Goodbye until September…

The NWC has officially broken up for summer.

Our next meeting will be on 18th SEPTEMBER 2018 at 7:30pm at our new location in Chantry Hall.  



We have a full programme in store with manuscript evenings, workshops, and speakers including Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing, and Mitch Johnson, author of Kick.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch: norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

And don’t forget your entry into the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer, and we hope to see you in September.




Our last meeting of the season

Tuesday 3rd of July was our annual general meeting, and the last meeting of the season. It was also our last meeting at Anteros. In September we will move to Chantry Hall.

Other changes to the group include:

Door fees will be changing. Members will continue to pay £3, while guests will pay as follows:

  • Speaker evenings the door fee for guests will be £7.
  • Other meetings, including workshops and adjudications, will be £5.

It was also the time to give out the trophies to the winners throughout the year:

  • The Cooper Prize – Iain Andrews
  • Past Search Prize for Non Fiction – Phyllida Scrivens
  • Colin Sutton cup for Humour – Phyllida Scrivens
  • Overall Trophy – Phyllida Scrivens


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We hope everyone has enjoyed this season as much as we have, and we look forward to seeing you in September. The new programme is live on the website. Remember, we’re moving premises, so we will be meeting at Chantry Hall:





Change of Plan…

over here nwc blog

Due to a last minute cancellation by our scheduled speaker, our meeting on Tuesday 5th June will no longer be taking place. Instead the group will be attending ‘Made in Norfolk’ event in Mulbarton.

We will NOT be meeting at Anteros on Tuesday 5th June.

If anyone wishes to join us at the event in Mulbarton you are more than welcome. Tickets are £5 per person and can be purchased here:


The rest of our meetings will take place as normal and according to the programme. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


2018 Official Launch Gala

Tuesday 17th April was a momentous day – it was our official launch of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2018. We held a gala to mark the occasion, as we do each year.

We were treated first to a fascinating talk by Frances and Michael Holmes on the history of the Norwich Market. Norwich market has undergone some astounding changes and is currently the countries largest and oldest outdoor market.

Then we welcomed Kristina Fox, manager of the Norfolk Markets, gave a brief talk about how the market is run today.


Finally, our adjudicator Alison Bruce explained what she was looking for and gave some helpful tips:


The theme of this competition is markets but you will also need to consider the theme of your story – the message you want to get across – write an aim and put it above your desk.

e.g. By the end of the story:

  • Dave will find inner peace (redemption)
  • Anna will be reunited with her lost family (healing)
  • Jim and Laura realise they’re in love (romance)
  • Alex takes revenge and regrets it (hate)

You don’t have to spell it out, make sure you’re clear on the theme and it will come through in the story.

 A single conflict

  • Don’t compress a novel into a short story!


  • Know your characters well.
  • Have a character that the reader can empathise with.
  • What is your character’s greatest strength?
  • Greatest weakness?
  • Greatest desire?
  • Greatest fear?
  • What is the line they will never cross?

Narrative Arc: Planning Your Story

  • Identify your protagonist.
  • Identify the type of conflict they face.
  • Write one sentence for each of the five points on the narrative arc.

A good short story opening should:

  • Pull the reader in immediately.
  • Introduce the character(s) and conflict.
  • Establish point of view.
  • Set the mood of the story.
  • Suggest the setting.

The Four Laws

  • All stories must have tension, struggle or conflict.
  • All conflict must be of vital importance to the character.
  • The consequences of failure must be disastrous (to the character).
  • There must be change, development, realisation or growth by the end.


  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Avoid adverbs.
  • Avoid repetition.
  • Don’t use unnatural language.
  • Be concise.


  • Have a break before you edit.
  • Follow the guidelines for formatting.
  • A new paragraph each time someone speaks.
  • Check for spelling and punctuation.
  • Read it aloud and amend before you submit it.
  • Make sure you have follow the specified submission guidelines and rules outlined on the competition page before sending your entry.


Feel free to explore the theme using any fiction genre you see fit. Alison enjoys a vast range of genres. Don’t write a crime story just because she’s a crime writer and you think that’s what she’ll like – it won’t increase your chance of winning. Instead focus on writing a good, strong story regardless of genre.

Alison then quoted Margaret Murphy:

“When you’ve written your stories (and set them aside and edited them and read them again and re-written them) submit them – to competitions, fanzines, magazines, collections – whoever will read them and give you feedback.  You might even win a prize, but even if you don’t – especially if you don’t – you should listen, really listen to what they are trying to tell you. You will understand more with each submission, and will grow as a writer.”


Finally, we would like to offer one final piece of advice. Every year, we get emails from entrants asking about how to interpret the theme. The short answer is that it is entirely up to you. Your entry doesn’t have to be about Norwich Market, or even a literal, physical market. For example, your character could work on the stock market, or you could weave a narrative about the job market. There is no limit except your own imagination. Just be sure you consider the theme and explore it as best you can. It might help to think ‘What does the word ‘market’ mean to me?’ and work from there.

If you’re still not sure, you can always check our anthologies to see how winning entrants explored previous themes.

Good luck!

anthology, Uncategorized

‘Strangers’ anthology is live!

We are pleased to announce the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2017 anthology ‘Strangers’ is now live. It is available worldwide as both an e-book and a paperback.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience through all the delays. We would also like to thank all the entrants into the Olga Sinclair competitions for their participation over the years.









Anthology Update

2017Anthology Cover1.1Just to update everyone. We have ordered a proof copy of the anthology for the 2017 Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition. We are waiting to receive and check over the proof copies. As soon as they have been checked, provided there are no issues, we will publish them ASAP.

The Olga Sinclair Anthology will be available in paperback for £6 and e-book for £3.



Cover reveal for the 2017 Anthology

The NWC would first like to apologise for the delay of the anthology.

Last year we used a print on demand service but it wasn’t working as well as we’d like, so we’ve switched. This change means having to learn how to do it to the standards of our new service.

It’s also worth noting that we put the anthology together ourselves, we don’t hire professionals to do it, and we’re all balancing work, family, and other responsibilities which can cause delays as well.

The Anthology will be out very soon. In fact, we are pleased to reveal the cover.

2017Anthology Cover1.1

The cover artwork was created by our very own Maureen Nisbet.

We hope to update you all very soon with the release date.

Once again we apologise for the delay, and thank you for your patience.


Results of the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour:

Hayley Long returned to give her adjudication for the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.


The results are:

  • 1st The Reluctant Bridesmaid by Phyllida Scrivens
  • 2nd A Week in December by Paul Taylor
  • 3rd Puppy Love by Maureen Nesbitt
  • Highly Commended No. 43 The Last Dragon by Iain Andrews

Congratulations to all the winners!