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A single word that sends some writers scurrying for cover. No, not ‘slushpile’: ‘formula’. And with some justification. Over the years, some creative types have come to look down on others they deem to be following a template to churn out their work. And of course, we’re not going to suggest that you should be following patterns or shoehorning in elements for the wrong reasons. But there are still steps and approaches you can take to make your writing, and your broader writing life, that bit easier. For example, there is no way to guarantee a competition win but ignoring a few vital ingredients will leave your entry half-baked; a successful short story requires one (at least) credible character and some kind of conflict. The fun part, and this is all down to you and your creativity, is what you do with them.

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About Writing Magazine

WIN!! More than £500,000 of writing prizes in your free Competition Supplement, with information about hundreds of writing competitions for you to enter in 2017 Find out how you can apply the winning formula to your writing: • How to win writing competitions • Short story structure made simple • Reach 'The End' of your novel Also in this issue, read our star interview with bestselling 'Me Before You' author Jojo Moyes on writing romance the modern way, and find out if crowdfunding might be the smart new way to publish your book. • Writers News is 20 packed pages of news you can use, including 30 paying markets and 51 opportunities to get your writing into print. asasaasasasass

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