Only 8 weeks until the short story competition deadline!

Hello Everyone,

Yes – it’s time for another post so here I am again.  This past week has been a busy but rewarding one with workshops happening in Hartlepool, Stockton and Saltburn with this coming week promising to be even more jam-packed with creative writing as I add Darlington to that list.

All the groups so far have been absolutely fantastic – full of inspired ideas for their competition entries and offering a great diversity of approaches to the task of writing a story.  I do want, in particular, to mention Saltburn however.

Having been told by the library that they would limit the group size to 10 because of the space I was overwhelmed (joyously so) by the uptake.  Twelve people squeezed themselves in and I know there were another couple of writers who would have liked to participate but couldn’t.  I would never have known, if not for the festival, just what a hotbed of creative writing the small seaside town of Saltburn is.  The scene there is truly alive with three separate writing groups established and running on a regular basis.  I know there is a similar level of interest in creative writing in other areas but so far not the active development of groups so I would encourage all of you writers out there who are hiding away in darkened bedrooms to get together, take a leaf out of the Saltburn writers group guide book (if they haven’t published one they should) and get your groups up and running.

Now, it has suddenly dawned on me that we are less than 8 weeks from the competition deadline.  I know there are probably many of you out there who wanted to be able to attend the sessions but couldn’t because of other commitments, so I thought over the next few blogs I will share with you some of the writing activities that we have been doing in the sessions in place of my usual writing prompt.  This week there is an activity below that you can do to help you create your main character.  Simple answer these questions about him/her:

  • Who are you (name, age, gender, species, etc.)?
  • What are your physical attributes?
  • What are the main traits of your personality?
  • Where do you live?  With who?
  • What work do you do? With who?
  • Who is your best friend and why?
  • Who are your enemies and why?
  • What is your background (backstory)?
  • What do you want in this story?
  • Why do you want it?
  • What is stopping you from achieving what you want?
  • How will you try to achieve what you want?
  • How far are you prepared to go to get what you want?
  • What might stop you from doing this?
  • Who will help you and why?
  • Who will try to stop you and why?


This will help you get to know your character so you can understand what they are doing in the story and why.

More next week!


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