Off the Rails Wivenhoe have produced a Spring postcard on the theme of ‘Woodland’, which is available to collect from the station and Firstsite (amongst other places). The poem is by local writer Helen Ivory and the image is by local artist Olivia Browne (who is also displaying her work at the station gallery). The card is produced by Sue Dawes.
Words Down the Line features local writing, is produced free of charge and given to commuters in Wivenhoe and beyond. The printing of Words Down the Line is currently funded by a small donation from Wivenhoe Soup and printed by The Press Gang in Brightlingsea.
The writing is edited and produced free of charge by Sue Dawes.
Poetry by Alex Toms, illustration by Charmaine Mckissock. More information here
Sue dawes’ historical short story, ‘Boudicca’s Revenge’, which was shortlisted for the Legendary Women Competition, has been published in this Essex Creative Writing Anthology. It was her first attempt at creative historical fiction and the short story, initially 2000 words, was reduced to just over 500 for the competition. If nothing else, it showed how many words can be edited out and yet the story remain the same. Boudicca is now judged a heroine but she was a soldier and thought nothing of massacring whole towns. Sue doesn’t think her strength or actions would be considered quite so affectionately in the modern world.
Sue Dawes’ short story ‘Artifice’ was one of the three winning crime short stories published in ‘Bloody Hull,’ which was a book given out as part of the Hull Literary Festival. The competition ‘Dead Pretty City’, was for a short story of 2000 with the words ‘Dead Pretty’ included in it. Originally short-listed for the CWA Margery Allingham prize, it was re-worked for the competition. As usual, the protagonist is not what she seems.
Mind the Gap by Sue Dawes was published in ‘New writing’ in Mslexia. The judge said: ‘Mind the Gap’ managed to say so much about the taboos surrounding the empty nest syndrome in little more than 1000 words. From the first sentence (I will pull the construction apart, twig by twig so they cannot return) I felt I was in the arms of a brave and confident artist. Each platitude and assumption about the bereft mother (‘you’ll be lonely, what will you do’ ‘But what if they want to come home’) is matched by the exhilaration of a mother liberated from the selflessness of raising three boys.
Mentioned in a study about motherhood
Sue Dawes was one of the winners of a competition run by Horror Scribes, which is a relatively new Horror story website. The competition was to write a horror story using one of the ‘days’ of the poem, ‘Monday’s child’. The other conditions were that the short story had to be set in the time the poem was written and contain 100 words.
. A short story
The Yaqona Mattress, a short story by Sue Dawes was published in Island Review. Read it on-line here
A ‘Drabble’ is a 100 word story, generally science fiction.
Like a Haiku, the best Drabbles have a twist at the end. The best way to approach writing a Drabble is to write a longer story, with the usual beginning, middle and end and pare it down (with a cleaver rather than a filleting knife). And finally, invest in (or bookmark) a thesaurus. It will help you to reduce your word count and yet allow you to say so much more.
This photo was taken of the short-listed authors of the Debut Dagger competition in 2013. The creative writing competition was for the first 3000 words of a crime novel. Sue Dawes is the last author on the right.