Blog Entries
This week on WA 17th July
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad ex-pat writers writing

Dianne has posted this week’s Monday Muses, a great selection with something for everyone. An image will follow later today.

Jill has written a fascinating blog post about how her extensive travels have inspired her writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and that she derives more inspiration from far-away places than those on her doorstep. Some of the people she’s met while travelling may appear in stories (that sounds familiar!).

The Bragging stool is groaning under the combined weight of the members occupying it this week. I think we had better invest in a bragging sofa.

  • No less than 5 members have stories in the Ad Hoc line-up this week: Angela, Crilly, Chris N, Laura and Sue (how many is that in a row, Sue?);
  • Sue is on a roll with her story ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ shortlisted in Writing Mag;
  • Angela also continues her winning streak with a highly commended and a place in Stringybark’s anthology for ‘Caged Birds’;
  • Laura’s spooky story was awarded third place in Morgen Bailey’s 100-word comp; and
  • Lesley read out via Skype her story during the launch of Chris Fielden’s Nonsense Challenge Book.

Phew! Have I missed anyone? Huge congrats to all. That’s a fabulous result for WA.

The July Challenges and Opportunities are up, with something for everyone, but feel free to add competitions or writing opportunities. And there are some pieces for critiquing.

WA Magazine. Although it’s now a while since publication, the mag is still current, so please do let people know about it if you get the chance.

Members’ writing visions. A number of us have now posted up our visions of where we see ourselves in 5 years’ time and what part WA can play in getting us there. It’s not always easy to plan so far in advance, but none of it has to be engraved in stone and I found it a useful exercise. It will also give us more clarity in recruiting new members. So if you haven’t done it yet, have a think about where you want to be – and get some inspiration from the visions already posted.

That’s all this week. If I’ve missed anything or got anything wrong please let me know.

Happy writing week.


Source of Inspiration
Category: Writing
Tags: writing inspiration travel

Source of Inspiration

Travelling is my thing. You could almost call it an addiction. I started at 20 years old when I emigrated to Australia, but I didn’t stop there and have been travelling ever since, whenever I can. It’s hard to say which is more important to me or makes me happier – travelling or writing. Basically, I can’t do one without the other. So it’s hardly surprising my first published work was non-fiction in the form of travel features for magazines.

It wasn’t until I was a member of Writers Abroad and became more confident (and successful from time to time) that I realised I could use the same material, gathered in my travels, for fiction. And I also found this much more fun. And more fulfilling. Apart from what I write from our members’ Monday Muse prompts which often come totally out of the blue, just about everything I write includes a setting taken from my travels.

A couple of months back I went on a camping trip around Namibia, travelling with like-minded (mostly!) folk in a small group. Sharing my life, from sun-up to sun-down with ten other people I’d never met before was quite an experience and in this situation I got to know them quite well. It would probably surprise them – if not you, as writers – that several of them, especially the stronger characters in the group, will turn up in one form or other in my fiction. Some already have. Along with certain situations experienced there. At times there were scenes that reminded me of William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. If not as dramatic, a peppering of poetic licence could make them so.

It’s rare for me to base characters on my friends or to use a setting from just outside my back-door. For me, both these are too familiar and don’t inspire me, although I admit it occasionally happens. Rather, it’s extraordinary places and novel circumstances that stimulate my imagination.

I know that many writers write very successfully about ordinary people in ordinary places, who perhaps do extraordinary things, and possibly more people can relate to this, which might bring them more success. It would interesting to know where your inspiration comes from. From real life? Home? Or away? Or purely from the depths of your imagination?


This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News



Laura Besley has written an interesting blog 'A Change is as Good as a Rest', examining whether we all need some routine to motivate us to write and whether we should break the mould and do something different to get out of our rut.  Given that she's just moved halfway round the world, I applaud her finding the time to put pen to paper. Well done, Laura!

Jill's July Challenge 'The Himba Between' is a fascinating insight into a tribe located in northern Namibia. Jill plans to enter this into Imustbeoff travel writing competition and has received a number of supportive critiques of her piece.

Lesley Anne's little story, 'The Village of Bloody Chucking' tells the tale of a village where executions were conducted by throwing the unfortunates off the ramparts. It becomes a village of dark deeds and one newcomer who was seriously upsetting the locals meets the traditional fate of many previous occupants.  Highly amusing, nice one, Lesley.

Finally, Jo has asked me to remind you that a number of members (yes, me too!) still need to post their 5 year visions.


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Monday, July 17, 2017
This week on WA 17th July
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