July 2019 Newsletter

1 post / 0 new
July 2019 Newsletter
View this email in your browser

The Story Mint is a vibrant and inspirational community of writers who celebrate one another's successes. 


One of the challenges of being a writer is to stay focused and motivated. A great way to do this is to set some goals, and what better motivator is there than a deadline? In our recent newsletters we have shared details of some writing competitions (they always have a deadline!). And this month we have a few more.

But first, some insights into being a writer from Linda Alley, a Melbourne-based writer and teacher, and one of our most valued members of The Story Mint. Linda has lived in four different countries and often draws on her overseas experiences in her writing but for a long time, she was too afraid to write anything. 

That is why Linda created The Fearless Writing Guide, to share what helped her to overcome her fear and start writing freely.  It's Linda's hope that The Fearless Writing Guide will inspire new writers to explore their creativity.

"Ideas are everywhere ," says Linda.

The Fearless Writing Guide shows writers how to use prompts to expand their thoughts. Inside are four story samples demonstrating how other writers have approached the same prompt in different ways. Look out for Suraya’s contribution:  Karma.

One of Linda's tips is free writing - a great technique for pushing through your fears and getting started. You’ll find that some of your best ideas will come when you don’t have time to judge or screen your thoughts.

Here’s what Ray Stone, another prolific Story Mint writer, has to say about The Fearless Writing Guide:

“All writers, no matter how experienced they are, should have a copy on their shelf so they can refer to these notes as reminders that they must continually learn in order to improve. Such a great instructive and inspirational work.”

Ray also shares his own writing process in the guide plus a short story opening based on one of the writing prompts.
For more tips on free-writing and other ways to overcome self-doubt, subscribe to download a free copy of Linda Alley’s writing guide here. http://eepurl.com/dxHk-X 



Read on for a round up of the serial chapters we have published this month.

  • The Girl in the Attic - chapter 8 written by Hemali Ajmera. Have a read and see if you agree with the comments from one of our reviewers.

    "This is a very clever chapter. It is not easy to move between scenes and to move the story on without it appearing clunky but Hemali has done exactly that.  She has also inserted some interesting threads for the next two writers to play with."

  • Truth or Lie - not one but TWO new chapters in this serial this month. The first is from Abhimanyu Jamwal who has thrilled us with this ...

    Agatha scanned the man from the tip of his worn-out brogues to the five-day-old stubble that sublimely merged with his sideburns. With her discerning eye, Agatha deduced that this man was definitely not winning against the current economy. But with that unflappable ease with which he carried himself he surely was pegging life back to deuce whenever it scored against him.

    But wait.... there's more!  Sumanda Maritz contributed her stunning chapter which is keeping us guessing about the direction of this story.   Sumanda's characterisation and deft handling of the plot line are masterful.
    Here's what one of our reviewers had to say:

    The early stages of a serial are where we meet the characters who will carry the story forward. It's always nice when this part of the storytelling is not rushed, as is the case in this serial. Sumanda has introduced another interesting character and some intriguing little details for the following writers to pick up on. The writing is subtle and smooth and above all, so engaging.

  • Ripped from the Headline - chapter 2 by Joe Labrum.

    This is our first 1000-word chapter serial and boy is it turning out to be a thriller. Writers are really able to spread their wings .... here's a short extract from Joe's chapter.
    Dante’s had been where students gathered for almost as long as the University existed. It was tucked away in an alley off the “Ave”, as “University Avenue” was called, just a block West of the main campus on the opposite side of the sprawling schools of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. The place was dark and raucous and smelled of dark roasted coffee and weed.  You could get high by just being there. Hubert knew they would be able to find plenty of theories of what was going on. Especially if the one they called “Legend” showed up. The problem with Legg was that he had an answer for everything and what he didn’t know he made up.

    Now, wouldn't you want to grab a coffee at Dante's?

  • And finally, chapter 7 in the Waterfalls serial by Hemali Ajmera fleshes out the backstory of this crime story and leaves plenty of loose ends for the remaining writers to tidy up. Corrupt policemen, an art theft, and a super clever detective. A perfect mix for a thrilling story.

Short story contest

Scribes Valley Publishing is now accepting submissions for their 17th annual short story writing contest. All finalists are published in an annual contest anthology, both print and electronic versions. Monetary prizes for top 3 finalists are based on contest participation – the more entries we receive, the bigger the prize amounts. In addition, all finalists receive a copy of the finished anthology.

  • Thrill us...amaze us...entertain us...TELL US A STORY!
  • Deadline:  November 30, 2019
  • Winners announced around January 30, 2020
  • Word limit: 5,000. Entry Fee:  US$8.00
  • You can enter by snail mail or online submission. Complete submission guidelines and rules on our website.

Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts

Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts is open for submissions.

Grist's reading period for craft essays, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for our print and online issues is open until September 15, and we pay all the writers we publish.

For an idea of what the journal is like, read some online issues or the sample pieces from the most recent print issue.

To submit, see the guidelines click here.

That's all for this month. Once again, thank you for belonging to this inspirational and vibrant community, and happy writing.

The Story Mint team



“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

― Anton Chekhov


Grab some quiet time and enjoy reading some clever, entertaining writing.

The Girl in the Attic
Chapter 8 by Hemali Ajmera (India)
Truth or Lie
Chapter 1 by Abhimanyu Jamwal (India)
Truth or Lie
Chapter 2 by Sumanda Maritz (S. Africa)
Ripped from the Headlines
Chapter 2 by Joe Labrum (USA)
Chapter 7 by Hemali Ajmera (india)
Who to send your starters and chapters to:
If you have a starter send it to: suraya@thestorymint.com
If you've written a chapter send it to donnamct@gmail.com
Book Reviews

Little Gems
By Ray Stone


Review by Suraya Dewing
This set of short stories is indeed a gem. The stories explore themes of corruption, historical injustices and redemption.
The author capably captures the voice of the era as in Condurrow, a story based on bal maidens working in the Cornwall tin mines in the mid 19th century. Readers learn of the working conditions in Cornwall tin mines while following the fortunes of Arthur Jeddler who inherits a tin mine.
His research for each story is comprehensive.
Other stories in the collection range from past injustices to futuristic as in predicting a cataclysmic event that destroys life on earth. In another a man is wrongly accused of manslaughter and gets exonerated soon after getting out of prison. A mother appears to desert her son but the reason for this justifies her actions, as her son finds out many years later. These were the standout stories for me.
A common theme threads through these stories - corruption or misunderstanding lies behind apparent injustice.
Ray Stone is an entertaining storyteller with a sense of carefully measured detail. The reader never gets they feeling he is unnecesarily padding the narrative. His characters are believable and when they speak, their dialogue gives the reader a deeper insight into the character. The stories are imaginative as well as informative without being a sermon.
Very enjoyable worthwhile read. Recommended.          

Membership News

Writing Tips

  • Avoid long sentences that are really short paragraphs. They lose your reader. Ideal length for a sentence is -10 to 15 words.
  • Short sentences add punch, urgency, tension.
  • Long sentences give readers a rest while they take in the scene or situation.
  • Vary sentence length. Saves boredom.
  • Keep readers eyes moving smoothly across the page. Avoid anything that makes them stumble and go back to re-read your sentence.

Membership Benefits
As a member you get these great membership benefits.
We edit manuscripts for members and prepare them for publication. We also publish and promote their books on social media.

Unlimited use of Stylefit™, a writing edge you will get nowhere else.
  • Belong to an international writing community
  • Your writing promoted to over 25,000 online readers when you write a serial chapter
  • Have one of more of your chapters published in our Anthology, Everyone Has a Story
  • Special member rates for editing, assessment and personalised feedback on individual pieces of writing
  • Promotion to agents/publishers
  • Workshops

To join, go to membership
Happy writing!

Join The Story Mint and book to write a chapter in one of
our many serials, use Stylefit™ and meet other writers.
The first 10 memberships will receive a FREE assessment
of a piece of writing (up to 20,000 words)

Copyright © *|2015|* *|The Story Mint|*, All rights reserved.