• April writing prompt: The Rendezvous

We’ve ventured a little off the beaten track this month by suggesting that you might like to work towards entering a writing competition which is part of an upcoming author festival.

Different editions of Daphne du Maurier's books

Du Maurier was a prolific author...

April 30 is the deadline for the biennial Daphne du Maurier Festival Short Story competition – and, with a maximum length of 1,500 words, you should just about have enough time to write or rework something if you’d like to enter.

Daphne du Maurier is also the author of Rebecca, the book we’ll be giving away on World Book Night. So that’s another excellent reason to make her the subject of this month’s writing prompt.

Her stories (which have been made into highly-successful films including The Birds and Don’t Look Now) have been in the news recently after a bookseller found a number of previously unpublished tales which now form the basis of The Doll and other storiesmore here.

The idea of the competition is to produce a piece of short fiction on the theme of ‘The Rendezvous’ – you can find out more about du Maurier’s short story writing career here.

The Rendezvous itself tells a tale which is particularly relevant in this age of Facebook and Twitter. It is the story of a friendship between a distinguished writer and a Swiss fan that grows into intimacy through the exchange of letters. But can it survive the more stringent test of a face-to-face meeting?

The word ‘rendezvous’ originates in the French language where it is an instruction to present yourself. In contemporary English it means one of two things – a meeting, perhaps with a slightly underhand or secretive element, or the place in which such a meeting takes place.

So, plenty of opportunities for creativity there. If you’d like to work towards entering the competition, click on the link above (there is a £5 charge per entry with proceeds going to the festival). Or, if you don’t fancy that, you could try one of the following:

  1. Write 100 words explaining what the word rendezvous means for you.
  2. Write 250 words either describing your thoughts about the word rendezvous or trying another interpretation that is different to the one you initially thought of.
  3. Create a synopsis for a longer story, maybe several chapters in length, and then write the first chapter. Finally, decide whether this is a project you would like to continue with or whether you feel it has run its course.
  4. Sum up your feelings about the word sour in a single, 140-character Tweet, or short series of Tweets. Let us know @whlibraries and we’ll retweet them.

Lastly, consider what you would like to do now your writing project is complete:

  • Find a community magazine to submit it to?
  • Post it to your blog (or think about maybe starting one)?
  • Follow some flash fiction groups on Twitter?
  • Find an online writing site or forum?
  • Ask a friend for feedback?
  • Try a writing challenge such as November’s NaNoWriMo or National Blog Posting Month?

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