Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Write On! Review and competition

I spent a happy Sunday afternoon sitting in the garden sunshine with Adrian Magson. Well, not the man himself but his new must-have for a writer's bookshelf: Write On! The Writer's Help Book. Here's a brief review of the book, followed by a chance to win a signed copy for yourself.

The book is presented as a series of essays, written in an engaging, chatty style. You can read the book straight through from start to finish as I did, as it covers covers everything from 'I wanna be a writer!' to ' Wahey I'm published!' Or you could easily dip in and out of it, open it at random and read a chapter or two. The chapters are organised in sections, eg Writer's Block... or Not?, Kick-Starting Your Mojo; Editing - so whatever your need the book covers it. It's full of ideas and most importantly, inspiration. You find yourself desperate to get back to your current writing project but at the same time wanting to keep reading the book! I definitely recommend this for all writers - beginners who've yet to find their niche or submit anything, through to experienced writers needing a friendly nudge in the right direction.

Magson even manages to use one of my favourite words, pronking, which is not one I ever thought I'd see in a book about writing. I'm not going to tell you in what context - you'll have to get hold of a copy yourself to find out!

So - how to get a copy. Order from Amazon or enter my little competition below. (I was going to put a link so you can order it direct from the publisher Accent Press but can't find the book on their website yet.)

OK, the competition. What I'd like you to do is write a brief description (blurb, pitch, just a couple of paragraphs) of a book aimed at teenage boys. This can be either something you're working on, or something you've made up on the spot - I don't mind. Post your entry as a comment below. You have until 6pm on 17th August.

Why a book aimed at teenage boys?

My poor 16-year old son is away on Explorers camp this week, and yesterday evening I got that phone call every parent dreads. Hi Mum, it's me, I'm in Swansea hospital because I've fractured my wrist playing Laser Quest. They want to keep me in overnight so the specialist can see it tomorrow and decide if it needs an operation...

He's all right. I spoke to him again today and he didn't need an operation after all. He's had a plaster cast put on and is now back at the camp, but excused from washing up and toilet-emptying duties. He'll be missing out on lots of activities, and I'm going to have to cancel loads of things we had booked for the rest of the hols. So your mission in this competition is to cheer him up!

Entries will be judged by my son (who doesn't know it yet) with my help. Tips: wacky and/or lots of battle scenes. We'll post the result up on 18th August, then I'll pass the winner's details on to Adrian who'll send the prize himself.

So come on, get yourself into the mindset of an injured 16 year old and see what you can come up with!


Bernadette said...

Oh I did try - honest! - but not really knowing any teenage boys all the things I came up with were too rude. Well, maybe not too rude for teenage boys, but too rude for this blog.

I do hope he recovers soon. xxx

Old Kitty said...

Oh I'm glad your son is ok!! Oh dear, what a fright for you though! Good grief! Hope he gets better now and rests!

Aww thank you for this wonderful competition!! Teenage boys?!?! Yikes! LOL! Take care

Geoff said...

When he got the text, teenager Jack Stone prayed it was a joke:


Jack ignored the first instruction . . . and found out it was no joke at all. The bus smashed into the bus queue, killing them all instantly.


In this action-packed thriller, Jack Stone races through the city, committing crimes to order for an unknown master. If he doesn't, his master kills.

Unless Jack can find out . . .

His Master's Secret.

Quillers said...

First there were kids. Then there were zombies. Read what happens when two worlds collide.

(I want to read Geoff's)

gaelikaa said...

Kurt Krypson and the Deadly Invasion!!!!!!

Kurt Krypson is a man with a mission; to rid the universe of the evil Deadlies, a small but lethal race of sub-human creatures whose mission is to infect the entire universe with deadly poison and watch it self destruct in a sadistic danse macabre of destruction. Until Kurt got on their case, that is. As courageous Kurt cruises outer space to apprehend and destroy the pests, the question is, who's mission will succeed? Kurt's or the Deadlies? Jump into your spaceship and come along for the ride. Kurt could do with the support.

I do wish your son a speedy recovery and while I'd love to win the book, I had fun writing this. And that was enough!

HelenMHunt said...

Oh your poor son. Do hope you manage to cheer him up.

I won't enter the comp as I already have the book, but I would like to add that having been to many of Adrian's writing classes I can confirm how fabulous his advice to writers is.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Love Adrian Magson's column and can imagine it will be a great read!

Hope your son is back to normal soon. Can't think of a storyline yet!

Caroline said...

Rob didn't quite know how he'd managed to to do it, but somehow one minute he was lying in a hospital bed having hurt his wrist and the next he'd been morphed back in time to 1944 and was just about to land on Utah Beach and become part of the biggest World World II offensive - D -Day. Which was all well and good - but his only experience of war-fare was playing computer games. And besides how was he going to explain all this to his mum! Caroline x

Caroline said...

DUH!! Super sorry - but I hope your son is on the mend.

womagwriter said...

These are great, keep them coming, folks!

Geoff said...

Am I allowed to enter again? If not, please ignore my next post!

Best wishes to your son.

Geoff said...

Billy's eyes snapped open. He was in hospital, breathing through a tube and wired to a bleeping heart monitor . . . whose bleeps were getting faster.

Because Billy was remembering.

The car. The fight. The crash. Someone had tried to kill him.

And suddenly there she was, filling his vision. The one who had put him here.

"Oh, Billy! Thank god you're back with us!"

His mother. His murderer. If she'd succeeded. But why?

Find out in the terrifying new thriller - Mummy's Boy.

Geoff said...

Milton Jones's family will believe anything. His mother reads the future in rain clouds; his sister wants to marry a vampire. And his dad? Well, that's where the trouble really starts.

Professor Jones (a professorship bought on eBay, please note) runs, investigating the unexplained. But when he accepts an invitation for them all to stay in a haunted house, Milton suspects the ghostly goings on aren't all they seem.

With everyone else perplexed by poltergeists and fazed by phantoms, can Milton discover the truth? Find out in The Ghosts of Bowery Manor.

beverley said...

Cyberspace. Cyberbattle.

Gripped by world of virtual reality, Jason was free of his daytime shyness and sheepish persona that made him a target for bullies.

Here, in his cyberworld, he was King of the Warriors; slaying and slaughtering fearlessly through the night where evil reigned.

But who would have guessed that a small boy from a small village in Tanzania would take on the strength and style of Jason the Juggernaut warrior.

Join the battle online at as you read along.
Who wins? You decide.

Antonia said...

Okay, the book is going to be called: The Travelling Teenager.

A group of teenage boys decide to write, in a rag, about their travels. They sometimes go on holiday as a group or with other friends, relatives, and occasionally with girlfriends. Each tries to outdo the other in terms of individuality, excitement, action, and plain weirdness.

Things become sinister when one of the boys, Goth, decides he can't be bothered writing about his latest holiday, and receives threats, until he is forced to write about a skiing experience based in the Alps. This time, though, he is accused of selling a false holiday, which forces him to create that experience for real, in order to save other members of the teen writing team. All is not as it should be on the slopes...

womagwriter said...

Ooh, these are good!

Geoff - I have no problem with anyone entering more than once, so feel free to keep them coming!

beverley said...

Former child progidy Max believed had burnt himself out at the ripe of age of seventeen.

Yet, when the offer of an unprecedented internship programme for young people at NASA was delivered to his home, Max had no trouble at all accepting the offer.

But all was not what it seemed for the twelve youngsters headhunted from all around the world.

Competitiveness, ruthlessness and supreme intelligence was needed to survive. Literally.

Find out if Max makes it through and whether his dream of being the first person under the age of 21 years old to travel to outer space is a success or a fatal failure.

suzy doodling said...

Timothy ran and ran until he was gasping for breath. His arms stung form the claws of the beast. He could hear it approaching, coming nearer. Now was his chance to try out the dual damager given to him by the head of secret manouvers at the start of his journey into Jungle Paranora. He whipped out the dagger from his multi function belt, turned and flung it in every direction as the purple and green dragon blasted fire like he had never seen before. The roar deafened him, blood spurted across the entire valley covering plants, trees and bushes with the gunge of horror that was the dying breath of the beast. As he fell, he breathed one last hiss. "I will call on my army, you will never escape from the shadow of dragon-demons... To be continued in the story of Timothy and the Demons.

suzy doodling said...

Hope you'll soon be feeling better.

Timothy ran and ran until he was gasping for breath. His arms stung form the claws of the beast. He could hear it approaching, coming nearer. Now was his chance to try out the dual damager given to him by the head of secret manouvers at the start of his journey into Jungle Paranora. He whipped out the dagger from his multi function belt, turned and flung it in every direction as the purple and green dragon blasted fire like he had never seen before. The roar deafened him, blood spurted across the entire valley covering plants, trees and bushes with the gunge of horror that was the dying breath of the beast. As he fell, he breathed one last hiss. "I will call on my army, you will never escape from the shadow of dragon-demons... To be continued in the story of Timothy and the Demons.

Kate said...

What a great idea for a comp! And such good entries so far!

Geoff said...

It doesn't take much to destroy your life. Just four friends and a little round table will do it.

A seance.

It started as a game, it ended in a nightmare. Four kids pursued by the unspeakable evil they unleashed.

Christopher Broadbent said...

The battle had left the fleet in ruins with another alien attack expected at any time. A wily master chief has a daring solution but it may not be ready in time.
So when an alien presence is suddenly detected, is it the first stage of the attack or the last chance to prevent it?

Watch for AFTERMATH, coming soon!

Juliet Boyd said...

The voice in his head started right after she died. At first he found it comforting. He was happy to do what she wanted.

But things had moved on to another level. And murder was a big ask, even for someone you loved.

Hope your son's feeling better.

Helen Lowry said...

Ben has just moved to a new house with his mum, and is trying to find his beloved video games in amongst all the boxes. Dad had left the family when Ben was a five-year-old, not that he remembered anything.
He comes across a pile of old scrapbooks. All the pages are covered with newspaper cuttings about an armed robbery many years ago, when the getaway car killed a mother and her young child. He wonders why his mother saved them all. The driver’s name hits him – his father’s. He resolves to find the truth and clear his dad’s name.

Hope the wrist is getting better!

RainbowLou said...

Who says boredom won’t kill you?
Jake has a secret. A secret he’s kept all of his life. A secret that could change the world. Starting college seems a lifetime away and Jake is bored of the holidays already. With nothing better to do, he decides to unleash his secret on a social networking site. Little does he know that he’s not the only one with the same secret.
When an entire planet declares war on its own inhabitants, how will they be strong enough to fight enemies from an alternative dimension? And with Jake at the centre of the blame, will he ever be bored again?
If the whole world was hanging on your status update, could you press enter?

Hope your son is feeling better soon, and that this comp cheers him up a bit

RainbowLou said...

Ryan was taking some time out, a gap year. He thought his luck had come all at once when he met beautiful Lola on a beach on holiday. When she lured him into some nearby caves, he had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. When a pirate hit him over the head and kidnapped him on to their pirate ship he thought he must be going mad; pirates like this don’t exist anymore, do they?
On board Ryan was just one of many young men, tricked by Lola, but he found his sea legs quicker than most. How far would he go to impress Lola and her murdering family?

Elaine Everest said...

I do hope your son feels much better soon. This is such a lovely competition! Here is my advertising blurb for a non fiction book:


Every teenage boy makes mistakes and this book will help them to keep it a secret!

From how to get away with deleting Mum's novel on her computer to how to blame the dog when the television mysteriously blows up.

This is the must have book for every boy between the ages of 12 and 18.

Buy this book along with the author's accompanying manual, How to Cover up Spots and Chat up Girls and you will receive a free booklet, 'compliments every mum will fall for!'

Alice Parrant said...

Cuthbert’s Landing-The First of the Simon Spelling Mysteries

‘But I couldn’t possibly write a story about Cuthbert’s Landing. There’s nothing there.‘

‘Find something,’ replied the editor, regarding Simon with contempt. ‘You have a week.’

Struggling journalist Simon Spelling has been given an impossible task. The deserted peninsular, Cuthbert’s Landing, is a wild wasteland of weeds, sand and a disused lighthouse. Yet, the editor wants a story and Simon is in no position to negotiate.

Local history books tell him nothing, just that the council has wanted to pull down the lighthouse for years. But what is stopping them?

Simon is beginning to despair when a chance encounter with a weeping woman propels him into a mystery far stranger than he could ever have imagined.

He has to write a story and sell papers, but at what cost?

And what exactly is the editor hiding?

Hope your son is on the bend and thanks for a great competition.

Alice Parrant said...

Whooops, I meant on the mend! Spent so long proofreading my entry that I forgot about my message at the end!

Kathleen said...

Hello, and best wishes for a speedy recovery for your son!

Fools. Disgustingly naive.

Not a single opponent to challenge him.

These humans were so ridiculously easy to manipulate it was pathetic. The Progenitors were easiest of all. So amusingly eager to believe their offspring showed potential.

Oh they had potential all right, but it was his assignment to ensure it was used only for the benefit of his Masters.

Failure equalled eradication and he had no compunction whatsoever in using any of the tools at his disposal.

And not a single opponent to challenge him.

Until now.

Subtle, but definite signs of resistance to his methods. Naturally it could not be allowed to continue, but what made this one so different?

Perhaps he should delve a little deeper before this one was consigned to the tragic accident category.

"Jamie, give me a hand with this will you?"

Pausing his game, Jamie yelled "Sure, be right there!"

Straight into the web.

womagwriter said...

Thank you all for a bumper crop of magnificent entries!

Alice - what a terrible, terrible typo to make but it's made me laugh anyway!

Competition is now CLOSED. I will now print off all entries and hand them to my son for judging. He's been looking forward to this.

Dr. Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, M.D. said...

Yes, you certainly may have'm. All of 'em. All our blogs are free for the taking, BeautifulOne, if you'd allow me to kiss your wonderfull feets in Heaven HeeHee Choose Right, choose the Light, and win thy fight. See ya soon, girl; see ya in Heaven. In fact, I love you so much, I'd much rather serve you for the length and breadth of eternity. Nevertheless, this is one of our blogs I wrote to try and git the Word-Out about how much I love the female race and, in the Great Beyond, I'll love'm more precisely because a whole universe is waiting for eternity - besides, we got all-the-time in the world then. Kick-ass. Join me, miss gorgeous, and lemme fill-us-up to pleasure-beyond-measure. Wanna? Ya gonna? Just to kiss your adorable feets in Heaven would blow-my-mind. Look’n forward to it. See ya soon.

womagwriter said...

Blink. :-?