John Newton is the founder of The Writing Room, a writer’s group I’ve belonged to since spring this year. It meets every month in Heath and Reach, Beds. John is a published author, as are one or two others at the group. I’ve learned a lot, and my first few short stories have been posted on this blog.
If you are interested in joining the group, please get in touch with me via my Contact Page.
“The Writing Room, our Leighton Buzzard writers’ group, held their annual short story competition that runs for three months. Each year, I put together exactly the first 300 words of a short story that stops at the word, “and…”.
The Writing Room Members must complete the story with exactly 700 words to finish at precisely 1,000 words between June and the end of August. The stories are then read out and marked at the September meeting. Marking is done by every member present, giving marks out of ten.
At the end of the evening, marks are totalled and averaged. Writers of the three highest marked stories share in a £50 prize, the winner receiving £30, the other two £15 and £5.
The competition is always very popular and it is fascinating the different directions individual stories take after the word, “and…”. This year we saw some wonderful characters and many twists, turns and endings.
Each year the scores get closer as our system of critique and advice improves the writing skills of Members.
This year only between two and three points separated most of the short stories from the winner, Christine Barrow. Next year could be tighter.”
This piece was previously published in the Leighton Buzzard Observer. I didn’t enter the competition this year, but I took both these photos.
John has written some rapidly paced and extremely adult thrillers under the name of Maddy D’Eath. This is the pseudonym of the main character, a female assassin. The books can be found for Kindle on Amazon, and as paperbacks at Waterstones.
Just to remind you, many of the links on this blog take you to Amazon, where whatever you buy there, (it doesn't have to be books) earns me a percentage.
This allows me to eat, so I don't become faint with hunger while I'm slaving over the blog software. It costs you nothing, but if you buy something from Amazon after being directed from this blog, thank you.