The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Friday, 1 February 2008

PRISM International and the Fiction Workshop

It has been a busy week. Not only has it been blowing and snowing to such extremes that the highways in my neck of the woods were closed on Wednesday and all schools were closed today, but my writing has been more structured and dedicated.

It has been a long haul but, with the deadline of Jan 31st acting as a fire under my ass, I was able to finish Small Town Secrets at long last. At only seventeen pages it's one of my shorter fiction pieces but the subject matter was difficult. The middle and beginning were subject to countless revisions but the last six pages are almost exactly as they flowed from the pen late Wednesday night. I typed out the last of it Thursday morning, printed the manuscript and mailed it off to PRISM International, the University of British Columbia's literary magazine for their annual short fiction contest. I just noticed that the deadline has extended so if you hurry, you can enter to. Entering is a no-lose proposition as the entry fee just so happens to be the cost of an annual subscription to their excellent magazine.

I've mentioned a few times the Fiction Writer's Workshop presented by the Elora Centre for the Arts hosted by Michael Hale. The first get together was last night. In my last post I voiced my fears regarding writer's workshops and such and I'm glad to report there was nary a whiff of black nor angst in the room. There are four of us plus the host which makes for a cozy, intimate group.

The workshop consisted of discussions about the craft of writing, the business of writing and what each of us wanted to get out of the workshop. We also did some spontaneous exercises and I've included one of them over at my Fiction Notebook. You can go straight to the Alphabet Exercise by following this link. After each workshop I pick something to add on the Elora Centre for the Arts Fiction Workshop page.

I'm finding the workshop very helpful. Writing is such a solitary thing and egos are so easily bruised that it's refreshing to find a handful of folks who are willing to take the risk and connect and share. I came away feeling refreshed and certain that this workshop will help me build the schedule I need for sustained daily writing.

With ambitious plans for 2008, a sustained daily writing schedule is just what I need.