Canada Writes·Writing Tip

Have an idea for a story? Write it down and edit later

The 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now open. To inspire and support you along the way, CBC Books is publishing a writing tip each week.
Unlock your creative mind with free-flow writing. (The Yooth/Shutterstock)

The 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize is open for submissions. You can submit your original, unpublished writing up to 2,000 words for a chance to win $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have your work published on CBC Books. The deadline to enter is Feb. 29, 2020.

To inspire and support you along the way, we are publishing a writing tip each week on CBC Books. You can also subscribe to our writing tips newsletter for even more tips.

This week's tip is from Melanie Murray.

"When the seed of an idea begins to sprout in your mind, pick up a pen and start writing. The fluidity of ink on paper can stimulate the flow of your thoughts. Don't think about structure, grammar, punctuation or spelling. Don't judge or censor what comes out. Keep your pen moving for at least 10 minutes. Then go back to find the diamonds in the mud."

Melanie Murray grew up in the military town of Oromocto, N.B., and attended the University of New Brunswick to study English literature. She now lives in Kelowna, B.C., where she recently retired from teaching English and creative writing at Okanagan College. She is the author of two books of creative nonfiction, Should Auld Acquaintance: Discovering the Woman Behind Robert Burns and For Your Tomorrow: The Way of an Unlikely Soldier. Her story Nineteen Sixty-Eight made the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist.



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