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Short story workshop with Ann Burnett – 8 November 2017

On Wednesday we were treated to a talk about short stories by Ann Burnett, one of the Club members.

Ann began by saying that all authors need to warm up before they start writing. Ann got the group to write about themselves for five minutes, but that what we were writing was going to be a pack of lies. This idea would have the basis of a short story with characters, plot and action.

Of some two hundred magazines and websites who ask for short stories to be submitted to them, under 10% offer payment and even that is extremely low. The People’s Friend magazine is currently the only magazine to accept ‘unsolicited’ writers for short stories, especially women’s short stories. It seems that the average wage to be earned by budding authors has dropped considerably to about £11,000 per annum.

There is a venue near Ayr Bus Station, formerly called the Fullarton Penny, and now Cameron’s, which meets on the first Monday of the month. You can perform your own work including short stories, poems, and monologues, and you will receive supportive and enthusiastic feedback from others attending and from the patron, George Cameron.

We were separated into pairs and picked out of an envelope a person’s photograph, and to ensure that our partner did not see the picture. Each of us were then asked to write about the character’s family set up, their greatest achievement, a childhood incident, their dreams, and secret habits. Each pair was then told to get the two characters say things to each other which provoked a reaction. Then we were asked to insert a piece of action outside the conversation which would bring the two characters together, for example an explosion or an attempted robbery. Members acted out their sketches which was great fun.

Richard Burnett

One comment

  1. Carolyn O'Hara

    Just in case anyone ends up in a frantic search for something which no longer exists, the Fullarton Penny is no more; in its place is CAMERON’S which is the venue hosting the Monday Monologues in Fullerton Street!

    Carolyn

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