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Dear Reader

Labouring long and hard over our finely wrought prose and poetry is something we tend to encourage here at Writing Magazine. It’s our job as writers to ensure every word we write is evocative, appropriate and efficient. As that familiar saying goes, ‘Easy reading is hard writing.’ But we do have a tendency – all of us – to interpret that as some kind of instruction for perfection. As if every sentence, every phrase, must stand as an artistic creation in its own right; testament to the writer’s skill and literary dexterity. There isn’t, in itself, anything wrong with that aim but, as we discover this month (see p12), the opposite can be just as true. Writing is all about communicating a message and there is undeniable beauty in clean, effective prose that can be understood by as broad a range of readers as possible. As George Orwell famously advised us, ‘Never use a long word where a short one will do.’

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Unlock your creativity: • 25 writing exercises to stimulate your senses • Don't fret about downtime – why you need a change of pace • Try the 1,000-word challenge for simpler, clearer writing Star interview: Katherine Webb talks about the emotional dramas and hidden histories in her bestselling novels WIN! £44,750 in writing prizes, and discover the latest opportunities to get into print and earn from your writing in Writers' News

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