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A quick how-to guide for charities, arts orgs and non-profits

I produce and co-host the National Centre for Writing’s podcast, The Writing Life. It’s a pleasure to put together each week and is surprisingly doable, even if you’re operating on tiny or non-existent budgets.

Here’s an example of a recent episode:

What’s it about and who is it for?

Before diving in, you need to work this stuff out. …


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I just finished writing and serialising my third novel, No Adults Allowed. It’s my most overtly metaphorical story to date and loops in a bunch of themes that have been bubbling in my head for a long time: AI, social media, prejudiced algorithms, inherited bias, why young people are better than old people and how everything — literally, everything — is the fault of the parents.

This is going to be a detailed debrief of the book. If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so for free over on Wattpad. …


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How arts organisations can keep up with the world

This week The Writing Life podcast hit 100 episodes. I’ve been producing this podcast at the National Centre for Writing since mid-2018, which has turned out to be fortuitous.

(practical tips on how to produce a pod can be found down below, if you’re taking your first steps)

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, as someone clever once said, and the pod perfectly demonstrated that as we descended into the hellscape that is the year 2020. …


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I grabbed an Oculus Quest towards the end of 2019, attracted by its (relatively) affordable price, its untethered nature and it not needing to be powered by a nearby PC. Spoiler: it’s fantastic. Not least, the lack of faff and required technical know-how makes it a far more social, family affair rather than being an off-putting techie thing stuck next to my PC upstairs.

I wrote a couple of articles on storytelling in games a while back. You can find them here:


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I’ve had an international notion of identity baked into me my whole life, due to a combination of good fortune and timing.

I grew up in Hong Kong, the UK and Italy. I was too young to actively remember being in Hong Kong but it feels like the experience actively imprinted on my young brain regardless. When I lived in Rome as a pre-teen I went to an international school; nearly every child in my class was from a different country. Even at 13 it was evident that there was more connecting us than dividing us.

When I was 15…


I’ve never enjoyed editing. Have avoided it like the plague, in fact. So much so that I fell into a serialised form of writing novels whereby I write and publish a chapter online every week, over on Wattpad. It works for me and keeps me productive, but the Wattpad versions of my books are evidently not going to be as polished as something you’d buy in a bookshop.

In 2016 I finished my first novel, A Day of Faces, and immediately moved on to writing my second. I’d considered ADoF to be complete, in as much as it had always…


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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

In August I completed an online serial which I’d been writing every week for three years. That was a long period in which to be writing a single book, especially in such a live, public fashion. Once I’d wrapped The Mechanical Crown I then had to consider what I was going to do next.

Turns out I’m going to try doing more than one thing at a time. The simpler one is to go back to my previous book, A Day of Faces, and do a full edit pass. Story Machine Productions head honcho and National Centre for Writing alumni…


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Part of my book’s front cover

The big guide to writing serialised online fiction and vanquishing writer’s block once and for all

It’s November 2016 and I write the first chapter of my new book, The Mechanical Crown. After a spot of editing, I immediately post the chapter online. The next week I write chapter two and upload that, too.

It’s September 2019 and I’ve just posted the final chapter of the book. I’ve been writing and publishing consistently, every week, for three years. The book has accumulated 20,000 reads. I’ve received over 700 comments, feedback which has been instrumental in improving the book even while it was still being created. …


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Horror stories rarely go together with life affirming moments of wonder, especially in video games where genre is ordinarily doubled-down upon. A horror game usually goes all-in. Cerebral, story-based games trend towards being easier to play, even if they aim to be deeper in their themes. FPS action games rarely slow down to take a breather.

Standard disclaimer: There are exceptions.

Also, there will be one minor spoiler below which I use as an example. I will warn you before it arrives.

Then there’s Outer Wilds, the long-gestated indie game that seemingly popped out of nowhere a month ago and…


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Sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference. In 1992 a game was released called Flashback, which was ahead of its time visually and has since become something of a cult classic. As a 12 year old I adored it’s rich science fiction world building and compelling story and was amazed by its visuals. I played it on repeat for years.

Several decades later (dear god I’m old) it’s a fascinating game to revisit, as I recently did with its Nintendo Switch incarnation. The graphics remain largely very impressive, with moments of visual genius in how it pushed the…

Simon K Jones

Writer & tutor. Author of A Day of Faces and The Mechanical Crown. Digital marketing guy at the National Centre for Writing. http://simonkjones.com

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