You have an idea. Brilliant! Ideas are where it all begins. You then contemplate the possibilities that this fricking fantabulous idea could offer you. You might write a bestselling novel,…

**A Writers’ HQ Manifesto On Bad Language**

At Writers’ HQ, we often get angry messages telling us that we can’t possibly be ‘real’ writers, or that we must not be very clever, because we swear, use slang and text speak, use bad grammar, and love puns. We’ve thought very long about this issue and have come to this conclusion:

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