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A Writer On Writing: Writing Serials For Women's Magazines

Sally Jenkins brings news of a writing course to be held in Derby next month.

Do visit Sally's informative Web site http://sallyjenkins.wordpress.com

Joanna Barnden http://www.joannabarnden.co.uk/ is running a one-day course on writing serials for the women’s magazine market on April 7th in Derby. Joanna has had many stories and serials published and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

I have attended two of her previous courses and as well as being extremely informative, they are stimulating and enjoyable. Joanna provides a friendly atmosphere and high quality refreshments throughout the day plus a home-cooked lunch (with pudding!).

Here is the course content (in Joanna’s own words):

Derby – Thursday April 7th 2011, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

Editors love a good serial – one rich with interesting characters, bursting with tensions, rustling with mystery, and written with pace and flair. One, in short, that will keep their readers coming back for more. They are always on the lookout for new writers and, indeed, Women’s Weekly say that their serial slot receives the fewest submissions, so your odds of getting published are higher – if you get it right!
Now here is a one-day workshop that can help you do just that, covering:

What makes a good serial – To start off, we will look at the core attributes of all serials, at popular genres and at what the market is looking for right now.

Creating a cast list – This is a vital and much overlooked element of a successful serial. It’s your characters that give your story colour, detail, life and, very importantly in a longer work – variety. We’ll look at how to create a believable and exciting set of people for your serial.

Plotting – The strength and depth of your plot will determine the success of your serial. It’s the single biggest shift from short pieces and a serious challenge over stories of up to 60,000 words. We’ll look at how to create plots and subplots and how to intertwine them effectively.

Viewpoint – Longer serials are usually told from more than one viewpoint but this can be tricky to balance. We’ll look at how to successfully get into the heads of multiple characters.
Writing the submission – Your first episode and plot summary are your tools for selling your serial to an editor. We’ll look at how to get them right and get you into print week after week.

Cost: £90 including full home-cooked lunch (about half what you’ll make on just one episode).

Joanna points out on her website that much of the teaching will also be applicable to the sister craft of writing a novel.

For those who don’t live within reach of Derby, Joanna hopes to roll the course out across the country later in the year.

To request more information or to reserve a place – go to Joanna’s website www.joannabarnden.co.uk.

I’ve booked my place (as a birthday present from my husband) and am looking forward to picking up some useful tips. Hope to see some of you there!


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