EMAILS
© 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.

Iain Pattison’s Tips

Iain has been judging a competition for us each year, for many years. During that time he has given us great feedback on how to write for a competition. Below are some tips gleaned from his comments that we hope will help you to polish your work

One more tip…

Although the above points are specifically aimed at entries for the Barbara Olive Smith Memorial Trophy, which Iain judges for us, they are probably a useful guide for other events as well. There’s more from Iain under the Writing tab.
EMAILS
© 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.

Iain Pattison’s Tips

Iain has been judging a competition for us each year, for many years. During that time he has given us great feedback on how to write for a competition. Below are some tips gleaned from his comments that we hope will help you to polish your work

One more tip…

Although the above points are specifically aimed at entries for the Barbara Olive Smith Memorial Trophy, which Iain judges for us, they are probably a useful guide for other events as well. There’s more from Iain under the Writing tab.
Competition Tips
Competition Tips