Dear HB Creativity Alumni and Friends,

Welcome to the first INK STAINS of 2014. Here you will find an update on the judging of the Instant Hook Literary Awards, details of our Online Novel Writing Workshop Series with a new videoconferencing component for Skype users, and, finally, live courses through Community Education at Memorial’s Grenfell Campus.

The Instant Hook Literary Award entries are all in and the adjudication process has begun! First impressions reveal a large number of entries with a high level of literary skill. I will have informed winners and runners up by early February and INK STAINS will reveal the names of the winners and thoughts about the entries later in the same month.

Online Novel Writing Workshop Series: This is the same tried and tested online series that has helped in the completion of a number of critically and commercially successful novels. There are eight units. Each participant presents eight short chapters of up to 2,000 words and receives in-depth feedback both in the text and separately covering plot direction, character development, prose style, theme, imagery, tense etc. But now we’re adding a twist. Skype users can also avail of live tutorials to discuss issues relating to plot, their working synopsis, or how their writing style and structure measures up to their ultimate vision for the work in progress. Luddites need not worry, however! Extra email discussions are encouraged and can easily explore the same questions. Further, once your are aboard and I have had a chance to sample your style, you may be put into contact, if you wish, with a small number of online participants whose writing in some way complements or contrasts with your own, thus helping you to further hone your own artistic goals.

Getting Started on the Online Course: The online novel writing workshop series is a carousel. Writers join with their work-in-progress, work away for the duration of the course, either complete a manuscript or take a break to join again later; in short, people come and go all the time.  If you wish to sign on, send me an email at paul.butler@nl.rogers.comand we can discuss the best time to start for you.

Exclusively, through Community Education at Grenfell Campus I will be facilitating two courses:

1. Story Writing: Whether it be a short story, a screenplay or a novel, there are techniques which turn an idea into a plot that works. Practice dialogue and description to make characters real and three dimensional. Keep the plot moving to ensure your reader stays intrigued. 8 Mondays, Feb. 3 – March 24, 6:30 – 9 p.m. Fee: $165.

2. Edit Like an Expert: Practice techniques to make writing clear, concise and well organized. Learn to deal with issues of structure in order to ensure ideas flow logically. Explore ways to “de-clutter” the writing so that it is fluent and authoritative. 6 Wednesdays, Feb. 12 – March 19, 6:30 – 9 p.m. Fee: $125 See: http://www.swgc.mun.ca/community-education/Documents/winter-2014.pdf

Congratulations to all those who have distinguished themselves in the last twelve months including Linda Abbott (Hull Home Fire & The Loss of the Marion, Flanker press), Kate Robbins (Bound to the Highlander, Tirgearr Publishing), Lesleyanne Ryan (Braco, Breakwater Books), and Tara Nanayakkara (Priya’s World, Inanna Publishing)! I know there are more great books in the pipeline and I look forward to these also reaching the reading public!

Paul Butler HB Creativity https://paulbutlernovelist.wordpress.com/