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Waxing lyrical about poetry

The third category for the Sixth International Hysteria Writing Competition is poetry. That means a poem with the very loose theme “things of interest to women.” Oh, and a maximum of twenty lines, not including spaces. Our writer in residence Alex Reece Abbott has asked some award-winning poets and judges from around the world to share their best pointers for writing poetry for her post this month – big thanks go to the fabulous Frankie McMillan; Camille Ralphs; Jane Clarke and Aki Schilz for their support and valuable insights.

Camille has also kindly shared a poetry generator, so even if you’ve never written a poem before, there’s plenty of ideas to get you started for our deadline of August 31 2017. You can enter the poetry category on the Hysteria website.

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Starting with a FLASH! by Alex Reece Abbott

And we’re off! First up, flash fiction – for the Sixth International Hysteria Writing Competition, that means two hundred and fifty words with the very loose theme “things of interest to women.”

So, what if you could spend five minutes with an award-winning, flash fiction writer and get her to share her top three tips? And, maybe a proven story generator too?

We did it for you.

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Finishing Touches by Sophie Duffy

So you’ve written your piece to enter the Hysteria Writing Competition 2016? If you haven’t, you’ve still got three weeks in which to do this. You still have time to start and complete a piece, if you crack on with it. If you’ve already finished your poem, flash, or story, then it won’t do any harm to go back over it and check those finishing touches.

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What are your intentions? by Sophie Duffy

Whatever you are writing for this competition, make sure your piece has honourable intentions. By this I mean, make sure your entry has a point, a story, something to say. A competent use of grammar, a way with words, a quirky style is a good start, but it isn’t enough. You need to leave the judges with an impression that is hard to shake. You need to give your piece of writing a life that will go on after they have finished reading.

Here’s a few things to think about when starting out or redrafting.

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That elusive thing: subtext, Sophie Duffy

For this blog I want to talk about that elusive thing: subtext.

Subtext is the magic ingredient that can add layers and depth to any piece of writing. It can make your story, flash, or poem rise like a fluffy fairy cake. Without it, your story, flash, or poem, might just remain flat, with or without a soggy bottom. (Yes, that is a really bad metaphor but imagery and symbolism have their part to play in subtext, to which I will return.)

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Why a writing deadline is a ‘very good thing’ – Bridget Whelan

I’m delighted to be asked by the Hysterectomy Association to be writer in residence during their annual writing competition. I am going to blog every month about the kind of things that emerging writers need to consider – how to find original ideas, how to craft a sentence or a line of poetry that sings on the page and what to do after the first draft. 

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