A month ago, I received an email from Rose Gorman. She wrote:

This year is our tenth anniversary, and during October 22-31 we have an exciting fundraising event called 10 Days of NYWC, a ten-day, $10 fundraising event, where workshop leaders and members of the NYWC community will be challenged to raise as many $10 donations as possible.

by Perry McDaid

I recently uploaded ‘Accentuate The Positive’ song to add an amusing slant to a discussion on reviewing while making a salient point. And it IS a good point.

Reviewing a piece is like making music, and particularly that piece which is about life. If we don’t woo the potentially great writers with our ballads, we’re going to remain stuck in this mire of “celebrity autobiographies” and formulaic twaddle. So get that tuning fork out and practice your crooning.

I recently noticed a newbie to YWO getting a mite frustrated and discouraged and decided to step in, sending an email while apologising for the intrusion.

by Perry McDaid


Writing tip, eh? Well what can one say that hasn’t been said already? I suppose the most pertinent point I encountered in my studies was the concept of a sense of manners. Too many people tend towards the style of their heroes, or the classics – thinking that this will ensure that their opus is a quality work. Notice the overindulgence in words here born of being weaned on suchlike?

A “sense of manners” is where you not only give your characters personality, but provide one for your book by breaking away from the natural leaning towards what you reckon the masters would have produced. It’s where you put your stamp on the work, where you let your individuality shine through the homogeny.

Joyce’s work is regarded by some as inspired genius on a par with the likes of Stevenson, by others as lazy and self-indulgent. One thing he had down pat was a sense of manners. His books have character which last. He wrote as he saw.

As I’m writing this, I’m reflecting on advice I gave another writer in reviews and pondering on the wisdom of it. It referred to a “sense of place” where most creative writing teachers implore you to bring the environment into the story through every sense. Something which I passed on as supposed wisdom.

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