© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Created with Xara Designer Pro X

It’s a short story competition…

…so try to avoid memoirs, monologues, poems etc. Have a plot with jeopardy, dialogue, a chain of events leading to a conclusion, hopefully unexpected.

Watch the word count

Keep your writing tight, don’t waste words - especially when writing humour.

Lights, Camera, ACTION

Don’t spend half the word count setting the scene. Get into the action as soon as possible.

Maintain the pace

Try to avoid interrupting the story flow with information dumps or back story. If the reader needs information, keep it brief and relevant. And don’t cheat by having characters tell each other information that they would already know.

Short Story Competitions

The tips on the right were gleaned from comments made by Iain Pattison when judging our competition over recent years. It is probably worth bearing these points in mind when writing for any short story competition.

Michael Oke came to a circle meeting a few years ago and gave a

very good talk about memoir writing. He has his own business helping

people to write their memoirs and produces the finished articles to a very

high standard.

He once appeared on Dragons Den with his proposition - no offers. Later, one of the dragons, James Caan, used his service for his own memoir. Even without help from the Dragons, his business is still thriving. Having now personally assisted with over 300 books, Michael is recognised as a leading authority on the writing of private life stories. He handed out a page of tips at his talk to us which, at the time, several of our memoir writers found helpful. Hopefully, some of our newer members will find his Twenty Tips for Writing Your Life Story helpful too.

Writing a memoir

© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Created with Xara Designer Pro X

It’s a short story competition…

…so try to avoid memoirs, monologues, poems etc. Have a plot with jeopardy, dialogue, a chain of events leading to a conclusion, hopefully unexpected.

Watch the word count

Keep your writing tight, don’t waste words - especially when writing humour.

Lights, Camera, ACTION

Don’t spend half the word count setting the scene. Get into the action as soon as possible.

Maintain the pace

Try to avoid interrupting the story flow with information dumps or back story. If the reader needs information, keep it brief and relevant. And don’t cheat by having characters tell each other information that they would already know.

Short Story Competitions

The tips on the right were gleaned from comments made by Iain Pattison when judging our competition over recent years. It is probably worth bearing these points in mind when writing for any short story competition.

Michael Oke came to a circle meeting

a few years ago and gave a very good talk

about memoir writing. He has his own busi-

ness helping people to write their memoirs

and produces the finished articles to a very

high standard.

He once appeared on Dragons Den with his proposition - no offers. Later, one of the dragons, James Caan, used his service for his own memoir. Even without help from the Dragons, his business is still thriving (Google him). Having now personally assisted with over 300 books, Michael is recognised as a leading authority on the writing of private life stories. He handed out a page of tips at his talk to us which at the time several of our memoir writers found helpful. Hopefully, some of our newer members will find his Twenty Tips for Writing Your Life Story helpful too.

Writing a Memoir

for writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry
Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Writing Tips
for writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry
Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Writing Tips