by Lynne Fellows
As the coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of so many events, including the writing conferences we’ve been featuring, we’ve scoured the internet to find some free writing events that you might enjoy over the coming weeks. Of course, you’ll know already about WriteHive, the online writing convention taking place this weekend. You can check out the numerous panels, presentations and workshops here. Don’t forget to look out for our live tweets throughout, using the hashtag #inthehive. Firstly, there’s always Camp NaNoWrimo which runs throughout April.
You can work on any type of creative project, not just a novel. First drafts or revision, scripts or stories or poems or essays—all are welcome! Just set a goal and get writing.
There’s also the #StayHomeWriMo initiative to help your physical, mental, social, and creative well-being.
ProWritingAid is running several online events too. (These require Zoom registration)
A couple that caught my eye are: Quick! Call the Book Doctor – April 23rd, 2pm ET If you're wondering how to turn your manuscript into a bestseller, a book doctor's diagnosis might be what you're missing. Sally Orson Jones is a UK-based book doctor. She has spent more than 20 years working with writers of all levels and genres, including Sarah Waters, Viv Albertine and Lilie Ferrari. Get Started on Your Story Edit – April 29th, 1pm ET Kristina Stanley, CEO of Fictionary and ALLi Story Editing Advisor, will teach you where to begin a story edit. If your dream is to craft a powerful story, she'll show you how to “see” your first draft in a new way.
Storm Writing School has shared a few of his writing classes for free on YouTube if you prefer to watch at your own pace.
For instance, From Pitch to Manuscript – A conversation with Ann Garvin, USA Today Bestselling author and founder of Tall Poppy Writers, about how rather than spend a year or two writing a novel and hoping her agent would like it, she drew up several treatments and wrote the novel her agent preferred.
Also, How to Use Narration to Help Readers Understand Characters - practical ways in which you can give the reader insight into the character's internal workings via your narrator.
As a big fan of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), I’m a frequent visitor to sites like Udemy, FutureLearn and Coursera. At the time of writing this post, there were a couple of creative writing courses that piqued my interest on Udemy.
Novel bootcamp; imagine, plan and start writing that book! Get started on the novel you've always wanted to write with methods and techniques to grow your idea into a book. And here’s another which would be perfect to check out before the Games start next month:
Short Story Masterclass Improve your creative writing; create, polish and publish short stories, all under the guidance of an acclaimed writer.
One of my favourite courses – and one of the most useful in that it includes feedback on your writing – can be found over at FutureLearn.
Start Writing Fiction starts afresh on April 20th (or you can jump right into an existing course now) It runs over eight weeks and requires three hours of weekly study.
Topics included are: Creation of characters in fiction. Different sources for characters in stories. Ways of presenting characters in stories. Reading as a writer. Writing practice, including creativity, research, observation and editing. Peer reviewing, workshops and the importance of feedback.
If you’re more about writing, then there’s a huge list of events and writing contests for April to be found at Free Writing Events.
From short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction right the way through to novels and books, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Sign up to the newsletter to get monthly updates on contests.
From April 30th until May 3rd, you can also attend another online literary festival. FOLD - The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) is held in Brampton, Canada, during the first week of May. The four-day festival celebrates books and stories, with over 30 events that prioritize underrepresented authors and storytellers from around the world.
This year’s festival will take place virtually — featuring free online events. Panels, discussions and workshops will allow guests from across Canada and around the world to participate in the festival via Zoom. All virtual events will be close-captioned.
Finally, for any fellow geeks out there, here’s a list of apps designed to improve your writing. *these may not be free to use, so please be sure to check before installing* We hope you’ll enjoy taking a look at these events, courses, festivals and apps. If you can recommend any, be sure to let us know.
About the Author: Lynne Fellows is a reader, writer, and freelance translator living in sunny Spain. You can generally find her with a book, a dog or two, and an unhealthy supply of cake. Follow her blog -Just 4 My Books - for book reviews and a sneaky peek at her stories.