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Do-It-Yourself

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do-It-Yourself

There’s no handbook upon becoming an adult, complete with all the rules one needs to memorize and competencies to perfect. I believe important life skills are learned by way of interacting with experts and taking note of constructive advice.

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“Personal” space in today’s world

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

“Personal” space in today’s world

Everyone wants their space; everyone enjoys being alone sometimes and having at the minimum some time to focus on themselves – or at least everyone deserves such a “space”. by Scott Bruce – Guest writer – see his CV here In today’s world “space” isn’t as freely available as it used to be.  I’m not talking about physical space-well, not entirely.  People are constantly connected today, most people are never in essence “alone”.  Perhaps you are home alone – lucky; but thanks to the ever welcome advances in technology, there is a plethora of devices for you to choose from –and a billion friends on the other side of *twilight zone music*.  For most people, getting a hold of one of their friends or family members is literally as easy as making a phone call or sending an email message; making things easier yet less special and far too frequent for some. When was the last time you wrote or received a letter? People do not take the time to write letters anymore and I understand why.  Letters are tedious – and not everyone has the best penmanship – but everyone’s typing is legible.  For some, the personal touches are left out all together.  Finding your soulmate or “play mate” (to be serious) is as easy as downloading an application and finding the nearest heart-beat.  People have met their soul mates, been dumped by way of a text message, and lost all their dignity through a “sext” scandal – and they didn’t even leave the house. The world is a scary place, and thanks to our own desire to communicate incessantly, we have invited the scary world into our homes – and into ourselves.  A recent survey conducted in the US reveals that today’s youth are being bombarded with irrelevant information from their smartphone. The survey revealed that 51% of Millennials cannot go more than three hours without checking their smartphone. Some may even argue that the current generation is addicted to being “always connected”, constantly being able to find the answer to almost any question; sharing every situation and capturing it all on video – this is the world we all live in.  Due to the constant use of technology, people are becoming overwhelmed with information, connections and personal files.  A photo used to have meaning but today we take thousands of irrelevant photos on a monthly basis, which we “share” with people we do not even know on the Internet for the  gratification that people “like” you. We live in a world of constant information; important information has become clouded with trivial bits and pieces of others lives – 50 or so years ago one would receive a letter addressing the important details of someone’s life – however, today we no longer have the “gap” of distance. People update each other on their every movement, like and dislike – constantly. This constant connection subtracts a great deal from the “personal” factor of life.  Slowly but surely people are moving along a path of similarity, losing what makes us individuals.  We shape our lives based on what is considered appropriate by the rest of the world; peers matter, yet with technology growing at the rate it is, as well as Social Media becoming an integral part of everyday life, your “peers” are no longer your family and friends, but rather the whole world – you’re connected.  Constant comparisons are made; we see what others are doing and we strive to do the same – why? – because everything sounds amazing in theory on social...

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Writing for children

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing for children

Writing for children

Imagnary House is a new boutique publishing house for children’s literature in Cape Town, South Africa. Founder and CEO, Brad Harris, says: “We are focused on building a larger market for African children’s authors and illustrators by both igniting the local readership and engaging with international readers.” Website: https://imagnaryhouse.com/. Imagnary House has just opened their submissions after launching their debut publication (Seven by B. D. Harris), and is now looking to build up their publication list for the next 2 years. What are they looking for? “We love stories that are fun and imaginative, but also address current societal issues for children. We want simple stories that mean something and can feed positively into our children’s futures,” says Brad Harris. Imagnary House will consider submissions in the following genres: Children’s long form fiction (think Roald Dahl and CS Lewis narratives) Picture books Rhyming verse books (think Dr Seuss) Writers and illustrators can submit their work on Imagnary Houses’ submissions page at https://imagnaryhouse.com/pages/submissions. Writing for children is a challenging endeavour; it demands swiftness, characters that appeal to the age group, fitting dialogue, and factual explanation. Many people today claim they don’t like to read, although there is a marked revival among young people who are finding works by contemporary writers appealing, as well as books from the past by well-known authors. While some non-readers are diagnosed as Dyslexic and may experience specific learning disabilities in reading, most others who seldom if ever pick up a book or magazine to read admit to finding reading for leisure boring, too difficult, not important and a waste of time. Children, in particular, with poor reading habits usually get poor grades at school; they are easily distracted, exhibit anti-social behavior, fail to achieve ego-identity during adolescence, and often fail to develop to their full potential. >...

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Academic Writing

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Academic Writing

Academic Writing

The South African Writers’ Network offers academic writing and editing (correcting grammar & spelling) to students. All our services are confidential; no personal details are divulged to any third parties and any information collected remains the property of the student. All styles of referencing are catered for, including MLA, APA, Chicago Manual, and so forth. Contact Theresa (ecottage@gmail.com) or Gary (gayart@gmail.com) to submit a price quotation.     Academic writing undertaken by SAWN includes Research Writing: Data is collected from a variety of sources to write or edit copy for Autobiographies, Tutorial and Research Papers, Presentations, Dissertations and Academic Essays; Critical writing: Reviews on art, literature, and products), magazine writing (sales literature, specialist topics for a specific industry, business or profession); Newspapers (specialized editorials on topics, e.g. business, education, farm, fashion, food, garden, real estate, science, sports, travel and lifestyles); Business and Industry (company publications, speeches, press releases, proposals, presentations); Magazine articles (non-fiction features, personality profiles, advertorials); Self-publishing (text books, non-fiction, poetry, manuscripts for printed books, e-books); Ghost writing (speech writing, books, feature articles, advertorials); Peer-reviewed...

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Creative Writing

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic or technical forms of literature. Feature stories are considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism. Both fictional and non-fictional works fall under creative writing, including novels, biographies, short stories, poems, screenwriting and play writing. Besides being a creative outlet, creative writing can be therapeutic as well. Many psychologists recommend creative writing to express feelings and explore the opportunity to examine unresolved problems.   In creative writing, the author can use their imagination to put across any viewpoint or describe any scene, and help the reader to do the same.  The intention of creative writing is to entertain the reader. Poems are great examples of creative writing. Short stories can be narrative, funny, mysterious, satirical, fantasy, or historical. Novels are always creative simply because the unfolding story depends on the authors imagination. Everyone has a story to tell, even if they don’t always realize it. While it helps to develop a framework before you start writing your manuscript – in terms of how many chapters your story will cover and the estimated word count allocated to each – it is important not to focus too much on the length. However, knowing what word count to aim for will avoid spending an enormous amount of time cutting copy later on. Contact Theresa (ecottage@gmail.com) for any writing, editing and book publishing requirements. How long should a book be?  Adult novels (commercial and literary) comprise between 80,000 and 90,000 words; this is an acceptable range for literary, romance, mystery, suspense, thriller and horror. Sci-Fi and Fantasy should ideally aim for 100,000 – 115,000 words. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it short (90 000 words). Adolescent/Teen novels (aimed at ages 8 to 12 years) are considered middle grade, which should comprise from 20,000 – 40.000 words, depending on the subject matter and age range. When writing a longer book that is aimed at older teens (ages 12 to 16 years) the term “upper middle grade” is applicable; aim for 35,000 – 45,000 words. Young adult novels comprise between 55,000 and 70,000 words. The word count for this category is flexible and can go as high as 80,000 if the work is science fiction or fantasy. Picture books (ages 1 to 3 years; 3 to 5 years; 5 to 7 years; 7 to 10 years) contain minimal text. The standard picture book consists of 32 pages, with a total of 25 – 1,500 words. Children’s books (easy to read, ages 6 to 9 years) contain 1,000 – 1,500 words. Westerns are generally not very long, comprising anywhere from 50,000 to 60,000 words. Memoirs are the same as a novel; aim for a word count between 70,000 and 80,000. Poetry should ideally cover 50 to 100 pages; a poem can be as long as you need it to be to get your message...

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