Charitable Mission, Purpose and Activities
Statement of Purpose
ShortbreadStories is an online community of writers, with a charitable purpose to provide creative writing education for new and early-career authors. Besides providing a worldwide showcase for their work, ShortbreadStories aims to build self-confidence in writing ability through the mentoring, advice and encouragement forthcoming from both its writing and reading community, as well as interaction with ShortbreadStories editors, mentors and instructors.
ShortbreadStories focuses on the medium of the short story, because its succinct nature provides an excellent structure for learning to write; however, ShortbreadStories does not actively discourage other forms of fictional writing.
Conditions of Benefit
While anyone can read stories uploaded to the site, in order to take part in ShortbreadStories activities (forums, upload one’s work, competitions, etc.) one must become a member. Members must be at least 16 years of age and have access to the internet, but it is free to become a ShortbreadStories ‘member’ and all one has to do is fill in a form which asks for contact details.
Statement of Activities
ShortbreadStories aims to help members reach their individual writing goals through engagement with an online writing community. Typical goals may include building self-confidence as a writer, honing the craft of writing, editing already existing works, increasing their writing output, sharing their work with others, receiving feedback regarding techniques and skills, and/or becoming publishing.
Support for members to achieve these goals will be provided through interaction with ShortbreadStories editors, mentors, writing instructors, and members of the ShortbreadStories community, as well as information provided on the site in the form of articles and blog posts.
Forms of engagement include writing competitions, online mentoring, dedicated web-space for writers to portfolio their work, as well as online forums tailored to writer interaction. ShortbreadStories will also provide articles written by those in the literary industry to help guide members toward their goals, as well as opportunities to attend face-to-face writing courses with leading writing instructors.
All members can upload their work onto the website for feedback, or as a way to portfolio their work. All stories are available to be read by the public for free, thus creating a public database of original short stories.
Delivery of Mentoring
Mentoring will occur either informally through feedback and discussion with the ShortbreadStories community, or formally through mentorship programmes. These programmes will include both online and face-to-face workshops.
Online mentoring will occur in two ways: 1) online forums and comments 2) dedicated online mentoring schemes. Online forums and comments are accessed as a member uploads their writing to the website, where it will be open for comment from other ShortbreadStories members. The free online mentoring schemes will be open to applications twice a year. Those chosen for the schemes will partake in a 4-6 month training period with an online mentor.
Also ShortbreadStories offers two face-to-face writing courses in Spain each year, and two in the Scottish Highlands (with other venues to be scheduled). These are not free courses, but we would like to eventually find financial support so that members can receive scholarships to take these courses.
The ShortbreadStories Cycle
The best way to explain the link between our activities and our purpose is through a hypothetical case study. An individual becomes a ShortbreadStories member, and uploads her work onto the site. The ShortbreadStories community provides her with feedback on her story through the comments section, helping her to hone her craft. The ShortbreadStories competitions encourage her to write more, which also — in turn — encourages further feedback from the writing community. As the writer becomes more involved with the writing community, she gains more confidence and hones her craft, which leads her to submit her work to literary magazines, external contests, and traditional publishers. She may seek further guidance from ShortbreadStories by applying to the online mentoring schemes or by taking a ShortbreadStories writing course. Ultimately, as she grows as a writer, her work will be turned into a ShortbreadStories podcast, or her work may be included in a ShortbreadStories anthology. Ultimately, ShortbreadStories hopes to support the member as her writing goals evolve and as she grows as a writer, until she becomes self-confident and knowledgeable enough to help mentor others within the ShortbreadStories community.
ShortbreadStories SCIO, Registered Charity Number SC043321