Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update

172 Hits

$6,666


666, see what they say about Keegan is true...

More Competition Prizes

After thirteen hits posted yesterday, more good news!!


Joel wins $100 Third Place at WriteSpace

Cally gets $30 as a runner-up

Chrissie places a story at Doodledog

Monday, November 26, 2007

Which Takes Us To...

169 Hits

$6,536

13 Boot Camp Hits: $322

1 Jason picks up Third Place ($200) ad in the H E Bates Short-Story Competition (Print)

2 Joel gets Highly recommended in the H E Bates Short-Story Comp, also (Print)

3 Jason Jackson was shortlisted at Guildford

4 TomC is accepted for "Chaos Theory" ($10)

5 Cally earns $50 and a nice Oz publication in "Etchings" (Print)

6 Rupert gets into Diddledog

7 Christina has a flash accepted for Smokebox

8 Louise Cypher gets $20 and a pub in "Murky Depths" print mag

9 Jason Jackson earns $30 with a story at Espresso Fiction

10 Matt gets a story into January's "Transmission" (Print)

11 Tom gets a story into "Fly in Amber" ($10)

12 Tom has a story in "Balderdash" and earns a whole $2

13 Rupert has a story accepted for print-mag "Four Volts"

11 Joel gets highly recommended at JBWB

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday 04:00 Prompts

A beautiful building, an ugly one
A billion, more or less
A brave and rare man, Hungarian
A furious woman
A garden, a slum
A soldier boy, dark, and tall. He is marked with a target
Blodwen is pregnant
Does that explain it?
Double your money
Dreams must remain damp to lessen shrinkage
Driving West through Wales
Everyone prefers good looks to ugliness
Has anyone seen my sky?
He spent seven years in solitary, dreaming of fires
I am considering eating your budgie
I bitterly resented the way men grabbed me
I can, thenk God, walk forever
I cannot run more than a few yards
I have what every poet hates
I ought to be happy
I place my hope upon the water. It sinks
I think I had no self-consciousness
I took my looks for granted
Irish carpentry, American kindness
Lamplight, yellow windows, light bleeding
Love is liquid
May I borrow your gun? I have my own bullets
My body is wearing out
My friends started dying when I was quite young.
My immortal soul
Neither here nor there, and almost arriving
Now it strikes me as a huge joke
Outside yellow corn, yellow, yellow, yellow
Popcorn
Somehow made tolerable
Something is broken
Stone, harsh wind
The body, face, brain are all oneself
The dogs will stop me writing
The meteor is coming. It fills the sky
The street was lined with fish
The wife is twenty years younger
The world is emptier
War and the pity of war
What the hell did they mean wanting my body?
Whenever I phone, the answers come first
Where can I go to escape the smell?
Will there also be singing?
You decided to come in the back way
You know the people there.
You think of looks always in relation to sex. I don't.
You went out to buy cigarettes. I killed myself quickly then hid
You will know who they are by their absence
You wrote that a friend had died

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday prompts

This version of the story is in English. In Milan.

Sadness, that's normal, it goes with the territory.

Squinting against the late-afternoon sun as it cut through the birch trees
In the afternoons before the holidays Trish had started frequenting a restaurant a few blocks west of the apartment.

I loved a girl once. Every story starts that way, right?

There she goes. Who? That girl. What girl? You know. What's-her-name.

Florence Melnick went to the library every day.

They're married, but not to each other.

On the way home from hospital, Ava tells Charlotte that after her first husband was killed during a German air attack on Bari in 1943, she cried without pause for weeks, only to emerge from her stunning grief temporarily blind.

Once upon a time two men lived down the bottom of a nuclear missile silo.

Years before my sister Allie became the champion you know and love – winner of the International Matzo-Eating Contest, title-holder of the Conch Fritter Invitational, the girl who down nine sticks of butter in five minutes – she binged her way through a dinner dare that became her finest hour (and my longest).

Dolly's first big idea was the hat.

When I started out volunteering on Monday nights at New Day House, it was just me, Karen, and a rotating cast of eight or ten kids who, with their sticky marker-covered hands and mysteriously damp clothes, would greet us by lunging into our arms and leading us into the basement playroom.

From Wanda Farrelly-Johnson. Are we God's Children of Ham? And other Dilemmas of Black Historical Research (Pilot, N.C.: Lizard Ladies Press, 1983):

Tommy's cousin Gabe. Tommy's distant cousin Gabe from Stillwater, Minnesota. Tommy's cousin Gabe, related to my husband through divorce and remarriage, in lieu of actual blood, who arrives on my front porch at dinnertime with a duffel bag and fanny-pack. Industrial-sized.

Dear Doctor X, if I may call you that. Perhaps I should introduce myself.

I met Adam at the bookstore. He was in the section marked Biography/History.

You thought everybody in America had a car and a gun, your uncles and aunts thought so too.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New AK Article

http://www.internetwritingjournal.com/articles/shoot_the_rhino.htm

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Story Prompts & a Reminder

These daily prompts appear on the bootcampkeegandiaries (lik on the right) and only occasionally here



PROMPTS

A blessing be upon your house

TUBE

A nasty break – my son's – and needing pins

HOMESTEAD

a little gas and air, barbiturates, routine

MAJESTY

quietly close your eyes.

HOW NOT TO BELIEV

The trolley trundles; I pretend

JACOB's LADDER

his hand, mine, confederate, serene

THE RED TELEPHONE

they shroud his eye, his light put out

BLACKER

with sticky juices, half a death, he waits

HELEN OF TRING

through flapping doors to mystery

DELUSION

and all around is cancer, hideous disease

MAO'S LITTLE BOOK OF RECIPES

I did not taste what went into my mouth,

MICROSCOPE, GLASS

"What do YOU want, mother?"

THE COMPLETE SHIRT NOVELS OF SIMON BAREBACK

I am my ownworse nightmare, idiot,

TOWER

I saw his face, I loved it, him

A FIVE-WHEELED CYCLE

I was there in linen, lying, saw

MERRY, MARY, MAYBE

the drugs were cutting in, the pain subsiding, a

BLAST

Once on a moonlight road

PLATE

the deer was broken backed, eyes bulged.

THE RED CHICKEN, THE BLACK

under moon, we went three separate ways

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Prompts & a Reminder

These were the story prompts for Saturday 31st, but see below, they are also poetry prompts

PLEASE NOTE that the bootcampkeegandiaries (see link on right) is where BC members post their ongoing Boot Camp experiences andwhere we are also posting prompts, hits etc.



As a lot of today's story-prompts are lines from poems, they are today's poetry prompts too.

try TWO poems, one inspired by, another using (some) actual lines and combining to create new meanings

There is a whole RAFT of good poetry comps this month so GET WRITING







Time wasted and time spent, daytime with used up wit.

PYRAMID

Will you take a seat? The war will soon be over.

RAZOR, LIGHT

I read of a thousand killed.

My Grandfather's Skull

Thick wool is muslin tonight and the wire scorches stone-cold shoulder

PEAS

in the red darkness, through the filtered light

ACID, SMILE, ALKALI, GRIN

There is a SUPREME BEING (in the ethnological section)...

Why Tuesdays are Different

COO-POO

Wher pink thighs flash like the spokes of a wheel

Melt My Medals, Build Something

I offer you my forests and my street cries

DORIAN GRAY

The man who sold aircraft carriers

The Elecdtronic Nature of Desire

our mother is in the night, into the day we flow

Romeo, Romeo, ar you coming or not fer fuck's sake!

in the stump of the ol tree where the heart has rotted out

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

AK Articles

I'm posting links to my articles, partly as a source for developing writers but also to invite reaction and discussion. In my time I've stumbled on some appalling articles at various places on the web. Too bad there is no system for marking quality or usefulness!

While I think articles such as these, and similar articles in print (eg The New Writer or Cambrensis) are useful, I believe that we learn much more by responding to articles, debating issues, sharing examples which illustrate points etc. Typically in Boot Camp a thread, on, say, Theme, starts with a question, involves one or more pasted articles, story segments and then a to-and-fro of sometimes 200 or more posts. The learning in such discussion is stratospheric compared to merely reading an article or a chapter of a how-to book.

That being so, respond, discuss, argue.




Alice Munro: The Short Answer

In Lieu of Preference

A Few Introductory Articles from 1997

If you visit Writers Write Archives and scroll down to the oldest editions you'll find this by me in Issue Two, September 1997. Beginner, Don't Write That Novel.

In November 1997 there's Plotting is a Seven Letter Word and in December How to Open Without a Bang.

These are simpler articles and as the years progressed, generally so did the articles. You can browse through the Writers Write Archives, read, consider, then hopefully ask questions, or argue issues here in this blog.

Beginner, Don't Write That Novel.
Plotting is a Seven Letter Word
How to Open Without a Bang
Dialogue, Seven Sins, a Sinner

Tries Hard, Could Do Better
How to Win Short Story Competitions
How to Write a Query Letter That Sells
Point of View From My Point of View

Two Articles on Show-not-Tell
Seduction Not Instruction (Part I)
Seduction Not Instruction (Part II)

Ten-and-a-Half Commandments of Writing
Dealing With Rejection

Two Articles on Setting
Creating the Perfect Setting I
Creating the Perfect Setting II

Four Articles on Editing
Be Your Own Editor: Part I
Be Your Own Editor: Part II
Be Your Own Editor: Part III
Be Your Own Editor: Part IV

The Art of Telling Lies
What is a Short Story?
Advice For the Younger Fiction Writer
Left, Right, Left, Right: Character!

That last article was February 2000, the next (the 23rd) was December 2002

Theme Music: Tone is Not an Accident
Judging Writing Competitions
Quick! Quick!
Stealing Stories

Oh BTW, I'll write a page one day on sick writing sites. If you want to understand, go to the one mentioned in the article above and say you like Alex Keegan's articles...

The Novice Screenwriter Refuses to Conform
Sing to Me
If You Whisper, Convince
Choosing a Writing Teacher

Think Before You Click
Ironing While Watching TV
Creative Writing Myths
How It Is
Contract Bridge and Writing. How to Become a Grand Master
A Cool, Dark Guinness
Choosing a Writing Teacher


I hope 40 articles is enought to be going on with.


Best Wishes


Alex Keegan

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Clocks Forward, Ever Onward

Did you remember?

Here are today's Boot Camp prompts.

They make me feel like it's time for another 7Q Frantic Flash

These prompts will appear at thebootcampkeegandiaries (see links) and if you come here any morning and there are no prompts, chances are they are ove at tbckd

some good ones today


The Prompts



In some ways I still don't

The difference between a mandarin and a tangerine

Three Consecutive Numbers

Confuscius he say "Woman who cook potatoes and pees in same pot, dirty cow"

The quadratics of hate

Moon

The History Boys

Covered in Mud

The Man Who Put the Stars There is Going Home and Wants Them Back




Notes from the Metro

A Million Writers

The act of love lies somewhere between the belly and the mind..

Ten Million Pixels

How blue a blue do you do?

Drop the Rhino

Death by Piano

in Key West so beautiful people come to see



Coca

dark glasses cheap make-up

OK OK All right already

and alone, waiting, still in the dark

Couple in Amber

The keyboard that read minds

POO

Soundsticks, sound, sticks, sound sticks.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Few Prompts and a Heads Up

Take a look when you can at The BootCamp Diaries (see link on the right).

The URL is http://thebootcampkeegandiaries.blogspot.com/


It's more than possible that daily prompts from BC will appear there. You can also pick up a flavour of the daily activity that goes on there, how members cope with the ups and downs of being a writer.



Here are the Poetry Prompts. Story prompts at the other place


I CHALLENGE Caroline today, and you JOEL.



one of these, or the wrath of Khan


1 A poem with Magic, Beginner(s), Link, a colour.

2 A poem about infidelity that doesn't mention man, woman, husband, wife, or the infidelity

3 A poem or short poetic flash that incorporates and makes different, a nursery rhyme

4 Write a poem that inverts its meaning by the end.

5 Write a what-am-I poem (a poem that describes something and the reader has to work out what) One of these about an anchor, won Bridport one year.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Boot Camp Diaries

"The Boot Camp Diaries" blog now has the full name and address



http://thebootcampkeegandiaries.blogspot.com/



I was amazed how many address clashes I had. I had to add the keegan to make it unique.


So if you have bookmarked before this time and date your link might not work.





Alex

ON GOD...

Thinking about it, maybe "HE" does worketh in mythterious wayth


First I intended to go to that game, but decided to save the fuel costs (and the planet) because it was on TV and we were likely to lose and my girl would have been on her own for an hour until Mum got home..


Then BANG! Power-cut.

Had I gone Deb & Bridie would have been sat in the dark for two hours.

They would never understand how to light a candle...

So me and PJ played poker by candlelight, Deb & Bridie spent forever in the bathroom with candles flickering






Now last night and today the emails on the footie site are so angry about the game saying it was simply awful, gutless, embarrassing.


So I would have come home, moaning, wishing I hadn't gone, walked in in a bad mood (and then have been blamed for the power cut)



Thanks, G.

Thursday's Prompts

A load of prompts today, and five picture prompts.

Can you mix and match?

What happens if you take at least three items or choose things that "can't" go together?






THE PROMPTS

I was at a loose end and thought I'd walk into town, browse the bookshops and have a long leisurely lunch in Pierre Victoire's.

In an ordinary green field, in middle England, a cow.

After he had died—suddenly and very surprisingly as it turned out...



She has told you to run to daddy and you do.

I remember you talking about the trams, the way they were always full, the way they clanged.

It is Winter, lightless morning, here in the shallow city, soundless and shipwreck-grey,

The apartment is bare, the walls a cheap cream over stains

The ticket-collector is a darkie.

At the front of the bus, well two or three seats in front of me, my first wife was sitting



Running bootsteps crash-splatter past the open pub door

Oh, Beth, my lover, try to laugh.

Behind me the mountains, in front, the sea.

You must lie, it's what you do.

Drunk one night – the bar stank of cheap weed

Sarah has set off from her cottage, slightly downhill,




He stopped for coffee, amazed he could feel so empty

I am the Bastard William

Raining. My wife comes in from work

He began by trying to be nice, but this monster was eating class time.

When I was fourteen I was flying a yellow kite.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Openings: TITLES

Bland, uninteresting, vague or generic titles.

The Dream

The Funeral

John's Story

One Good Turn

Seeing Red

Remembering

The Party

Before the Party

After the Party

Happy Ever After

Counting Your Chickens

Spring

The Trip


You should understand that an editor or a judge gets hundreds of stories with boring, uninteresting, draggy, uninspiring titles, titles which give very little sense of the story.

And if we don't think the writer has tried very hard to create a good title, why should we think they will have tried hard to create a worthwhile story?


WHAT ABOUT?



The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

Meredith Toop Evans & His Butty Ernie the Egg

My Dead Brother Comes to America

The Bastard William Williams

The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin

The White Hunter's First Man

The Things They Carried

HP, Cedric and the Flying Saucer in Camden High Street

The Best Girlfriend You Never Had

Tomatoes, Flamingos, Lemmings & Other Interesting Facts

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The Last Love Letter of Berwyn Phillip Price

The Ruining of Bridget O'Malley

Seven Hills, a Postman, Silly Money




and so on...


A good title doesn't make a bad story good, nor an ordinary story noticeably better, but at least, if it intrigues it keep that editor or judge awake a little longer.

Now if a title also has sparkle, and/or gives a good idea of the story's content, or indicates a certain mood or attitude, that's a huge plus.





alx

OPENINGS: FOURTEEN or MORE SINS

A Corner of my Office




Below is a list of the sort of things I see wrong in openings.

This list may not be comprehensive as this is off the top of my head, but I prefer to work this way, allowing an interaction with Boot Campers (or Blog-Readers) to develop my thoughts.



Characteristics of Bad Openings

Bland, uninteresting, vague or generic titles.

Forced, deliberately dramatic starts (Big Bang)

"Hanging" (unattributed) dialogue openings, often with innocuous dialogue.

Warm-up paragraphs. Weather, place, waking up, "reflections".

Generic language.

Generic voice, lack of personality or spark.

Voices which suggest lack of story-power or weight. Eg "Blokey writing"

Generic story signs, stock situations, stock characters, stock dialogue.

Deliberate vagueness of incident, place, gender, time.

Over-writing, trying to look like a writer. "Cuteness" to cover weakness.

Lack of a sense of direction. Failure to steer the reader's sensibilities.

Unspecificity of mood, theme, intent.

Errors in grammar. Typos.

Poor speed control.


That's a long list of things to do wrong, ways to go wrong. I see such errors almost every day. Not only do these errors alone drag a story down, but they also drag down the reader's expectations. A bad start means the reader (or judge, or editor) is far less likely to forgive small transgressions. The reader is also less likely to focus on the coming paragraphs.

You get one chance to make a first impression. In writing it's rare to overcome a bad one.

So what would be GOOD?



Characteristics of Good Openings

Exciting, interesting, unusual titles which tilt the reader into the story

Stories which do not feel forced. Instead they exude confidence.

Stories which give the reader a sense of where-who-what before dialogue occurs.


Immediacy, conciseness, a sense of "no-waste" everything matters.

Immediate pleasure in the language, and/or a sense of quality.

An interesting voice that feels individual, likeable

A voice suggesting things will matter, will resonant, make us care deeply.

The story immediately seems fresh and not 'me-too'. Novel characters, speech.

A sense that the author is not hiding things. A good feeling of how things will be in the story.

A sense of writerly confidence, even if that means plain words.

A strong sense of control. The writing shapes the reader's mode of acceptance.

A clear tendency to feel a mood. Often a statement or a hint of the theme.

Perfect grammar, diction, No typos.

Pacing is absolutely right

ABSOLUTE PROOF THERE IS A GOD

and he HATES me!


My little team were in a cup final with £100,000 going to the winner

K:O was 19:00 (it was on BBC Wales on Sky)


at PRECISELY 19:00 we had a power cut.


The power came on, Sky booted up, and the first image on screen was:




The referee blowing the final whistle. we lost 0-1

Wednesday Morning Prompts

These aren't mine. Someone beat me to it this morning!

But have at it!

Why not let me know when you manage a flash. Ddi you send it out? Did it get published or do well in a competition?

BTW, yesterday my daughter gave me the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody and said "Make a story out of THAT, then!"

I did. 1410 words. And I used all the words (plus her analysis of the words) in the order they came.

OK, so it isn't "A Silver Dish" but it's OK...






WEDNESDAY's PROMPTS

Growing up, going down

Blizzard!

My friend Fudge

Coming Home

Pete the Cheat

Under the Bridge

Impregnating the Cabbie

Abdominal Knee Crunches, Unzipped

Nursery Rhymes

The Difference between Posing and Posturing

Rock on, Tommy

Race for Life

Two-Faced and Dangerous

Staying in the Closet

Why Little Miss Perfect is Such a Bitch

Listening to the Archers with Dad after a hard day in the garden

After Dinner Mints, Inventive Sex, Indigestion

Poor, Sad, Woman

How to Tie a Hospital Gown

Climbing the Greasy Pole

We're treating his death as suspicious

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

On Openings



In Boot Camp there's a forum called "John Dream's Asks" There BCers can post awkward craft questions as a fictitious character (John Dreams)... I answer but thinking ahead to another volume of a how-to I'm writing.

Well, it occurs to me that I could open up a subject or ten and invite questions (but anon will get zapped)... so here we go. I'll talk about openings, why they SHOULDN'T be dialogue, why they SHOULDN'T be "big-bang".

I'll be happy to discuss any aspects of openings and will go wherever questions take me, but to kick off, here's an old article of mine that appeared in The New Writer and The Internet Writer's Journal


How to Open WITHOUT a Bang

Grab your reader with an opening! Right? Have a man walk in with a gun, set the bomb ticking, the lovers begin to undress? Oh, how many stories I've seen with a slam-bang start like that, and oh, how many have immediately gone to a flash-back, admitted the dream or simply fizzled, spluttered and dribbled slowly away.

The nuclear bomb opening, I see as the medallion man of literature, more flash than substance, more likely to lead to disappointment than satisfaction. It's the confident whisper, the self-assured promise I look for, the paragraph which quietly says, "I don't need bells and whistles. Listen, listen." And the story may be so quiet that I have to lean forward. I am tilted into the body of the work, disconcerted, or intrigued by setting, attracted by character or seduced, simply seduced, by the sounds and shapes and meaning of the words.

Saturday afternoon and Dai Griffiths sits with his finger-polished roll-up tin. He is patient, fixated, listening. His tongue protrudes slightly as he makes his careful, half dog-end tobacco, half Old Holburn, delicate, thin cigarettes. It is raining outside the pub and along the valley side snake-terraced roofs glisten. The afternoon light closes.

I want to know. And that's all it takes. Make the reader want to know more.

Rather than use the verb "grab" I like to suggest "tilt". I want to push my reader just a little, not slam them so hard they resist me, but persuade them that this road is interesting, one of ultimate promise. My job (first) is to ensure they reach (and want to read) the second paragraph, that the second begets the third and that the whole of the first page is strong enough to quieten the TV, block out the conversation on the train, or more importantly, wake up that tired editor, that jaded judge.

It was now lunch-time and they were all sitting under the double green fly of the dining-tent pretending that nothing had happened.
"Will you have lime juice or lemon squash?" Macomber asked.


A famous opening from a famous story, Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. What's fascinating about this opening is that, yes, the tilt is there - if someone says "pretending that nothing had happened" you betcha I want to find out what did happen - but look what Hemingway chose not to start with. The story has to flash back (eventually) to an incident of high drama when Macomber panicked faced by real danger. Surely, surely, with such a gift we should start with the dramatic action?

But Hemingway had the drama still to come - so we await it. He didn't start with something climactic - after a climax is anti-climax - but promised us at least one. The work shows self-confidence, the ability to present seemingly innocuous events well, but in such a disarming, confident way we simply feel the power to come. But there's more to this opening. It was chosen to guide the reader into what the story was really about, not big-game hunting and cowardice or bravery, but what these things meant to the sexual relationships of the three main characters. By starting with the "ordinary" drinks scene, Hemingway was able to steer us, the readers towards the core of the story. We get to see and feel the coldness and unhappiness of Macomber and his wife - exacerbated by Macomber's lack of physical courage - and it's through courage that Macomber eventually gains self-respect and a fleeting but glorious happiness.

So yes, an opening must promise us a diverting story, but also it should be right for the story, not just a good opener but the best, the aptest opener. When we take time to "find" our opener, to find the exact character, setting, tone of voice and point of view, when we wait and let the opener float until it begins to resonate as solid and true, then, often the story falls in front of us like dominoes, sentence after sentence begetting sentence, driven by the feel, the force, the organic predictability contained within the start.

He wondered what the sex would be like. She thought it would be good. When she asked him, "Do you think it will be good, Harry?" he knew it would be great. But that was later.

Sometimes we just know from the opener…

When I began writing I leaped on ideas, rushed to grab a pen or typewriter, and started. More often than not I crash-landed, and even when I did finish things they sucked and didn't sell. Now I've learned a little patience, an ounce of forethought, a few minutes of consideration and now, rather than dive into a story, I'm more likely to climb into a bath, a half-bottle of wine close by, and wallow, body and mind. My story idea may well be weeks, months, even a year old. It has been fermenting in my unconscious, a particularly unsavoury and mixed up place. I went there once, right next to The Old Man and the Sea was Three Blind Mice, a picture of an old girlfriend, The guitar riff from Pulp Fiction and… the rest is censored. But somewhere in the mess there is a story - at least I hope there is - and I want to coax it out. If I shout, it will run away, if I do nothing it will sit there, but if I just make little coaxing noises, show I'm friendly out pops an opening, a tone, my protagonist, complete with accent and attitude.


I lie. The opening almost comes. Here is where I have another glass of wine and top up the hot water. I've learned that if the opening really comes to me, if the character pushes through the fog and steps into my world, if he is ready to live, really ready, not a good one but the one, then I just know, little bells ring, presses run, music plays, the opening resonates, buzzes, sings. The almost openings flutter in an out but the opening doesn't. It comes with a life, a history, a destiny. Truly, getting the exact feel is more than half the story.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, said, "One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily."

Absolutely, Gabriel!

"In the first paragraph you solve most of the problems with your book."

Yes! Yes!

"The theme is defined, the style, the tone. At least in my case, the first paragraph is a kind of sample of what the rest of the book is going to be."

Smack on!

"That's why writing a book of short stories is much more difficult than writing a novel. Every time you write a short story, you have to begin all over again."

(Excellent, he should go far).


Yes, an opening should interest, tilt us forward but an opening does far more, it sets the agenda, it makes not just promises to us, but suggests to us how we should react, what mood we are likely to find here, how best we might take on the upcoming dream.

Tom is watching a movie with his mistress when something in the story-line touches him, and breaks through his well-constructed fa├žade. His defences breached, he thinks of his son and his small daughter. He begins to cry soundlessly. When his mistress realises her lover is upset, she tries to be kind, but her kindness makes the guilt worse and Tom snaps at her. She doesn't understand.

Once there were many prairie dogs and they decided their kingdom was fine and suited the prairie dog way of life. Some prairie dogs were large, some very small, but most of the prairie-dogs were middle-sized and their bark, more a yap, was conservative.

Two openings but the contract with the reader is different.

I hope my openings are directive. I want them to intrigue and seduce but I want them to channel the story as a whole, to create in the reader a sense of a joint adventure, one of a type. If I'm trying to be funny, I need the reader to be thinking light music not Beethoven's Fifth. If I want "serious" I don't want him whistling The Birdie Song. Like Gabriel Marquez, my openings take time but they contain the organic nature of the story as a whole, the theme, the tone, where I'm coming from, where I want the reader to go.

Look at the opening to Catch-22

It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn’t become jaundice and went away they could discharge him. But this being just short of jaundice all the time confused them.


We get the main character, the tone, the craziness, the feel, immediately.

Or Cuckoo, mine.

Cold Monday morning, six o'clock. November. Brighton sea front had to be grey, windswept and damp. It was, but as far as Caz Flood was concerned, it was the only place, the perfect place to be. Yesterday she had been a beat copper, a woodentop, today she was a DC, a detective constable, and nothing, but absolutely nothing, could stop her now.

Or Brighton again, Graham Greene.

Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him. With his inky fingers and his bitten nails, his manner cynical and nervous, anybody could tell he didn’t belong - belong to the early summer sun, the cool Whitsun wind off the sea, the holiday crowd.

Or Raymond Chandler.

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

Oh, I wish!!

Tuesday's Prompts, and a Thought




Here are the prompts for Tuesday.

A good challenge is to use them all IN ORDER. You think that can't produce good stories, can't make art? Of course it can! The art comes from inside you, like a found poem isn't found until it connects with someone's vision, isn't a poem until a unique vessel finds it.

if you try this, you discover something.

Last week I wrote a story which combined a very traumatic experience of my own, a night where I watched a deer being put down, AND all the prompts for a Boot Camp session (but not in order)... The prompts force the breaking of plans, create and recreate turnings. They help you connect to the right side.

If that story doesn't win a decent competition it will be because it has already been published or placed somewhere. For BCers and ex BCers, it scored 118-129 averaging 124.

Here are the prompts...

Achieved by Studying and Understanding
At night it sits in an armchair
Beating the national target
Black bees worry the purple flowers
By Developing New Systems
Changing Practice
Deep in the reek
Desecrates the violet patch
Discharging Patients Home
Far removed from fragranced linen
Gratification that is almost erotic
Held back by calendar months
How a Patient Moves
I have an urge to take off my clothes
I kneel amongst mushroom mulch
It wears shoes
Of rot and decay.
On the rosemary.
Orange blossom paves the ground
Picks my best roses when I’m not looking.
Pull the last weed
Roll in the humus sniff of summer
Seeing, Treating, and Admitting
Sheer Hard Work
The smell of baking pies.
The top league in the country
The Trust is in
The Whole-Health Community
There is a ghost right here in this garden
Third Best in the Country
Waits for me to fetch its supper.
Where winter ghosts are stored.
With scattered snow.
Within Four Hours of Arrival
Yet there is pleasure in the organic smell

Monday, March 19, 2007

J'accuse

A favourite jibe at me on various sites is that I'm elitist (for one thing I loathe womag stories) whereas THEY are all-embracing and every-one-is-equal etc etc.

The reality is, and has always been that in Boot Camp we are only happy if EVERYONE is getting published.

Obviously at any snapshot moment there will be a range of experience and ability in Boot Camp but these stats below show yet again how, unlike other writers sites, BC believes in EVERY member not just an inner circle.

Individual Totals in 2007

007 Tom
005 Cally
005 Caroline
004 Dan
004 Colin
004 Alex
001 CLT
001 Fleur (BIG Prize)
001 Lee
001 Lexie
001 Dave (Prize)

034 TOTAL

00 Cedric (6 weeks out in 2007)
00 Calvin (not currently submitting work)
00 Joel
00 Random
00 Advancingmist (just joined)

So, already this year 11/15 have had success (73%) and I know all those marked 00 above will get on the list very shortly.

Add to this fact that EVERY Boot Camp story is posted anonymously and gets a minimum of eight DETAILED critiques (and a discussion thread).

In many places the inner clique writers get crits and long threads while newcomers and outsiders have to struggle to get feedback.

It always amuses me that there is such a huge disparity between factual, provable, reality and the BS and slander often tossed the way of BC.


Compare that 73% (will be 100%) with another site (much, much bigger than BC) that reports 24 hits in 2007 (compared to BC's 34)...

But those hits are down to just 12 of a membership in the many hundreds, possibly thousands.



73% or .73%? That's the difference



Alex

Cally is a Fairy




Congratulations to Boot Camper Cally who was one of ten runner's up at WriteSpace in their modern fairytale competitiion. She gets $30 in vouchers (better than a slap over the head with a stick of rhubarb).

Writing Course Venues - The Chapel

Over the last two years I've run a few intensive weekend and long-weekend courses. Some have been in Newbury, Berkshire, at Kingfisher Barn.

Here




and some were held in North Wales where we used three log cabins


LIKE THESE








the evenings were cosy, the teaching was cramped!


But some may know that we sold the three chalets and invested in a delightful chapel in the small village of Llwyngwril, in Snowdonia, but on a train line to Macyntleth, Shrewsbury, Birmingham!

My dream was to convert the chapel and save it from ruin, to rent it out and run courses there for a few years and then settle there with no mortgage etc and write a few novels in my dotage.

FINALLY, we have Planning Permission AND the go-ahead from the Environmental Agency AND Snowdonia National Parks.

Who said dreams were easy?

The chapel came with all the fitments, even a pulpit (very handy Alex) and two Welsh Bibles. We've stripped out 90% of the fittings but hope to use them all, to re-invest using local craftsmen and to use the original wood as far as possible.

It is going to be FANTASTIC!



The internal measurements are 22' x 37' but the middle floor (of three floors) will "only" be 22 x 29 with a minstrel's gallery (incorporating the pulpit which will stick out like a ship's bow - perfect for doing "Titanic" scenes) looking down onto a beautiful kitchen-diner.




We've had the roof fixed, new gutterings, and had the front done up (great local man did this) but now we have planning to put in a new roof and an extra floor.

It will have 5 or 6 double bedrooms, a table for 12 diners, a great kitchen (we live in the kitchen) a small office area in each bedroom and that 22' x 29' lounge/study/teaching area.





Alex

A Promise Fulfilled

Over Xmas I managed to spend two weeks in California, a great experience: we never went near Disney or any other "Park"

And no we had no money. We travelled courtesy of Air Miles, stopped in hotels on hotel points accumulated over the eons...

But my daughter Bridie made me promise to post these pictures of "Daddy & Fudge" on my blog.


Finally, I've caught up enough to manage it.

Better late than never.


Fudge is Bridie's favouritist-ever friend.


Sadly, he has a drink problem...




But after he's had a glass or two he's very friendly.


Today's BC Prompts

Having only sought some amusement to fill my evening

Shall I Compare Thee to a wet Night in Wigan?

The Beginner's Guide to Water

It was Sunday and the theatres were closed

It will flame out

She put down her pencil

Get Rid of the Rhino

SCUD

You look at them flashing

SCUM

I took a picture of the house

Saints, Poets, Thieves

Or Tho it Themes

The Other Problem With God

Because a Fire Wass in My Head

In Praise of the Womag Story

Incoming

Dark With Excess of Light

Sid by Side, their faces blurred

When Fishes Flew and Forests Walked

Maxim

WORK

15 Members Active


11 Weeks into the year


76 Full Stories this year, 45 Flashes

an average of 5 stories and 3 flashes each



All stories received a minimum of 8 full critiques, many stories 9 crits, some 10, a couple 11.

Most stories have 20+ discussion posts, the most-discussed stories as many as 100!



Subs in March = 75 to date,
an average of 2 per person per week.




alx

26 Pubs, 33 Hits: Stats Update

BC is a little quieter these days with at least three members aiming a lot higher and thus getting a much higher rejection rate, but we keep trundling along

Publications this year have been 14 Web, 12 Print, 26 Total

PRINT

Cadenza
Earlyworks Anthology
Quality Women's Fiction
Raw
American Drivel
Poetry Monthly
Slingink Anthology
Seventh Quarry (Poetry Magazine)

Eclectica

Southern Ocean Review
Johnny America
Espresso Fiction
Sussuruss
Peccary
HeavyGlow
LaughterLoaf
Flashquake


and 33 Hits

001 Tom C - "What You See in the Dark" accepted by Underground Voices
002 Tom C - "If I Were" accepted by Hiss Quarterly
003 AlexK - "The Ghost in the Latrine" accepted by Southern Ocean Review
004 TomC - "A Beach in Kaui" accepted by "Bound Off" Podcast Magazine
005 Caroline - "Through the Looking Glass" accepted by Poetry Monthly
006 Dan - "The Beauty Within Me" accepted by US Print Mag Gold Dust
007 Dan - "The Book According to David" accepted by "The Harrow"
008 Dan - "The Reaper's Grim Smile" taken by Flash Flood Magazine
009 RVJ - "Soul Surfing" at LitBits
010 Dan - Burglar Story at Opium
011 Lee - "Nothing Left taken by Sussurus
012 Tom C - "Empty" at Parameter
013 Cally -Highly Recommended at JBWB
014 Caroline - Chose as Poetry Judge for Writelink
015 Cally - Story accepted by Meridian Hotels
016 Fleur - wins Guardian/Virgin Trains Prize ($2,000)
017 TomC places "Garden of Earthly Delights" at Kinship ($6)
018 Colin shortlisted at happenstance
019 Lexie Highly Commended at Cafe Writers
020 Caroline HR runner-up at Flashquake
021 Alex "Twice as Big as the Sky" at Wild Strawberries
022 Colin story in "Heavyglow"
023 BCer in Phillip Good Final (Result TBA)
024 Cally in Chick Flicks
025 TomC wins "Mary Gornall" ($150)
026 TomC commended at Skive
=====================
MARCH

027 Dave runner-up at Biscuit wins digi-recorder ($84)
028 Cally shortlisted at Biscuit
029 Jason Jackson on Biscuit shortlist
030 CLT hit at Smokebox
031 BC Peom acceptance
032 Caroline accepted at Fib Review
033 Caroline acceptance at Blue Tattoo

Friday, March 16, 2007

Flashes, Prizes, Early Starts

No sleep last night. Wife away and the kids had to get up at 04:00 to catch a coach to France at 05:00.

I was scared I wouldn't hear the alarm so dozed on the sofa (I wrote until 01:30 anyway) and watched SCRUBS.

05:30 in the morning and I've been to Tescos and I'm coming home. It's now I should go to bed but wow, look at all this extra writing time I have AND AN EMPTY HOUSE!


Below are Boot Camp's Friday Morning prompts.

When we get a long list of prompts I seek out one that has a voice that connects to me, open, with that and then just let my unconscious run riot (but always looking to "grab" another prompt.

Does this work? Can it produce good stories? Last year I had my lowest-ever subbing year but won three short-story competitions.

ALL THREE STORIES WERE FROM A SET OF FLASH PROMPTS AND USED EVERY SINGLE PROMPT.

They were all written in less than 75 minutes.

I remain convinced that writers write BETTER when they have no time to think.


Mind you, today's list would challenge a master!

HERE.

I visited the place where we last met

A Bus to Dover

Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended

Crisps, Lucozade, Ibuprofen

The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet

Blog-Wars

There was no sign that anything had ended

Three ball-bearings, a circlip

And nothing to instruct me to forget

Talking With Francine

The thoughtless birds that shook out the trees

Sky News

Singing an ecstacy I could not share

Picnic in Kashmir

Played cunning with my thoughts. Surely in these

Buzz

Pleasure there could not be a pain to bear

Hot Cross Buns

Or any discord shake the level breeze

Year of the Womag

It was because this place was just the same

That made your absence seem a savage force

Jelly Redux

For under all the gentleness there came

She likes to know the ending, especially twists

An earthquake tremor: fountain birds and grass

Chicken Soup and Murder

Were shaken by my thinking of your name

Girls in Gangs

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Positives in Negatives

Loads of family problems this year with two family members hospitalised and me lined up for an op in the not too distant future. It never rains but it fucking pisses down.

But a recent hospital visit gave me so much material I could have wept for joy (if I hadn't been so sad).


(Well I know what I mean)


And the sense of mortality has suddenly invigorated me. In a week, despite all these "travails" I've managed to blow the cobwebs off this place, critique a dozen stories (and I mean CRITIQUE, not post a platitude) write three stories (about 8,000 words) a flash and a poem, a few pages on the novel, get 22 submissions out, pick up a hit, and have a load of fun comparing writing sites.

I've hugged my son, my daughter, my wife and not had a single cyber hug.



I dunno, but somehow, flesh is more real than <<<<<>>>>>>



Isn't that quaint of me?



Alex

Rewriting History

I love how some people rewrite history to make themselves look cool.

Not long ago I read of someone who had "stumbled on a picture in a book, which made her cry, then that night she had to write a story". Then we hear how well it did etc.

Trouble is the actuality was this was on a Kingfisher Barn writing course, where the tutor put picture books in front of everybody, got them to pick out 1-2 pictures that caused an emotional connection... we then discussed what that connection might "mean" internally, whad did the picture "connect to"... and we talked about how Dorthea Brande had highlighted why some things struck us and not others.


OK, so the students were then asked to use the picture, to write ABOUT THE PICTURE (what it drove, what it suggested) but to USE THEIR OWN INTERNAL ACHES, PAINS, PRESSURES for the story's energy.

Duly the story in question (plus many others) was written. It had a little of the ache, but as often happens, it missed the gold spot. Discussion, suggested edits followed. Any closer? Yes. More work, more edits.


Was it then a world-beater? No, but the writer had skill and was getting there. It was publishable, but still didn't quite hit home the way a comp winner does. The writer moved on. The story got the level of success a decent, imperfect story from a very good (but still learning) writer it deserved.

I write this because the author in question has produced a version of the events which cuts out

(a) a long hard apprenticeship

(b) an intense £60 a day experience which helped her to reach these insights

(c) the fact that the accessing was deliberate and engineered

(d) the fact that the picture and a gut response was one small (though crucial) ingredient

(e) there was input from the course tutor and others in group discussion

(f) the story was written "to order' via a writing course, ot through some mystical process

(g) the story had a lot of critical input and rewriting advice, rewriting




It's important to access the unconscious, to find the stories within us. But those stories come from a massive amount of work practice etc, often with one or more teachers. Beginners should not be misled into imagining that better stories come in some magical way. 95% DON'T.

We can find these "keys" using simple, understood, straightforward processes. Deliberate "dreaming", using photographs and objects, using flash prompts and story prompts.

While SOME, a few, stories may seem to come from the ether, many if not most come from craft, work, getting into the mood, with or without a crit-group, with or without an editor, with or without a tutor guiding us.

And when that first draft is complete, we should do our utmost to ensure that others know that critical input, editorial input, and one-two three or more rewrites produced the finished article, not magic



AK

Why Boot Camp is So Successful

Browse the web, join any writing group. Note where the bulk of the action is.

Is it in "The Coffee Shop", or "The Lounge" or "Chat"?

Is it in "Chill Corner" or "The Asylum"?

How much of the discussion is pub-arguments, flaming, or flirting?

Are many of the forums there, those dedicated to novels or short-stories or flashes, or poetry struggling to survive?

In one so-called writing community I visited, "The XXXXX" and a second "more frivolous" chat-room took up a massive NINETY PER CENT of the site's bandwith.

Everything else, Writing, Craft Discussions, critiquing, process, subbing, motivation, hits etc was the magnificent total of 9% of the whole.

I look in on many communities and this pattern is repeated everywhere.

The Lounge or the Coffee Shop is where "the business" is and this area grows a small clique of 5-25 people and perhaps a hundred or so hangers-on. Very rarely are more than half a dozen of these genuinely successful writers. Take a look at the publications list and see how many are self-published, pod-published or published in low-end ezines.

Assess the number of reported publications, (and their quality) but relate that to the size of the community.

I looked today at one community which boasted 100 successes in 2006.

BC, not a twentieth of its size, had 171 hits. It had 24 First Prizes.

That community has hundreds, possibly thousands of members. When we look at how many individuals from the community are getting publication success the percentage is tiny. Over 90% are not being published.

When BC started the first thing we said was that we failed if any member was unpublished at the end of any year.

What is the point of a community of writers where the few succeed but the many fail completely?


I looked yesterday at the published stats for another writers community. In 2007 they have had ten tiny hits. Boot Camp is relatively quiet but this year it has had 33 hits and two "notes" (small hits).

So is that a big difference? 350%? Not in real numbers, no.

But the community, which advertises itself as "the best on the web", has hundreds upon hundreds of members. It's between 30 and 200 times bigger than Boot Camp.

If they were doing as well as BC for hits they would be posting their thousandth hit for 2007 by now, not ten.

SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

After seeing how much time most, if not all, so-called "writing" communities spend on the coffee-shop game-playing, the hierarchy-building, the high-fiving buddies when they put someone down, the psychological games, the flirting, the obsequious praise of often trivial hits, the "group-hugs" etc I thought I would look at Boot Camp Statistics and see where we spent our time.

Did we work or piss away our lives in idele nonsense?

I looked at BC and counted posts. Where was our activity?


62% 31,342 Stories, Flashes, Writing & Critiquing
16% 08,263 Craft & Reading
07% 03,457 Motivation: Subs, Hits, Process
08% 04,003 Comps, Market Info, Serious Discussion (some chat)
04% 02,094 Admin
03% 01,550 CHAT

93% of Boot Camp Bandwith is about writing and craft. Just 3-5% is idle chatter.


Ask yourself, do I access my writing community to AVOID writing or do I access it because the community encourages me to write?

Does the community and its leaders stress I should write EVERY DAY?

Does it tell me to write at least 500 words every day BEFORE LOGGING ON.

Does it "bully me" insisting I should sub an absolute minimum of one sub a week but I should really do more?

Does it publish lists and update them every day to show who is subbing and who is not?

Does it have flash prompts every day, often 2-3 flash sessions?

Does it insist all flashers must read and comment on all other flashes that session?

Does it have weekly and fortnightly deadlines for stories?

Are those deadlines rigid?

Does it insist that every story is read author-unknown and every story gets at least eight critiques?

Does it have a set pattern, a core critique so all crits can be easily compared and contrasted?


Does EVERY story get at least twenty discussion posts?

Do the most contentious stories have threads as long as 100 posts?

Does a highly-published, prize-winning author/editor offer editorial input and use a story in a session to illustrate basic faults?

Does it come down hard if critques are slight and ducking the issues?

Does it insist that difference of opinion on the worth of a story be discussed not left as "mere" subjectivity?

Have the community members won 114 first prizes?

Does it average a first prize every two weeks?


Boot Camp does.



But then it's HUGE, isn't it? Er, hardly. It has just 23 members on record, (including me) only 15 currently active, others away or writing novels etc.

15 people able to out-write 1500, able to out-publish 1500.

WHY? Because we do the work.

Are we supportive? Ask any Boot Camper. I see my job as teaching people to write, teaching them the discipline of writing. To become a writer you must work very, very hard over extended time.

That's support.

A "writing community" that doesn't make you work is a place that makes you feel good. The only trouble is, you'll be feeling about the same in 5-10 years and you'll be wondering why all you have to show for your "effort" is a few ezine publications.

Group hug anyone?





Alex Keegan

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Another prize, Four More Hits. Activity!

The Biscuit results are announced and Boot Camper DaveP was a runner-up winning a digi-recorder.

There were 626 Entries (I missed this one!) and 3 of the 30 Finalists were Boot Campers.

WD to Dave, Cally and Jason.


It must be our week for Comp hits as after rcording our 117th First Prize Tom C tells us he was HR in Skive's latest


That takes us to

029 Hits for 2007

002 First Prizes
001 Runner-Up
007 HR or Named Final Placings
002 "Notes"

$2,250 Earned.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yet Another First Prize

Our 117th First Prize, our second first prize in 2007 goes to TomC who wins $150 for first place in The Mary Gornall

We need to add these hits also


17 TomC gets a story in a small print journal, "Kinships" and gets $6
18 Colin Shortlisted at Happenstance
19 Lexie is Highly Reccomended at Cafe Writers
20 Caroline is HR/Runner-Up at Flashquake
21 Alex has a story accepted for print-mag "Wild Strawberries" in the US
22 Colin gets a story into "Heavyglow"
23 A BCer is in the final shortlist for "Phillip Good" (Results TBA)
24 Cally gets a hit with a Children in Need story at "Chick Flicks"
25 Tom's First Prize


So 25 Hits in 58 days, we must be slipping...


Alex

Thursday, February 08, 2007

116 FIRST PLACES!

My personal web-site has got hopelessly out of date but I've just updated the page showing Boot Camp First Places


There may well be more than the 116 I'm showing, but that'll have to do for now.

I'll shortly fill in the gaps (titles of winning stories etc)

I don't know the total figures for prizes won (including 2nds/3rds etc)
but Boot Campers have now won well in excess of $60,000


SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS


Visit

http://www.alexkeegan.com/

All about Boot Camp - Boot Camp Firsts


I will try (but don't hold your breath) to update figures for BC Second Places



Alex

Boot Camper Wins $2,000 Prize

Congratulations to Boot Camper Fleur Chapman who wins
The Guardian/Virgin Trains Prize £1,000 ($2,000)



You can read the story here:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/virginshortstories/story/0,,2006886,00.html

Fleur's Prize takes the BC Hit Total to 16 for the year

001 Tom C - "What You See in the Dark" accepted by Underground Voices
002 Tom C - "If I Were" accepted by Hiss Quarterly
003 AlexK - "The Ghost in the Latrine" accepted by Southern Ocean Review
004 TomC - "A Beach in Kaui" accepted by "Bound Off" Podcast Magazine
005 Caroline - "Through the Looking Glass" accepted by Poetry Monthly
006 Dan - "The Beauty Within Me" accepted by US Print Mag Gold Dust
007 Dan - "The Book According to David" accepted by "The Harrow"
008 Dan - "The Reaper's Grim Smile" taken by Flash Flood Magazine
009 RVJ - "Soul Surfing" at LitBits
010 Dan - Burglar Story at Opium
011 Lee - "Nothing Left taken by Sussurus
012 Tom C - "Empty" at Parameter
013 Cally -Highly Recommended at JBWB
014 Caroline - Chose as Poetry Judge for Writelink
015 Cally - Story accepted by Meridian Hotels
016 Fleur - wins Guardian/Virgin Trains Prize ($2,000)

Individual Totals

004 Dan
004 Tom
002 Alex
002 Caroline
002 Cally
001 Fleur
001 Lee





and actual publications...

January

001 Alex - The Internet Writing Journal - "The Long & the Short Of It"
002 Cedric - Eclectica - "Killing Bulls"
003 MJH - Eclectica - "Geoff Says Farewell"
004 Kenneth Shand - Eclectica - "Ramirez"
005 Cedric - Eclectica - "The Year of the Card Player"
006 MJH - Eclectica - "The Undressing of Ursula"
007 Caroline - Poetry Monthly "Snowdrops" paper
008 Alex - Poetry Monthly "On Greenham III" Paper
009 Alex - Southern Ocean Review "The Ghost in the Latrine" Paper/Web
010 Tom - article at Johnny America
011 Lexie - lead story in Earlyworks paper anthology
012 Chrissie - "Mummy Says" in QWF (Print Journal)
013 Jason Jackson in Scottish Print Mag "Raw"
014 TomC in American Drivel (Paper Mag)
015 Caroline in February Poetry Monthly (Print)
016 Cally published by Espresso Fiction ($30)

Individual Totals

(Web-Paper-Total)

001-002-003 Alex
000-002-002 Caroline
001-001-002 Tom
002-000-002 MJH
002-000-002 Cedric
001-000-001 Kenneth
000-001-001 Lexie
000-001-001 Chrissie
000-001-001 Colin
001-000-001 Cally
007-008-016 TOTAL


016 TOTAL

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stats Update 2007-01

023 New Stories
199 Critiques
009 Critiques Average
413 Critical Posts
018 Crit Posts per Story
009 Flashes
024 Flash Crits

Plus we've held a face to face course in Newbury
where individuals studied for 1-5 days. I reckon
I will have recovered fully by September (2008)

So does it work?

Here are our hits and separate pubs in 2007 so far

FRESH HITS

001 Tom C - "What You See in the Dark" accepted by Underground Voices
002 Tom C - "If I Were" accepted by Hiss Quarterly
003 AlexK - "The Ghost in the Latrine" accepted by Southern Ocean Review
004 TomC - "A Beach in Kaui" accepted by "Bound Off" Podcast Magazine
005 Caroline - "Through the Looking Glass" accepted by Poetry Monthly
006 Dan - "The Beauty Within Me" accepted by US Print Mag Gold Dust
007 Dan - "The Book According to David" accepted by "The Harrow"
008 Dan - "The Reaper's Grim Smile" taken by Flash Flood Magazine

$50 earned


Individual Totals

003 Tom
003 Dan
001 Alex
001 Caroline


New Publications

January

001 Alex - The Internet Writing Journal - "The Long & the Short Of It"
002 Cedric - Eclectica - "Killing Bulls"
003 MJH - Eclectica - "Geoff Says Farewell"
004 Kenneth Shand - Eclectica - "Ramirez"
005 Cedric - Eclectica - "The Year of the Card Player"
006 MJH - Eclectica - "The Undressing of Ursula"
007 Caroline - Poetry Monthly "Snowdrops" paper
008 Alex - Poetry Monthly "On Greenham III" Paper
009 Alex - Southern Ocean Review "The Ghost in the Latrine" Paper/Web
010 Tom - article at Johnny America
011 Lexie - lead story in Earlyworks paper anthology

Individual Totals (Web-Paper-Total)


001-002-003 Alex
002-000-002 MJH
002-000-002 Cedric
001-000-001 Kenneth
000-001-001 Caroline
001-000-001 Tom
000-001-001 Lexie
007-004-011 TOTAL