September writing challenge

 In Writing Challenge

Write a scene which includes reference both to a tenth anniversary and to Venice.

You could choose to set it in Venice, or mention it in conversation. Your characters might be in the process of celebrating a tenth anniversary or simply anticipating one. The anniversary does not have to be of the marriage kind.

You will have six weeks to write and hone your entry, which should be no more than 300 words long. Deadline midnight 25 October. Paste your entry into the body of an email and send it to

We’re offering a special prize this month: a place on our Ten Day Writing Workout in November, worth R950. This will provide you with the opportunity to develop a daily writing discipline, with daily comments and full feedback twice. (And if you’ve already bought a place, we’ll refund you, of course.)

Writing Tips to help you write your scene:

  • Don’t start a scene by explaining where your characters are, or why and how they got there. Begin where things are happening. People are doing or saying things.
  • Don’t explain anything.
  • Don’t allow your dialogue to be unrelieved and “ping pong”. Intersperse it with the odd details from the environment, which will allow us to picture the world of your characters.
  • You also have at your disposal the way your character feels – bodily sensations as well as emotions – and what he or she thinks.
  • One last caution: allow thoughts to be scraps and let them be oblique and not too obvious. Don’t use them to explain things to the reader.

Click here to read the winning entries for the August writing challenge.


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