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December Newsletter

The Story Mint Newsletter | December 2016

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A TIME TO REFLECT
This is the time to reflect on the year that's been and the year to come.
The Story Mint is grateful to all those who have contributed to it by writing serials, placing writing on the Writers' Pad and contributing their time in other ways. But for you we would not have an Anthology of which we are all extremely proud. Nor would we have serials that are being read by over 25,000 people world-wide.
And we have a presence in the market place that is respected and admired.
We also have some wonderful work by students from Matipo and Beachlands Schools. We have seen students writing serials that are imaginative and full of action. But what is more exciting is the way they light up when they discover how much fun writing is.  The success of these two trials has given us confidence to start a trial with Western Heights School and, we hope, a cluster of schools, in the New Year.
So to the future.
We have top notch research that tells us what you want and we intend to make that happen. We are now very clear about our business model and where our strengths lie. We also know we can make a difference in the lives of young learners and we will be continuing to work on that.They are our future and it feels like an unexpected privilege to be in a position to offer them another way to discover the thrill of writing.
The future is truly exciting.
A special thank you, our readers. You give our writing purpose.
Thank you everyone, for being part of The Story Mint. It is a privilege and an honour to share The Story Mint world with you.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas, a wonderful 2017!
And for those of you who follow a different calendar I also wish you many happy days and much success!
Suraya

Happy and successful writing everyone!
A special welcome to all our new writers. We love having you in our community!
See you next month!
Thank you for following The Story Mint.

 


Latest News

YES, IT IS READY TO BUY! OUR VERY FIRST ANTHOLOGY

Read this review by Kalli Deschamps

EVERYONE HAS A STORY
 
I have just finished reading a delightful collection of stories. What makes them so unique is their source. Each story is divided into eleven parts and takes the form of a serial. The first writer introduces the subject. The second writer has five hundred words to begin the action. Each subsequent writer picks up the story and has five hundred words to give it his or her own twist.
 
The serials are well written with a beginning, middle and ending; complete as though written by one author. I do, however, think I liked the The Choir the best. There was hilarious interaction between characters and much action, car wreck, lousy weather, etc, as the story progressed.
 
The anthology contains ten serials and one story written by a single author. The authors live all over the world and represent a variety of nationalities.  Anyone looking for a beautiful, well written, entertaining piece of literature needs to own this anthology titled “EVERYONE HAS A STORY!”

Buy from our book store http://www.thestorymint.com/book-store
or through Rangitawa Publishing by emailing rangitawa@xtra.co.nz
http://www.rangitawapublishing.com/
or Amazon

Each Anthology is an estimated US$23  (NZ$32)
E copy is now available at Amazon

Please Note: each author will receive a complimentary copy.

Stages for writing serial chapters
Lately there have been some questions about how to write serials for The Story Mint. Every story follows a pattern - introduction, setting the scene, rising tension and resolution. Serial stories are no different with groups of chapters serving to work as parts of the story.
These are outlined below. 

Preface and chapters 1 and 2 are setting the scene and introducing the characters. Background and character development are important in this part. 
 
Chapters 3 to 7 should build the tension. These writers should also remember to keep their writing in character and follow up on the cues from previous chapters while leaving the chapter open for the next writer to follow on. It is all right to introduce new characters up to chapter five but not recommended after that.
 
Chapter 8 starts to bring things to a conclusion/climax and
Chapters 9 and 10 tidies up loose ends and concludes the serial. 
 
A fuller explanation can be found at this link:
http://www.thestorymint.com/blog/sumanda-maritz/mastering-art-writing-serial-chapters

When you write a chapter or put some work on the Writers' Pad grow your readership by promoting it on your Facebook page!

 

What people are saying

The Story Mint.   Just the name drew me in.    Right into a world where writers at all levels of their craft, came together to encourage, critique, support and ultimately succeed!  The Story Mint is truly an Incubator for Writers and provides a range of unique tools and systems designed to help aspiring writers like me, to not only ‘chart my course to writing success’, but also to accurately measure my progress along the way.  And all under the expert guidance of the Founder, Suraya Dewing who manages to keep her finger well and truly on the pulse.  A published author, Suraya knows the highs and lows of authorship and is hands-on in her approach and encouragement to help writers succeed.
Over the years I have been involved in several writers’ groups, including one at York University. I believe if you’re serious about writing, you should look no further than The Story Mint. It delivers!
 
Tell us what you think about our community of writers and concept, we'd love to hear from you.
 

Tell us what you think

Moving forward with...

To The Story Mint's wonderful supporters.
We are constantly amazed by the many talents of our writers.The Anthology is proof of that. Most of you go over and above the call when we ask you to help out with writing a chapter you have not booked and you always find time to produce a quality chapter despite having to fit writing it around a busy schedule. You also support us in other ways, editing, managing serials and encouraging writers if they are struggling. It is really humbling to be part of such a loyal community. Thank you.

To our Advisory Board

  Lindsay Corban,                   John Sandford          and                         Steve Corbett
Thank you for the generous way you have shared your experience and wisdom.

The Story Mint is very fortunate to be led by an inspirational Advisory Board. You have unstintingly given your time and led us, quietly encouraging us to make good decisions about the future of The Story Mint.
Each brings to us many years experience in the corporate world. Each has led highly successful consultancies, developed prosperous publishing ventures from nothing and guided struggling entrepreneurs to great success.
We look forward to what 2017 will bring, knowing you will be there to advise and share your knowledge.
We, at The Story Mint, appreciate all you have done and wish each of you and your family a very happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.

Tell us your stories
We encourage you to let us know about your successes. Your success gives us all heart and motivates us towards achieving our writing goals. If you can do it we know we can too.

 

What's hot with the Serials?
We have just published our first Anthology and the stories below could well be destined for one of next ones. We pick only the best so see if you can spot Anthology material.
If you take part in these serials you could be on your way to being published in a future Anthology.


Over 22,000 Facebook followers and a further 5,000 readers on social media look forward to reading these serials and news of the Anthology has gone out to 27,000 Facebook readers

We  welcome our new writers. Your storytelling skills are inspiring!. 
Donna McTavish, Serials Manager.

Starters
Thanks to all the writers who have submitted starters. These are a range of genres and it is great to give writers a chance to experiment.

Serials to Book
Storm by Suraya Dewing is a whimsical story about a young girl at a turning point in her life. She has graduated from University and her partner of five years has left her. And who is the aged man living in the Morton Bay Fig tree?
Lawnmarket by Anna Zhigareva is a historical story based in Scotland. There are tremendous possibilities for this story which starts in a family market with royalty coming to visit. Five chapters
Welcome to Halloween by Rosemary Wakelin. This is a family holiday with the Addams Family.   Great characters. Four chapters left.
Mirror Mirror by Sumanda Maritz. The mirror in the antique shop seems to speak to Alice so what are the strange reflections she sees in it? Two chapters left.
Josephine by Jasmine Groves. Jet black stallions pulling a carriage thunder through the night. What is he  journey for? You tell us. Two chapters to book.
Retribution 2 by Jasmine Groves. This is a wonderful story. Dilara is now the enemy of her people. How will she survive being torn between her family and her loyalty to her tribe?  Four chapters  to book.

If you write a serial chapter you join an elite group of writers who are working together to encourage each other. You are also giving future readers of your writing an opportunity to read your work and to follow you.

Serials underway
Rest in Peace is underway. Whose ambition is feeding into the two former friend's conflict. Is parental expectation  the driver between the Diandra's jealousy?
The Beauty Contest is underway. Look out for the first hilarious chapter.
It was a Game A fellow traveller on the train greets Samantha's father and they lave holding handss. She chases after him. Does she catch them?
Sailing A tsunami warning and an earthquake will shortly shake the young sailors out of their summer reverie. Our wayward sailors have unwittingly drifted into an unforeseen tempest. 
Captive We have yet to hear the story Leandra is told she will hear and this becomes the link between each chapter. A very clever device indeed.
The Way Home The wolves are howling and the animals are on the move. This  is a lovely story that takes us to a word of the imagination.
Ghost Ship Enjoy the rollicking sabre rattling on the high seas.
Moonlight  Chetna gets a dinner invitation in a most unusual place.
The 640 Express Charlotte appears and Art is left to pay a long forgotten debt to Clarke.
Gacgon the Sorceror This wonderful serial is about to be wrapped up. Gacgon prepares to create his final spell.

Author only serials
Storm by Suraya Dewing. Ray Stone wrote the first Author - only serial and Dan Oliver followed with History's Secret which is now up to chapter 6 is full of action. Plenty of pace, rising tension and mystery following an archaeological dig.

Who to send your starters and chapters to.
If you have a starter send it to suraya@thestorymint.com
If you've written a chapter send it to
donnamct@gmail.com
Chapters for 
The Assault go to Anna Zhigareva  E.  annazhigareva@yahoo.co.uk
Chapters for Cent-ed go to Tulika Saha.  E. tulikasaha@gmail.com

We ask that you consider the following as you write your chapters.
1. Please make sure you read all the chapters preceding your chapter so that your chapter follows on logically. At the moment there are some recurring continuity issues.
2. Remember to put your chapter through the stylecheck
before submitting it.
3. Each chapter does not need to end with a hook. This is especially true of the first four which are setting the scene.

If you have a starter you would like us to consider, send it to  suraya@thestorymint.com.

They can be up to 500 words long and in any genre except erotica.


Fabulous reading from the Writer's Pad

This month there is exceptional writing on the Writers' Pad and some really valuable feedback for the writers:


Bal Maid of Condurrow The Rescue is a further chapter in this wonderful story that captures the history of tin mining in England.
Getting to Know You takes us onto Cyprus. We are treated to an almost photographic journey around this picturesque island, taste its food and discover some of its history. It made me want to got here and soak in the sun and beautiful sea.


Article by Bruce Howat talks about the courage of the young people he meets and how life can be a surprise at times.

Comments and feedback are essential for a writer's progress. This is how writer's help each other to grow their skill. So keep it coming!

If you want to give the writer more detailed feedback than the comment box allows send it to me, suraya@thestorymint.com and I'll pass it on.

Chapter Writer winner

CONGRATULATIONS!!
This month Leif Rennes' chapter for Sailing  wins chapter writer of the month.

The parent's of the wayward sailors banter, unaware their son and his friends are out sailing. There is an earthquake and the mother runs to her son's room to check that he is okay. She discovers he has gone and his horrified to hear that there is a tsunami warning. Meantime out on the sunny sea the friends are basking in the sun, unaware of the looming danger.
 

A chat about books and New Releases

Everyone has a Story Paperback – November 23, 2016

by Flo Ginsburg (Editor)
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
The Story Mint proudly presents its first Anthology of 12 short stories written by 32 authors from 8 different countries. Editors: Flo Ginsburg(USA), Sumanda Maritz (S.Africa), and Ray Stone (Cyprus). Cover design by Jasmine Groves(NZ) The Story Mint is an international community of writers who support each other to become great storytellers. This collection represents their earliest work. To join http:// www.the storymint.com
 


 

Blog across the Spectrum

From Editor, Flo Ginsburg
I just received my copy of Everyone Has A Story. The covers are beautiful and feel so good to my fingers and palms. Silky smooth to my hands and my eyes. I’m very happy and pleased.
I just read Suraya’s blog Anthology, an amazing team effort regarding the teamwork required to produce a finished product. It made me feel even more proud than previously to have been one of the editors of the Anthology. She cited an Editor’s role as akin to a Director in a TV or commercial production. It was good enough to see my name in print, but to be equated to the role of a Director…you should see my head now!
I will admit that there were many, numerous, times of frustration. How could the girl now be a boy?! How could this person, who wasn’t there, be standing by the chair and talking?! How could the genre switch from romance to killer thriller?! And how many times can one name be spelled differently in one chapter, let alone the entire serial?!
Read on

From editor, Sumanda Maritz
Sumanda offers her thoughts on what will help serial writers if they want to improve their chances of being included in a future Anthology.

Logical errors
These are the features in the serial that makes the reader doubt the validity of the story. Let’s take an extreme example, if the serial is about a trip up Mount Everest, describing the scene when you reach the summit as a leisurely stroll isn’t logical.
 
Continuity errors
This happens when you contradict facts that have been written in previous chapters. I found that I made these mistakes when I had preconceived notions of the serial or characters.
 
Lack of pace
This is one of the more challenging problems. Each story has a timeline that varies according to the type of story... The timeline of the serial is sometimes determined by the starter or the first two chapters. Again this is where you can ask yourself if it is logical to stay within the same day as the previous chapter, or if time has moved on.
 
Lack of research
This isn’t always a problem when writing about something that you are very familiar with or is common knowledge, but when you are not and don’t do the research it can create questions in the mind of the reader.
To read the full version of Sumanda's editorial advice go to:
http://www.thestorymint.com/blog/sumanda-maritz/mastering-art-writing-serial-chapters

From editor, Ray Stone
Five years ago The Story Mint took its first steps into creating a platform for writers to improve their skills by introducing serial writing. Our goal was to see as many of these artists as possible realise the dream of being published. It has been a privilege to work with such talent and watch as standards rose well beyond our expectations. Today, all that hard work and creativity has paid off. For 32 writers the dream has come true and deservedly so.
As I read through the work that was chosen for the Anthology, I was amazed by the rapid improvement of work from those just starting to write and the wonderful way the most experienced writers had polished and honed their skills by:

  1. Condensing by deleting unwanted words and increasing word power
  2. Improving the quality of descriptive work and sentence construction

The reason writing serials has proved so successful is that it provides every challenge a writer needs to overcome on the road to publication.
Read Raymond's blog on what literary agents look for so they can throw your work on the slush pile.

Anthology an amazing team effort

Suraya writes:

We have just released Everyone Has a Story, which is a set of short stories created from The Story Mint’s earliest serials. There are 12 stories, written by 32 authors from 8 countries and, as Kalli Deschamps says in her review, “The serials are well written with a beginning, middle and ending; complete as though written by one author.”

Creative imagination ties the stories together and it makes me realise that groups can achieve great things when they share a vision. That vision can be realised in many different ways. But the shared goal makes the whole endeavour coalesce. Read on

We recommend the blogs on our website.

Our writing tips

Since we have just published what we believe to be the world's first collaborative serials we thought that some of the observations from the editors are pertinent.
In her blog Sumanda bullet points how serial writing improved her overall writing.

  • An ability to be concise
  • Improved research skills – very important
  • An understanding of point of view and how to write from a character’s point of view
  • Keeping tenses consistent
  • Keeping a consistent point of view
  • Keeping location descriptions consistent
  • Understanding how to keep the story moving forward
  • Awareness of how pace affects writing

http://www.thestorymint.com/blog/sumanda-maritz/mastering-art-writing-serial-chapters
An added point comes from Donna

  • Maintain the voice of the starter.

Writing Meetup this month

International Writers Groups
Melbourne http://www.meetup.com/The-Melbourne-Writers-Meetup-Group/
New Zealand http://authors.org.nz/writers-resources/writing-groups/
USA http://writersrelief.com/writers-associations-organizations/
New Delhi http://www.meetup.com/Delhi-Aspiring-Writers/
London http://www.meetup.com/londonwriterscafe/

Check this website out!

Bill Gate's 2016 favourite book
!Bill Gates talks about his favourite books for 2016 and reviews them. Definitely worth a look.

bill gates reading books 2016

If you have any websites you’d like to recommend send us the link.

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