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Win a copy of SWIMMING LESSONS by Claire Fuller


Claire Fuller is on a creative roll: by the time we published Our Endless Numbered Days, she had finished writing Swimming Lessons—and now, just a month after Swimming Lessons hit the shelves, she’s completing her next novel. We asked Claire what she does to fuel her creativity and refresh her perspective, and here’s what she taught us—her favorite, flash-style daily writing exercise. Read on, then try it yourself (in 30 words or less) for a chance to win Swimming Lessons plus a signed bookplate!


Swimming Lessons is set beside the sea in Dorset, England. The characters spend a lot of time on the beach and in the water, and so there are lots of descriptions of the sea and the sky in the book. When I was writing it I came across someone on Twitter who posted a daily photograph of the seascape he could see from his window, and I set myself a task to write a description of the sea and the sky every day. Each one had to be different; I had to stretch myself and try not to use clichés. Here are a few:

The sun was already high above the horizon, a metallic glare reflecting on the water, painful, like catching the tine of a fork on a filling. The light made her sneeze.

Puffs of cloud backed-up above the line of the sea, as if a child’s drawing of a steam train had just gone by, passing out of sight beyond the cliffs.

The white sun hid behind a mist of cadmium orange. It shone a path across the plum waves, inviting me to try and walk on water.

And now, it’s your turn. To win a copy of Swimming Lessons, write a description of this seascape in no more than 30 words. Share your description as a comment on the official Facebook post.


The winner will be chosen by Claire Fuller. U.S. entries only. Competition closes March 17, 2017. 


Claire Fuller‘s debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days was published by Tin House in 2015 and went on to win the Desmond Elliott prize in the UK and become a finalist in the ABA Indies Choice awards. The book has also been sold in twelve other countries. Her second novel, Swimming Lessons, was published in February 2017. Claire has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester, and lives in Winchester, England with her husband and children.

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