My mother is a time traveller

Introducing a new regular section – Fiction Friday Writing Prompts. Each week, on a Friday, we will post a writing prompt focused only on giving you something interesting to write about.

These prompts are not part of our ongoing competition but are just to get the old creative juices flowing.

This week:

My mother is a time traveller

As ideas go this one raises a lot if interesting questions.

  • Who is your mother?
  • Why does she time travel?
  • When did you find out or have you yet to discover the truth?
  • What are the effects of this knowledge (or lack thereof) on you?
  • What is it like to have a mother who time travels?
  • Is she always able to be there for you or does time travel keep her busy?
  • What does your dad think?

Have fun with this idea and please do link to this page if you publish a story inspired by our prompt.

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My Genre: Winners

As I think I might have mentioned, I have struggled to choose one winner this week. At last, I think I have picked one but it was not at all easy.

The theme was why I write in my genre – a question that not all professionals can answer. You each approached the theme in a different way and I was deeply impressed with each and every post I read. You are a very talented bunch.

The participants

Below I have listed all the posts that I found. If yours is not here then I did not find it. I checked the pings & comments, the regulars, and the Facebook group. Only four of you commented a link or pinged the blog I awarded you four non-countable bonus points which are only redeemable for bragging rights. (If you need help linking).

Up to this point, there have always been seven or eight of you but some of you took a week off. At least I hope you did because I would feel terrible if I missed anyone out.

Now for the winners. Drum roll, please.

Best Comment and Most Comments

Jess Joy was the runaway winner this week in terms of comment count. Posting something fun and easy to engage with can do wonders for getting comments going. This is a great platform building technique in and of itself.

The most commented post was also the home of some amazing comments. Many of the comments mimicked the style of the post and it looks like you all had a lot of fun with it. So I am awarding Ansteysp the best comment prize.

Best Post

This week I am awarding the prize to Artimis Blake’s “Why do I write in my Genre”. While every single last post was a contender for the prize, for different reasons this post spoke to me where I live. This is purely chance, I think, but as I have to choose just one and it was so very, very close…

From a platform building perspective, this post is very good content because it is something fans and the press can quote easily.

Over to you

Feel free to heap likes, comments, praise, and general congratulations to our winners.

There is no right or wrong answer here, who would you choose as the winner from this set?

You were expecting winners?

Around this time, you might have been saying “where are the winners from last week?”

You would be right to ask this.

I am hoping I can distract you with this photo of my cat while I try to pick a winner. You see, each week you make it harder and hard to pick a “best” post as you are so gosh-darn good at this.

All I can tell you is that there will be a winner picked and it will be before the deadline for this week. If you could try to be utterly terrible for a few weeks that would help.

Seriously, though, keep being awesome. Your blog posts are a joy to read. I’ve listed all of you (I think) in our new directory of local writer-bloggers. If there are any more great writer blogs in the area please let me know and I will add them to the listing.

Now back to looking at amazing blog posts and finding a winner.

Who do I admire?

In our ongoing competition that builds your author platform as you participate, we have looked at a lot of different topics. This week, we are looking at admiration.

Who do you admire?

Today we are asking who do you admire? Thanet has a wide range of literary influences for you to chose from, but don’t let your choices be limited to just the local greats. It can be a good way to build a bond with readers to talk about the people that inspired you to write thus the topic of the week. As always, don’t feel you have to limit yourself to non-fiction. If you have been enjoying creating fiction from these prompts then do that if you wish.

As always, don’t feel you have to limit yourself to non-fiction. If you have been enjoying creating fiction from these prompts then do that if you wish.

This week’s theme, in case you missed it, is:

Who do I admire?

Remember, these themes are jumping off points, do with them what you will. See the competition FAQ if you are joining us late.

Don’t forget to link back to this post (and perhaps comment on it) to make sure people can come and find you when you have published. Have fun and may the muse be with you.

If you are not taking part in the competition (or you just have more to say) let me close with this same question to you: Who do you admire?

Where is poetry going in Thanet?

Does poetry in Thanet exist in a bubble or is it more outward looking? Is it something solid that is growing or something that is over-inflated and will soon go pop?

I think most of us would probably answer that poetry in Thanet is substantive, outward looking, and has a bright future. I know that I would.

What is that bright future? Do we know? Can we know? Even if we can’t know, can we help decide what that future is?

Thanet Creative Writers is holding a Council of Poets to combine the sharing of verse with discussion about where we want to see poetry in Thanet going next. This gathering, I hope, will be the first step towards establishing what form the proposed new Poetry Circle will take.

The council of Poets will take place at our usual venue (address at the bottom of most pages) at half past seven on the 30th March. Places are limited and they are going pretty quickly. So make sure you reserve a space by asking me in person or just set yourself as “going” on the Facebook event.

We will consider the following questions (in between sharing our own poetry).

  • What do we poets in Thanet need?
  • Does poetry in Thanet have a future?
  • What is the future of Thanet’s poetry?
  • How can TCW help enhance the local poetry scene?
  • Do you want to make this a regular event?

Mostly, I imagine, we will be sharing rhymes and drinking tea.

Where do you see Thanet’s poetry going in the near and not so near future?

Week Three Winners

As you get stuck into the Week Four Theme, it is time to announce the winners of week three.

You might have noticed that the winners’ post has come a little later this week. This is because I have started to experiment with the timing of this second post. I wondered if waiting a few days might work better. Not to mention that I have had a few health issues.

As in weeks past, there are three areas to win in:

  1. Best post (as picked by me)
  2. Post with the most comments by different people
  3. Best comment (as picked by me)

The only thing I can say for certain at this stage is that the next time we run one of these, I am going to ask more people to help me pick the winners.

Best Post: Theological Mistakes

It was very hard to choose a winner. Again.

I wanted to pick several of you as winners. Again.

However, after going back and forth (again) and not being able to make up my mind (again), I chose the Night of Hats article. What particularly impressed me was the fusion of column-writing style with a blog post that starts by hinting that this might all be nonsense and yet keeps a straight face when it presents it. A well-deserved win.

Most Comments: If I invented my own religion

Although I was a bit dubious about the websites reported 40+ comments, this was the blog post with the most comments.

One oft-repeated technique for getting more comments is to end with a question. Think about giving it a try.

Best Comment: profbenj The Joy of Words

Like the posts, the comments are all of a similar standard. It was very hard to pick out a “best comment”. This one made my short list for engaging with the post and showing that the commenter had read it by asking an insightful question.

Why I write in my genre

Here is this week’s theme for the writing competition that also builds your author platform. For full details please see week one’s post.

Week Four: Competition Theme

This is the theme for this week. Closing date to have posted it online is midnight on Monday the 27th.

Why I write in my genre

You can write anything you want that fits that theme. As little or as much as you feel you need to. Bonus points (which don’t count towards anything other than enhanced bragging rights) if you can include both the original Greek classification system and the art history usage of Genre Paintings without it seemingly the least bit forced.

Ideas

This theme was designed to give you an opportunity to share your love of your preferred genre (or genres) with your readers. Talking about the general classification of your work can help you show up on the radar of the type of people that want to read that sort of work. However, feel free to argue that genres are a terrible idea, and show why your genre-busting novel is amazing without them. Or, you know, find some awesome way to spin a fiction around the theme. It’s your blog after all

However, feel free to argue that genres are a terrible idea, and show why your genre-busting novel is amazing without them. Or, you know, find some awesome way to spin a fiction around the theme. It’s your blog after all.

You can probably guess my favourite genre from the picture I chose this week. It was that or an image of zombies.

Don’t forget

Don’t forget to link to this week’s post so your entry is (much) easier to discover. You may find it easier to get more comments if you also share your post to your Facebook friends or on Twitter. There is now a guide to linking (and link sharing), if you need it.

Everything you ever wated to know about sharing links

During the competition, I have had a lot of people direct questions to me on the subject of sharing links. I am going to try and explain everything I know in a way that I hope will be useful.

In my opening paragraph, you might have noticed some differently coloured clickable text. The word “competition” links to the competition overview from week 1 while the word “links” leads to the jargon buster (which tells you what a link is). Pretty nifty right?

You can also share links on Facebook. I have no doubt that you have seen friends sharing news and funny blog posts every single day. You can also share your own content too.

Sharing links on Facebook the easy way

Take a look at almost any blog or news site and you will see things that look something like this.

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:27:44.png

That is from one of our competition entries.

Do you notice the button that says “Facebook”? This is what that link looks like on this blog.

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:29:59.png

You can see that three shares have already been detected. Is that not awesome?

Give the “Facebook” button a click. And this happens.

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:31:34.png

That box is all ready for me to share that link to my Facebook wall. There is even a box which invites me to “say something about this”. When I am done I can press “Post to Facebook” (bottom right).

That is all well and good but I want to share this link to our group. Do you see where it says “share on your own timeline”? Let’s click that and change it.

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:32:45.png

I chose “share in group”. And then when the group box appeared I started typing until the group I wanted was in the list. Then I gave that a click.

Now I get to share the link to the group instead.

Sharing links to Facebook the advanced way

That was the easy way to share links. Now we are going to learn about an advanced way to share links that will also help you learn something about blogging.

It’s actually almost as easy. However, this link sharing method is just a touch more fiddly.

Look up right now. At the top of your screen – you can probably see a long bar. Something like this:

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:34:19

Do you see the text inside the box? That is the address of the page you are looking at. As you did not have to log in or enter any magic passwords to see this post, if you were to give this link to someone else, they would see this article just the same as you would.

copy-url

Now, let us copy that. You can highlight the text, right-click, and press copy; or you can highlight the text and press control+C; on an android device long press and choose copy.

If you take that text and go over to the facebook group you can paste it into a message. You will see exactly the same stuff appear as when you shared it from the button.

However, there will be this big bit of ugly text. You can go ahead and remove that from your post – facebook is done with it now and understands that you want to share the link.

This technique allows you to share almost any page on Facebook. You can even use it to share the group, pages, and events too.

How to share links in a blog post

Links on blog posts are formatted using the a tag and the href attribute. Don’t worry – you don’t need to know about that if you are using WordPress. If you are interested you can check the HTML view of your post later and see what I mean.

WP-post

If you have posted on a blog before then you have probably seen something like this before. If you have yet to get that far check out this guide which will talk you through everything you need to know about getting started with posting on WordPress.

Take a close look at the toolbar. After the B for bold and I for italics, there are two links for bulleted and numbered lists. After that is an icon which is supposed to look like links in a chain. That’s for linking with.

First, you highlight your text that you want linked and then you press that link button. You should get a box like this:

Screenshot from 2017-03-17 14:43:11

You will probably notice that there are a list of our blog posts in the big box. That’s a helpful tool to help you make links to your own stuff. Linking to related content that you have already posted is a great idea but that is a story for another time.

Right now we are interested in the first box that says URL. URL is another name for the link text that we copied before. Paste the link text in the URL box. Then press “Add Link”.

That is all there is to it. While you are getting used to adding links I highly recommend that you give your links a test click after you publish to check they are all working. If one has gone wrong you can always hit edit and have another go.

Using links for pings

If you link to the current competition post from the competition entry, you will ping our blog and (once we’ve checked it is a true ping) someone (probably me) will okay it. Then your link will appear in the list under the competition post.

On WordPress, you do not have to do anything special. It will take care of everything for you.

Over to you

I hope that this has proven to be a helpful tutorial. I did not expect to ever write a WordPress tutorial in my life and so far I have written three just for this blog. Please let me know if I was clear enough and if you could follow what I was saying – I am still quite new to writing introductory tutorials.

Do you have anything to add? What neat things have you found to do with links?

The benefits of being a full member

Thanet Creative Writers is a charity. To be precise, Thanet Creative Writers is an unincorporated charitable association.

What that means is that Thanet Creative Writers is run by its members. You can come along to our events, join our online groups, contribute to our blog, take part in contests, and everything else without being a member. So what are the benefits of being a full member?

Why having members matters

Having as large a membership base as possible is highly important to our aims as a charity. Having members allows us to address governments, local councils, funding bodies, and other large organisations on behalf of all our members.

The more members we have, the bigger voice the charity has for representing the interests of our members and the promotion of creative writing in Thanet.

If you believe writers and poets in Thanet need a stronger voice, then full membership is for you.

Our members have perks

With enough members, you empower us to organise exclusive events, local discounts, training opportunities and literary celebrity appearances.

Have you ever wanted to meet your favourite author?

By becoming a member you make it more likely that we can make that happen for you.

Our members have priority

When deciding who or what we fund (when we have funds available) the projects and wishes of our members comes first.

What is more, full members have the right to expect to have priority access to all events we run. Most events are open to all and have unlimited places but should there be a limited number of places or the event be closed to the public, our members still get first access. That includes priority registration to events with limited places.

If priority access to Thanet Creative Writers events is something you want then Full Membership is for you.

Members set the agenda

Full members of Thanet Creative Writers are the ones who decide what we are going to do next and help to shape what the year ahead will look like.

Full members know that it is one thing to be a consumer of the wonderful free services that Thanet Creative Writers provide, but another level altogether to have a say in those services.

If you are the kind of person that likes to set the agenda, to direct where things are going, to have a say in all matters, then being a Full Membership of Thanet Creative Writers is for you.

Members decide who leads

Thanet Creative Writers is lead by its trustees. The trustees include the chair (that’s me at the moment) as well as a number of other volunteers elected by our members. We trustees meet every month to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

As a full member, you get the right to vote in our annual elections to decide who will be taking care of business in the year ahead.

If you are the kind of person who cares about making sure the right people are running things then Full Membership of Thanet Creative Writers is for you.

Full members are leaders

In addition to deciding who will take care of business, full members are community leaders. They have the right to stand for election to any of the trustee roles.

If you are the kind of person who likes to be proactive in your community, or who likes to direct how the club or society they are part of will grow, thenFull Membership of Thanet Creative Writers is for you.

Full members are trendsetters

Full members have the right to sponsor others to become full members. Members also have the right to apply to have writer related events they set up recognised as an official project of, supported by, and funded (assuming we have funds available) by Thanet Creative Writers.

If you are planning on running events, clubs, or meetings for writers in Thanet, then Full Membership of Thanet Creative Writers is definitely for you.

Our members are awesome

Thanet Creative writers believe that its members are the most awesome people on the planet. We work as hard to make sure our members get the most they can out of being part of something bigger than themselves. We think you deserve it.

Become a member today

How to write the WORST blog post ever (in the whole world)!!!

This is a demonstration of bad blogging. Do not copy this. This is about the worst advice you could ever find in a blog post. I truly hope that you never follow any of this advice.

youth-active-jump-happy-40815To write the worst blog post for a Thanet blog evva in da world be sure to right with bad spelling and 4get to use any punctuation at all and use lots of conjunctions and keep the sentence going as loooong as possible and don’t stop and keep going and just annoy teh readerz with all the worst L3e7 speeks and spell things wrong and make it one big block of terrible text that is far too long and in need of a break or a full stop or some other silly thing like that and don’t get to the point and don’t ever fisnigh your thought or your

To really annoy readers try using a lot of different colours. Use colours that are low contrast. Also, try use blue and underline together to make it look like you have put in a link.

Additionally, you should definitely try to get some paragraphs that have unusual alignments because that really helps reduce readability. After all, hard to read posts are better, right? To really destroy readability use italics as well.

Use bold and at random intervals on words with no particular need for emphasis because saving italics and bold for emphasis is for wusses, right????

Brunglefargle!!

If you must use headings inside your post make sure that they have absolutely no connection to the text that comes under them. Remember to be utterly inconsistent with the way that you do that.

Exclamation marks are great!!!!

Use as many exclamation marks as humanly possible!!!!!!!

Whole sections of your blog post should be headings because headings are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

xmas-1Pictures you use should have no relation to your content ever. Who wants to look at pictures that relate to what you are saying??? That’s just crazy.

Also, question marks. You should question everything!!! So you do you double question marks right?? Because that means more if you use two, or even three. You know that right??? Look how arty I seem when using extra punctuation.It looks even cooler when I take out the space.Because a space and a full stop do the same thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Lines are cool!!!


Use some lines at random.

When you link, don’t link text that has any connection to the text. Keep the reader guessing.

You have an indent function so use it whenever the inspiration takes you.

  1. Never let the conventions of good formatting hold you back.

Blockquotes are only used for quoting other people by snobs. True artists use it to look cool!!!!!!!!!!!

  • If you can use long tags and unrelated categories too, do so. Use all the tags!!!!



If you have not used all the formatting options then you have not tried hard enough to make your blog post truly terrible.

Full stops are good for spacing work

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see!!!!!

Now I know that some people try and claim that these cool art features are great in moderation. Moderation! I ask you, what use is moderation? We are artists and we KNOW THAT ALL CAPS and bright colours and lots of formatting are vital to good writing, right??

Ascii art is better than pictures

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Spell checkers are for the week?!?!?!

You should also go on and on about your book (or your product or whatever) and write for people that are not your audience. Who do those people think they are anyway. They should be glad to read your thoughts. People should pay to read this stuff. Yeah? Here are some more hints on how to write a very bad post.

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Your blog post is not done until you have mentioned
  1. Bananas
  2. Goats
  3. Nazis

and also fish.

Go forth and write really bad blog posts.

Seriously though, please don’t. I am literally begging you not to make blog posts like this. Please format responsibly.