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What does WriteStars do? We offer a helping hand to writers of all levels - we teach, encourage, edit, critique, advise and nurture. And we run writing competitions and masterclasses.

Do you need a Quick Critique of your work?

Let us know. It's just £36 for up to 1,000 words. We'll tell you what you are doing right, and where you can improve. Email info@writestars.co.uk or write to WriteStars Ltd, 43 Berkeley Square, London. W1J 5FJ.

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Click on the icons, far left, for more information, or contact us at 020 3078 7825/info@writestars.co.uk for a no-obligation chat about your work.

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Read what The Independent said about Katherine Garbera's WriteStars masterclass, 'Passion on the Page', here.

IT'S EASY TO ENTER OUR WRITING COMPETITIONS TOO!

Read winning stories for our competitions here.

Good luck!

AND DO CHECK OUT OUR BLOG

We're posting articles and tips, and we've even written a short story live. We'd love to hear from you, too.

 

Welcome to WriteStars

 

*** SUPERNATURAL!  COMPETITION ***

CONGRATULATIONS to our Top 10. Here is our longlist, in no particular order ...

Kelly Y. of Leeds, with "The Day I Danced with Death" - a lyrical tale of dusty mortality; Rani S. of Newcastle upon Tyne, with "My Different Family", the story of a young boy and another life; Vicki B. of Stocksfield brings an unexpected twist to "Always"; Robert H. of Swansea finds a strange reflection in "Looking Back"; Craig R. (no address supplied) tells an untitled but compelling tale of desperate love; John M, address to come, writes of loss and a final homecoming; while all is not as it seems in the twisty "Laid to Rest" by Stuart S. of Baildon; in "Forever", Tracey D. of Stratford-on-Avon goes beyond the grave with murder and ghostly revenge; love lasts forever in "Room for Two" by Pamela T. H. of Plymouth; and last, certainly not least, is Ann C. with "Headlines" - who goes viral with a shockingly itchy end.

A big thank you to everyone who has entered our Supernatural! competition this year. As always, the standard of entries has been very high and we have enjoyed them all. Plus, £1 from every entry fee is going to the literacy charity Children in Crisis. So you have helped to educate children in Africa and Afghanistan, too.

First prize: £100, a personalised bottle of Champagne, and a free critique.

Two runners-up will each win a mystery writing-related prize.

(Updated 21 November 2017)

For details. Click here

 

*** LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! ***

Hello. We have a winner of our latest writing competition, or, rather, two winners!

*** Sheila Blackburn of Cheshire, with "Find Me", and, picked back out of our longer short list, Sylvia H Thomson, with "The Last Visit". ***

And, because we couldn't bear not to recognise this one - we have a runner up, too.

Danny Garth, of Cambridgeshire, with "Memory Games".

Congratulations to all! Sheila and Sylvia each win £100, plus a bottle of Champagne, and a free critique. Danny wins a bottle of Champagne, and a free critique.

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Thank you again to all who entered, it's been a tricky competition to judge and we have had to be strict over the criteria. There have been some terrific entries that might well have made it on to the short list of any other competition, but this one was all about "show, don't tell", using the five senses and painting a picture with your words.

So congratulations to all who made our top six, and our top three...

In no particular order, these are:

Danny G, with "Memory Games"; Roz L, "Massacre of the Innocents", and Sheila B, "Find Me".

Top six: Sylvia H T, with "The Last Visit", who evokes - brilliantly - the sadness and grief that hospitals can bring. Hassan I's "Jessie King" has a first sentence that stops the breath in the throat. Sheila B's "Find Me" brings to life the nostalgia we all feel for lost times.  Roz L made us laugh with "Massacre of the Innocents" - poor little jelly babies! Denise B's "Glitter and Stars" had us longing for a rum'n'Coke - and the simplicity of youth. And last but not least - Danny G, with his clever "Memory Games". We could practically smell the Victoria Line!

Thank you all again. This is the shortlist as of Friday 23 June.

PRIZE: £100, plus a bottle of champagne, plus a free critique.

Click here ( 'Competitions' page ) for details.

 

*** SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP ***

11 June 2017, in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Thank you to author and social-media guru Ruth Livingstone, who gave us a very practical and enjoyable day explaining the mysteries of Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Very useful!


*** Our previous competition: 'The Final Word" Results ... ***

We are very happy to announce the WINNERS of our "Final Word" competition ... scroll down to read their winning entries ...

Congratulations to MARGARET MOREY, who wins £100, a personalised bottle of Champagne, and a free WriteStars critique.

Congratulations too, to runners-up JANICE CLAYTON (2nd), who wins a bottle of Champagne, and BARBARA MCHALLAM (3rd), who wins a free critique

WINNER ... 'The Final Word', by Margaret Morey

"Well, she thought, as she walked out of the stale, institutional air for the last time, things rarely turn out as you imagine. She had always assumed that her working life would end with a celebratory pizza, a jokey speech, and a hangover. But instead, it had been a bowl of spinach soup with the boss. It had been a strange bonding, differences pushed aside, united against a common enemy, both clinging to the same hopeless piece of wreckage, as the ship went down. She filled her lungs with the fresh spring air outside, closed the door behind her, and wondered what the next one would open."

RUNNER UP ... 'The Final Word', by Janice Clayton

This morning I was a schoolgirl on her way to a university interview. Now, it seemed, I was a feather in a stationmaster's cap, a comic turn to a professor as well as the world's worst orienteerer. I had travelled a long way in one day.

AND ... THIRD ... 'Rose Garden', by Barbara McHallam

The first trees she'd planted died within a few years. Then she'd noticed a rose tree with the same name as her husband, Graham Thomas. She'd bought five of the trees and planted them in her rose garden. Through careful nurturing and pruning, those trees has lasted many years.

A few days after Margery finished pruning her favourite Graham Thomas rose trees, the angels came for her. Her last thought was for the people who were to buy her old bungalow. She hoped they wouldn't be too upset when they found the skeleton of a man with a knife in his chest, beneath the rose trees bearing his name.

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Thank you to all entrants - we've said it many times, but there is a LOT of talent out there!


... TOP-SIX SHORTLIST ...

Congratulations to ... (in no particular order)

Joyce Walker, with "Twice in a Lifetime", brings a famous tragedy to life; Janice Clayton's "The Final Word" is our shortest entry, but she makes every single word count; Sylvia Thomson's "Final Word" charts tragic final moments and makes us wonder; Margaret Morey writes an uplifting ending very much of our times; Barbara McHallam pens an entertaining sting-(thorn?)-in-the-tail ending with "Rose Garden"; and Bernie Jordan's moving poem "Silence" marks the end of a truly terrible time.

The winner will be announced in the evening of Monday 16 January 2017.

Thank you to all who entered - it's been our most successful competition so far, and it's revealed, once again, just how much amazing talent is out there. Here, in no particular order, is our long-list - the top 12 entries to this very popular competition. If there is no title beside the name, the writer has used "The Final Word" as their heading.

Celia Windsor; Joyce Walker, with "Twice in a Lifetime"; Claire Buckle, Essex, with "The Fifty-Year Itch"; Sylvia Thomson, Fife; Janice C, Merseyside; Carol T, Cornwall, with "When Every Second Lasts an Hour"; C.J.S., with "Down to the Wire": Angela Fish, Tonteg, Pontypridd; Mel Eldridge, Eastbourne; Margaret Morey, Corbridge; Barbara McHallam, Burnley, with "Rose Garden"; and Bernie Jordan, with her poem, "Silence".

Names will be filled in as we get writers' permission. It has been very hard to pick out the top 12, and even harder to choose the top six.

AND, on a different topic, don't forget - anyone can now publish a book ...

Our sell-out autumn seminar with Lizzie Lamb on self-publishing, or independent "indie" publishing, showed just now respectable and popular this option is. Not to mention potentially money-spinning. Independent author Lizzie is even selling in the US. No mean feat!

NY Resolution: "This time next year I'll have written my book/short story/blog ..."

With the words "vanity publishing" rightly chucked on the slush pile, now is the perfect time to pick up your pen/boot up your lap/desktop, dust off those ideas old and new, and GET WRITING!

"But where do I start?"

At the beginning. No need to do everything at once. Give yourself achievable targets. Set time aside each day, even if it's only 10 minutes. Pop a notepad and pen in a pocket (yes, we are that retro, because it works) and go for lots of walks - it frees the mind - don't sit and stare at the screen! Drink lots of plain old water - it makes the brain work better. Decide what you want to do - short story? Novel? Non fiction? Plan. Draw a timetable. Plot your, er, plot and characters. And give yourself lots of pats on the back.

Most important of all ...

... consign all those negative "ooh I can't do it, I'm not good enough" thoughts to that slush pile - do that now, and do it every time you catch yourself thinking these mental monsters. We promise you ... Yes, you are good enough. Yes, you can do it. And yes, you WILL do it. One ... two ... three ... GO!!

And we'd love to hear how you are getting on - do drop us a line on info@writestars.co.uk. We're here to help, too.

Good luck!

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Read all about the'Final Word' competition on our 'Competitions' page .

Updated 14 March 2017

SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS OF SOME OF OUR AUTHORS' PAST WORKSHOPS

EMAIL INFO@WRITESTARS.CO.UK,
OR CALL 020 3078 7825

sue moorcroftSUE MOORCROFT
presents her masterclass:
'How to Make Money by Writing'

(Click for details.)

 

Keep an eye out for Sue's next masterclass - or contact us to create your own class with a group of like-minded friends ...

 

david ryanKATHERINE GARBERA

'Passion on the Page' - a masterclass in writing erotic fiction

Date: Saturday 8 February 2014, from 10am - a terrific day, and a big thank you to Kettner's for the wonderful champagne breakfast and attention to detail all through. We loved our Italian maitre d, Jack!

TamTAMSYN MURRAY

'Kid's Stuff! Write for Children and Young Adults'

Date: 21 September 2014

Venue: The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, Cambridge

In a lively one-day workshop, popular author Tamsyn Murray showed us exactly how to write for this burgeoning market - and how to stand the best chance of getting your work published.

sue moorcroftA WRITERS' RETREAT IN THE WELSH HILLS

'Magical and transformative'

 

"A lovely atmosphere"

"Thank you Emma for that calm room and big desk on which I wrote the first pages of my new novel"

donna douglasDONNA DOUGLAS

DIARY

Write a Novel in a Day

1 February 2014, at the Grange Hotel, York

Donna reprised her creative and very practical novel-writing workshop on Saturday, thanks to terrific demand.

Writers learnt, among other things, how to create fascinating characters, write sparky dialogue, plot a riveting story ... and find a publisher.

Thank you to all who attended both Donna's masterclasses in novel writing and made them such a success. If you missed them, there'll be other workshops to come!

We'll post details here ...


 

 

(Last update: 14 March 2017)