BBC calls on budding authors to write more than a Valentine’s Card this February. Words: Allan Radcliffe
The Glasgow-based author Janice Galloway begins her short story ‘Valentine’ with a simple disclosure. ‘I hate February,’ she writes. ‘There is no natural excitement about the second month of the year. Valentine’s Day makes me embarrassed.’
While many of her readers would concur with this succinct dismissal of the shortest month, this February Galloway and various other fiction writers will be encouraging aspiring authors to pick up their pens and take part in a novel form of literary master class.
For the second successive year, BBC Radio Scotland is launching Write Here, Right Now, the ‘Write a Novel in a Month’ project, which last year attracted more than 1000 participants world-wide. Interested parties can sign up by following a link on the Radio Scotland website (see below). Once enrolled, writers are asked to commit to 1000 words a day, the station offering daily emails of encouragement from some of Scotland’s leading authors.
Appropriately for a scheme being launched in February, the wide-open theme of this year’s Write Here, Right Now is romance. And who better to offer creative support and advice than such well-kent names as Galloway and light, comic novelists Jenny Colgan and Isla Dewar, and a number of bestselling, surprise contributors.
While 1000 words a day may sound a tall order, the regular deadline could be the perfect motivator for those who have always found an excuse to avoid releasing their inner novel. ‘Romance’ may immediately bring to mind feeble chick-lit or camp bodice-rippers, but the subject expands to take in the big themes of love and passion from a male or female perspective, with a contemporary or historical setting, tackled with wicked humour or deadly seriousness.
For those still resisting threading a new ribbon into their typewriters, inspiration is provided by Yvonne Hughes who has already signed a contract for her book, A Time to Die, which was inspired by last year’s project.
So dig out your pens, paper and imaginations. Who said February had to be boring?