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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Exclusive Event Offer - An Evening with Deborah Cadbury

Interested in historical writing? Don't miss out on this brilliant event with an exclusive saving for Writers & Artists members...

On Wednesday 15th November, The Bloomsbury Institute will be hosting popular historian Deborah Cadbury and the fascinating, untold story of Queen Victoria's vain attempt to thwart true love, forge political unions, and bind the royal families of Europe together.

Attend this event for just £5 using the code SAVE50 when you book your place via Eventbrite. Full details below.

Event Details

Deborah Cadbury and Queen Victoria's (ruthless) Matchmaking…

Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London

Wednesday, November 15th 

From 6:30pm to 8pm with drinks served from 6pm 

In an exclusive presentation, Emmy award-winning writer and former BBC producer, Deborah Cadbury shares the inspiration and research that led her to writing Queen Victoria's Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe. The fascinating, untold story of Queen Victoria’s …

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The Joy of Reading

Are you suffering from Tsundoku? I know I am. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if there’s a situation in modern life, the Germans or the Japanese will have a word for it. Tsundoku is the accumulation of reading material that you then don’t read. Also known as That Pile Of Books By The Bed.

The thing is about That Pile is every one of those books looked really enticing when you picked it up, but something about being in That Pile makes them turn into homework on a Sunday evening. Someone I know has wrapped their Pile in newspaper so it starts looking more intriguing again. I suggest dismantling it and redistributing the books around the house until it grows again. It will. 

Reading, generally, is often a ‘should’ activity rather than a pleasure. 

‘I should read more.’

‘I should read more literary books.’

‘I should read that book that someone recommended.’

‘If I want to be a good writer, I should read widely in my genre.’

I read for work, …

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Retreat West Short Story Competition: And The Winner Is...

We're delighted to reveal the winner and two runner-up entries for our short story competition with Retreat West!

Jane Elmor – author of My Vintage Summer and Pictures Of You, and Creative Writing tutor for the Open University – has very kindly judged the competition, and selected the winning entries.

The overall winner receiving an exclusive free place on Retreat West's November retreat in West Bay, Dorset, benefitting from essential workshops led by Richard Skinner and Amanda Saint.

Both runners up will also be the lucky recipients of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2018, a Writers & Artists Writing Companion Guide of their choice, and a Retreat West Anthology of stories from the annual Retreat West Short Story Prize and Flash Fiction Prize.


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Winning entry: Louise Taylor with Of Cabbages And Wreckers


Feedback from Jane Elmor: 

I’ve chosen this for its unusual and intriguing premise – a modern/futuristic wrecking …

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Retreat West Short Story Competition Shortlist Announced!

Our short story competition with Retreat West received quite the response - perhaps it was something to do with the brilliant prize of a free place on one of their writing retreats?

We received hundreds of entries, however a shortlist had to be settled on. After a whole lot of reading and whittling down, here they are!

Amazing Grace by Liv Sandwell

Courage by Linda Jorgenson

Educated Virgins by EK Haralambous

Of Cabbages and Wreckers by Louise Taylor

Paradise Lost by Michael Gordon Smith

Resume by Alexis Wolfe

Returning to Rester Lake by Anne Marie Dade

The Commute by Sarah Anne Juckes

The Song of the Rolling Sea by Phillip Stuckey

Watching It Go by Mark Mayes


The winner and two runners-up will be announced here by October 18th, with judge Jane Elmor due to provide feedback on each of the chosen entries.


The W&A Team

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Beating Comparison-Itis

Lia Louis

Regular Writers & Artists blogger Lia Louis returns to talk about the ill-effects of the dreaded Comparison-itis, and how it can be overcome...


While the rest of the world seems to be suffering with colds and coughs now autumn germs have scuttled out from hiding, I am suffering with something that can’t be eased with Olbas oil, paracetemol and a long, hard mope: I am suffering with Comparison-itis. Yep. Comparison-itis. You may have never heard of it, but chances are, if you’re a writer, you’d have suffered with it at least once in your life. Or like me, you have an attack of it regularly.

When I talk about comparison-itis I mean to suffer from the following symptoms: the unnecessary, unhelpful, pointless... but totally tantalising action of comparing yourself to published writers, and the subsequent convincing of one's self that you have no earthly business in even attempting to reach their levels. 

It's a nasty little bugger, and can be difficult to shift from …

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