Friday, 1 March 2013

Guest Post by Sandra Pollard

Sandra Pollard is a English writer living in America who's had some success with My Weekly and other mags, and writes here about her inspiration for a forthcoming 'moment in time' story. Those can be the most difficult to get right, even though they're so short (just 700 words). Mind you, there are many of us who would be inspired by the sight she describes, ahem! 

Do take a look at Sandra's blog, which is mostly about whales. I'm delighted to hear she has a publisher interested in her whale book as well, and will keep an eye out for its publication. There's something about whales, isn't there - wonderful creatures you can't help but be fascinated by.

Over to Sandra: 

Just checking in…

I cannot claim to be a dedicated Womagwriter as I have written more articles than short stories for magazines such as Best of British, The Lady, People’s Friend, Dog’s Today and My Weekly. Occasionally, though, inspiration strikes and I hit lucky…

A 700-word story for My Weekly’s Coffee Break page titled ‘Sun, Sea and Surf’ was written while sitting in a cafĂ© (just like J K Rowling) overlooking a Cornish surfing beach where I grew up. I had a ‘moment in time’ as I watched a sleek, bronzed surfer saunter up the beach, dredging up memories of my teenage youth. I enjoy the challenge of the tight word count where every word does, literally, count – there’s no room for waffle.

It’s important to study the market and the magazine’s current guidelines. Note the different length, style, content and structure of the stories. As I live in North America I don’t have regular access to British magazines (I miss W H Smith), but I subscribe to My Weekly. Their guidelines are regularly updated, although they are still only accepting submissions from authors they have published before and only take one submission a month from each author.

I have another Coffee Break story coming out in My Weekly titled ‘Checking in’, which was triggered by the memory of an airport farewell. I’ve been so busy researching and writing a non-fiction book for the last year that I had forgotten about the story, so it came as quite a surprise when the lovely Liz Smith contacted me and asked if it was still for sale. Yes!

As for the book (have to give this a plug) I’ve almost finished ‘Whales for Sale’, a story of the killer whale capture era in Washington State from 1964-1976. This is a true tale of personal and corporate greed and the near decimation of a unique, iconic species (the southern resident killer whales), which is now on the endangered species list. Ever wonder how SeaWorld’s original ‘Shamu’ got her name, and where she came from? OK, so I’m not here to do a book blurb... I have a US publisher interested, and hope to have
some good news soon. For future updates, check out my blog

Happy writing, Womagwriters. I hope to join you again soon.

3 comments: said...

Good job, Sandra. You go, girl.

David Hough said...

I hope you enjoyed your trip back to your Cornish roots, Sandra. I was born in St Austell and will be taking my family down there in May for a trip of pure nostalgia. Cornwall has featured in several of my books. I'm sure you'll understand why.
David Hough

Sandra Pollard said...

Cornwall will always be a magical place for me, too, David. I look forward to reconnecting through your novels. Enjoy your forthcoming trip - my turn next year. Sandra (