Author News – Allison Symes – Spring 2023 Round Up

Image Credits:-
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated with many created in Book Brush. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. Images of me at The Writers’ Summer School, Swanwick, were taken by friends of mine, including the much missed Fiona Park, on my phone.
Hope you’ve had a great week. Lovely to have more publication news and it was great to discuss the importance of telling details for the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction group on Wednesday. Lady has had a great week and there was an unexpected visitor to the garden this week too. See below for more.

BookBrushImage-2023-5-26-19-1134Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today

Pleased to share Local Author News – Allison Symes – Spring 2023 Round Up for Chandler’s Ford Today. I am even more pleased to say there is a fair bit to round up here! Many thanks for the kind comments in on this one already.

It does pay every so often to look back at where you have come from as a writer and then look at where you are now. There will be progress. Sometimes this will come in recognizing one form of writing suits you better than another. Sometimes it will be having publication news.

Sometimes it will be developing your website and making it an interesting place for potential readers to visit. Sometimes it will be acknowledging mistakes and then not making those again. I say that because I was almost caught out by a vanity publisher many years ago. I now know the warning signs to watch out for.

One important lesson I’ve learned is to celebrate what may be considered the small steps you make as a writer. Without those, you can’t make the bigger ones.

Local Author News: Allison Symes – Spring 2023 Round Up

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Will be sharing Local Author News – Allison Symes – Spring 2023 Round Up for Chandler’s Ford Today tomorrow. First time I’ve had to add a postscript to a post given my lovely publication news received earlier this week. See above.

Another glorious day here today and Lady got to play with her two best girlfriends today so she’s had a lovely time. No sign of the deer coming back though.

Don’t forget my author newsletter is next due out on 1st June so if you would like to sign up for tips, stories, news, and so forth, do head over to my landing page at

Newsletter with envelope image
Many thanks for the congratulations coming in on my post yesterday regarding the news my Desperately Seeking Talent is going to be published in the forthcoming Gifted anthology (Bridge House Publishing). Much appreciated, everyone.

Am currently working on a draft of a story for another competition and I hope to have that draft done in the next week. I will then rest it for a while before coming back to assess it with fresh eyes. It takes time but I have found that pays off. For me, it’s the only way I can re-read something of mine as if someone else had written it. It is that kind of distance you want too. You’ve got to be able to judge your work objectively.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

It’s Friday. It’s another Bank Holiday weekend in the UK. It’s time for a story. My latest on Friday Flash Fiction is called Purple Haze. Find out what a love for a colour did for my character, Sally. Hope you enjoy it.

Screenshot 2023-05-26 at 10-02-16 Purple Haze by Allison Symes

It was great to see everyone at the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group meeting last night and I am glad the session was useful. We were discussing telling details and how these can create stronger images in your readers’ minds. It’s an invaluable thing to do regardless of what form you write but in flash with its restricted word count, it pays off considerably and helps you to make the most of that word count.

Delighted to sign and return my contract for my story, Desperately Seeking Talent, to go in Gifted, the Bridge House Publishing anthology which will be out later this year. Always a pleasure to do that kind of task!

And if you’re wondering with a title like that, was the story great fun to write, I can tell you – yes if was!

Screenshot 2023-05-23 at 20-04-57 Bridge House Publishing Facebook

Hope you have had a good day. Gloriously sunny and warm here. Looking forward to the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group meeting tonight. I love talking about flash fiction as you may have noticed!

Having said that, the skills you learn in writing flash transfer well to other forms of writing which is why I believe all writers should try flash fiction writing. It takes away all fear of editing.

It is perhaps ironic that a restriction (in this case on upper word count) can fuel creativity as you learn to pick better words to use to create images for your reader. There is no room for the old purple prose. That’s a good thing. It helps you to cut it out immediately on your first edit. We all have wasted words. We might not be able to stop writing them but we can cut them out!

May be an image of text that says "Always a joy to write talk about flash fiction."

Fairytales with Bite – Characters (Acrostic)

C = Characters can make or break a plot so make them hook your readers in so they want to find out what happens to your characters.

H= Have your characters got a trait or a habit which shows a reader what kind of character they are?

A= Any magical talents/skills need to have in-built disadvantages as if anything and everything can be solved with using these, where’s the story?

R= Resist the temptation to tell readers what your characters are like, show them instead via your character’s attitudes and actions.

A = Actions, attitudes, attributes – all great ways to show readers what your characters are like.

C= Can readers understand where you characters are coming from ?

T= Test what your characters are made of by dropping them right in it – do they sink or swim?

E= Endeavour – your readers will want to see what your characters do to help themselves.

R= Remember your characters will have memories, a life before your story, which will colour their attitudes and actions when you write about them.

S= Story, story, story – what is their story and why do they deserve to have their story told? What is in it for the reader?


This World and Others – Different Species

Most fictional worlds have more than one species living in them so how do they get on? Or do they do everything possible to avoid each other? What would happen when a common need means they do have to work together?

Does your setting have a dominant species and how did they get to that position? Is it ever threatened by another? What would they do to maintain their dominant position?

Do your species share a biology (I.e. they are all bipeds) or are the differences significant? Would the species prey on each other?

If you have a favourite species to write about, why is that? Think about the good and bad qualities of all your species. How can you make best use of these in your stories? Our planet would be a very different place without all the other species on it with us.

Would you have those who study the others species and report back? (Am thinking in terms of wildlife documentaries but studies could be used for spying and other activities).



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