Thursday, 6 December 2012

Character Questionnaire

Okay, I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I can be a REALLY LAZY WRITER.

I don't know if any of you can relate to this, but sometimes, I'm so super-eager to get writing a story, I just can't be bothered to do all of the tiresome prep work - like working on my character backgrounds. 

The trouble is - every time I try to take this shortcut and plunge right into the story, it comes back to bite me on the butt.

It doesn't matter how exciting my plot might be - if I haven't got to know my characters properly first they emerge on the page as flat and dull as cardboard cutouts.

Tough but true - characters NEED fleshing out

One easy, quick and fun way to get to know your characters a whole lot better before you start writing, is to create a Character Questionnaire.

You can then use this as a template for each new character you create.

I always end up coming back to this tool and I always find that - as well as making my characters more 3 dimmensional - it actually helps hugely with plot ideas too.

And because it's nearly the end of the week, and I've just had a particularly delicious bar of chocolate, and I've just found out that Bruce Springsteen will be touring again next year, and I'm feeling in a particularly generous frame of mind, I'd like to share my Character Questionnaire with you too. (Just think of me as your writerly fairy godmother!)

Feel free to copy and paste the questionnaire below to your own pc - and add and remove questions as you like.

As always, I'd love to know if you already use anything like this in your own writing, and how you find it works...

Till next week,

Happy writing!


  • How old are they?
  • How do they get on with their parents?
  • What was their childhood like?
  • Think of one key event from their past and how it has shaped them – positive and negative.
  • How do they speak? Accent? Catch-phrases etc?
  • What are their core needs in life ie; love, security, power?
  • How do they react when this core need is denied ie; under stress?
  • What is their favourite meal?
  • What are they most afraid of? And why? What is the root cause?
  • What are their politics?
  • What newspaper do they read?
  • Do they believe in a God?
  • What is their bedroom like?
  • Do they have any secrets?
  • What makes them jealous?
  • What is their favourite swear word?
  • What sports do they like?
  • Are they superstitious?
  • Have they ever been on a protest rally?
  • What was their favourite toy as a child?
  • What is their greatest hope?
  • Who do they most admire?
  • How do they behave at a party? ie; shy or outgoing?
  • What is their favourite music?
  • Do they have any pets?
  • Have they ever lost anyone dear to them?
  • What is their perfect Saturday night?
  • What last made them cry?
  • Is their glass half full or half empty?
  • Are they popular?
  • Who is their best friend?
  • What is their favourite season and why?
  • What do they think of vegetarianism?
  • Do they or have they ever taken drugs?
  • Are they happy?
  • Would rejection make them angry or sad?
  • What car do they drive?
  • Do they love themselves?
  • What is their motto in life?
  • What are their best and worst points physically?
  • How do they behave when outside – day and night?
  • What physical objects do they associate with their parents?
  • How have their attitudes to their parents changed over time?
  • Describe their attitudes to: money, the opposite sex, love, insanity, suicide, violence, family life, food, animals.
  • What is their motivating force in life?
  • What is their mindset at the beginning of your story and what do they want?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Importance of Writing About Your Writing

Yesterday, when I was clearing out my desk, I found an old notebook. Inside were pages of notes about an idea I’d had a couple of years ago for a book. There were notes about possible characters, notes about possible plot twists and notes about possible structure.

My Writing Journal

There were also pages and pages where I scribbled down all of my doubts about whether my idea would work or not. If you don’t already do this, I thoroughly recommend writing about your writing. It might sound a bit nuts but it really helps.

Let me give you an example. In my notebook I had written all about concerns I had regarding the plot of the novel. My notes read like a conversation with myself:

I’m not sure whether the character should get on well with her mum. Part of me thinks that she should, but maybe it would be more dramatic if she didn’t…”

“Should she end up going to Paris – or America? I think Paris, they could be going to a music competition – a European music competition…”

“What would make a dramatic high point?”

“What quote should I use in the talk?”

And so on. I don’t know why, but there is something really powerful about writing about your writing concerns rather than just thinking about them. Writing helps you to formulate your thoughts and come to a conclusion, whereas thinking can often make you stuck – unable to see the plot for the fears.

So, if you only do one thing related to your writing this week, invest in a writing journal and start writing about your writing. I promise you won’t regret it.

And, as a happy postscript to this blog, the idea that I was writing about in my notebook ended up becoming a fully formed novel called Finding Cherokee Brown. It’s being published in the UK, France and Germany next year. So, you never know where those writing notes will take you – and what they will end up growing into…

The French Cover for Finding Cherokee Brown

Till next time,

Happy writing!

Siobhan x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Funny Poem Winners!

Howdy writers!

Well, it gives me great, big, huge pleasure to announce the winners of my recent ‘It’s Friday and I’ve Got the Flu’ Competition.

I’d been looking for fun poems that would make me forget my sky high temperature and thumping headache, and I was so touched by the lovely messages and brilliant entries I received.

So, thank you all very much :) 

In the end, I couldn’t decide between two of the entries, so I hereby declare the following two poems joint winners. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

First up is From the Chair’s Point of View by 13 year-old Chloe from Stourbridge. It was inspired by a conversation Chloe had with a medical professional when she asked if her wheelchair could be altered and the doctor uttered the immortal words, ‘Well, let’s look at this from the chair’s point of view'. Thankfully, Chloe kept her sense of humour about it and wrote this fantastic poem. I loved the rhythm of this piece, the sense of fun, and the clever way in which Chloe wove in her family life from the point of view of the chair. And most of all I loved the dry humour.

From the Chair’s Point of View

From the chair’s point of view, well.. from the chair’s point of view,
I wouldn't have thought that eating every single chocolate
in that 'Family Sized' box, all on your own, was really the best idea,
Dear Mother!

From the chair’s point of view, well.. from the chair’s point of view,
I wouldn't have thought that slumping and slurping while ka-powing
aliens all day, was absolutely the best idea
Dear Brother!

From the chair’s point of view, well.. from the chair’s point of view,
I wouldn't have thought that all that crying and sighing
with a worlds supply of chocolate
was really the best idea
Dear Sister!

Oh from the chair’s point of view, that poor chair’s point of view.
It's had to put up with such a lot
in its time.
So it's lucky that I'm here, really.

You may start to yell, and say that I'm being rude, now.
But, you see..
I'm only expressing the chair’s point of view!
Not mine.
Not at all!

So I can't be grounded
It's not right!

The chair seems so very
I'm just being compassionate, caring
That's all.

I just thought you'd like to know
the poor old haggard chair’s point of view!

And the other winner is the brilliant Shawty by Arianne from County Westmeath in Ireland. This poem was so well written and contained such great detail. I also loved the subject matter. Like Chloe’s poem, it had me hooked from start to finish and I loved the tongue-in-cheek humour.


Shawty: noun; a modern term used to describe an attractive female, most commonly found in popular music.

I understand it’s not an expected thing to do 
But I figured I’d be hip and cool
And honestly I’m not being haughty
When I address this man-magnet we call Shawty
I’m just trying to wrap my head around
The idea that, not as a piece of dirt on the ground
On which boys like to hiss and spit,
This modern goddess actually exists.

She seems to originate from the United States
But in a sudden twist of all our fates
She’s recently been spotted in new locations
Though perhaps she’s just been on more vacations.
Her natural habitat is that of malls
Or otherwise strutting within high school halls
Carrying six shopping bags on her arms
And winning over jocks with her many charms.

She adores the brand new music scene
In fact she seems a little keen
To feature in so many raps
And receive her fair share of these claps
She is the perfect streetwise dancer –
Not one of these little ballet prancers –
And frequents a variety of top night clubs
Though she is allergic to good old fashioned pubs.

She wears the latest fashions with style
Without fuss, without care all the while
In fact she juggles many outfits a day
And once according to legend they say
Apple-bottom jeans and boots with the fur –
The whole club was looking at her –
At the same time as them baggy sweat pants
And not forgetting those Reeboks with the straps.

Oh yes, she regularly hits the floor
And never leaves by the main door
She’s an icon, you know, with needs
And a billion-member Twitter feed.
However there is strong evidence to suggest
She doesn’t get a lot of rest
Her constant popularity is such
And she’s in pop songs that much.

I think it’s time we give her a break
At least for her precious mental health’s sake
You never know with all this fame
She might end up thinking life’s a game
Though in reality it’s not easy,
Consistently avoiding all things sleazy,
Being stunningly beautiful as well as pretty
And downing eighteen shots in one sitting.

Yes, I vote to let Shawty of the hook
At least until she writes a new book
And let her get on with life
Free from all this media strife.
We’ll remember her fondly
And of course blondely
For the few seconds, in essence,
In which we can cope without her presence.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered - and there'll be more competitions here VERY soon...

Siobhan x

Friday, 9 November 2012

Friday Fun Competition & Writing Prompt

Friday Fun Competition

It's Friday.

I've got the stinky, stoopid flu and badly need to do something fun!

So, I've decided to have a Friday-afternoon-I've-got-the-flu-and-need-some-fun Competition :) 

The prize is a signed copy of my novel Dear Dylan, and the competition is to write a poem or piece of prose that makes me laugh so hard I forget that I've got a temperature and my head feels as if someone's drilling inside of it!

It doesn't matter what it's about - or how silly it is - the one that makes me laugh the most gets the prize.

Please send your entries to: contact[AT]siobhancurham[DOT]co[DOT]uk

Thank you. Cough. Cough. Sneeze.

Writing Prompt

For those of you who like writing prompts - here's a picture for you. One day, this beautiful carving just appeared in the field where I walk my dog. 

Take a good look at the pic and then free write about it for ten minutes and see what you come up with.

I hope you find it inspiring - and I'd love to see whatever you end up writing...

Till next time,

Happy writing!

Siobhan x

Monday, 29 October 2012

Collage - to make your writing come alive!

Whoops! I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted here – where did the time go? I’ll tell you where it went; it was swallowed up in the black hole that is a publishing deadline. The horrible irony is, I’ve been too busy writing to write my blog about writing! But I’m back now and I’ve got loads of fun writing exercises and tips for you. Including, today, how making a collage can be the perfect preparation for your story, novel or poem.

But first, let me offer a grovelling explanation for my long absence...

This year I found myself in the massively lucky position of having not one, but two books to finish for publication next year. As someone who once wondered if I’d ever have a book deal again I was totally grateful to be faced with this mammoth workload (and I’m living proof that you should never, ever give up on your writing dreams!) but it’s been a tough old slog. And sometimes, when you’re writing a novel, or two, you just have to get into the zone and focus solely on the work in progress.

But I’m chuffed to be able to tell you that both books are now finished. Finding Cherokee Brown will be out in March 2013 and Shipwrecked will be out in June.

Shipwrecked is a top secret project I’ve been working on for the past year. It’s been top secret because a TV series is being developed alongside the books. This is the first time my publisher, Egmont, have embarked upon a project like this – normally a TV adaptation would take place after the book has been published and completely separately – so I feel honoured to be the writer chosen for the job.

As Shipwrecked is a series, I’ve just started work on the second book – I know, no rest for the wicked! – and I’ll be honest with you, when I first sat down to write it I felt a little overwhelmed.

Do you ever feel like that when you start writing something new? Like the story seems so frickin’ huge you just don’t know where to begin? Or maybe the setting and characters haven’t quite come alive in your head yet so when you try to capture them on the page they seem stilted and two dimensional?

This is exactly how I was feeling the other day – and then I remembered the one fail-safe, fool-proof exercise guaranteed to bring your story to life before you even start writing it making a story collage.

A story collage is pretty much what it says on the tin – a collage, made up of pictures of characters, settings, and any other images that symbolise what you want to write about. It’s a lot of fun to create and, as you get busy attacking stacks of magazines with your scissors, or printing pics from the net, you’d be amazed at how many extra ideas you start getting for your story too.

When I sat down to make my collage for Shipwrecked 2 the first thing I did was look for pictures of my new characters. As soon as I had these I found they gave me endless clues and ideas for the characters’ back-stories. Then I had fun searching through the travel sections of newspapers for suitably tropical pics – and found one photo in particular that gave me tons of ideas for the plot. Within an hour I’d gone from complete overwhelm to can’t-wait-to-get-writing.

My collage starts taking shape...

The photo above is of the start of my collage - it will get a lot bigger as and when I find inspirational pics. I’ve stuck it on my cupboard door so that I’m facing it when I write. That way I feel fully immersed in the world of the characters and location.

I seriously can’t recommend this exercise enough, and would love to hear how you get on if you try it too.

Till next time,

happy writing!

Siobhan x

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Why I Love Writing Showcase

Dear Writer,

It’s Olympic week in London and it just so happens that the office I work in is directly opposite the Jamaican team’s HQ. Let me tell you, it’s very hard coming up with story ideas when Usain Bolt is about to arrive at any moment for a press conference!

This has been my view for the past few days as I gaze out of the window longingly…

Waiting for Usain!

As promised last week, after unveiling the first ever competition winners here on Dear Writer, today it gives me tremendous pleasure to showcase the five runners-up. I think you’ll agree, they all deserve showcasing. And I love the fact that the same title; ‘Why I Love Writing’, sparked such very different responses.

So here they are, with my reasons why I chose them:

Why I Love Writing by Anna Pilkington

I have loved writing since before I could write. Literally. I drew pictures to tell my story. And I love to read. I was in about first grade when it hit me, that you can go anywhere. That you can be drawn into another world and leave all your problems behind. You can fight Lord Voldemort and win the Hunger Games all in one day. And most of all, I love writing for other people. I love watching them react to it, to be transported to that world. The world I made. It can be anywhere. In outer space, Antarctica, Paris, or the Ice Age.

I was brought up on reading and writing. I have had stories read to me since the day I was born. At one time my parents owned a magazine in Lubbock, Texas, and my mom has worked at newspapers her whole life. She started a blog in 2009 about letter writing, so that started my desire for a blog. I now have a fashion blog that I just started that I love to write on.

I suppose someone out there can just whip up a story without throwing anything away, but I love the half finished stories that you find in a notebook from a year ago. It's so fun to finish them and to see how much your taste has changed in genres and themes.

The thing I love most about writing is that I can put my dreams into a story for others to read. I love the feeling when you just finished a story and you feel so proud. Like right now. And that's why I love writing.

The thing I loved most about Anna’s entry (apart from her obvious passion for writing) is when she talks about that amazing sense of pride you get when you complete a piece of writing, and it was fun how she tied this in with completing her entry for this competition. I hope she feels really proud at being a runner-up in the competition too! Well done, Anna!

Why I Love Writing by Drew Boulton

The best song ever written for me and you,
Is the song by P!nk entitled Who Knew,
When I first heard it I very nearly started to cry,
The emotions that were expressed came from her heart inside.

She really lets go about her feelings of her friend,
Who sadly let drugs make his life come to an end,
And the lines in it say exactly who she is,
Just a normal person with nothing but a wish.

A wish that her friend could just have stayed alive,
So she could just touch him one more time,
The words are those of a person with feelings,
Who only writes about something with meaning.

That is why I love that song deep in my heart,
A song of true meaning that in my life will never part,
And if you ever think life doesn't treat you as a friend,
Think of those people who's lives have come to an end.

Drew’s was the only entry about loving another person’s writing and it was also the only entry written in poetry form. I love the way certain song lyrics can have such a powerful effect on you so Drew’s poem really struck a chord with me. I thought it was really well written, emotional and moving and I loved the fact it was so different to the others.

Why I love writing by Marian

There is a problem. Yes, a big problem. See the title is highly inappropriate as I do not love writing. Nor do I even remotely like it. It is a bothersome and distressing ordeal. First you have to think of a storyline and plot. Look how that’s working out for me. I’m going completely against the topic. I’m commonly found dumbstruck with a pen in my hand. Nothing registering in my genius brain. My thoughts get jumbled up and I forget whether I’m supposed to be writing about my dream holiday travelling around the world, with a book in my hand or a fiercely dragon fighting a knight, destined to live happily ever after with a mystical princess.  As you can see it is a big problem. A big problem indeed. And that’s not the half of it. How on earth am I supposed to write what’s going on in my far away mind. It’s difficult enough to focus on one idea at a time. And you’re asking me to write it down? I will forget my capitals letters and full stops. The whole two page essay will be one big sentence with approximately one hundred and fifty two “ands”. Every sentence will start with “I went”. At least my spelling will live through this deathly torment. Thank God for spell check is all I can say! Then after that there’s the proof read to make sure it makes sense. My beginning began in the 21st century where it meandered to the middle ages and came to sudden stop in the year 3000. That is when I start singing Busted's “ year three thousand” and press x without thinking and forgetting to save. There goes all my effort. My long hours spent in front of my thesaurus. So I can firmly tell you I do not like writing and I will never write again – wait … I’m writing!

I LOVED this entry. It was so much fun and made me laugh my head off in places because I could relate only too well to the whole love / hate thing when it comes to writing. Great ending too!

Why I Love Writing by Nadia
My love for writing came from my love for reading. At first I only used to read I didn’t even consider writing. I read because I loved the different places a story could take you, I loved how a character could change the way you feel about something and most of all I loved the story line of a book and how every story was so different and each story held a different idea

I just love how the author can make you feel different things in a book, how it can make you laugh , how it can make you cry but the thing I love most in books is how it can take you places you never dreamt of , places you never imagine. It can just teleport you there and you can feel like your there.

Then one day I thought I want to do that, I want to make people feel like that after reading something that I wrote, so I decided that I should try writing as a hobby. When I did I found that I really enjoyed writing, I didn’t even think my writing was good, I just really enjoyed writing.

But then one day I posted one of my stories onto my blog and the feedback I got was really nice and people said they really liked it. I just loved that feeling I got when someone commented or told me something nice about my story.

So ever since then I have been writing and love it. I love it when someone is genuine when they say how much they liked my story. Also I enjoy writing when I blog, I love to write about different things, it doesn’t always have to be fiction or a story. I love writing in my diary, blog and scribbles of ideas in my notebooks.

So the reason I love writing is because I love the feeling of entertaining people with my writing and I love getting positive and sweet feedback. One day I hope more people will enjoy and appreciate my writing as I love to write.

I could really relate to this entry too – my love for writing also stemmed from a love of reading and I think Nadia perfectly captures the way in which the written word can ‘teleport’ you into a different world. And I’m sure one day her dream will come true and readers will appreciate her writing as much as she loves to write.

Why I Love Writing by Georgia Walters

There are so many reasons as to why I love to write! Mainly though, it lets you escape from the real world... And when I am typing I can write as freely as I want, about whatever subject I like ( it isn't like English classes at school, where you have to do what the teacher says: I can write whatever I want!)

Also, I love it because you can write anything in a story. I love to write fictional stories, mainly dystopian and fantasy one too. When I write these I feel like I'm in the story... Not writing it! it's great, because I can just escape problems at school or arguments by just turning on my laptop and writing!

In fact, that's what I'm doing with one of my stories, about a problematic schoolgirl. I have edited names and write up funny stories, in a diary format. I based it around me and a boy called Michael, who used to pick on me, and also I have based it on my two friends Leigh and Molly, who are so obsessed with a certain few celebrities it drives me nuts! So, I just change some names, and write about the funnier events that have happened to me. I want to make other people laugh along – and hopefully I will, if any of my stories are ever published.

The thing I love most about Georgia’s entry is when she talks about the freedom that comes with writing what you want – especially when you are so used to be told what to write in school or college. I also love the fact that Georgia talks about the therapeutic powers of writing and how you can escape the problems of your every day life by just turning on your laptop and starting to write. Well done, Georgia!

Summer Writing Prompts

Later this week I will be publishing some special summer writing prompts here, aimed at keeping you writing through August, but in a fun, holiday way - no-one should have to work too hard in August, not even us long-suffering writers!

More soon...

Siobhan x

Thursday, 26 July 2012

And the Winner is...!

Dear Writer,


Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon going through all of the entries for the very first ever Dear Writer competition.

Well, it was very enjoyable at first, when I was reading all of the wonderful pieces about why the entrants love writing. But then, when it came to deciding upon the winners, it got pretty darned stressful. It was SO difficult to choose!

I’d initially said that I’d have one overall winner and a second and third place. But the quality of the entries was so high that I couldn’t choose between the second and third place, so there will be two joint second prize winners, and I’m adding a runners-up category for the five writers who came closest to getting into the top three, as there was so little to choose between them.

First Prize

So, without further ado, it gives me great, humungous, enormous pleasure to present the overall winner’s entry, by Ama Badu from London.

Why I Love Writing…

Putting into words why I put things into words is tricky. I want to write an elaborate account of how it's the only place I can express myself, about world building, creativity, fantasying, the magic of it. But I cannot. I write because I have to. It is no different to breathing; on the outside I appear okay, but if I stop inside I am suffocating. I can no more tell my mind to stop making stories than to cease reflecting the signals passing between the nerve endings of my brain. This is very inconvenient. And distracting. I'm emotionally strangled most of the time. "A story-making mind. Sounds wonderful", some idiot will tell me before proceeding to press their demands.

The stories get clogged up in worries, desires, fatigue and to do lists and I jump far away from the computer. Stare into an infinite future of menial jobs where the very dregs of people end up; make-up free parading themselves around. Forcefully, miserably I drag myself back to the screen. After typing some words I stare the other way, into a future built on typing some words, envision a cocktail of isolation, rejection slips, late bills, the empty fridge, persistent uncertainty, deadlines. I throw in some alcoholism because writers are drunks...or addicts...apparently, maybe a failed marriage, or four, some sexual deviation. And I press save anyway.

I want to talk to the part of me that enjoys writing, (the clearly insane part) and report what it says. Its silence is eerily pronounced. Though the mantra of expressing beauty, truth and love decorates my response, I know to understand might be at the core of why I write. Understanding myself, the world, others. Others, the world, myself understood. A world of understanding people.

Placing the unfeasible aside however, frankly, why do I write? Plunge into the darkness, chuck up rocks for a pearl. Because birds fly despite planes. Fishes swim despite sharks. Londoners breath despite exhaust fumes. And Ama's write despite the unknown.

I loved this entry because it was so well-written and contained so much passion, emotion, beautiful imagery and humour (please believe me that not ALL writers are alcoholic, sexual deviants though!) It ticked all the boxes for me, and above all, Ama’s passion for writing sings from the page.

So a MASSIVE well done to Ama. She has won a signed copy of Dear Dylan, and me as her writing mentor for a month.

Joint Second Place

In joint second place are Catherine from The Book Parade blog and Jasmine, who blogs at Ebony Black Lines.

Here is Catherine’s entry:

Why I Love Writing…

Words are the most beautiful, magical thing. Soft and sweet, singing stories that sweep you in like spells.
A pen is the most powerful, precious thing. Allows you to express yourself, pour your soul onto a page, capture emotions and memories, evoke emotions and memories.
Pen and words walk hand in hand like bow and arrow – a fearless weapon, capable of piercing the heart and setting it ablaze with hatred, anger, fear, passion.
Pen and words walk hand in hand like bow and cello – a magnificent musical instrument, capable of playing a melody with the heartstrings, humming tunes that sing of sadness, laughter, joy, love.
When you pick up a pen and write, you are powerful. You have the power to travel to exotic worlds, to discover new things, to laugh, to cry, to fall in love. And even more wonderful, you have the power to share this incredible experience with others too.
Infuse your words with your heart and soul, let a little of yourself flow into the words, bringing them to life, making them buzz with realness.
Writing doesn’t disappear. Your words will remain in the world for generations, to enchant others, to inspire others.
This is why I love writing. I can lose myself in words, lose myself in imagination.
I can share a little of myself with the world.
I can be anyone. I can do anything.
I am powerful. I am free.

The thing I loved most about this entry was the beauty of the words and imagery used – it felt like a real love letter to writing and I could relate to it so much. I also LOVE the final line: ‘I am powerful. I am free.’ This sums up so perfectly the beauty of writing to me. Massive well done, Catherine.

Joint Second Place

The other joint second place winner was Jasmine from the Ebony Black Lines blog. Here’s her entry:
Why I Love Writing...
I have always been the girl my parents shake their heads with despair at and mutter, “Always got her head in the clouds, always dreaming,” and I don’t deny it. Whenever I can I close my eyes and dream; Dream of wild fancies, hopeless desires and wishful thoughts. It was my way of freeing myself from the strong bonds of reality and letting my mind rove places that would never be possible. It was also my way of living lives that I knew I would never be able to, or feeling emotions that - I hoped (some of them are scary!!) – I would never experience.
And then books were introduced into my life.
I believe reading is like dreaming with open eyes, you are drawn away on a journey in another person’s shoes and get to live their life for the duration of the book, and maybe that is why I loved reading in the first place, because of its link with dreaming. I would be pulled into the story, living and breathing each characters difficulties, triumphs and feeling every little emotion. Sometimes I would get so wrapped up in the book I would forget about where I was or what day or time it was. And then I realised that that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to capture people with my writing and draw them into a book and share my passion for writing with them so that they can feel the same way...
And now I love writing...I write anything, blogs, stories, diaries. It is the way I express myself into something that will live on, something memorable after I have finished writing, and it is a way in which I can pour my emotions out and entertain people whose opinions I value.

I loved Jasmine’s emphasis on the dreamy aspect of writing and her entry included a line that has stayed with me ever since first reading: ‘I believe reading is like dreaming with open eyes.’ How brilliantly put, and of course you can say exactly the same about writing. Massive well done to you too, Jasmine!

Both second prize winners will receive a signed copy of Dear Dylan plus my detailed feedback on one piece of their work.

Next Week

Next week I will be showcasing the entries of the five writers who came closest to making it to the winning three:

Anna Pilkington
Georgia Walters
Drew Boulton

They will all also receive signed books.

If you entered the competition and weren’t lucky this time round, first of all, thank-you and second, please don’t worry, the standard of the entries was exceptionally high and there will be plenty more to come, with loads of exciting prizes.

Next week, as well as showcasing the runners-up entries, I will be giving you some fun, summer writing prompts to help keep you writing through August.

Till then, enjoy the sunshine and, as always…

Happy writing!

Siobhan x