Join us for the short story competition creative writing workshops

Hello Everyone,

Well the excitement builds as tomorrow the short story competition creative writing workshops kick off with session 1 at Hemlington library 10-12.  The session will be covering what I consider to be the two most crucial aspects of writing a story – character and plot.  Without these ingredients you possibly have a lovely piece of well crafted poetic prose but you probably don’t have a story.  So come along tomorrow, or indeed to any of the session 1 workshops happening across the region, to find out how to make character and plot work together to create a brilliant story.  Most of the rest of the workshops are in August.  Just visit the short story competition page on the Crossing the Tees website for details of what is happening when and where.

To remind you how the workshops are organised I am repeating the same 3 sessions in all the five boroughs.  The idea is that hopefully, despite the hassles of work (curses to the boss who wants it ‘yesterday’) and the pressures of family commitments (how do five year olds get so messy so quickly?) getting in the way of your writing aspirations, you will be able to attend all 3 sessions by mixing and matching across the Tees Valley e.g. session 1 at Hemlington, session 2 in Darlington and session 3 in Stockton etc.  Of course most of you will probably be able to do all three in your local library but there is a great deal of flexibility so hopefully you won’t miss out on anything.  And you don’t have to attend all three sessions either, just do as many as you feel you need to.  So if descriptions and dialogue are your big concerns in terms of stroy writing then just come to session 3.  Or of it’s narrative structure and perspective then attend a session 2 somewhere.  Each workshop is £3 each and can be booked directly with the library where it is running.  Just give them a ring and they can sort that out for you.

You also have the option to just have a mentoring session with me rather than attending the workshops (although if you do any of the workshops the mentoring is free, otherwise 45 minutes one-to-one with me will cost you the massive fee of £3!). Again you will need to book the mentoring through the library and you will also need to EMAIL me the story you would like me to mentor you on a WEEK before we have the session.  (You can contact me through my website initially.) This is so I can spend time reading and critiquing your piece before we get together.  We will then be able to discuss the piece at length during the session and I will also be able to email it back to you with my comments so you can develop it at your leisure.  I also recommend you bring a note pad and pen as you might want to make some notes during the mentoring slot.

So with all this in place there is really no excuse for not having a fabulous entry ready by 30th September when the competition closes.

With all that said this blog’s writing challenge is to write a short piece that has a non-human character in it.  This could be an animal (think Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse), a fantasy creature e.g. goblin, fairy etc. or even an inanimate object that you give a voice to and bring to life.  As you are writing the character make sure to bestow it with human traits and try to use this fresh perspective on human life to create a really imaginative take on the ordinary.

Hope to see you all soon.


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9 - 19 June 2021