we want your words

Have you got something to say? A short story, a rant, a profile, a statement? We’re willing to dedicate a page in each issue to you, Mr or Mrs Amateur Writer if the article is right. We want you to shoot from the hip with a 400 word article that you think our readers should take note of.  In return we’ll reward you with £100. Just email your piece

no experience? how to be a writer in ten simple steps >>

1. Step Away From the Playstation / TV, Sir.
Slightly detach yourself from your surroundings. Stop participating and begin observing. In social situations, watch people, see how they act and more importantly – interact. Don’t pass judgment. Take it all in and draw on it later when you write.

2. Look Harder, Homer
Stop and look around you. Consciously notice the buildings, what’s underfoot, overhead, and what?s right in front of you. At home, look at something you take for granted. An iron, for instance. Find yours and study it.

3. Write Thinking Will Be Rewarded.
A simple technique. Your friend is making coffee and you?re chatting to them. Take a mental step back and describe the scene. Similarly, when you?re outside, describe your environment as though you were writing it down.

4. What Reasons Do You Need?
Don?t wait for inspiration, just write! Force yourself to write anything at all. A shopping list. An overheard conversation. Describe your bedroom. It doesn?t matter how personal it is, or how trivial, just get it down!

5. Wakey Wakey!
Set your alarm clock for an hour earlier than normal. When the alarm goes off, get up. Don?t dress, bathe or eat. Just stagger to your writing space and write the first thing that comes into your head for five minutes (could be interesting!)

6. Oh God ? Not That!
Think of the most awful and embarrassing thing you?ve ever done – the more cringe-worthy the better. Now write about it. All of it, in all its gory, horrible detail. Then hide it away for a year or so before you read it again!

7. Like Your Style, Baby.
Don?t limit yourself. Write poems, songs, dialogue, fact, fiction, even practice writing advertising copy or horoscopes. Your expertise improves in all areas, an improvement in one area can reap benefits in another.

8. The Sincerest Flattery
Take out a classic book from your bookcase. Copy out a paragraph. Think about the words as you write them. Don?t get intimidated!

9. Wanna See My Invention?
When you?re not writing, string together stories in your mind. Think of plots, characters, settings, dénouements. Ask yourself what you should do next to improve your writing. Develop this technique into a habit.

10. It’s A Goal!
When you start writing regularly, set yourself small goals. Anything from 200 words a day, or just a commitment to writing in your diary. Later extend to finishing a short story, or an article or a poem. Perhaps one in a week. Once you build up to 400 words with something meaty, fire it in to us and you could be our writer of the month!