June 014 Newsletter

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June 014 Newsletter
The Story Mint Newsletter | June 2014
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Newsletter June 2014

Hi everyone,
Thank you for following the The Story Mint. There is some amazing writing on the Story Mint. The serials are amazing reading with sharp, unexpected turns that are gripping. The Style Guide™ is also capturing people’s interest. Tertiary institutions are using it to help students improve their English writing skills is just one example of this.
We also owe Booktrack a huge thank you. They have added an audio track and promoted it to their readers. The addition gives Mat Clarke’s, CIA Agent starter tension filled ambience.


Latest News

Booktrack are promoting CIA Agent. Mat Clarke wrote the starter and nine other brilliant writers wrote the following chapters, which you can read in our serials section. At the time of writing, the starter had already had almost 400 reads. The promo is fantastic. So thanks for that, Booktrack. It’s stunning what the addition of sound can do for a reading experience.
The other piece of news is that Face TV has invited Carole Beu and well-known book blogger Graham Beattie to host a weekly Book Show to screen on Sky TV 83 & online. It will feature reviews, interviews with authors and book news. Funding is needed to make it happen! Please make a $5 (or more!) donation on the crowd-funding website www.boosted.org.nz.

What people are saying

Anna Zhigareva, a student from Kristin School and author of ‘Cold’ our latest serial starter has left us some precious comments about our website recently:
“I'm originally from Russia but, honestly, a converted Kiwi from the age of three. I've loved writing ever since primary school and have always wanted to do this for the rest of my life.
The Story Mint has helped me find and expand my true self in the literary sense. It has helped show me what I am good at and what needs improving. Placing me on the Style Guide™ to compare my writing with that of famous authors and books was indeed very helpful, as I saw what it was that made my writing unique and what I could work on to make it even better.
The Story Mint is an incredible tool to use for all you budding writers and also a fun way to share your writing with people that can help you and commend your work. The serials are also a wonderful way to try out new genres and expand your skills, as well as simply enjoy writing alongside others of different ages to create something whole, which, believe me, takes a decent deal of concentration and imagination. It's worth it, it's a great place to expand your horizons!
Tell us what you think about our little community of writers and concept, we’d love to hear from you

Moving forward with The Style Guide

This month a group of students from Ntec are using the Style Guide™ to help them with their assignments. Initial feedback is very positive. We are talking to NZIE, another tertiary institution with students who have English as a Second Language.
This is what their lecturer, Rosily says: “I find it quite interesting how the style guide helps in the language area. I have encouraged my students' to use it and give me a feedback by next week. I am sure they will find it extremely useful.”

What’s hot with the Serials?

Greg Rochlin has brought A Confession to a stunning end. The first chapter of A Vacant Room  leaves the mystery open to go anywhere and The Fayr has become ethereal with a mysterious hawk being the harbinger of….. The fourth chapter Illusion is with Flo, our editor, and comes out in a few days. It is worth the wait!
If you have a starter you would like us to consider, send it to our serials manager, Mary-Liz Corbett. They can be up to 500 words long and in any genre except erotica.

Writing Competition

Congratulations to Azadeh Nafissi for her short story A Melody. You can read it on The Writers’ Pad. It is a lovely mix of fantasy and reality. She introduces elements, which make you pause as a reader, and then puts them into context and it all makes sense. She has a unique and engaging style.

Next month’s Competition:
The best serial chapter of the month. 

Fabulous reading on the Writers’ Pad

The next installment of Firefly is brilliant. It has the feel of a 50’s mystery novel. The main character reminds me of Humphrey Bogart. The Little Brown Sparrow  heralds upheaval of a massive kind.

A chat about books

Book Review from Azadeh Nafissi:  Bend with the Wind 
Bend with the Wind is a marvelous read for those readers who are looking for a lovely romance interwoven with history. Suraya Dewing artistically sets her novel against backdrop of a historical event: Springbok tour (also known as Rebel tour) to tell a very delightful interracial love story. Sophie, daughter of a British family in NZ, falls in love with, Joe, a Maori policeman who is also a musician. As a university student, she courageously wants to learn about other cultures, marry someone she loves and take part in protests against the injustices. 
The chemistry between Sophie and Joe is shown very well from the very early chapters and the novel subtly depicts how love transcends all the racial and social differences. I very much enjoyed the characterization of the two main characters who try to save their love from prejudices and misunderstandings.
Bend with the Wind is a brilliantly written novel which takes us to Parihaka and other NZ scenery through vivid descriptions. Suraya impressively introduces us to Maori culture and NZ history through the story of Sophie and Joe. The usage of Maori language in some chapters enriches the story and creates authenticity.
Tolerance towards different cultures is at the core of this novel and is depicted as a necessity in every multicultural society. 
5 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading Suraya Dewing’s next novel. 

Azadeh Nafissi | Screenwriter/Filmmaker (Paris)

Blog across the Spectrum

Our favourite blogger this month: K.M. Weiland

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel.

She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

Helping Writers Become Authors features tips and essays about the writing life to enlighten and encourage other writers. It was created to help other writers understand the ins and outs of the craft and the psychology behind the inspiration. 

We have introduced her to The Story Mint and her thoughts are encouraging: “The Story Mint looks like a great writing community. Aesthetic and easy to navigate. I love the idea of Earnest, the automated feedback service.

Let's Share!

Sharing the work that is being done at the Story Mint.
This month, we’re using Slideshare again to present how to use our famous Style Guide™. We’ve been using this deck to explain clearly the benefits of this tool to language schools essentially.
If you’re not familiar with the Style Guide™, find out in a very comprehensive manner, how we can help you master the Art of writing.
If you want to know more about the company, please visit: http://www.thestorymint.com/ or for any comments, ideas, suggestions, interest please email: suraya@thestorymint.com

The "how to" guide to writing a dialogue

Here are few tips on how to write a good dialogue that will attract readership:
If you listen to people in everyday conversations you know that putting that on paper, as dialogue just won’t work.
So dialogue is meant to sound like conversation but in fact is manufactured to:

  1. Say something about a situation that cannot be described in narrative
  2. Tell the reader what the character thinks
  3. Tell the reader  something about the character through the way he or she uses words i.e. dialect, social position
  4. Have a character express opinion. Narrative is for description
  5. Reveal emotion which comes out in tone of voice and the kinds of words the character uses

Two other important points:

  1. Go for short sentences. The best dialogue is usually no longer than 2-3 lines
  2. Avoid speeches or lessons on life at all times

Writing "Meetup" this month

Here’s a selection of events around Auckland, writers and readers could be interested in attending this month:
1. Auckland Writers | Mon 9 June, 7PM | North Shore: “POSTPONED North Shore regular meetup | Let's talk about writing! This will hopefully be the start of regular smaller meetups. TOPIC: What inspires you/motivates you to write? How can we keep ourselves writing when it's the last thing we feel like doing?”
2. Thames Creative Writing Meetup | Sat 14 June, 11AM: “Let's meet over coffee and cake.  Bring along your kindles, kobo thingees, i-pads, and gasp... paper copies of your books.  If you aren't that far along then bring your whole kit and kaboodle and let's help each other achieve that dream; to become an author, not just a writer.” Contact the organizer, Maria Lily for details
3. Auckland’s Ageist Book Club | Fri 6 June, 8PM: “We're a ladies-only book and social club. We're an ageist bunch and welcome twenties to early thirties. We meet on the last (or first!) Friday of every month (roughly) to discuss the current book.”  For details contact Eva Urlwin.
At last but not least, this week we’re helping The Melbourne Writers’ Social Group to gain a bit of exposure. The group is an expanding network of people covering the entertainment industry. If you have a creative streak (or want one) you're welcome. Directors, producers, publishers, set designers, graphic designers, bloggers, actors, etc. are also welcomed. This group aims to cultivate an atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to explore their passion, improve their craft, learn about their trade, and to do so in a supportive social environment. Visit also their Facebook page to become a fan.

If you'd like to see your event featured in this section, please contact: bruce@thestorymint.com.