Writing resolutions – week two

This week I handed in my MA life writing assessment. It was a 6,000 word piece about running the London Marathon. I used the race as the structure of the story, with present tense for the race and past tense for flashbacks to childhood. I wanted to explore the connection between the overweight child I once was and the keen runner I am today. The story also included scenes from the recent past, with the death of my grandfather. It’s been a very emotional piece to write, but I’m really pleased with the end result.

When I finished writing mid-December I had more than 10,000 words. For the past few weeks I’ve been spending my time editing, editing and editing some more.

Deadline day arrived (Wednesday), and I was still editing. I could have gone on forever, but there is a time when enough is enough, plus I needed to submit for the MA. I finally uploaded my submission and pressed send!

On Thursday evening, I turned my attention to short stories. I’ve enrolled on a six-month short story writing course with Comma Press. The course is run by Jude Brown, a Sheffield based short story writer. Jude has won many awards including the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Award, the Fish Microfiction Prize and in 2013 she won a New Writing North Award. Her short stories have been published in a range of anthologies and magazines. She’s also completed the MA Writing at Sheffield Hallam.

The short story course is held at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. We meet once a month. The idea is that we’ll get a handle on the predominant narrative structures used by short story writers, so that we can implement them in our own work. At last night’s session we read a couple of short stories and completed some writing exercises. I really enjoyed it. And, we had chocolate biscuits and hot chocolate, which was lovely.

The aim of the course is to complete three short stories to a polished and professional standard. Our homework for this month is to write the first of these. I’ve had an idea for a story for a while, so I was up this morning to start the planning and writing process.

I know it’s only week two of my writing resolutions, but things are going well. In fact, I’m very excited about the way things are progressing.



About Liz Champion

Writer, runner and aspiring author. Addicted to books, running and horses.
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