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October Newsletter

The Story Mint Newsletter | October 2016

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Newsletter: October 2016

Sometimes we forget.
We get worn down by the daily struggle and forget to stop and take stock. This newsletter is about celebrating all we have achieved. The Story Mint is a group of amazing people without whom we would have disappeared long ago. The Anthology, which is close to coming out, will remind us of that. Compare what we are writing today with what we wrote in the early days. It is humbling and exciting to see how far we have come. But most importantly, it is a celebration of all the people who are making The Story Mint a success.

The Anthology, featuring a selection of our first serials, is almost ready to go thanks to Raymond Stone, Sumanda Maritz and Flo Ginsburg.
If you have not yet sent Sumanda or Suraya your short 150 word bio please get it to us. We do not want to publish the Anthology without recognising your contribution.
This will be the first of several future Anthologies and we have no doubt these will be popular as people discover the extraordinary story telling skills of the writers belonging to The Story Mint.
Everyone, whose name appears in the Anthology, will receive royalties after expenses are paid.

Cover Design
Jasmine Groves has designed the most amazing cover for the Anthology. It reflects the ethos of The Story Mint and is vibrant with each of the writers in the collection acknowledged on it.

Beachlands students return to school this week and they are all poised to write their chapters. It is very exciting to see the quality of Hamish's starter. Matipo is also well underway and again it is inspiring to see the quality of the story telling. According to their teachers they remain inspired and excited. We all acknowledge the students are developing writing skills that will stand them in good stead across many disciplines in the future.
We welcome another to the trial and and we set them up over the next few weeks.

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

... and what we've all been up to on your behalf!

Defining the focus for our future
The Advisory Board met mid October and made some exciting decisions about where we should focus our energies. The original focus of  The Story Mint remains at the core but the other relates to getting the most value from stylecheck™.
More on that in the next newsletter.

In the meantime, Suraya sees these as our values for The Story Mint:
Integrity. Making sure we are honest with the team and ourselves.
Growing. Always working on becoming better writers.
Supportive. Supporting each other to grow our writing skills.
Community. Being part of The Story Mint community and positively contributing to each other's success.
Resolute. Never giving up despite disappointments.

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
From Sumanda Maritz

When I started at The Story Mint, I had written several articles that were paid for and published. So I thought that even though I had no formal training in writing, I was quite good at it. Imagine my surprise when I realised how much I still had to learn. And learn I did. Those first few serials showed me just how much I didn’t know. Over the years I went through a huge learning curve. First I got on the grid, then I wrote starters followed by blogs and now I'm learning about editing. I have learned to curb my ego and write what is best for the serial, to take criticism as constructive rather than a personal attack. I am finally a team writer.
Working on the Anthology has taught me so much that I would like to suggest every writer give it a try. Take any serial and give it a go. Don’t just read it. Examine and question. Believe me, it’s easier to do with something written by someone else than your own writing, but once you’ve gone through the process, it gives you the tools you’ll need to use on your own writing. It also makes it easier to write. Because once you’ve edited, you remember the pitfalls you found.
Something else I learned as well is that writing and reading are very subjective. What the writer imagined and what each reader imagines doesn’t necessarily correspond. And that it doesn’t really matter. In the end, it is the joy in writing and in reading that is important.
For all of this, I would like to thank The Story Mint and in particular Suraya and Raymond for the instructions and help in this journey that I am on. You guys Rock!

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...

Everyone is back at school and the student serials are underway. Kylie Biggs, Team Leader for Years 7 & 8 Intermediate, Beachlands School and Marion Clark, Year 6 Syndicate leader at Matipo School are amazing in the way they have embraced stylecheck™ and the serials in schools project. Both have picked up after the holidays and got students writing chapters. We are learning all the time how to make things easier for teachers and students to use The Story Mint . Thanks to Debra Stuart for your support at Matipo School.
We have another school joining us. More about that in the next newsletter.

Donna McTavish and Debra Stuart have also been working on developing a manual for schools and Administrators for The Story Mint to refer to when posting serials and serial chapters. Everyone who manages the serials at The Story Mint will find this manual useful as we have included all the steps for setting up a serial. However, more importantly we also explain how to use stylecheck™ to get maximum benefit from it.

NZ Book Festival
The NZ Book Festival is on Saturday 5 November at Mt. Eden War Memorial Hall, Mt. Albert, Auckland.
Details are on the website:
It’s a fantastic opportunity for writers to get their books in front of the buying public and for readers to find books not available in bookshops. Contact:
Andrene Low andrene.low@slingshot.co.nz
Let us know about similar events in your areas.

We encourage members to let us know about their successes. Your success gives us all heart and motivates them towards achieving their writing goals. If you can do it they know they can too.


What's hot with the Serials?
The serials are a core part of our business. Those who get involved see a marked improvement in their writing skills. The writers who leave comments also discover how to analyse writing and this gives them excellent transferable skills.

Over 15,000 readers look forward to reading these thanks to Donna McTavish's excellent management.

We also welcome our new writers. You inspire us with your storytelling skills. 

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

Serials to Book
It was a Game by Ray Stone. Samantha sees her father at the railway station. But he is dead? This is a serial well worth booking. It's got all the suspense of a Stephen King novel. Three chapters to book.
Josephine by Jasmine Groves. This a historical serial with plenty of places for writers to take it. Josephine's carriage has crashed over a bridge into the river below. Three chapters to book.
Retribution 2 by Jasmine Groves. Will Dilara fill the emptiness she feels inside? Experiment with the tribal politics. Why is she still not accepted despite having married the Chief.  Five chapters left to book.
The Beauty Contest by Rosemary Wakelin. Imagine a camel race across the desert and a contest to find the handsomest camel. Hard to imagine a beautiful camel but I'm sure writers will...or maybe not. Five chapters left
Rest in Peace by Hemali Ajmera. Two friends turn against each other because they want fame in the ice skating world. Four chapters  to book.
Sailing by Suraya Dewing. Three chapters left.

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
Captive This starts in a very dark place...where horror usually lives. It'll be interesting to see how the horror takes shape.
The Way Home This beautifully crafted serial has ambience and animals with human instincts. There is a piece of magic in every sentence.
Moonlight  Chetna is at the hospital, locked in a lift with Dr. Batra. Enjoy Linda Alley's chapter 7 with all its subtext and entendre. Wonderful!
The 640 Express Extraordinary storytelling in this serial. The train relentlessly clicks along the track. The tension builds. What will happen to Mandy surrounded by petrol and a menacing Clarke with the lighter nearby.
Gacgon the Sorceror  Think Lord of the Rings and Gandolf and you will go to the world Dan Oliver created in his chapter 8. It is magical reading.

Born Bad Read the amazing surprise ending by new writer, Neil Churches. I am giving nothing away! Just suffice to say that the crafting of this last chapter demonstrates masterful story telling skills.
The Diary of Pearl Farrell This historical serial set in NZ has many asking for other historical starters from other countries. Linda Alley started the serial and ended it. The last chapter ties everything to together perfectly and also gives us a view of the future. It is a wonderful, well told story.

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
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

A Request: Please make sure you read all the chapters preceding your chapter so that your chapter follows on logically and remember to put your chapter through the stylecheck
before submitting it.

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 Great Condurrow You might remember Ray Stone's  author only serial. He is now rewriting it, giving more detail. It is wonderful to read. Using the voice of the mid 1800s he takes us into Mr. Jeddler's inheritance and the mystery behind it.

Little Things Grow Into Big Things by Anna Zhigareva is the moving account of a mother uniting with her child after a year of searching for him. It is also the search for self and the discovery that there is good in this world.

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
Linda Alley's final chapter  for The Diary of Pearl Farrell has won our best serial chapter competition for this month. Congratulations Linda. The win was well deserved.

This is the start to the last chapter of The Diary of Pearl Farrell:
Greetings from 2015.

We've followed Pearl Farrell's life as a mid 18th century settler in New Zealand. Then read what Barbara Susan Cowden predicts life will be like 22nd century.
It reminds us all that history is what was once the future.

A chat about books

Footsteps is a collection of poems written by Greg Rochlin from 2003 to the present.
He says, "I am very glad to have the opportunity to present these works to a wider public".

Footsteps will be launched by Judith Rodriguez on Saturday the 22nd October, 2pm. Details below.

Here is an extract from his poem Footsteps.

The sea had now receded from the tumble
of rounded rocks, glistening in the sun.
And shadows tried their best to make him stumble
as his feet found their way, one by one.
It was a scramble on the textured headland,
one slip and you’re done,
you focus on the step to follow, in half a second.
A wind ruffled the yellow T-shirt,
now a sandshoe came to land
on an unstable slab, and even more alert
he rode it, and aimed for a surer surface.
The boulders gave way to a flat stratum which exerted ...

If you want to read more of this evocative poem you can buy a copy for $22 incl postage from Collected Works Bookshop, Nicholas Building, Level 1, 37 Swanston Street., Melbourne,
or email Greg at  <gregprochlin@gmail.com>
 The publisher is Littlefox Press, Kyneton.

Blog across the Spectrum

In light of Sumanda's comments about how hard she struggled to accept feedback as being constructive and intended to help her become a better writer, Ray's blog Professionalism before Pride
is very apt.
He says, 'The good writer should always appreciate good and bad. Readers have given their opinion, and it is up to the writer to decide what critical comments are a help in identifying weaknesses in the work so that in future, those shortfalls can be addressed. Indeed, as writers, we should appreciate the big part that readers play in helping us develop style and plot construction'... Read more

We recommend the blogs on our website.


Our writing tips

We thought that rather than pick writing tips from a website we would go to our writers and ask them for their personal favourites.

These are from Anna Zhigareva, Scotland.

1. Read, read, read. Read as many books as you can, try different genres, get familiar with the literature around you.
2. Find your own voice. Practice writing as much as you can. Just like pianists who would never have perfected the art if they hadn’t dedicated hours of rehearsal time at their instrument, you need to find an hour or two each week to just sit down and write. 
3. Get your work out there and receive others’ opinions. These are by no means to be followed blindly, but will often give you a good idea of where your writing excels and can capture a reader, and where it perhaps may need some more work. The Story Mint is a perfect platform both for writing practice and the exchange of advice. Never stop learning.
4. Have a vision, but don’t forget about planning. It is crucial that you have a strong image in your head as you start writing, that you have an emotional connection to your piece, which will guide your words; however, planning is as important to your writing as the inspiration which starts it. Before diving headfirst into a piece, consider whether or not your characters will be believable. Know what the protagonist’s goal is; where will the twists be and will they be believable?How will the story’s main problem arise and how will it be resolved. What deeper meaning will your writing have in the context of humanity in general.
5. Last but not least, love what you do. Though hard work, writing should not feel like a chore. If you have planned well and if your inspiration remains as strong as ever to write your piece, get stuck into it. There will be challenges you will have to solve as your write, but, remember, there are always ways to share your work to get advice and reassurance if you are stuck. At the end of the day, there are very different kinds of readers, with different preferences for style and content; your story will find its niche and be enjoyed by many.

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/


Check this website out!

NZ Book Festival
Check out the NZ Book Festival on Saturday 5 November.
Details are on the website:
Andrene Low
021 275 8000

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

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