Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Writing Prompt!

Today's writing prompt is a scenario. Think of it like a two second snapshot window into a characters life. You've seen something, but the rest is a mystery, so your challenge is to write a piece surrounding that snapshot. Ask questions. How did they get to that point? What are they feeling and why? What happened to them? What happens next? How do they move on from there?
Have fun!

'A young man stands alone in an empty city square, the sun is just beginning to peak it's orange head above the horizon and around him the world is slowly beginning to wake. He raises his head to the sky and closes his eyes briefly, a single tear slips from between his lashes. Behind him a bird calls softly into the morning.'

Don't forget to share your prompt responses in the comments below for more great inspiration, or if you'd like to submit your piece for publication on this website you can email it to rachaelanna93@gmail.com.

Happy Writing

Rach x

Monday, 27 February 2017

Motivational Monday! BBC National Short Story Award.

This week we're featuring the BBC National Short Story Award, which is a prestigious short story award for published authors.

This competition is only open to UK residents or nationals, that are over the age of 18, and have a history of publication in creative writing.

If you fit those criteria I suggest you send in your work because you'll have a chance of winning £15,000! Four runners up will also receive £600 each, and all winning stories will be published in an anthology later in the year.

You'll need to be relatively quick about it though because this competition closes at 9am on the 6th of March 2017, and late entries will not be accepted.

You can enter online by visiting the link below and filling out an online submission form. It is possible to enter by post as well however as there's not much time left until the closing date you'll have to be super quick about it.

Your story must no longer than 8,000 words and must be written in English.
There is only one entry allowed per entrant for this award.
If you have an agent or publisher they may submit a story on your behalf. 

Please remember to check the website for formatting guidelines and more information, sadly many great stories, poems and literary works are disqualified in many competitions simply because the writer did not use the desired formatting, don't let your work be one them!

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit BBC National Short Story Award.

Happy Writing & Good Luck

Rach x

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Prompt Response by Suzanne Watt

This is a lovely poem that was sent in to me by Suzanne Watt as a response to the writing prompt that I posted on Tuesday.

For those of you that didn't see it the prompt it was: 'What if you found out the person you loved the most wasn't who they said they were?'

This is Suzanne's response;

You Said You'd Never Hurt Me

'You said you'd always love me,
And never let me down.
So why am I sat crying now?
No smile, just a frown.
My hair is hiding bruises,
My clothes and make up too.
My body, once so strong,
Now broken down by you.
The look I saw upon your face,
When you realised what you'd done.
Was one of sheer horror,
You must've known what was to come.
You lost control driving,
You didn't stand a chance.
The car flipped on the corner,
And you gave a final glance.
You told me how you loved me,
And one day we'd meet again,
But for now you'd have to leave me,
You hadn't meant to cause me any pain.
I know you'd never hurt me,
We had our whole lives ahead.
But you were taken from me,
And I'm left crying on our bed.
You said you'd never hurt me,
But you didn't have a choice.
And now I long to touch you,
Smell your scent or hear your voice.
You're not the man you said you were,
Although you never lied.
You deceived me with the truth,
You loved me until the day you died.'

By Suzanne Watt

If anyone else has any work they would like to send in to me as a response to any of the writing prompts, or for consideration for publication on this site please feel free to email me at rachaelanna93@gmail.com.

Happy Writing!

Rach x 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Writing Prompt!

It's Tuesday again and that's means it's time for another writing prompt!

I feel like writing prompts are my most frequent posts, which doesn't make any sense because I only post them once a week - the same as all the other posts, so maybe Tuesdays just seem to come around quicker than other days... or maybe I've gone mad!

Anyway, still in Spain and about to go out rock climbing so I'll make this a quick one, but a weird one nonetheless.

Today's prompt is a theme.

'What if you found out the person you loved the most wasn't who they said they were?'

You can use this in whatever way you want, they can be a criminal, or a spy, or an impostor, it could be the result of identity theft, or they could be undercover or have split personality disorder, or be keeping a really huge secret, or maybe it's you that's convinced yourself they're someone else!
I'm going to have a go at this one as well I think, cause it's giving the potential to explore a darker side of human nature and I like that.

I'd love to see your responses to this prompt, so please get in contact, leave your response as a comment below or email it to me if you want to see it published on BFW. Don't forget the more creativity we get on here the more great inspiration it is for you, me, and everyone else, so share the creativity!

Happy Writing!

Rach x

Monday, 20 February 2017

Motivational Monday! Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

Image result for hunger mountain vcfa journal of the arts

This week we're featuring the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, which is run through Hunger Mountain, a journal for the arts.

'Send us your best work! We are looking for stories that linger, stories that grab us in our seats and shake us, stories that branch away from the cliché and grow deep roots of originality.'

Your story can be up to 10,000 words in length - so you've got a lot of words to play with! It must be your own work, original and previously unpublished.

You can enter more than one story but each entry will need to be sent separately by either email or post and will need it's own entry fee of $20.

The closing date is the 1st of March so if you've got something you think might be suitable then get writing/editing! 

There will be one overall winner who will receive a $1,000 prize and publication in Hunger Mountain. There will also be two runners up who will each receive £100 and will be considered for publication.

Please remember to check the website for formatting guidelines and more information, sadly many great stories, poems and literary works are disqualified in many competitions simply because the writer did not use the desired formatting, don't let your work be one them!

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize.

Happy Writing & Good Luck

Rach x

Friday, 17 February 2017

What If The Whole World Banned Americans?

Miss M.Wynter - 2032 - On the introduction of the ban in 2017

‘I remember it was announced on the morning news, I was sitting at the breakfast table eating my cereal, mom was in the bathroom - probably plucking her eyebrows, she was always doing that. Anyway, I was sat there munching on Frosties and watching cartoons when they interrupted it with a news story. I remember feeling excited, I wasn't allowed to watch much telly and I thought they only really did that in films. I watched the news lady speaking, but although I remember hearing the words I don’t think I really understood what it was she was saying. Mom came in halfway through and though she didn't say anything I could feel her standing behind me, watching the woman on the screen. When it was over she told me to go upstairs and get changed, she looked upset, angry, worried, or maybe a combination of all of them, I couldn’t be sure. I did as I was told, some part of me knew not to argue, kids have a great way of being able to sense when something bad is going on.
I could hear mom on the phone while I was upstairs, I couldn't hear what she was saying but I could tell by the tone of her voice that it wasn't good. She came upstairs before I had finished dressing, I heard her before I saw her - you could always tell by the creak on the third stair from the top, that was how I knew to put my book away at night before she came in and told me off for not being asleep.
"You have to pack a bag Maisie, we have to leave, pack all the things you love most, we won't be able to come back for anything."
"No but's, just do it, I'll explain later."
I did it, and we left, just like that. Along with all the other Americans living in Spain, all the other Americans living, or working in, or visiting, anywhere that wasn't America.
Mom explained along the way, in as simple a form as possible; they didn't want us anymore, the whole world had banned us, we had to leave, to go back to our own country and stay there.
We handed over our passports at the airport and even at ten years old I could feel the enormity of the restriction of our freedom.
I left my home behind, at ten years old I lost my home, my friends, everything I had ever known - or at least everything I had ever remembered, as Mom and I had moved out there when I was about two. She lost everything too of course; her job, her new boyfriend, her friends, her car, our flat, all gone, as quickly as the changing of the winds.’

Mr J.C.Jones - 2019

'Things finally seem to have calmed down - if calm is what you can call it. Perhaps “less volatile” would be a more apt description. You still hear of the riots, of course, especially in the larger towns and cities, but the reports are fewer now. Out here in what's left of the countryside you can almost begin to imagine the whole thing never happened, that things are back to the way they were - apart from the people you've lost, the one's that were killed in the riots, or that died of starvation after the trade lines fell apart and food became a luxury only the rich or those with their own farms could attain. Even they weren't so lucky after a time, after the bandits took up and began raiding them, and slaughtering those that got in their way. The ever rising death toll of the late twenty-first century. Bandits, when was the last time we had bandits roaming the “civilised world”? Not that we really count as part of the “civilised world” anymore, that's why they chucked us out I suppose, not good enough for them. Bastards. There we were, one of the leading and most technologically successful countries in the world, we were right up there with the big boys, playing hard ball with the pro's. We were winning. We were winning and we made the mistake of believing that meant we were invincible - or at least that we were part of the team. Well we were wrong, there was no team - or there was, but we weren't in it. It happened almost overnight, right under our sleeping noses. There we were looking to the future, and the rest of the world - quite literally - was plotting behind our backs to kick us out. They were clever about it too, clever and quick, and damn sneaky. In a way I suppose it was glorious, an unprecedented coming together, a unifying of the entire world, every single country - except ours that is. Perhaps the only comparable event would be when Europe came together to defeat the Nazi’s, except they were at war, their enemies knew they were coming, they had a chance to prepare, to defend themselves. We were caught with our pants down, blithely enjoying a freedom we had no idea we were about to be denied.'

Mr S.Miller - 2039

‘Pack up and leave, that was the message. No if’s, and’s or but’s, no questions, no excuses, Just leave. We don’t want you around anymore and we’ve decided it would be best if you just go - now. It was sharp, clear and definite, like a scorned lover, angry and final.
Of course the airports, trains, ferries and various other means of transport across the world were all stuck at a standstill for months as hundreds of people exited the various countries of the world. The news was full of reports of the poor fuckers sleeping in airports, or in ramshackle tents outside city ports - just like all those refugee’s we’d refused to help back in 2016. It was a mess, the whole thing was a damn disgusting mess, and it made me glad I’d chosen to stay in my own damn country in the first place. Although what came after didn’t.
The riots started almost immediately, in cities and towns across the world, mostly it was Americans rioting, but in some countries the natives joined in. The Governments didn’t listen though, they’d already made up their minds, we’d been condemned and nothing was going to change that.
It took somewhere between six months to a year I guess, for everything to completely fall apart. For the trade alliances to be broken, for the food to start running out, and for the people to start killing each other. That’s what people do I suppose, when you stick them all together in a country and cut off most of their food supply; they kill each other to grab what little they can instead of coming together as a community and creating their own support system. You only have to look back a hundred years or so and you can see how people managed it before, it’s not that hard really. But I suppose for those used to having everything readily available that seemed an impossible task. And fear, anger, and panic all play a big part in colouring the minds of reasonable men.
With no support from the outside world the big companies crumbled, crashing down like the twin towers on that fateful day in 2001, each of them smashing into each other, their bigwig CEO’s scrambling to come out on top like so many rats - none of them did though, the economy was fucked by that point and we all knew it wasn’t coming back - at least not for a damn long time.
The sensible people got away from the cities as fast as they could, finding or building themselves homes in the country and working out how to make a living from the land. The stupid one’s stayed and rioted and killed each other for the last of a quickly dwindling supply of food. They lived and died and slept and fought and killed each other, quite natural I suppose, as if they had reverted back to the wild animals we should have been before all this civilisation nonsense took over.
No one goes to the cities anymore. Last I heard they were barren wastelands of crumbling, derelict buildings, among which - if you were unlucky - you’d find the last remaining camps of bandits; roaming, searching like packs of coyotes, starved and dangerous.

We were a big country, fat and prosperous, living in the lap of luxury. I suppose it’s true, that old adage, that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. We didn’t, we took it all for granted, and now it’s gone and we’re a nation of starving, fighting animals, killing each other for scraps while the rest of the world sleeps in soft down beds and sips on overlarge glasses of blood red wine. I wonder sometimes if they even know what they’ve done, if they followed America’s great deterioration into wilderness and degradation, and if they did, did they even care? I doubt it somehow, or they would have come back, but then again maybe that’s just nature, the natural evolution of man, natural selection. We weren’t good enough so they cut us out of the gene pool. And maybe we’ll survive, some of us, somehow, and in a few hundred more years they’ll rediscover us and invite us back into their mix. I hope when that day comes that my descendants have the good grace to spit at their feet and walk the other way. There’s always the chance they’ll finish each other off before then of course. Because it’s started now hasn’t it, they’ve grown the balls needed to ban a whole country, a whole nation, of people from their circle, so who’s to say they won’t do it again, and who’s to say it won’t be your country next time.’

Thursday, 16 February 2017


At their feet we rest,
Glancing up through the streams of sunlight,
That cast shadows in their abscence,
The wind around us whispering gently,
Singing of secrets we'll never learn to know,

Warmth spreads where golden beams touch,
And I hear my laughter tumbling back across the rocks below,
Above me the glint in your eye tells me all I'll ever need to know,
And forwards we go,
Clambering and calling like young birds excited to fly,

It is beautiful here,
With the world laid out below our feet,
Stretching away into the hazy horizon,
Here is a sense of blissful calm and a feeling that all is right,
As I stand beside you and look out across the world below.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Reviews!

We all love a good book right? And finding a good book that you really want to read can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore... When you're wading through a bookshop reading blurb after blurb until they all start to blur into one another and you can't for the life of you remember which one it was that you thought sounded quite interesting earlier... That's when book reviews are most helpful.

I love a good book review, and have found myself many a time buying books after reading a good review. After all, recommendation by our peers is a major selling point - just think about how many times you've bought or borrowed a book after a friend told you it was a good read, or how many times you've searched for a cafe recommended by a co-worker or family member. Someone else's seal of approval is the best reassurance we can get that buying that book, or trying out that cafe, won't be a waste of our time or money.

So why not get an in depth review of your book that you can share with the world?

I can review your book for a small charge of £20, and a free copy of the book to be reviewed.
The review will be posted here and you will also receive a copy that you can keep and do with what you will. I am also happy to leave reviews on Amazon or similar sites on request.
If you would like to have a look at previous reviews I've written please head over to my Book Reviews page.

I will always try and keep my reviews spoiler free if possible, I hate spoilers, they ruin the suspense of a good story!

To get in touch about book reviews, or anything else, please email me at rachaelanna93@gmail.com.

Happy Reading!

Rach x

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Writing Prompt!

Seeing as I'm on holiday at the moment - yes I'm in beautifully warm and sunny Spain woohoo! - I thought I'd do things a little differently. So here's a writing prompt - because it's Tuesday - that's a little different from my usual ones.

'You blink into the sunlight, suddetnly aware that you are awake, but without feeling as if you have been asleep. Your surroundings are unfamiliar, a wide sunlit plaza, around which people are dotted, talking and laughing in a language you don't understand. You are sat sideways in a plastic chair and you look slowly across the table in front of you to the man sitting next to you, he glances up from his phone and smiles before returning his attention to the screen. You reach out an unsteady hand, pick up one of the coffee cups on the table, and take a sip, it is strong and beautifully delicious. You look back at the man seated next to you, you do not know him, you do not know where you are or how you got there, when you think about it you realise that you do not even know who you are...'

That ended up being a little longer than I expected! You can use it in whatever way you fancy, and it doesn't have to be in first person. Have fun & Happy writing!

Rach x

Oh, & Happy Valentine's day!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Fiction Editing

Have you written something beautiful but feel that it is in need of some fine tuning? I am now offering editing and rewriting of your creative work.

Whether you've finished a draft and are looking to start on the journey to becoming a published author, or to self-publish, to enter a writing competition, or you just want another pair of eyes to go over your work - I can help.

I offer three different tiers of fiction editing and can carry out either notation or reconstructive editing depending on your needs.

For more information please visit my Fiction Editing page.

For more information about me, my work history and previous client reviews you can visit my Upwork profile here.

Happy Writing

Rach x 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Just Another Dream

It's only a dream,
Said the rabbit to the mare,

Not much to see,
Cried the owl to the mouse,

Just another white shadow,
Called the cat to the fox,

Only a whisper on the breeze,
Sang the sparrow to the wren,

Like a rustle in the bushes,
Spoke the deer to the badger,

Just another sleepless night,
Whispered the hawk to the moon,

Soon we'll smell the daybreak,
Breathed the moon to her stars.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Writing Prompt!

Today's writing prompt is a series of six words. You must use all the given words in your piece at least once - however you can use them in anyway you like. The theme, genre and style are all up to you. See what you can create!

'Purple, Fern, Laptop, Clock, Worktop, Bright'

Don't forget you can post your response to the prompt in the comments section below for more great inspiration, or if you're particularly proud of your piece why not submit it for publication on Breathing For Words.

Happy Writing!

Rach x

Monday, 6 February 2017

Motivational Monday! Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story Competition 2017

This week we're featuring the Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story Competition 2017!

This is a free competition that gives you the chance to win a place on an Arvon residential writing course as well as seeing your story published on the Writers & Artists website.

There is no given theme or genre, your story can be about anything as long as it is a story for adults and it is 2,000 words or under in length. 

The closing date is the 13th of February, so you've not got long to put it together. 

To submit your work you need to send it as an attachment in an email to competition@bloomsbury.com and make sure that you have the correct email title; 'W&A Short Story Competition 2017' or it will not be read!

As well as the overall winner there will be two runners up who will both receive publication of their work on the Writers & Artists website.

To enter this competition you must register on the Writers & Artists website.

Please remember to check the website for formatting guidelines and more information, sadly many great stories, poems and literary works are disqualified in many competitions simply because the writer did not use the desired formatting, don't let your work be one them!

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story Competition 2017.

Happy Writing & Good Luck

Rach x

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Raindrop Moment

A single moment slips past, sliding like a solitary raindrop wiggling it's way down the seemingly smooth glass of a car window, haltingly, jaggedly. As a small child securely tied in to the back seat you turn your face to the window and watch the raindrop, your eyes wide and your attention incredibly focused on this one tiny, insignificant thing. It matters, for some reason that you can't explain. There are other raindrops gathering on the window, little spots of refracted light, like globules of some strange ectoplasm, reflecting the too-bright rays that shine from the eye sockets of the cars that pass, loud in the night. Some of them are faster than your raindrop, wiggling their way down the window at record speed, as if desperate to win a race they've spent their whole lives preparing for. Yet others are slower, fat and lazy like the shoppers you sometimes watch in the supermarket, plodding their way through the aisles, one heavy foot in front of the other, leaning on their trolleys as if even that simple movement is too much effort. But it is yours that holds your attention, and it moves at exactly the right pace, the pace it was made to move at. Wiggle, wiggle, jerk, stop, slide, pause, wiggle, scoot. Until it's nearly reached the bottom of the window, and you can feel the words of your mother floating softly through the air above your head, trying to find their way into the dark cavities of your ears so they can travel through your head and light up the synapses in your brain that will translate them into a language you can understand. But the raindrop is nearly at the bottom now, and your focus cannot be broken, not even for a single second lest you miss the moment of it's finality, it's totally, it's death. For the base of the car window is where raindrops die. Though even as you think this thought your small brain begins to wonder if that is in fact true, for the raindrops do not disappear when they reach the bottom, instead they merge together and undertake a strange kind of metamorphosis, combining themselves before splitting off again into more droplets that stream down the side of the car before eventually losing their grip and falling away into the wilderness of the outside world. You blink and the thought is gone, lost to the depths of your mind, a passing concept that your small brain does not know what to do with, you have not been trained for that yet. Your raindrop is almost at the base of the window now and your eyes remain glued to it with a strange fixation, for it is only a raindrop on a car window after all. Above your head your mothers words are still hovering, searching for an entry point, only now they are joined by your fathers too. You do not have much time left before you will have to take notice, will have to turn your attention back to them, back to the real world. But the raindrop is so close now, only a few tiny centimetres remain between it and the bottom, it is nearly there and you feel a sense of duty after having journeyed with it for so long, a sense that you must complete this strange quest you have embarked upon together. You watch it wiggle and slip and slide and pause, then wiggle some more. Somewhere inside you a strange kind of excitement is building, a quiet excitement, more a notion of an impending event. The raindrop wiggles slightly to the left and your eyes follow it. You do not see the larger, faster droplet that comes speeding down from above until it is too late and your raindrop has been engulfed by this intruder that has stolen it and is already dragging it swiftly towards the bottom where the two collide with the others that have collected there and quickly disappear from the brief window of your life. You feel a strange sense of distant disappointment, as if something has been taken away from you, and for a moment you continue to stare at the window, though this time your eyes blur as they take in the multitude of raindrops scattered across it, all making their own way down the seemingly smooth glass, undertaking their own journeys. But none of them are yours. The feeling of a broken connection settles across you, although you are too young to understand that that is what you are feeling, and you turn your head away from the window, pouting slightly as your eyes take in the familiar world of the car interior. Finally the words of your parents find the openings of your ears and seep into your brain, filling your head with new thoughts. The moment passes and as you formulate and begin to speak a reply all thoughts of the raindrop are lost, slipping away into the recesses of your mind where they stay hidden in the dark until one day many years later you are sitting alone in a small coffee shop watching the raindrops sliding down the window next to you and you are reminded of that one strange moment and it's confusing mix of feelings. This new moment is the deciding factor in your life, although you do not know why, for there is nothing terribly important about it. You make a decision, almost without realising you have made it, and you down the last of your coffee, enjoying the warm bitter liquid as it swirls through your mouth and slips down your throat. Then you place your empty mug gently on the table and stand, pushing your chair back slightly as you do so. You pick up your coat and slip into it, feeling the heavy material settle over your body. It is a comforting feeling, one that you enjoy, and you do up the buttons and check the pockets for all your belongings until you are certain that nothing has been lost or left behind. As you leave the shop, pulling the heavy door open with your right hand, you turn back and smile at the girl behind the counter, she smiles back and as you turn away you let the word 'thanks' slip from between your lips. If she replies you do not hear it as you have already left, leaving the heavy door swinging slowly closed behind you as you dig your hands deep into your soft pockets and walk briskly down the road, one foot in front of the other, your shoes making a pleasing sound against the hard concrete of the pavement. You are pleased with your decision, and in that new moment the whole world lies before you, all it's nuances at your mercy, to do with as you please. A small smile flickers across your face and you feel the warmth of your own strength as it spreads through your soft, pliable, body, and leads you towards the next moment of your existence.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A Small Feeling

There's a quiet sound in the night,
It's a soft hush,
A barely audible whisper of things past,
And things yet to come,
If you listen carefully you might be able to hear it,
Or it might pass you by as if it were never there at all,
It's a small feeling after all,

And the choice is not yours to make,
For it has already been made,
In the midst of a cold winter many years from now,
Between the wooden walls of a goatherd's cabin,
As the snow covers the tips of the grasses that smother the meadow,
And the creatures huddle together for warmth,
At that moment words were whispered and truth was known,

And far from there the stars hang like tiny candles in the night sky,
Glittering down upon all that lays beneath,
Casting their small rays towards each and every thing surrounding them,
Reaching through the darkness,
Calling out to all around,
You are not alone,
You are never alone,

But their voices only reach so far,
And those in the distant past cannot hear so clearly,
To them the sounds are muffled,
As words when spoken through cloth,
Bustle and clutter overrides all surrounding,
Flecking it with nonsense,
Like so much static in the line,
Or a blurry photograph found in the bottom of someone else's bag,

Only the eyes that listen can see,
And only the mouth that whispers silence can hear,
As soft fingertips play gentle trumpets,
That deafen the steadily breathing ears,
And fill the heart that lies still,
Then they will meet once more and dance,
Bathed in moonlight's silvery glow,

There are no people here now,
And no creatures left to see,
The wind has ceased it's howling,
And the stars no longer shine,
The grass beneath my feet is dead,
And the sky is black as pitch,
All that was has been and gone,
And all that's left is none.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wordy Wednesday!

Here's a fun one for you this week;


- To have shapely buttocks
- A well shaped bum

Callipygian orignally comes from the Greek word Kallipugos, kallos meaning beauty and puge meaning buttocks, it would have entered English sometime in the late 18th century.

'I couldn't help but feel a slight excitement stir in the base of my stomach as I admired her callipygian swinging from side to side while she stalked up the road in front of me.' 

Can you use this word in a short piece of prose, flash fiction or poetry?
Comment it below and share the creativity!