Tuesday, 24 March 2020

#WEPwinner #guestpost - #Anstice Brown - Wellbeing for Writers During Challenging Times

Hello there! 

How are you doing in times of Coronavirus? Hope you're all safe and well and protecting yourself by social distancing. Thankfully, online pursuits can go ahead. 

We're running late this month. But we have a treat for you today as this month's winner of Cafe Terrace, Anstice Brown, has prepared a wonderful guest post, reaching out to writers at this challenging time. 

Thank you Anstice!

Wellbeing for Writers During Challenging Times

With all the fear and uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to contribute something positive for my fellow writers, so here are my tips for staying creative in these difficult times.

Start Small
With everything that’s going on, you could forgive your muse for forgetting to turn up to duty. Your strict writing schedule may need to be abandoned in favour of a more flexible approach. Try setting a timer for short intervals and writing without allowing yourself to edit. Online writing sprints can help with motivation, as can having a writing buddy to cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Make Contingency Plans
Planning can make you feel more in control of your situation. It’s not helpful to dwell on worst-case scenarios, but if you have looming deadlines, you should discuss your options with your editor or publisher. It might be possible to extend deadlines or postpone things in the event of illness or ongoing social distancing. Planning for it now will reduce your anxiety about what might go wrong in the future.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome
If your day job is currently suspended, you are probably juggling working-from-home, housework and home-schooling your kids. You might need to think outside the box when it comes to finding the time to write. Meetings with your writing crew will have to be via video call from now on (Microsoft Teams is a brilliant tool for this).

However, this unique situation does offer some interesting opportunities for book marketing as the majority of people will be at home and needing entertainment. Here are some ideas:

      Run an offer or giveaway for your books.
      Hold an online launch party or author event. You could invent your own hashtag for the occasion, make custom graphics, run giveaways and fan art competitions and post fun excerpts on your blog.
      Video yourself reading from your book or host a writing webinar and share across social media to generate a buzz.
      Put together a free pack of bookish resources for school students.
      Look into writing for Chatables (https://www.chatables.com/), Amazon Alexa’s new conversational storytelling feature. 

Be Kind to Yourself
Writers are often self-critical but it’s now more important than ever to prioritise our mental and physical wellbeing. Writing should be a welcome escape, so if it’s adding to your stress, I’d suggest you take a break. Soak up some sunshine in your garden, stretch your body, get creative with your kids or lose yourself in a good book. 

Reach Out
Now is the perfect time to connect with an online writing group like the WEP, IWSG (https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/)  or the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. Join in with online events such as Camp NanoWrimo (https://campnanowrimo.org/) in April/July or The Blogging from A-Z Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) in April to give you a boost of motivation.

We all have to stick together through these challenging times. If you feel yourself struggling, please reach out to someone for support. Stay safe and write on everyone.

Author Bio

Anstice Brown has a BA in Literature and Philosophy and adores her role as a Literacy Learning Assistant. She lives in England with her wonderful husband, daughter and their mischievous cat, Magical Mr. Mistoffelees. Her short story “Sea of Sorrows” appears in the IWSG anthology Masquerade: Oddly Suited (https://books2read.com/masqueradeoddlysuited).

 Thanks Anstice!

  • Please everyone, feel free to share how you're feeling. It is a trying time! WEP is a safe place. We welcome your input! Do you have any well-being hints?

See you all at our next challenge - April - Antique Vase. Eyes out for the April 1 post which will explain all, and feature two more writers who've been with WEP for 10 years!

Please tweet!

@AnsticeBrown #Covid-19 #WellbeingforWriters #WEPwinner #guestpost https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/03/hello-there-how-are-you-doing-in-times.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, #@LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

Monday, 9 March 2020


Hello all, Denise here!

February 2020 has been a personal favorite challenge for me. It had it all - a van Gogh (yes, the 'v' is lower case) work of art, a rich history behind the art, and a plethora of talented writers to bring CAFE TERRACE to life.  Thank you everyone! I'm especially touched by those who were new to van Gogh and took the time to research before putting pen to paper. That is extra special and we're humbled.

A warm welcome to new members, Carole Stolz (friend of Pat Garcia) and Donna Hanton. I hope you enjoyed the experience and will join us again!  


Thanks Nila for writing up the blurbs for every entry.

Roland Yeomans – Flash fiction. Samuel Clemens and Oscar Wilde meet up at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel to ponder the treasures of Tutankhamun and what money can or can’t buy.

Damyanti Biswas – Flash fiction. An artist channels Van Gogh a little too accurately as a lover tries to save her from herself.

Beth Camp – Poetry. Free verse persona poem written in tribute to Van Gogh, an interesting take on the POV.

Sally – Flash fiction/Poetry. A charming Valentine flash contrasting the chronology of young and mature love, incorporating poetry for greater effect.

Kalpana Misra – Flash fiction.  A sharp thumbnail of contemporary work culture showing how naivete and honesty are rewarded in a corporate work ethic controlled by social media and sycophancy.

Donna Hanton – Flash fiction. Lisa meets her ex by chance when she stops for a cocktail at the famous café in Arles. Will her love be rekindled?

Carrie Ann Golden – Poetry. Galena’s café, destroyed by war, ravaged by disease, lies abandoned but not forever. From darkness to light,  from the ashes to hope.

Susan Rouchard – Flash fiction. A Sorbonne academic slips too deep into his own research and ends up eavesdropping unwittingly on some strange, bygone conversations.

Dolorah – Flash fiction.  A woman looks a ring of woven twigs on her gnarled finger and relives her youth and a lost love.

Team Netherworld – Flash fiction. A mature man reminisces about his brother on a long ago Valentine’s Day and how an illness can be worse than death itself.

Elephant’s Child – Poetry.  A hard hitting poem addressing artists, art, the impact and meanings of appreciation and success.

Ronald Clarke – Flash fiction. Sparkle and Kama ponder over the case of a burgled Van Gogh copy and the line between that and forgery.

Carole Stolz – Poetry. A well crafted and bittersweet tribute to the creator of the original Café Terrace.

C. Lee McKenzie – Flash fiction. A women steps into a…café and finds an old flame and a new definition of love.

Toi Thomas – Flash fiction. A trio of American black women think through the pros and cons of setting up a new café in an out of the way French town.

Jemi Fraser – Flash fiction. An alien being comes to a withered Earth, bleached of all colours and discovers the vibrant planet as it must have been in a painting.

Pat Garcia – Flash fiction.  An unusual Valentine tale of a great but unconventional, all-accepting, remotely conducted love.

Bernadette Braganza – Flash fiction. A modern day café owner tells a customer the story of its origins.

Anstice Brown – Flash fiction. An innovative flash where the work of two artists from two separate genres and periods combines to produce a haunting portrait.

Sonia Dogra – Flash fiction.  A unique POV where a setting turns into a character and tells rather a dark tale of love.

Hilary Melton-Butcher – Flash fiction. A widow processes her grief through a visit to one of the spaces she and her beloved husband shared.

L.G. Keltner – Flash fiction. A woman dresses up and meets a man for a somewhat unconventional date that ends rather unhappily for one of them.

Jemima Pett – Flash fiction. Arlene goes on a dream trip following Van Gogh’s painting and discovers a fresh, intriguing perspective on love.

Nilanjana Bose – Essay. A ramble through the history of cafés and terraces and myriad other things.

Olga Godim – Flash fiction. Monette uses her grimoire to humorous effect and straightens out an ex or two.

Yolanda Renee – Flash fiction. A couple hold on to each other and their memories in the stark, cruel reality of old age destitution.

Denise Covey – Essay. A tribute to Van Gogh and how his life and works continue to inspire journeys short and long.


We had an especially difficult time coming up with a shortlist. How could we not with the high quality entries? We finally came up with one we could all agree on. If you don't see your name on this last, it probably was at some stage. Competition was especially fierce which explains how long it took to find the top three. You just keep on improving!

And now, the official shortlist which was sent to Nick!

Thank you everyone! Congratulations on a job well done! It was also heartening to see so many people commented far and wide. Please keep it up, because in order to make the final shortlist, you must be commenting!


Nick commented: "This was tough, with everything being high quality."

So, here we go:



Congratulations, Anstice! 

Nick said: 

Striking and unique, I really like the idea behind this. It turns a prompt into multiple prompts and makes a great story out of it."

Anstice, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!

In addition to a critique of your first three chapters, or 10,000 words, afrom Lynda Dietz , you've also won a guest post here at WEP. Details will be emailed to you shortly. I'm afraid the time is short!


Congratulations, Damyanti!

Nick said:

"Bittersweet and poignant, and I also like the spare writing style, letting the reader draw their own conclusions for the most part."

Thank you for participating in WEP with your wonderful entry! Please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!


Congratulations, Lee!

Nick said:

"Another intriguing idea, with a good tale woven in too."

Lee, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!


Thank you for showing respect and encouragement to all the enthusiastic writers who penned a post for the February challenge! 

There was the usual Word Press/Blogger incompatibility, but less than usual. Personally, WP made me log in every time I wanted to comment which was painful. Always watch the C-Box and the website comment thread to catch up on any commenting problems and fixes. Thanks to those who commented on the site when you couldn't comment on a post.

Those who read 22 and over, (allowing some leeway for the difficult commenting situation), by the cutoff date of Friday 28th February -- wow, just look at this list!!

Pat Garcia,
Jemi Fraser,
C Lee McKenzie,
Sonia Dogra,
Elephants Child
Sally Stackhouse,
the WEP team

The Random selector chose C Lee McKenzie for winner. Congratulations, Lee! Please display the badge on your blog with a link to the WEP website. Whoa! Two badges this month!

Here's our April prompt which will be hosted by Yolanda Renee. Very exciting, both the prompt and having Yolanda back on board. The thinking-caps post will be posted April 1.

Thank you so much for an amazing February challenge!  Check out the CHALLENGES PAGE and plan for the rest of the year.  

And SPAM alert! MailChimp sends emails with links into your SPAM folder. Please go to your SPAM folder and tick 'Not Spam.' I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about it atm. I'd really appreciate your dropping a comment to tell me if you received my WEP email. (I send out 4 per month. A shame if no one gets them, LOL!)

Denise for...

We'd love for you to tweet this post or share to Facebook or your favorite social media site. Plenty of choices.

#WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE winners announced. @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee  @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/winners-post-february-challenge-cafe.html #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners 

10 years of writing excellence WEP February winners @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/winners-post-february-challenge-cafe.html #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Come congratulate our February winners. #WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE Challenge @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

The #WEPFF writers had some fantastic entries! WEP winners announced! @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

#WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE winners all. https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/winners-post-february-challenge-cafe.html @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

10 years of writing excellence WEP Winners! @LGKeltner  @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/winners-post-february-challenge-cafe.html #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Come congratulate our February winners. #WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE Challenge @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

The #WEPFF writers had some fantastic entries! @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim

Give the #WEPFF challenge a try in April and let your imagination fly! #AntiqueVase a@DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/winners-post-february-challenge-cafe.html #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Tuesday, 18 February 2020



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Sign up for the WEP challenge, CAFÉ TERRACE. https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/wep-february-challenge-cafe-terrace.html #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

Join the enthusiastic writers at WEP. Sign up here for the CAFÉ TERRACE challenge https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/wep-february-challenge-cafe-terrace.html #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

First WEP writing challenge of 2020 https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/wep-february-challenge-cafe-terrace.html Sign up or read. #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

Read some great short #writing here at the WEP, https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/02/wep-february-challenge-cafe-terrace.html #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry #prizes

Saturday, 1 February 2020

#WEP/IWSG Inaugural Challenge for 2020 - FEBRUARY - CAFE TERRACE. Put-your-thinking-cap-on post, plus exciting news!

Hello writers!

Denise here! 

My motto for the year is: LIGHTEN UP! And I'll start with WEP.

From now on, all news etc will be here in the first-of-the-month post, while the sign up post will be just that, a sign up. We no longer want the sign up post to be cluttered with a lot of information. It will be problematic to start with, as our-first-of-the-month posts are largely ignored, but we'll work on it. 

(A timely reminder: check your Spam folder as I send out a notification email before each post.) 

This month, we certainly have more news than usual!

Did I catch you by surprise! 

The year 2020. 

WEP's 10th birthday.

Beginning life as RFW (Romantic Friday Writers) in 2010, with myself and Francine Howarth (Regency Romance author) at the helm, it transformed into WEP basically because some writers were put off by the idea of writing romance. 

Little ole me has continued as founder/host after Francine's writing career took off, with the generous help of Donna Hole, then Yolanda Renee as co-hosts. Now we have a full team - Olga Godim, Nilanjana Bose and L.G. Keltner who have different strengths but most importantly are all enthusiastic about this unique online writing community. 

Olga created a wonderful anniversary badge with the team's input. Grab it and post it into your sidebar with a link to our website. Thank you!

WEP has been a way to hone our writing craft, a way to gain confidence to publish, and a way to gather countless writing friends to motivate and encourage through beta reading and/or critiquing. 

We celebrate this milestone, first by acknowledging the loyalty of several writers who've been with us since the early days as RFW and its fortnightly 400-word posts, and who continue to post regularly or irregularly -- Nilanjana Bose, Sally Stackhouse, Roland Yeomans, Yolanda Renee, Nancy Williams and Donna Hole. Other 'originals' return from time to time (but not often enough - we miss them!) hey there Michael di Gesu and Adura Ojo.

Each of the above 6 have been asked to share a few words about their WEP/writing experience and to collect their badge. Their replies will be shared in the next few posts.

Yolanda Renee here! 

The WEP has truly meant everything to my writing career. This amazing artistic community, through each writing prompt, gave me an opportunity to learn the craft and hone my skills. I was able to experiment with new genres and word lengths and to share without fear. Because of the WEP, I've made many lasting friendships. I give full credit to the WEP for the five books I've published. Participating gave me the courage to submit to the IWSG anthologies and other writing challenges. So you see, it means the world to me!

Thank you, Denise, and the WEP Community!

Thanks Yolanda! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

Nilanjana here!

I started blogging in 2011 and soon after found RFW which became WEP, first as a participant and then as one of the team. I don’t think I have missed a prompt since I joined my first challenge! The impact of this has been manifold. The first is the tangible outcome – publication. One of my poetry entries got published because Donna Hole, the then co-host, emailed and encouraged me to submit it. My short story won a blog contest, was selected from over 2000 entries and also got published.  Neither of these would have happened but for WEP. There are other outcomes, where the role of WEP isn’t as direct, but is there nevertheless, through the learning of writing craft and support. Writing is mostly editing - writing to prompts builds imagination and the specific word count improves editing skills. WEP therefore makes me a sharper writer.

Not just a better writer, WEP makes me a better, more aware reader too. It builds my critiquing skills. It feeds off and into the writing courses I take. It gives me the confidence to take up offers to judge local writing competitions. To participate in other, local writing events/collaborations.  To experiment with genres and other ‘what-if’ scenarios. And it allows me to be a part of a community of like-minded people, which I relish. I value the friendships and connections made through WEP, above all. Don’t want to be sounding  extra dramatic or anything, but in some rather hard-to-define, fun and fundamental ways WEP ups the quality of my writing life.

Thanks Nila! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

But, hey, it's February 1st already! 

Yep. Happy Holidays are over. For those who took a break from writing, time's flying by!  Let's put that thinking cap on. It's time to visit your favorite cafe and create ... a coffee-infused flash. Or a murder mystery. Or a family reunion ... as long as Cafe Terrace fits in somewhere!

There are NO genre restrictions here at WEP (except erotica). So...if coffee isn't your thing (OMG, really! Psst. Let me tell you about the cappuccino with real melted chocolate drizzle I discovered in Townsville, north Queensland, on my latest trip). Better still, let me share it with you ... and it had melted chocolate at the bottom ...

Just like there're myriad types of coffee, feel free to tweak the prompt to whatever you want. We're cool like that!

So without further ado...here's the challenge for February -

Cafe Terrace at Night is one of the many names of this painting by Vincent van Gogh of a cafe in Arles, Provence, the south of France. Painted in September 1888, the cafe is still in the  Place du Forum amongst many eateries welcoming coffee and wine drinkers from around the world. What a sumptuous setting for your flash  -- fiction or non. Check out the CHALLENGES 2020 page above for more ideas, or go with your original gut feeling when you first saw this painting.


No sign up now

- This post is to get you thinking ... considering ... ruminating ... about the way you want to spin the prompt.

- Add your URL to your blog entry on the InLinkz on the February 19 - 21 post with DL (Direct Link) after your name. 

- It'd be awesome if you gave your entry a title (remember those school essays - no marks for the title, but you had to have one.) Don't just use the name of the prompt. 

-Include the Challenge badge and 'WEP' in your URL title.

- Indicate the level of feedback you desire by adding the critique codes below. Be careful not to go overboard with your words of wisdom if the writer hasn't asked for full critique. 


The linky closes after 21st February 23:59 EST. 

- Read and comment on the participating blogs. This is one of the most important aspects to us. So sad if few read our work :-( Messes with our heads.

Simple, isn't it?

Comment counting will cease at midnight on Friday 28th February EST time, which gives you over a week to read/comment. (If this is a problem to you, let us know and we'll give some leeway). When you've finished reading, it would be helpful if you left a comment on the main post to tell us you're done. PLEASE everyone, make sure comments are allowed on your blog. 

***If you'd like to help in this or a later challenge, please email me at: den.covey@gmail.com or leave a comment below. Always looking for comment counters and blurb writers.***


The WEP/IWSG has always been a writing contest, but the prizes change over time.

First, we have the CRITIQUE prize for the WINNER. This month  Lynda Dietz at Easy Reader and Editing who offers the winner a 10,000 word (about a 3-chapter) critique. (Wouldn't I love to win this prize!)

Lynda has been fascinated with the written word since her earliest years of reading the back of the cereal box at the breakfast table. She’s now a copyeditor who works with authors in a variety of genres, both in fiction and nonfiction. She’s had a blog since 2013, where she encourages writers with advice and a healthy dose of silliness.

Easy Reader Editing Blog easyreaderediting.com/blog






As fabulous as it is, the above Critique Prize isn't all. Read on...

We also offer the winner a chance to write a Guest Post here at WEP and at times a short post in the IWSG Newsletter.

If you have any other suggestions for prizes, please email Denise: den.covey@gmail.com

So...let's get thinking...let's get writing!


Here's what's happening in YEAR 2020 at WEP, one of our best yet judging by the prompts:

We'd love if you'd Tweet Tweet Tweet some/all of these:

WEP 2020 February writing prompt Café Terrace @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/01/wepiwsg-inaugural-challenge-for-2020.html Sign up February 19! #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF #poetry #nonfiction

Get-your-thinking-caps-on for Café Terrace @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/01/wepiwsg-inaugural-challenge-for-2020.html
Html Sign up February 19! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Join WEP @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG for the first challenge of the year Café Terrace Sign up February 19! https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/01/wepiwsg-inaugural-challenge-for-2020.html       
#WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Begin 2020 by joining @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG for the latest challenge Café Terrace Sign up February 19! https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/01/wepiwsg-inaugural-challenge-for-2020.html
#WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction