Suraya Dewing's blog

Why enter writing competitions

This month we launched our own writing competition. Two of the prizes offer winners writing-related prizes: a webinar on script writing and mentoring for two months. We intend to expand on this as we grow the competitions.

Reasons for entering writing competitions vary, but the first most obvious reason is that if you win you gain exposure to a new audience. But there are other reasons. These include giving yourself a specific deadline to work towards meeting. This is, in itself, a great motivator.

How do the serials work?

 

When I first set the serials up, I saw them as a bit of fun to get the community of writers at The Story Mint interacting and sharing their writing thoughts.

So it was a surprise when I had a member come to me and say how much she loved the serials and how much she had learnt about writing by taking part in them.

I asked her what she meant by this.

What makes a story

Of all the books on writing that I have ever read, and I have read many over the years, the one which I class as my bible is called Story, by Robert McKee.

He says: “A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. When society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true satires and tragedies, dramas and comedies that shine a clean light into the dingy corners of the human psyche and society. If not, as Yeats warned, ‘the centre cannot hold.’

A Writers Manifesto/The Story Mint's

In 1914, a group of artists, including American poet, Ezra Pound, founded a movement called Vorticist. They essentially stood for breaking away from traditional forms of art and creating new and energetic art. The First World War was looming and, although this is not stated, there appeared to be a sudden firing of energy within the artistic world that rejected modernism and tried to create a fresh approach to the way artists expressed themselves.

We are in the Transformation Decade

Last week I was in a meeting with a local language school that prepares students from all around the world to enter tertiary education or the work force. Their role is to train students to write and speak English well. We were discussing the next phase of research into how students can use the Style Guide™. The aim is to supplement one-on-one tutoring and set students up to continue practising the fundamentals for writing English when the tutor is not available.

Anatomy of a Start Up

This week I had a series of meetings that signalled a new phase for the Story Mint or, more precisely, the parent company of The Story Mint, Universal Writers.com.

As I drove home from my last meeting, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of excitement. Behind that feeling, lay a sense that, at last, all the hard work, the blind alleys and the sleepless nights had a reason. They were laying the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be a significant business venture in t the future.

Waitangi Day at Government House in Wellington

 

On Friday, Bruce and I went to Government House, along with over 3,000 other New Zealanders, to attend the 175th year observation of Waitangi Day. What a wonderful way to observe this truly important day in New Zealand’s history. We were among the invitees because of the work Bruce is doing for World Skills NZ, an international organisation that recognises and encourages excellence in the trades by giving young people the opportunity to meet and compete with the best from over 75 countries.

Strong Nations emerge from Honoured Promises

Another year has passed and we are back debating The Treaty of Waitangi.

Music and style

 

On my way to Massey today, I listened to a recording by Richard Farrell playing Rachmaninov’s Prelude Number 2, one of my favourite pieces. I found myself thinking about the hundreds of musicians who have played this music and why I prefer some versions to others.

The notes are the same and the instructions on how Rachmaninov imagined the pianist playing it never change. Yet in every version there is something of the pianist in the music that sets it apart from other versions.

Pinker calls it ‘verbiage’

Some words and phrases that slip into our writing really deserve a visit from the delete key. I found myself frequently falling into the trap of being in love with certain words or phrases but later realising they really did not add anything to my piece of writing.

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