Archive for August, 2013

Writing prompt – children

Children in the village of Sefrou in Morocco

A few years ago my wife and I toured Morocco for two weeks. It was a magical tour with many highlights. I write more about this trip on another site called Trevor’s Travels.

One of the places we visited on the tour was the village of Sefrou which is about 30km from Fes. It was a delightful and interesting place to experience. As we were wandering through the streets we came across this group of children playing. They seemed to want me to take their photo, but were a little hesitant at first. Eventually they posed for me.

Whenever I look at this photo I wonder what their story is. It might prompt one of my readers to think the same, or similar, question.

Writing prompt:

  1. Tell the story of this group of children.
  2. Use your imagination to think about what they were playing.
  3. Imagine being inside their heads. What were they thinking about this strange Australian taking their photo?
  4. Write about some imaginary tragedy they might have recently experienced.

Good writing.



Don’t be discouraged by rejection

Like all writers, I’ve had my fair share of rejections.

Not every editor will love every piece of writing you submit, whether that is a novel, non-fiction article, poem or short story. It goes with the territory. Rejection is a fact of the writer’s life. It’s a lesson the new writer needs to learn quickly. Accept it, get over it, submit the piece of writing elsewhere and get on with the latest work in progress.

Persistence will pay off in the long run.

My attention was recently drawn recently to the following article: 9 Famous Authors Rejected by Publishers. Click on the link and have a read; some of these famous writers who were initially rejected might surprise you. In fact, one of them, C.S. Lewis, was rejected 800 times before seeing anything in print. He persisted and now has over 100 million books in print, not to mention the film and television adaptations of his works.

Good writing – and don’t give up.

Writing prompt – hardships

Woman collecting water from a public fountain in Morocco

We take many things for granted in our world. Most Australians would assume that running water in our home was an essential utility, one we couldn’t do without. We certainly whinge and complain if the water supply is cut off for an hour or two for repairs or for pipeline maintenance. It’s as if someone had cut off our hand.

I took the photo above in the village of Sefrou near Fes in Morocco when we were touring that country a year or so ago. The people of this village had no water piped into their homes. They had to visit the public fountain in the street to gather water for their domestic use, probably several times a day. It is a hardship we in western countries would not tolerate, but for these people it has been a way of life for centuries.

What hardships do you face? Think about aspects of your life which might be a hindrances to you fully realising your desire to write. Is it a difficult family situation? Perhaps illness? Is it an unrewarding job you must maintain to survive? What about that disability?


Write about the things that hinder you from fully realising your potential as a writer. Turn your scribbled notes and ideas into a magazine article, or a short fictional story or even a touching, emotional poem.

Good writing.

Book Awards time

This last week has seen the announcement of our two biggest awards for writers here in Australia.

The most prestigious of our awards is the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards announced last Thursday. You can read all about the books here.

Probably of more interest to me, however, were the Children’s Book of the Year Awards for our best children’s books. We have arguably some of the very best writers for children anywhere in the world. You can see the list of winners in each of the categories here. This award has been run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia for many decades. The list of winners is a Who’s Who of children’s writers in Australia.

Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2013

The Melbourne Writers’ Festival starts next week. I can’t make it this year but some of my readers might be able to get there. You can access all the details here. I’ve never attended this particular festival, but looking at the programme it seems like a very interesting time in store for everyone who attends. There is an excellent line up of writers attending from many parts of the world. There is a charge for some sessions, but looking through the list of free events I’d say that there is something in that long list for everyone.

I must try to get to it sometime in the next few years. The same applies to the Sydney Writers Festival, and I missed all of the sessions of this year’s Adelaide Writer’s Week. Roll on March 2014. In the meantime I plan to attend several local regional festivals here in South Australia.

Good writing.