Someone asked me recently where I get my ideas from. I asked her if I may respond publicly and assured her I wouldn’t mention her name. (Sue)

Again, this question circles my circle; often discussed and deliberated. We all have different ideas, all have different ways of getting inspiration and we all have different means of expressing ourselves.

For me it’s all about murder.

Yes, friends! In case you didn’t know this about me, I have an astute criminal mind. Stories like poisoning my husband with a casserole, shooting my boyfriend with a little pink pistol, burying someone alive, killing off one of my victim’s when she was lying in an iron lung…that sort of thing.

I also have a keen sense of the absurd.

I remember having to call-out a chimney sweep one winter and when he arrived we had some playful banter. He was such a funny character that as soon as he left, I wrote a story about him and ended up giving him a heart attack. Even now, I worry he’ll recognize himself in my story and be offended that I didn’t allow him to live.

A review from a dear peer:- ’Can’t you write something where your characters actually survive?’ he said.

“Hmm, that’s a thought,’ I answered. So I wrote a story, included him as a character and killed him off.

I just can’t help myself. Writing brings out the devil in me.

Seriously, if you need inspiration for what to write next, my advice would be to look around you. There are stories everywhere, in everything you do and say, in everything you see.

For example, yesterday I sat for three hours in a packed water park watching my kid’s frolicking. Surrounding me were hundreds of stories. In the people I observed, their habits, their clothes and their bodies, the friends they were with, their children and so on.

While I sat there with dark glasses covering my eyes, I saw a man come in through the gate. He had a gun in his hand. He was looking for someone. He started pointing it at all the people. Everyone was screaming. People were running in all directions as he charged through them. Suddenly a single shot was fired and a woman fell to the floor of the splash pool. Then as the man turned the gun on himself, the water continued to churn through the fountains, turning red, leaving pools of crimson at the feet of the children…

Oh…I have got to write that one up.
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The Writing Dream

I've been around the Internet for about six years. Since then I seem to have gained the majority over the coveted title of Writingmum. There is one other, but she doesn't get about as much as me, as she no doubt spends time looking after her kids. I do that too sometimes, when I get a minute.

Honestly, it’s a full time job having a strong Internet presence. Just updating ones blog, participating in writing forums, entering contests, reviewing a peer’s work, asking them to review mine, and then editing said work. Trips to Facebook, and Twitterland and to any other self-promotion site that tells the world I am desirous of the title writer, published author, blogger, and that I am not just a mum who writes.

I was there when the Brit Writers Awards began. I remember a group of us opening a forum to talk about the scheme, to compare notes and to encourage each other to give it our very best. In some instances we celebrated messages of joy when a few of us made the short list. No mean feat, we joined them in their success and cheered them on, and when it was all over, we said we'd do it again next year.

So, here we are once more, all of us hopefuls gathering together, putting our stories on the line and urging our Internet writing friends to follow suit.

As an introduction to the BWA shared blog opportunity, I would like to wish everyone the best of luck in the Brit Writers Awards 2012 and to say, if anyone wants to talk about their dreams of success and their hopes of taking that coveted title, Writer of the Year, drop me a line and we'll have a chat. I am a mum after all.

Good luck

Wendy Reakes, aka Writingmum.

Brit Writers Awards Blog
Brit Writers Awards Homepage

My mother always said youth was wasted on the young. It’s a tired cliché, true, but how often do we all think exactly that when we see our children in gangs, hanging around street corners with their hoods up? I use the term our children in the broad sense, because mine are currently tucked up in bed, yet there is still a part of me that wonders, when they’re older, will they too loiter around those same street corners?

I heard a phrase the other day; ‘all our kids are crack addicts’. That was a first for me and I pondered the possibility of the narrator being Irish and that he meant craic, but then I realised it wasn’t the notion of fun and laughter our youths were addicted to, it was drugs. Or so he said.

I don’t know about you, but despite what I hear, when I see groups of young dancers on talent shows, I still get a feeling of the craic, knowing that they have spent hours rallying together to produce a piece of moving street art.  No crack for them; those kids are fighters, achievers, units of brothers and sisters proving to us -the pessimistic parents- that they want out of the culture our generation created for them.

I have an enviable role. I am a voluntary internet site moderator of a group called YoungWriters, which sits within the domain. There, along with a team of like-minded seasoned writers, I mentor a group of 400 youngsters who like to write fiction, non-fiction, fan fiction, musical scores and poetry.

Some of our members (age 12 to 21) come from backgrounds where the home-fires stopped burning long ago and who sometimes have to rely on internet access from their schools to get on-line. Others are more fortunate; they have a reliable media tool and a lot of them use it to lose themselves in a world of literary endeavours and to escape parental mismanagement. Of course there are well-heeled kids too, the ones who idle away their playtime creating stories of merit and personal value.

Their common interest is a desire to write, and it is that single ambition we at YoungWriters praise, placate and promote all our members across Britain and America -and everywhere else for that matter. No loitering on street corners for these youngsters. We offer morsels of our own experiences and snatches of knowledge we have learned of the craft, along with sturdy shoulders for the young to lean on as they search avenues where they may hone their creativity.

Like those dancers on the talent shows, our own young writers are looking for someone to take them by the hand and lead them, with just a little encouragement, up that literary path. So, if there are writers out there who thank the heavens they were raised in a home with an array of silver spoons in the drawer, and privileged with a top-notch education; spare a moment for the writers of the future; our inspired, cracking youth.

On the 1st June 2012, we launched a new initiative. It is the BookRix Young Writer of the Year Award with cash prizes valued at $800. 
The deadline for us accepting new entries is 17th August, so if you’re aged 12-21yrs and you’d like to take part, get your stories in before we close. From the 18th August we will be opening the thread for community voting.

The contest is free to enter, but you must sign up as a member of BookRix and the YoungWriters group.
It is an open-themed contest for a fiction or non-fiction, with a word limit of 3,000.

First place     -
$500 cash
Second place - $200 cash
Third place   - $100 cash

If you would like to know more about the initiative you can contact me at

Please post your entries here:
Remember you have to join BookRix first, but it only takes a minute to complete.

Good Luck