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Calling short story writers!Story Fridays is a bi monthly event at Burdalls Yard, a performing arts centre housed in the wonderful stone vaults of a former brewery in central Bath. Diana performed her short story “ Falling” there – you can hear it on the website www.burdallsyard.org.uk
Stories can be up to 2000 words, and there’s always a theme which you’ll find on the site. If you just can’t face reading your story, professional actors will even do it for you! There’s a bar, live music and tickets for the performance are inexpensive. About six performers each show – it’s a great way to show off your story and your reading skills.
Story Fridays are attracting a huge following in Bath. The event was founded and is organised by Clare Reddaway, a BBC journalist – visit www.awordinyourear.org.uk
Diana reading her short story Falling at Burdalls Yard.
Short stories from Sherborne
Take a look at David Tipping’s short stories – www.davidguytipping.com
Retired economist David is a Sherborne student of Diana’s: he already has one novel, Like Father Like Son (Sundial Press) out there.
David says: "Diana has taught me a lot: to start a story with a strong first sentence, and a closing sentence that wraps it all up in a logical, unexpected, or perhaps ambiguous way. Above all, avoid sentimentality; it is either untrue or uninteresting. But all rules can be broken. Diana has led me to find my own: to concentrate on the theme, and strip out unnecessary explanations or authorial commentary. Make the reader think."
If you have short stories you’d like critiqued ( sometimes it takes just a few tweaks to make them shine) please contact Diana - firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana and Christina met at the Sherborne Literary Festival, when Christina attended Diana’s free writing clinic.
Christina wanted to start writing on environmental and horticultural issues.
She then approached the editor of the Blackmore Vale magazine, about her ideas for a gardening column encouraging people to grow their own produce.
Success! - Christina now writes a regular weekly gardening blog for their website helping people to understand more about growing food and flowers.
“Thank you for encouraging me last year, as I needed a bit of impetus to get me to approach people and use the knowledge that I have acquired over the years.
It is really great to have a regular slot!
Once again, thanks for the words of encouragement.” - Christina Angelucci
Writing Student Jackie Winter
Student Jackie Winter is writing two non-fiction books. She already is a successful published writer. In 1998 she won Writing magazine New subscribers' Short Story competition, with a prize of £1000.
She says: “Diana does a lot of work on the writing samples I send her – and has great creative ideas for improving the format of the chapters. It’s a wonderful indulgence to be able to talk about my writing for two whole hours to someone with so much experience and who offers so many useful and imaginative suggestions.
When I leave her workshops I’m hugely encouraged and busting to get back to the writing asap! Also I feel I’ve made a new friend. I’m now editing and polishing my books along the lines Diana suggested – and looking for an agent.
I've been writing for twenty years, beginning with short stories, working as a library assistant during the day. After being taken on by the Midland Exposure fiction agency, I sold several stories to women's magazines, including The Lady, My Weekly, Fiction Feast, Woman and Chat.
I began writing non-fiction and have twice won the Jo Cowell article competition, organised by the Ormskirk Writers and Literary Society. I also won first prize in the article section of the annual Christchurch Writers competition. In 2010, I was placed first in the article category of the New Writer's poetry and prose competition.
I have had work published in magazines such as Cycling World, The Oldie, The Countryman and Best of British.
At present I am trying to find a publisher for a book I've written about the 35 years I have spent riding a tandem with my husband!”
Published Author Lynda Pritchard Newcombe
Lynda Pritchard Newcombe is another published author who attends Diana’s workshops. She talks of the “amazing value for money”.
She says “I have published two non-fiction books and many articles in English and Welsh on language learning but find it difficult to break in to the magazine/newspaper world with travel and related articles.
Advice from Diana has helped me to adapt my articles and to change from an academic to a more popular style of writing.
When I redo pieces after Diana’s sessions they read more smoothly and sound far more like magazine pieces.
The individual sessions with Diana are particularly useful and amazing value for money.
Years of experience mean that Diana knows instinctively what should be omitted and included in a piece and how to express thoughts in the most accessible way for readers.”
Writing Student Kate Harris
"Thanks for another great few days writing. I've learned lots. Very inspiring with your input, wonderful location, great views...very productive time with you and I'm looking forward to next time...thanks again" - (Kate 2013)
Feature in The Lady of 15 February 2013
Kate then and now.
Kate’s article on her work as a trainee nursery nurse with Dr Barnardos when she was sixteen years old.
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