Postiversary Competition

Getting from one scene to the next

Dear Emma, I saw in your twitter feed that you're looking for blog ideas. How about scene changes, especially getting the prose right while establishing time and place. My writing gets quite clumsy at this point as I try to avoid 'It was Saturday and we were sitting in the kitchen.' It's taken a while to get to this, but it's such a good question - which is only to be expected from Sophie Beal, whose blogpost Dark Matter, Dark Glass and Anne Tyler was Highly Commended in the Postiversary Competition. (If you're not sure how you'd define a scene... Read more →


Postiversary Competition Highly Commended: Hairnet Aardvaark, by Lev Parikian

This is the last of of three Highly Commended entries to the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. I liked this post because it made me laugh and it's probably more true - though arguably less detailedly helpful - than all the other competition posts put together with the rest of the whole darned more-than-six-years' worth of This Itch of Writing. Having said that, if you want to bag yourself a Highly Commended, then grossly flattering the competition organiser in the second paragraph is no bad strategy either. "A blog post, 500 words at most, which is helpful, interesting... Read more →


Postiversary Competition Highly Commended: Dark Matter, Dark Glass and Anne Tyler by Sophie Beal

This is the second of three Highly Commended entries to the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. I like this piece because it made me laugh, in a rueful, recognising sort of way, but also because it its own blog-sized way it's doesn't shirk the big questions. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by literary ambition. I aim for the prose quality of Anne Tyler, the themes of Tolstoy and hope I’ll produce it at the speed of Dickens. Today is a good day. I’m happy to be someone trying her best with an English GCSE, a recordable IQ and no one... Read more →


Postiversary Competition Highly Commended: Is it wrong to describe a fart? by Debbie Ash-Clarke

This is the first of three Highly Commended entries to the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. I liked this because it tackles a subject which we all have to deal with - how much is Too Much Information, how little is cowardice? - in a calm and thoughtful way, unpicking the issues without issuing a "rule". Is it Wrong to Describe a Fart? Have you winced? A lot of people do, even at the mention of it. Why would you want to read a story where the author tells us a character farts, or a blog post which... Read more →


Postiversary Competition Third Prize Winner: Where Do You Get Your Ideas From, by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Congratulations to Sophie Jonas-Hill for this delightful post, which won third prize in the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. Sophie wins a two-night writers' retreat at Retreats for You in Sheepwash, North Devon, where full board and friendly writerly company come as standard, and total silence and lunch-on-a-tray are offered with equal generosity. What I loved about this post is that it takes a classic question which we're all very familiar with, and finds a way to express it freshly, and practically. And I always love connections between different kinds of creativity: so often they illuminate each other.... Read more →


Writing, writing, writing

I'm spending a few days in Devon, at Retreats for You, having a nice rest from the WIP by tackling a short piece I've been wanting to write for ages. So I apologise for the lack of a post, and when I get home I'll be putting up the next winner of the 500th Postiversary Competition. Meanwhile, this photo is what it was like down on the river-path at 7.30 this morning. It's also rather symbolic of how this new project feels at the moment. I'm about to go and get some fresh milk and banana bread from downstairs, and... Read more →


Postiversary Competition Second Prize Winner: Loving, Hating and Writer's Block, by Anne Goodwin

Congratulations to Anne Goodwin for this terrific post, which won second prize in the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. Anne wins a year's free Full Membership of WriteWords, Full Membership of WriteWords, which apart from anything else in the way of Groups, Jobs&Opps, Directory and so on, is the place that about 50% of all my posts here started out, as thinking-aloud-in-the-forum. What I love about Anne's post is that she acknowledges both ends of the spectrum of what gets said about writer's block, and then unpicks what's really going on, from both her own experience, and one... Read more →


Postiversary Competition First Prize Winner: Seeming & Thinking, by Esther Saxey

Congratulations to Esther Saxey for this fantastic post, which has won her First Prize in the This Itch of Writing 500th Postiversary Competition. Esther wins a free Quick read of 5,000 words, synopsis and covering letter, from Writer's Workshop. What I love about Esther's piece is how she's thinking about craft, in the sense that I use the term: the business of what's going at the interface between imagination and technique. It's craft that makes what you want to say into something the reader can and will and will want to read. And Esther made me laugh, which I'm always... Read more →