It's great to see you here for By the Letter September 2021 and thank you for reading.
Lovely to see so many take up the offer in August of a free Dragon Gift ebook. If you enjoyed these stories, it would be wonderful if you found a few minutes to review the book. (On Amazon here or Goodreads here. Just one sentence is fine.) Thank you!
The biggest news is that I finally got to hug my daughter after 21 months of not being able to. She lives in Europe so, like many other families, we have been apart a long time. We had a lot of catching up to do.
Summer Reading Challenge
Good fun to be with kids, mums and nans in local libraries (or on the lawn outside the library, or in the courtyard) at the end of August. Small, but friendly, gatherings where Callie, our wild world hero from Guardians of the Forest, entertained the listeners. I got to judge some great poetry too, alongside pea plants (random, but why not?)
Summer is proving challenging in terms of actual writing time, with all the activities coming back to life. It might not be my own writing, but it's wonderful that creative things are happening again at local schools with Dean Scribblers. Following on our Yorkley project about life in the 'olden days', we are with Coleford St John's next week on a similar topic, but further back to Winifred Foley's time. Volunteers from Dean Writers Circle are again helping out - thank you to them! And later in the year, we will be back at Lydbrook which is always hectic and rewarding.
Still, I'm managing to inch my way forward with other projects. And no, The High Alps of Asfarlon has still not reached its dramatic conclusion! When it does, I'll be looking for volunteers to do some reading for me. In addition to my granddaughter of course.
Coalway Hall fund raiser
All in a good cause!
A neighbour stopped me on mine and Sammy's walk this morning to tell me she'd seen my face at the Co-op. So someone is doing well putting up posters for this event.
Keith Morgan needs no introduction to Foresters, having entertained the community with his dialect poems and stories for many decades. Carol is a member of Dean Writers Circle and of Gloucestershire Poetry Society. She not only writes prize-winning poetry, but has also been a judge for county-wide competitions. I love listening to her work. No pressure for me to come up with some good stuff too!
If you can join us, please do so - no need to book, tickets on the door.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Dreena Collins
Dreena Collins is a prolific and skilled short story writer, with five short collections under her belt. Her work has been placed in numerous writing competitions, including Mslexia, the Bridport Prize, Fish Publications, Flash500 and Retreat West. In a change of pace and style, she has recently published a novel under the name of Jane Harvey. The Landlord of Hummingbird House is deceptively light, addressing real issues in the guise of a romantic novel.
Go here to read about Dreena/Jane's writing and her life on Jersey.
Here to find her short stories, and here for The Landlord of Hummingbird House.
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO
A Gentleman in Moscow
Well deserving of its accolades. Different, highly entertaining and a delight to read. You might gather I loved this book. Read why here.
Flash 500 annual short story shortlist 2020/21
The Clarity of Sun on Water
If the judges of this competition considered this worthy of long listing, then I hope you will also enjoy it. I'm keeping this one exclusive to subscribers too.
A trip to the beach and a soldier’s reckless behaviour, clarifies a few things for nurse Elsie.
Jack has cadged the loan of a jeep.Elsie is crushed in the back, thigh to thigh with Ted.The ruts in the road are hard as concrete and deep as trenches, and the growling jeep jerks like a Fifth of November jumping jack.
When I read that someone’s manuscript is with their editor, or they’ve finished their draft and now they ‘only’ have to edit, or they edit as they go, I wonder which of the various types of editing they mean. For new authors the abundance of terms can be confusing. So here is what I've learned over the past few years to help me understand what kind of editing I need to do when.
The rest of September is promising to be a bit of a whirl, so there should be lots to report in October. Looking forward especially to my guest author, a special friend and a great supporter of writers across the world.
I'll be reviewing another book, of course but I wonder if you have some recommendations to pass on, which I could share here? A sentence or two about why you love the book would be terrific.
If you're a new subscriber, you can catch up on past issues of By the Letter here. And please feel free to forward the newsletter and the website link to friends you think might be interested.
Finally, another reminder that authors love reviews. You can go to my books page to find all the links you need to write that review if you've read and enjoyed any of my work. You will have my forever gratitude!
Thank you for reading!
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