Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Festive greetings

May we take this opportunity to wish you all festive greetings from the team here at Inscribe Media

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Helping out

A reminder that, in addition to the various free things we do, one of the paid-for services we offer is one supporting writers.

Why should you hire a professional writing mentor, though? Isn’t it enough to attend a class/workshop or a writing group? Or ask a friend or relative to comment?

Well, it depends what you want and need and bespoke mentoring from Inscribe Media can help some writers, providing the experience and expertise to -

• understand your work

• nurture you and your writing

• let you retain control of your ideas and your writing

* provide expert, specific advice about what is working and what isn’t.

We focus on major issues, such as how your story hangs together, what your characters are doing or could be doing, what is hurting your story’s momentum, what story elements are not pulling their weight.

We identify the differences between good and great and point out your writing strengths, so you become confident about what not to change.

We also give suggestions and help you establish good processes and writing goals and suggest markets for your work.

If long-term mentoring does not appeal, we run short writing courses as well.

You can find out more at http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/writing-courses---bespoke-mentoring.html

You can also access our free downloadable writing guide at www.inscribemedia.co,uk and find loads of free tips on our blog here.

John Dean

Starting out well

I know I talk about first lines a lot in my blogs but they are so important.

One of the best ways to start a story is to instantly introduce the reader to a character who addresses us directly in a voice that is distinctive and compelling. What do I mean? Try this: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The voice is distinctive, you are challenged and want to learn more about this person. It was the same with the story over the weekend, creating a character that talked directly to the reader.

And if the character is talking to the reader, the writer has a great platform on which to work.

John Dean

Our ebooks

A reminder that we have published seven ebooks in all, including the most recent, which are:

Harry’s Torment by Michael Beck
Harry’s Torment is set in the fictional east coast port of Thirlston and is centred on the heroin trade.

Unlike some other crime novels this is not a ‘who done it’ as we very soon discover identity of the local drugs baron. We see how the officers try to piece together various bits of information in their pursuit of him and how he attempts to stay one step ahead of them. This takes place alongside a personal feud between two senior customs officials and this impacts upon one of the officers in particular as he is used as a pawn in their struggle. His close working relationships with a local detective inspector also causes problems and pressures for both parties as the story comes to a dramatic conclusion.

Michael spent 38 years with Customs and Excise and took early retirement in 2005. In that time he worked in most of the disciplines within the department and was responsible for all the anti-smuggling teams in the north east of England between 1990 and 2000. He is a member of Inkerman Writers and Bennet House Writers, both Darlington based writing groups, and has written a number of short stories.

Lost Souls by Roger Barnes

When young women start to go missing in Africa, the kidnappers warn not to investigate but the police do and the women’s hideously mutilated bodies are returned. After that the investigations are stopped and a continuing flow of traumatised victims are returned alive, having being used in the most brutal and degrading ways.

This continues until another four are abducted and the British Government decides it must act and recommence the investigation, but this time using a very different approach. A Special Forces Major with an uncanny knack for finding people is teamed with an unorthodox politically incorrect police officer, and both are asked to volunteer to try and find them.

It becomes apparent that not only British women are being abducted, so a small International Strike Force is assembled to rescue them and ensure it is stopped, permanently.

Roger is a taxi driver in Darlington and a member of Darlington-based Inkerman Writers.

* We have previously published five other e-book titles. All can be obtained by keying their titles into the search field of the Kindle shop at www.amazon.co.uk Australian readers will have to purchase via Amazon US at www.amazon.com

The books include:

Global Shorts - an anthology of short stories taken from the early years of the Global Short Competition. Price £2.23

Vegemite Whiskers - a selection of some of the finest writing from Australian authors who have entered the Global Short Story Competition. Price £1.48.

White Gold by Roger Barnes A thriller by first-time author Roger Barnes taking the reader into a world of intrigue and danger set amid the poachers of Africa. £2.23

Haghir the Dragon Finder by John Dean, a comic fantasy for older children. Haghir and his hopeless comrades are dragon slayers seeking a new challenge. £1.48.

Cyber Rules by Myra King. The novel by Australian writer Myra tells the story of a farmer’s wife in isolated rural Australia. Caught up on the addictive side of the Internet, she holds a secret which may prove to be deadly. Price £2.05.

* If you don’t have a Kindle, there is a free Kindle reading app for your PC at

Find out in the e-novel Cyber Rules Find out more at www.inscribemedia.co.uk





Thursday, 4 December 2014

Winners announced

Judge Fiona Cooper has selected her winners for the final Global Short Story Competition and writers from South Africa and France have taken the honours.

The £100 first place prize goes to Catherine Pritchard, of Cape Town, South Africa, for Lutho, of which Fiona says: “This story touches so many emotions and the dark background - hinted at - awakens the reader’s curiosity. Very satisfying and definitely a story to remember and think about with a style that shows the writer’s remarkable ability.”

Our highly commended runner up is Mandy Harvey, of Parisot, France, for Two’s Company, who wins £25. Fiona says: “Atmospheric and absorbing, this story plays with the idea of reality versus one's own perceptions and assumptions. The characters are well drawn and intriguing and the pace and imagery are very well sustained.”
The writers on the shortlist are:

Chris Bennett, Lindfield, West Sussex, England

Gillian Brown, Peyriac de Mer, France

Edward Sergeant, Scarborough, England
Winning stories will be posted on www.inscribemedia.co.uk Well done to our successful writers.








Monday, 1 December 2014

Good writing

What makes good writing? I think good writing is good writing because it triggers responses in its readers. Readers say ‘I have been in that situation, ‘I know someone like that’, ‘what a terrible thing to be faced with’ etc etc.

If readers feel like that, it means that they are being drawn into the story. They stand next to your characters, they fear for what is about to happen, they simply must know what is on the next page.

If a reader does not really care what is happening in the story then you have lost them and your story has failed but if they feel part of it, they are experiencing the sheer power of the writer.

That’s a terrific thing to achieve - and the way to impress publishers and competition judges.

* If you wish to find out about our online mentoring programmes and online writing courses at


John Dean