July Newsletter 2020

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July Newsletter 2020



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


Photo: Randalyn Hill

It is hard to believe that in a few days it will be August, isn’t it? What a strange and challenging year it has been so far. Wherever you are in the world, all of us at The Story Mint hope that you and your family and friends are safe and well.

This month we have some excellent additions to The Story Mint serials but before we get to them, a reminder that if you want to try your hand at writing a chapter for a serial, please jump on the website and have a go. Silverbend by Ray Stone and No Goodbye by Suraya Dewing are waiting for you.
It’s easy to book yourself a chapter, not so easy to actually write a chapter but it is a lot of fun and you will improve your writing skills heaps (that’s a typical kiwi phrase).

So to the serials….

There are some truly entertaining chapters in this month's serials and one or two that stand out for their excellent crafting. 

Donna McTavish (NZ) wrote a stunning chapter 8 for The Spirit of Pythagoras. Here's what reader, Ray Stone (Cyprus) said about it: The first two paragraphs reeled me in. Description, description, description - you get it right and the story comes alive. A wonderful lush and colourful episode that has all the hallmarks of an inspired creative pen. A pleasure to read Donna.

The second chapter for Broken Hearts and Broken Heels by Greg Rochlin (Australia) ends with a big question about (Uncle) Toby who has returned from overseas. He helps Lucy who is stuck in an embarrassing situation in a department store but how did he make his wealth? The dialogue in his chapter is great.

A Play on Words, our two author serial, is bouncing along really well. It’s funny and very well written by two of our most experienced Story Minters. Even the chapter titles are witty …. Dress Rehearsal, The Flat that Walked, She Reminds me of Celine, Two and Eight, Ten Little Elephants ….. intriguing, yes?

This hilarious crew of actors organised by Artistic Director, Johnny Cumlately, are like a herd of cats. They each have aspirations to greatness and have no qualms about upstaging the other performers. Everyone is scrambling for fame and attention. There are nine chapters in total and the story keeps getting funnier as it goes along.

There is some fabulous writing in our serials and we look forward to the next chapters. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to this success story.

Happy writing, and all the very best to you all.
Suraya and The Story Mint team.

Writing Tip

Photo: Luc van Loon (Unsplash)

To engage a reader hold an imaginary camera tightly focused on the scene. Describe what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, feel. This is especially true when describing a character's reaction to something. Hold the camera up close on his or her face. Describe each flicker of emotion as it passes by. This shows the story without anyone saying anything. It gets inside the character.

Photo: Karl Magnusson (Unsplash)
The Spirit of Pythagoras
Chapter 8 by Donna McTavish (NZ)
Photo: Logan Weaver (Unsplash)
Broken Heels and Broken Hearts
Chapter 2 by Greg Rochlin (Australia)
Photo: Hunter Newton (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 1 by Ray Stone (Cyprus)
Photo: Alex Holyoake (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 2 by Ant Smits (Samos)
Photo: Yvette de Wit (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 3 by Ray Stone (Cyprus)
Photo: John Ruddock (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 4 by Ant Smits (Samos)
Photo: Kyle Head (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 5 by Ray Stone (Cyprus)
Photo: Joshua Koblin (Unsplash)
A Play on Words
Chapter 6 by Ant Smits (Samos)


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
Writers' News

Andrew Harris is a thriller writer and member of The Story Mint.

MORE, is the third book in his trilogy, 'The Human Spirit' series and it is out now.

"Whoever controls our food controls us all"

Hannah and Lawrence announce a major breakthrough in medical science at a press conference in Manhattan. The implications will shake the world and challenge current thinking on the prevention of diabetes. But not everyone is happy. One man is determined things should stay as they are and will kill to maintain the status quo.


Watch this fantastic promo video MORE

To buy click on this link: MORE - (The Human Spirit Series)
Available at Amazon.

(The first of ten blogs)
by Suraya Dewing

Stories remain locked in our imaginations until we release them using clear, concise, and engaging description. Strong description enables readers to share the experience.

This holds true for storytelling across all media.

I thought I had seen the best examples of storytelling in European drama.This was until I discovered Korean drama (K-drama) on Netflix. Their dramas are understated, pin-point portrayals of life in its many manifestations and each drama is the equivalent of an addictive, page-turning book.

The reason k-drama is so good is that every episode focuses on the story!

There are no high-speed car chases, no CGI images or other special effects. Everything is stripped right back. Even the sets are utilitarian and re-used in different shows. But because the story is paramount this is not an issue.

Back story is delivered concisely, giving the viewer insight into the complexities of a situation or person. We discover in a couple of sentences or through a scene change all we need to know about a character or situation. We immediately understand what drives a character, even if we do not approve of what he or she does. 

Brilliant acting supports the story-line with minimal location changes. All this sharply throws the spotlight on the story.

The characters tell the story through their interactions, expertly using silence, facial expression and an economy of words. Silence frequently says what words cannot - delivered in a few seconds... Read on

Margaret Atwood on Writing

Do it and do it now

A blog by Elizabeth Bolton

I have started a MasterClass in writing that is being taught by Margaret Atwood. She is a writer I admire and I love her work. In the class, she says a few things that I thought were worth sharing as they are good points to live by for a writer.

You become a writer by writing. There is no other way.

Margaret Atwood

I hear people ask the question “How do I become a writer?” or “What degree should I get to be a writer?” The simple answer is you don’t need a degree. Degrees can be helpful because they can teach you a lot about writing but they don’t make you a writer. Ultimately to be a writer you need to write and then you write some more.

Do it, do it more, do it better. Fail, fail better

Margaret Atwood

So you start by writing and you keep writing. You also have to get better at it as you are going…and you will. You will also fail and in failing you learn. You have to keep the patience and persistence to continue. You do it, you fail, you do it again. Each time learning something and getting better for it. Great writers never gave up and they never quit...Read on

Membership News

Writing competitions.

Latest Competition
A 3000 word story based on the theme THE VEHICLE WOULD NOT STOP.
This can be a story about almost anything, and any genre. Open to all countries, but must be written in English.

Entries close: 19 July.
Please read the rules and FAQ before submission: https://www.worldwriterscollective.com/shortstory-competitions



18th year. We have increased the Tom Howard Prize to $3,000 for a poem in any style or genre, and the Margaret Reid Prize to $3,000 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $200 each (any style). The top 12 entries will be published online. The top two winners will also receive two-year gift certificates from our co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value). Length limit: 250 lines per poem. Entry fee: $15 per poem. Final judge: S. Mei Sheng Frazier, assisted by Jim DuBoisDeadline: September 30.

The Palette Poetry Prize for 2020: $4000 and publication. We are seeking one excellent poem that speaks to what poetry is and can be for our world today. Send us your incandescent heart on the page. The deadline is August 16, 2020.

The winner will be selected by our guest judge, the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner Forrest Gander.
Palette's editors will choose the ten finalists, and any honorable mentions they think deserve extra attention. Second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively.



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

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)

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