Writing Magazine, shameless self-promotion and MOOCs

I’m a little behind with my Writing Magazines at the minute (currently reading June’s edition, I think I just received October’s through the post!). I’ve subscribed to WM for about 4 years, placed in a few comp shortlists and even won the Paranormal Fiction short story contest some time in 2013. I enjoy it for the articles and publishing opportunities, and especially look forwards to reading James McCreet’s ‘Under the Microscope’ feature where writers braver than me submit a portion of their fiction to be publicly critiqued (and boy, can he be brutal). That said, I’ve noticed an increasing trend of shameless self-promotion from the contributing authors that sort of makes me wonder if they only wrote the article in order to promote their work. Nothing wrong with that, I’d just rather they put a link to their work at the end of the piece as an aside, rather than shoving it in my face part way through an article intended to instruct or inspire, not to advertise. Am I being harsh? Would I do the same in their position? Probably.

So moving onto MOOCs, whose existence I discovered via one such article in WM. If you’re as clueless as I was, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses and they’re run by various universities and they’re free. I Googled MOOCs this morning and came across FutureLearn, and stumbled on a course run by the University of Nottingham called ‘How to read a mind’. Yes, I am packing in the day job and becoming a clairvoyant, which might be quite useful when trying to write the next bestseller, or to figure out what kind of food He Who Must Be Served is willing to eat this week when gravy chunks, jelly chunks, chicken roll and Weebox stick treats are all looked down on like I just shit in his food bowl.

The full title of the course is actually ‘How to read a mind: an introduction to understanding literary characters’, and introduces something called ‘cognitive poetics’.I have as much idea about what that is as I do about the culinary fads of my cats, but at least they offer courses on the first one.

In other news, how cool is my new t-shirt??CpLavgSWcAAanYX

PS: I’m now back on Twitter, you can follow me at @kateloweauthor

Later X

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