A bit of a break

Linda’s blog September 28th 2020

I hope I have been able to offer you some motivation to keep writing over these past few months of worry, uncertainty and lockdowns. I decided to write a weekly blog back in April and I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something every week. But, because of family circumstances, I’m now going to take a break. I hope I’ll be back in a while.

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a non-fiction book, bringing together many of the handouts I’ve offered my classes over the past twenty years, plus some of the blogs from this website. AND I’ve somehow managed to conjure up 365 writing prompts for next year! As soon as the book is published, I’ll let you know on this website. I’m hoping it will be in time for Christmas and the New Year.

Before I go, there’s a couple of things I’d like to pass on. Firstly, The Oldie magazine is running a competition you may be interested in.

From James Pemroke, Publisher, The Oldie:

Our much-loved deputy-editor and patron saint of the Oldie, Jeremy Lewis, died in 2017, aged 75. In his memory, we run the Jeremy Lewis Prize, worth £500, for writing that captures all Jeremy’s wit and mischief. In 400 words, recall a memory along the lines of our Memory Lane column. Do begin by saying when your memory took place. Send your 400-word entry for the Jeremy Lewis Memorial Prize by email to publisher@theoldie.co.uk by October 31st, 2020, and please mark it JEREMY LEWIS PRIZE.

The other writing project that’s kept me going through recent weeks is doing one of The Great Courses. You may well have seen their catalogue, which comes through my letterbox at regular intervals. I’ve actually done a number of their courses over the years and have enjoyed them all. This latest one, I would describe as being by far the best.


I would highly recommend this course if you are writing, or thinking about writing, a novel. If you’re a “pantser” – someone who does little or no planning and writes “by the seat of their pants” – then I’m sorry, but it’s not for you. This course pays great attention to knowing where you are going, planning plot points and incuding all the vital elements at the right time.

There are 24 half-hour videos (you can buy just the audio version) and I’ ve been watching one a day, first thing in the morning before the day gets going. They are narrated by the author and university lecturer James Scott Bell.

He’s a former trial lawyer who won one of the International Thriller Writers awards in 2017. He’s written 26 crime and historical novels, short stories, non-fiction books as well as 20+ books on the craft of writing.

He is a very personable tutor, making it easy to watch and learn. The downloadable video course currently costs £39.99 (audio is £24.99 and DVD £54.99) and I think it’s worth every penny. If you decide to buy it, I’d love to hear how you get on. Click here.

So, that’s it for now. Please do get in touch with any comments about my blogs over the past months and any ideas for the future. I wish you enjoyment and success with your writing.

Best wishes