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Guest Blogs

A blog by Caren Kennedy

CAREN KENNEDY runs writing.ie's Word Play blog and is the creator of a television series currently in pre-production with Warner Bros TV and co-author of Fake Alibis (BenBella Books, 2009). As well as being a regular contributor to Journal.ie, publishing credits include local, national and international publications. In conjunction with The Inkwell Group, Caren also gives one-to-one mentoring on how to begin writing for television in her online course: http://www.inkwellwriters.ie/workshops/writing-tv-treatments. She is represented in the US by Vamnation Entertainment and TriadaUS Literary Agency.

You can follow Caren online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

The Guardian Newspaper’s FREE How To Write Series

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 28 February 2012.

Do you remember The Guardian newspaper’s 2008  ‘How to Write’  series?  If not, then read on because you’re in for a treat and better yet it’s FREE! Covering journalism, fiction, comedy, poetry, screenwriting and biography, these supplements offered invaluable advice and bucket loads of encouragement from a range of leading professionals, including Wendy Cope on crafting superb poetry, Simon Jenkins speculating on whether journalists are born or made, Catherine Tate on writing memorable comedy characters, and Robert Harris on penning novels. Click HERE for the link...

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Writing the Vomit Draft

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 14 February 2012.

To V or not to V?  That is the question posed by Fenella Greenfield of Euroscript – a question that applies equally well to the drafting of novels and short stories, as it does screenplays.  If you’re the type of writer who likes to write Act One over and over again (until you’ve noticed it’s Christmas – again – and you’re still not past page 30) then the so-called Vomit Draft (VD) might be something to consider. The VD should be completed in ten...

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WOW! Flash Fiction Writing Contests 2012

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 7 February 2012.

WOW! Women on Writing ezine host a  flash fiction writing contest every three months and I quote …  … the mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. We are open to all styles of writing, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season Elise...

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Avenging Rejection: 9 Authors Who Prove Its Never Too Late

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 24 January 2012.

The standard rejection letter is the worst part of the writing business.  When you receive one (and everyone does at one time or another) wise writing heads will nod and tell you it happens.  It’s not personal.  It’s business.  Get over it.  All true of course but how do you ‘get over’ it exactly?  You don’t.  At least not initially.  Instead, you enact a campaign of revenge. The trick is to change your mental attitude...

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Win Stg 1,000 Pounds Worth of Script Development with Euroscript

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 28 December 2011.

The Euroscript Screen Story Competition is open for 2012, the deadline is midnight, 31st March.  All entries receive a FREE bullet-point feedback report. The Euroscript Screen Story Competition was launched in 1994 under the auspices of the European Union’s Media II programme. Producers throughout Europe complained that European scripts were going into production too early. In Hollywood, it was argued scripts commonly go to ten or eleven drafts whereas in Europe it’s substantially fewer. In...

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How not to win writing competitions

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 21 December 2011.

Stop the lights I’ve done it.  I’ve entered a writing competition.  Granted my chances of winning are slim but that’s not the point.  The point is this: If I’m not in then I definitely won’t win. Not entering is a sure-fire method to avoid winning but of course it’s not the only one.  Below are eight other easily avoided mistakes common to all writing competitions. 1.         Ignoring the rules:  They’re there for a reason – to guarantee a...

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Truth is Stranger than Fiction – Writing Prompts

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 13 December 2011.

One of the agonies of being a media junkie is that you’re forever coming across juicy stories that send you’re mind racing but because they’ve no pressing relevance to current projects, must be let lie. Below are a few such stories which I’m sure will tickle your fancy, just as they did mine.  Or perhaps one of them will prompt you into writing a short story?  If so, do let me know.  I’d love to read it. ...

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14 Steps to Avoid Computer Eye Strain

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 6 December 2011.

I have been trying for days to write about eye care for writers, but it hasn’t been easy, and for one simple reason: My eyes are banjaxed.   The clinical term is ‘computer eye strain’ but I think banjaxed says it best. And without wishing to put too fine a point on it, your own eyes are at risk of going the same way unless you blink now and continue to blink as you read the rest...

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Writing Rituals

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 16 November 2011.

Of all the bizarre methods for stimulating the writing muse I’ve heard tell about, French novelist Colette’s is by far the strangest. She picked fleas from her cat, then wrote. Coming in a close second is the poet Friedrich von Schiller. He used to keep rotten apples under the lid of his desk, open it, inhale and then compose. Conversely, T.S. Eliot believed he did his best work when he had a head cold. It’s also said that Edgar Allen Poe wrote...

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Whats the point in wasting paper?

Posted by Caren Kennedy on 19 October 2011.

Ernest Hemingway once said his best work was a story he wrote in six words:  ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’  I wonder  …  how many pages do you think Hemingway went through before settling on these six gems?  I’m guessing a dozen.  Or maybe not.  Perhaps he strung them together straight off the cuff.  Somehow I doubt it though. What I am certain of is that screenwriter and essayist Norah Ephron says:  “In the course of writing...

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