#WriteTips From The 2016 Judges.

- Read! Read! Read! This is the writer’s greatest teacher

- Writing is work. Work at it – practice makes perfect

- When you have written ‘The End’ – put the piece aside for some time before you publish it

- Revise ... revise ... revise

- Criticism ... welcome it; don’t defend yourself or your work. Take it home and consider it a gift and use it as you see fit. Not all of it will be good. It is up to you, the creator of your work to see what seems to make sense.

- Trust your gut feeling – after all, it is your work, comes out of you, your creation


H J Golakai  

- Never work hungry – truly, don’t be a bloody hero. You’ll have to toss most of it when you read it back later with a glucose-happy brain.

- Don’t try and ‘sell’ your voice. It takes awhile to sound like yourself but that’s the joy of the thing, evolving. Never write for the sake of perfecting a style. Pour yourself into your story because that’s what matters. Some great author said the perfection of style signals the demise of your imagination, and I really believe that. Trust your characters to tell you what your story will sound like.

- You can never read enough. Ever. I recently found myself reading a thriller on my phone at a funeral. Did I feel like the biggest buttwipe on the planet? – definitely. Did I stop? – hell no.

- Get a bunch of voracious readers and/or good writers to show your work to. Feedback is essential. Many younger writers make the mistake of being so afraid of criticism that they squirrel their work away, yet they’re puzzled as to why they can’t find a publisher or win a competition. Because you sound terrible, and there’s no one but you to tell you that. Make your circle bigger.

- Stop worrying about winning competitions, getting famous or even finding a publisher. Seriously, stop. Get the work ready and it will find a home.

Create a daily writing regimen and do your best to stick to it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. Just try and do a little bit of writing or editing every day.


Tendai Huchu

- Leave completed manuscript in the fridge-freezer for as long as possible.

- Procrastinate – it helps.

- Get a beta reader you trust.

 - Retrieve hacksaw and scalpel from toolbox, collect manuscript from fridge and proceed to hack away.

- Call Batman.