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Hope's Huskies - Bunty cover


I had a day off today, which is always a thing of joy. Even better, I was spending it at a Fiction Workshop run by Woman's Weekly.

WWHQ is in the Blue Fin Building in Southwark, on the tenth floor, which boasts impressive views over south London and conference rooms identified by an alphabet of fonts; we were in Garamond. I rather want to work there. There were around fifteen of us on the course, of a wide age range but all women (and all white), led by Gaynor Davies, who has been Fiction Editor of the WW since I was ten, and womag writer (as we say in the trade) Della Galton.

It's nice to know there are markets so hungry for new writers they lay on courses for them. We learned what Women's Weekly looks for, what it doesn't, and how to up your chances of publication. There was also a useful section on the many reasons for rejection and what to do about them. We did writing exercises, we asked questions, and we laughed a great deal. As I'd hoped, just thinking and talking about women's short fiction gave me lots of new ideas.

Although the course itself was great, I would happily have parted with the fee just to spend my day in a whole room full of people with similar thoughts and ambitions to mine, yet so very different (the first exercise, to write an opening paragraph containing a widow, an earring, a treehouse, and excitement, yielded an amazing variety of interpretations).

We came away laden with freebie Fiction Specials, promising to look out for each other's names in forthcoming issues.


I love the idea of a Woman's Weekly fiction workshop! Amazing to think they've had the same Fiction Editor for so long. My mum used to get the WW; I remember the stories and the knitting patterns.
They're doing a special edition at the moment called Vintage something, reprinting articles from a hundred years ago. Fascinating!

(Even though the fiction ed said wistfully that they were trying to introduce a little more sex, you still get The Robins too.)
The Robins!

Not sure the WW can ever recover from the Victoria Wood song. I must get the Vintage edition though!
Ha ha, 'that awful song' was mentioned: "Mind you, since Fifty Shades of Grey, people might be doing all sorts of things with Woman's Weekly..."
Hm! Might be fun to offer those keywords as a friendly challenge here. I'd love to see what jakebe could do with them, for one, though he's been semi-hibernating recently. Maybe I could give it a shot as well - FSM knows, it's been vastly too long since I wrote creatively, though some might charitably or unkindly frame my programming therein. =:)

Edited at 2014-02-22 11:39 pm (UTC)