Write MAGIC and the Online Writing Community


Brought together when the world was at its darkest, to give support to each other and other writers.

So, I normally post half yearly updates of all the writing-related activities/workshops/events I’ve been involved in, but obviously this past year and a half has been unlike anything we’ve faced before, and a number of things (as well as physical trips) fell by the wayside. Writers had to re-evaluate how to work, how to reach their audience, and how to connect. Being a writer can be quite isolating for many at the best of times, but take away in-person critique group meetings, socials, festivals, book launches, retreats, writing in libraries and coffee shops etc. and the world shrinks even further. Which is why becoming involved in Write MAGIC at the start of this year has been an absolute godsend.

I am so proud to be part of such a vibrant online community, where we welcome writers at any stage of their writing career, from beginners to award winners, and those writing for any genre and age group, with a focus on helping each other and getting words on the page. Every day we host online writing sprints on Zoom, where we set our goals for the hour, write for around 50 minutes, and then check back in and chat about how we’ve all done. I find that the friendships formed and things learnt on these sprints are as important as the accountability of actually getting my ‘bum in seat’ and doing the work. And it can lead to other things happening organically, such as ad hoc pitching workshops, synopsis and/or submission package swaps etc. Plus, we have a weekly planning Zoom for people to plan their week ahead. If you’re anything like me, seeing things written down always helps. (And I never really need an excuse for a lovely new notebook or planner!)

Community is a big thing for Write MAGIC. We are proud to have built a relaxed, friendly and supportive online environment for writers, where friendships are being formed daily. However, we wanted to extend a little magic into the world at large and so we asked our members to nominate a school and its nearest independent bookshop. Each month we spin the Wheel of Fortune and one lucky school receives £50 of books of their choice bought by us from their local indie bookshop.

It’s also important for us to support the debut novelists in our community, as making an impact in the week of publication can have a significant effect on a writer’s career. And, as we all know, it’s been doubly hard for debuts recently! So we are sending age appropriate debuts to the schools on the Wheel of Fortune and compiling a list of libraries who will receive debut picture books and novels written for adult readers.

Sound like something you would enjoy? Why not check us out – we’d love to welcome you!

The voting is open

vote now There were only 3 entries for November but I hope that you enjoyed them.  If you would like to vote for your favourite the voting is now open. Please vote for your favourite between now and the end of the month and the winner will set the next writing prompt for December. Happy reading! 🙂

The Hardest Move

A quick reminder that the writing prompt for this month is ‘Being Thankful’.  If you would like to enter a piece of flash fiction or a poem then there is still time as submissions are welcome until the 24th of each month.

When considering what I would like to post I found it a bit of a challenge as there are many things for which I’m thankful.  But at the end of the day the thing that I will always be most thankful for is my beautiful family.

The prose poem below is a bit of a work in progress if I’m honest.  It seemed to just pour onto the page when we moved from our first family home last year and for me it evokes quite vivid images and personal emotions.  However, when it was submitted in to a poetry workshop at my writing class, the feedback I received was that it would benefit from being trimmed back fairly substantially to leave only the most salient points.  That way it would leave the reader to form their own opinions more, rather than me ‘telling’ them what to feel.  This is a critique that I completely take on board and I keep meaning to find the time to dedicate to this exercise as I feel it would certainly be worthwhile.  However, in the meantime, I would like to share the original unabridged version for the purposes of this month’s mini competition and any comments or feedback relating to the above would be welcomed.

car journey


A final sweep of empty rooms,

hollow steps echoing as I pass through.

Rooms empty but still full:

Of memories. Of the past. Of family.

Silence hangs in the air,

heavy, bittersweet.

Fingers instinctively brush a spot

on the wall where, on close inspection,

a washed out arc of crayon.

Green, I think.

Patio doors cleaned to a shine yet

I still see little finger prints;

steam where small faces pressed up

against pane on cold winter days

to look for Jack Frost and friends;

drawings formed in residue of their breath.

Outside stays the same

apart from one small fruit tree.


A present on their birth four years ago.

This has already been moved;

the space left is small but vast

The first bedroom where they slept:

The ghosts of memories still linger,

but they won’t stick around

to haunt new owners.

I grieve for the loss

of what made this house our home.

They are waiting in the car.

Too young to understand;

eager for adventure.

Do they know they will not return?

To run up and down the hall chasing monsters

and being super heroes?

To sit at the kitchen table making pictures?

To jump on our bed and stare up

at the ceiling rose moon?

To roll down the garden and clamber over rockery,

playing hide and seek amongst the shrubs?

Will they remember their first home as I do?

They are almost too ready to move:

Excited and paying little heed to what will be left,

keen simply to bring their books and toys to the ‘new’;

ready to leave some ‘old’ in the ‘old’ house.

Their innocence at once charming and poignant.

It is time to go.

I understand but something holds me back

for just a fraction longer.

An invisible thread

gradually unravelling to release me

from the bind I feel.

I almost wish it to slow down

To suspend time for just a moment;

To allow me to breath in the essence

of our first home

and store it

locked away in a place where

it will not fade over time.

But this is just the beginning.

More memories will be made

Fresh air wraps itself around me as I exit;

a smile for waiting passengers.

The door closes quietly behind me

and whispers a soft goodbye.

(c) Elizabeth Frattaroli

Thankfulness by Jan Strickland

A warm welcome back to Jan Strickland with her entry to this month’s writing competition on the prompt of ‘being thankful’.

poppies and helmet

Jan Strickland says:


My grandfather fought in the Great War.

He, with his three pals, didn’t wait to be conscripted, but volunteered right at the start, leaving his wife, a daughter aged 7 years old and a son of 5 (my dad).

I suppose not only did they want to do their duty to King & Country, but they may have also looked upon it as perhaps, a bit of an adventure.  I doubt many young men in1913 from Liverpool would have travelled much and now they would get the chance to visit other countries.

My grandfather and his friends, because they had volunteered, were invited to a civic reception by the Mayor of Liverpool, Mr J E Mayner, along with other volunteers.  In all around 300 young men attended.  The reception for the ‘Liverpool Scottish for the Front Luncheon’ was held on 4th February 1913 in the Liverpool Town Hall.  After the speeches each man was presented with a thick cigar in a blue box with an inscription in gold print.  I still have that box with his 1/2 smoked cigar inside it.

All of us should be so thankful to those brave young men and boys who left home, family and country to fight for our freedom in the rat-infested mud of France.

My grandfather died at Ypres and his name is inscribed, with many thousands of others, on the Menin Gate in Ypres.  We must never forget what these valiant young men did to allow us to live and speak freely in this country.  They lay down their lives for us and paid the highest price.

We must never forget.

(c) Jan Strickland



An Interview with a Veteran by Maryann Holloway

A big thank you to last month’s winner, Maryann, for kicking things off for November with her short story entitled ‘An Interview with a Veteran’.  A subject for which we should all be thankful and very fitting coming up to Remembrance Day on the 11th of November.

navy carrier

Maryann Holloway says:     November 4, 2013 at 2:28 am

An Interview With A Veteran

Here is my submission for November. http://mholloway63.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/an-interview-with-a-veteran/

(c) Maryann Holloway

New Writing Competition – November Prompt


Thank you to Maryann Holloway who, as winner of last month’s mini writing comp, has provided the new writing prompt of ‘Being Thankful’ for November’s competition to tie in with Thanksgiving month.

What makes your character(s) thankful or what would make them thankful if it’s something they don’t already have?

I invite you to submit a piece of flash fiction (up to 500 words) or poetry along this theme on the designated competition page.

Last entry date for this month is 24th of November and then people have between then and the end of the month to vote for their favourite, with the next competition starting at the beginning of December and the winner of this month setting the next writing prompt

Once again, thank you in advance to all taking part and good luck! 🙂

Time to vote if you like what you see….

voting stamp

I hope you have enjoyed reading the great mix of entries for this month’s competition and now it’s time to ensure that your favourite comes in first.  Who will you vote for?  Voting is open to all whether you have contributed an entry or not so make sure that your vote counts.

Please vote between now and the end of the month and the winner will set the next writing prompt for November. Happy reading! 🙂