What Settings in #Fiction have you never forgotten? #writing #reading

As part of my ongoing guest post series in this blog, we had Jane Camens , guest editor of Griffith Review: New Asia Now answering questions last week. Today I’m pleased to welcome authors Denise Covey and Yolanda Renée, who are here to talk about a wonderful event, an opportunity for all writers.

Their community, Write Edit Publish (WEP), is a great way for

Readers to find or talk about books they like,

and for

Authors to

  1. Post excerpts from their work (published or in-progress),
  2. (or) Write new flash fiction 
  3. Receive feedback (if they want to)
  4. Gain new readers.

Feel free to leave your questions for Denise and Yolanda in the comments section, and they might stop by to answer them. Take it away, Denise and Yolanda!


Fictional settings Blogfest
Memorable Settings in Fiction


What better place than the blogosphere to learn more about the writing craft? Yet nowhere could I find exactly what I was looking for, an online writing community that not only challenged my writing, but one where I could get instant feedback on my work, and therefore improve.

You know what they say…if it’s not there, invent it, so I took the plunge, contacted a favorite blogger friend, Francine Howarth, and RomanticFridayWriters (RFW) was born in 2011. We started weekly flash fiction challenges with a word limit of 400, then we upped it to 1,000 words. Francine eventually moved on to take the Regency Romance world by storm, so Donna Hole stepped into the breach. We then changed the romantic elements requirement and found a wider audience. RFW segued into WEP, opening up to more genres–added to flash fiction, non-fiction and poetry, we offered photography, art and playscripts. By now I was operating without a co-pilot which was no fun, so recently Yolanda Renee  agreed to become my new partner. Good choice. Yolanda is full of enthusiasm to see WEP take its place in the vibrant writing community, offering its unique blend of camaraderie, critique and challenge.


When I discovered the RFW’s website (now WEP) in 2012, I joined without hesitation. The opportunity to work on writing a short story and receive immediate feedback was exciting. I posted my first Flash and requested a full critique. I not only got the critique but my every question answered. This was ideal, and the opportunity to learn came not only through my writing but also by reading the work of others. I was hooked. I’ve used the work created for the challenges in my books, and I’ve re-written pieces as contest entries. The opportunities are endless and inspiring. This online community is a success story — many participants have gone on to publish multiple novels.

When Denise asked if I’d co-host, I agreed immediately. Flash fiction is an addiction, and this semi-monthly 1000-word challenge is the icing on the cake. If you’re considering taking the plunge, please do. You’ll be surprised by the quality of the writing, the variety of genres, the supportive feedback, and the networking opportunities made possible simply by participating in WEP.

Submissions are open for WEP’s latest challenge, Spectacular Settings: Click the link for the guidelines and to sign up. Mark Twain once said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.” And we will add…”Write!”


Denise Covey
Denise Covey

Denise Covey hails from Down Under, where she publishes short stories and travelogues. Approaching the finish line on her first novel and romance series, she is about to hit the NYT best-seller list. When not writing, she teaches English to her rapt students who think she’s way cool. She also has a wild imagination.

Yolanda Renée
Yolanda Renée

Yolanda Renée is a flash fiction addict. She is the author of Murder, Madness & Love, and Memories of Murder, published by Curiosity Quills Press. She left the corporate world to seek a new adventure in the world of writing. Flash fiction challenges like WEP help fulfill that desire.



If you’re a reader, what fictional settings have remained with you? If you’re a writer, what settings in your work do you want to talk about? Care to join the Spectacular Settings event? The post can be an excerpt from a book or a short story or flash fiction you’ve read, you’re writing, or have written– so it can’t get easier than that. You can ask for feedback on your work, if you so wish.

Go sign up now!

If you’re reading this, do not have a blog, and want to join the discussion on Settings in Fiction, head over to Daily (w)rite’s Facebook page!

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


Add Yours
  1. hitandrun1964

    Hogwarts. Even thought the series is over, it remains with me and always will. The Nightside, by Simon Green, Sandman Slim Novels, and the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher are all places I visit with each book and will never ever forget.

  2. Jacqui Murray

    Spectacular Settings is inspired. These so often are forgotten when we’re struggling with the story. Yet, done right, they’re as much a character as any other.

  3. denizb33

    Thanks for sharing! I love reading about writers coming together; it always inspires me to keep writing — and flash fiction is great fun, since I love working from prompts!

  4. fireflyby

    Hi! I’m a bit of a newbie here but I’m loving this post! I wouldn’t dare to call myself a writer and certainly haven’t had anything published but I am driven half crazy by a frustrated desire to be able to produce something…

    Setting is something I particularly value when I read so here are a few that really stand out in my mind:
    Enid Blyton’s Land of The Faraway Tree
    Steinbeck’s portrayal of Salinas in Of Mice and Men
    Graham Greene’s descriptions in Monsignor Quixote
    Thomas Hardy’s incredible ability to give a sense of place in both Tess and Return of the Native!
    I could probably go on but I have a date with Khaled Hosseni’s And They Echoed (is that what it’s called?!) Another writer who uses setting so powerfully!
    Thanks for such a great read!


    • Denise Covey

      Hi Firefly. If you’re driven by a frustrated desire to be able to produce something, you’ve come to the right place. Several writers have honed their craft as they participated in challenges. Each time the writing and editing process moves them to a higher level. You will be surrounded by helpful writers and authors who will offer suggestions to you if you so desire.

      I love the authors you mention. I especially love Khaled Hosseni’s books. Have read them all. It seems so honest as he lived in the setting of Afghanistan and his experiences have been translated into outstanding readability for us. I’m thinking of posting a flash fiction set in Afghanistan for my settings post.

      I really do encourage you to write with us. You could start by participating in Part A of the challenge, perhaps sharing a paragraph from the wonderful Khaled Hosseni.

      Lovely to meet you.

      Denise 🙂

      • fireflyby

        Thank you so much for your lovely response. Yes! Hosseni is an incredible writer. I can almost smell his settings… Realised when I got to bed that the title is Then the MOUNTAINS echoed! Sorry!
        Also, forgot to mention that I love Hemmingway’s ability to create a sense of place. Another really talented writer!
        I’d like to try and write… not sure how I get involved here. Also, what about my own blog? Not sure I want to mix general writing with the writing on my blog…
        Thanks so much for your encouragement.


        • Denise Covey

          I knew what you meant, Firefly. His are books to return to over and over again. And Hemingway is another favourite of mine. So few words say so much. We can all learn so much from him.

          As far as your blog goes, we all turn our blog over to our writing/sharing when participating in various challenges on the web. Readers like to see what you’re writing. Often you get very helpful comments. And in this challenge, Spectacular Settings, you could just share a passage from Hosseni or Hemingway. That would be nice!

          Denise 🙂

  5. patgarcia

    Hi Denise, Yolanda, and Damyanti,
    My stories are character driven but within the story I like a setting that builds up the suspense going on between the characters. I love, for example, the settings in The Sunlight Dialogues by John Gardner.
    Pat Garcia

    • Denise Covey

      Hi Pat! So excited to see you overcame your nervousness and signed up for the WEP challenge. I haven’t read The Sunlight Dialogues but the title is enough to intrigue me. I must find a copy.

      Looking forward to reading your entry soon!

      Did you see Yolanda’ comment re your question? In Part A, about 200 words will do, but I admit I love my extract so much I’m writing more on it, and trying to whittle my flash fiction down to compensate. 🙂

      Denise 🙂

      Denise 🙂

  6. lexacain

    How very interesting to learn how it all started. I think Denise and Yolanda are doing a great service for the writing community. I know several people who were sad when it went on hiatus for a while. I’m sure they’re delighted it’s back! Keep on writing, editing, and publishing! 🙂

  7. Debbie D.

    I’m attracted to any story set in historic locales, especially Greece or Italy. One of my favourite novels is “Aztec” by Gary Jennings, which is set in Mexico, prior to the arrival of Hernán Cortés.

    • Yolanda Renee

      I love history too, although not familiar with “Aztec” it does sound like an amazing read. Such an interesting time in history! So glad you’re participating in the WEP.

  8. Michelle Wallace

    When I think of setting, certain scenes and exotic locations from Shakespeare’s works come to mind, such as King Lear – the storm on the heath (really atmospheric); Venice in The Merchant Of Venice; Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra.
    Other settings that have stayed with me are, the island location in Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, and the village of La Paz in The Pearl by John Steinbeck.
    I also enjoyed the setting in Neverwhere, the first (and only) Gaiman story that I’ve read. I was sucked into that fantasy world… really impressive. I’m hoping to read more of his work…

    • Yolanda Renee

      Hi Michelle, You do recall amazing settings from a slew of different writers and genres. I can’t wait to read the ones that are submitted for the WEP especially yours!

  9. Mikaela Hammond

    As an avid reader there are really just a few settings that I can never forget in reading:
    1: J.K. Rowling’s world for Harry Potter
    2: Kristen Britain’s world of Blackveil for Karigan G’ladheon for Blackveil
    3: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth for The Fellowship of the Ring
    4: Robin McKinely’s Damar desert for Harry Crewe in the Blue Sword
    5: Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom for Lirael in Lirael and Abhorsen

    • Denise Covey

      Yes, Nila, you must be a founding member! We can’t wait to get going again either Nila! You may have some more poets now! Several have signed up! Will be wonderful to read so many new types of work. 🙂

  10. Roland Yeomans

    I have been with Denise’s ventures from the very beginning, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Join in the fun — you will grow as a writer..

    I try to make my settings a literal character in my novels from New Orleans to the Badlands to Cairo in 1895. The fog-layered London of Sherlock Holmes and the fierce deserts and frigid mountains of Louis Lamour’s books stand out in my mind. 🙂

    • Yolanda Renee

      Your writing is always amazing and yes, your settings are a character in your writing. Love the Sherlock Holmes London, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read every Louis Lamour book. Great examples of settings. Thanks Roland.

    • Denise Covey

      Yes, Roland, and I think you’ve rarely/never missed a posting. You’ll have plenty of choice for your settings post as each and every story of yours has setting as character. Not all authors accomplish this. 🙂

  11. chrysfey

    WEP is such a great challenge that brings so many bloggers, writers, and readers together. I love it!

    Hmm…a setting I’ve never forgotten. Hogwarts is the first thing to pop into my head.

  12. mdellert

    Settings that I’ve never forgotten? Bond Street, London, from Mrs. Dalloway. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Lewis’s Narnia. Stephen R. Donaldson’s “The Land” in the Thomas Covenant Chronicles. The city of Sanctuary from the “Thieves’ World” series. The nightmare-scape of Kafka’s unnamed city in “The Trial.” James Joyce’s Dublin. etc etc etc etc etc etc etc… 😉

    • Yolanda Renee

      It’s funny how they come back to you when the word setting is mentioned. Great examples,And thanks again for signing up for the challenge! Wonderful to have your participation!

  13. Anita Kushwaha

    The description of the moors in “Wuthering Heights” has always stayed with me and is a big part of the reason that book is my favorite. I’ve always felt that Tolkien was a master at setting, and world-building as well.

  14. Theresa Milstein

    I’ve read two books by the same author where the setting was on the bayou. It really seemed so magical. When I visited last year, I visited it for myself. I didn’t get to go where people actually live, but I still got to see how special it is.

    • Yolanda Renee

      Hi Theresa, I remember the first time I visited Louisiana, like another world, an amazing setting! And finding the Blue Bayou, the highlight of my journey.

  15. nancyleedunn

    I read a book set in Maine, it was about a daunting matriarch, but I remember the description of the shingled house on the edge of the ocean. It was so real to me, I could smell the salt air!! Can’t remember the book, either!

    • Yolanda Renee

      Hi Nancy, I love that. Amazing the things that stick with us. The hotel in The Shining by Stephen King is a place I’ll avoid for sure! But your setting offers up a peaceful restful place, or was the place representative of the matriarch and just the opposite?

  16. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti, Denise and Yolanda – it’s great you’re getting such an excellent reception for this … settings etc that remain with us for always. For me – it’s the beach at Godrevy .. meant to be Virginia Woolf’s beach .. well it’s my beach!! Before it was developed … but others have been stirring my memory recently …

    Good luck to one and all .. and this may jog my memory bank along the way … cheers Hilary

    • Denise Covey

      Lovely to see you Hilary! Ah, Virginia Woolf. Didn’t she know how to exploit setting! You can read her again and again. I’d love to visit your beach! Hope all is well:-)

  17. Tom

    Greetings to you Damyanti, Denise, and Yolanda. My blogging efforts and competition entries have slipped onto the backburner in the last year or two due to my modus operandi – in that my WIP is two novels and two anthologies. As one is resting, I’m working on one of the others.
    Now that I’ve said that, this idea sounds like something I’d enjoy tackling, so I’ll pull the stops out and get on it. Until later … ladies.

    • Denise Covey

      Later will be here before we know it Tom. Thanks so much for signing up for the challenge. It’s a great way to share a little of your work and maybe even get a new direction or some great suggestions. Looking forward to reading your entry for WEP.

      Denise 🙂

  18. Rosie Amber

    As a reader the I love, love , love the world of Harry Potter, that setting stays with me and many others thanks to the marketing behind the books.

    • Denise Covey

      Harry Potter is one exceptional example of setting that you’ll never forget, as is the Lord of the Rings series. What would those stories be without such vivid settings? Much weaker, I’d say.Thanks for joining the conversation Rosie. 🙂

  19. Peter Nena

    I have heard of the memories of murder and I told myself that I’d have to read it one day. I think it was shared on Twitter. So now that I have met Yolanda I must certainly get a copy. Thank you Damyanti for always bringing us these wonderful people.

  20. AlekAlcalá

    Hello there; I’m an amateur author and in my blog have some original works. Well, besides this little promoting, I wanted to ask is what can I do to grow? How can I expand my writing genres?

    Also if you are free, please check out my blog.

    PS: Also I want to know what happens to authors that want to publish their works? What they do and what they experience.

    I don’t know if these are acceptable questions but even so I wrote them here.

    • Yolanda Renee

      Hi Alek,
      Thanks for the questions. The WEP offers all authors, amateur or otherwise to post their work, and if they desire get feedback. You can check out the WEP site by following the prompts here and in the menu above the post is a tab labeled ‘The Critique’. That will give you an idea of what occurs when you post your work, and how to ask for the proper amount of analysis.

      If you want a full critique but don’t want it publically choose NCCO, which means, no review comments only, then ask for more from anyone one who leaves a comment you appreciate. If you want, more ask for more.

      I was new to flash fiction when I first started in 2012 but I wanted to learn, and the guidance given was positive. Even better was the learning I garnered through just reading the works of the others. I hope you’ll consider giving it a go.

      I did check out your blog, and I don’t think you have a thing to worry about as far as creativity. You’re a writer, and the best advice for writers is to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, & READ, READ, READ!

      Thanks for the question Alek, hope to see you at the WEP!

    • mdellert

      AlekAlcalá: Your question “What can i do to grow? How can I expand my writing genres?” reminds me of an old joke. A man in NYC city asks a passerby, “Excuse me? How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The passerby replies, “Practice, man. Practice.” What happens to authors that *want* to publish their works? Publishing eats their dreams and drinks their blood. “Wanting” to publish isn’t enough. *Working* to publish, with a Terminator-like tenaciousness and impeccable perseverance. Showing up to work, no matter whether you’re inspired or not. Start there, practice the craft everyday, keep putting your work out there, even when it seems like no one’s listening, even when you’ve made a winterscape of paper snowflakes out of your rejection letters. “Luck will often save a man, if his courage holds” (The Thirteenth Warrior), so be courageous.

      • AlekAlcalá

        Thanks MDellert for your reply to my comment.

        Now I know that the path of “Working” to achieve a publishment is not only hard and discouraging, but also realistic.

        I will hold of this concept of practicing and keeping my feet in the earth so I can advance in my path of wrtiting.

        • mdellert

          “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury

          If you ever need some inspiration, please check out some of the posts on my full site about some of the habits and practices it takes to make a career as a writer. And always feel free to ask questions. 🙂

    • Denise Covey

      And that was pretty awesome setting creation Alex. Creating a world like that means it’ll always be ‘real’ to you. So many authors do setting well. When there’s also unforgettable characters, it’s a winner to me. Gone With the Wind would come into that category…and anything by Pat Conroy–Prince of Tides, Beach Music, South of Broad…wow! And just wow!

    • Yolanda Renee

      Alex, I felt that way about J R R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, fantasy worlds are amazing settings and I envy the writer, you included, who can create something so unique. Well done!

    • Yolanda Renee

      On board with Denise! Thank you for your support! Not only of the WEP challenge, but of your fellow bloggers, and all writers. You’re to be commended for your relentless dedication to the written word and the purveyors of… Now let the challenge begin! 🙂