Twenty people of varying ages and skills attended a People’s Friend’s Story Writing Workshop on Thursday 8 October at D C Thomson’s premises in Dundee.
We were introduced to members of the Fiction Team and Fiction Editor, Shirley Blair, explained that its purpose was not to teach people how to write but to advise on writing specifically for the People’s Friend.
They explained their readers are looking for escapism – stories they find instructive, comforting and perhaps relating to their own life; stories that have problems and take twists and turns before reaching the protagonist’s solution.
Guest author, Kate Blackadder, told how she came to write and gave several ideas for inspiration as well as tips on structure, dialogue, using the five senses, point of view, character building and writer’s block.
There wasn’t a moment of boredom as we put pen to paper with the short exercises given and listened to the participants’ efforts. A delicious lunch was provided and we enjoyed refreshments and friendly banter throughout the day.
Lastly, the ‘Nuts and Bolts’ were covered – how they like your work presented. A typed hard copy, unfolded, is still required though the electronic copy would be necessary, if accepted.
Their final piece of advice – ‘Read the guidelines. Read the magazine.’
We certainly came away with lots of ideas. I’m off to the computer now!