This course appealed to me because I think it’s about time I made my writing a bit more commercial. I’ve written some stories I’m proud of – and even had a few things published – but the women’s magazine market is still proving elusive.
For those who don’t know, virtually every magazine you pick up will have a story by Della Galton in it. So a course taught by Della herself seemed like a very good idea. There are a lot of good writing tutors out there, but Della has something which I suspect many of the others – however good – don’t. She has an encyclopaedic grasp of the market and of what different editors require. She knows what will sell and what won’t.
I should say at this point, that I think it’s immensely generous of her to share her expertise by running courses in order to help other people break into what is, after all, a shrinking market. I also found her very generous with her insights into her own disappointments and frustrations.
On the ‘Rejections To Sales’ course, each participant was invited to bring a rejected story along to be discussed by the group and advised on by Della. I had one or two to choose from … and finally settled on a story which has been rejected twice now, but which I’m still quite fond of.
I thought I knew what was wrong with the story – but I didn’t! Della did! Amongst other things I hadn’t really sorted out what the message of the story was, and as a consequence I actually had two stories fighting with each other for the same space. Following the ‘Della treatment’, I now know that I have at least one good story to be rewritten and possibly even two with a bit of hard work! How’s that for a one day course!
One of the other truths I learned from the course, is that it is so much easier to spot what is wrong with someone else’s story than it is with your own. This has made me aware of the importance of support from other writers and sharing our work before we send it off. I know this is really hard to do but this course has reinforced my belief in that process.
I would recommend this course to anyone who is serious about writing commercial short stories. Della keeps the group fairly small so that each person gets a good half hour on their own story as well as benefiting from the whole process of critiquing each other’s stories and listening to Della’s solutions and tips for each piece.
It’s impossible to sum up what we learnt, but for me, key points were :–
- if you’re going to write twist stories make sure you’ve left yourself enough options within the story to pull it off,
- the ending sells the story,
- the message is everything!
I am left feeling re-inspired about my writing, and keen to attend another of Della’s courses in future. Oh, and by the way, at only £35 the course is also amazing value!
And yes, Leigh and I did sit at the back and giggle, but it was OK, because it was the sort of course where you can have a bit of a laugh but still learn so much. Thank you, Lovely Leigh for your company!
Do check out Della’s website for further courses.
So, to sum up - Della is brilliant, and lovely - and Leigh is lovely, and brilliant! Everyone got that? Good!