Friday, 6 May 2016

Clear, concise and compelling?

Little Acorns are running a short story competition for pieces between 750 and 1,000 words. It's free to enter and there's a cash prize of £20, plus publication in their magazine.

There's no set theme, so I'll just pick a random photo from my 'writing ideas' file.

Umm, you don't need to know why I was researching toadstools. It's just a picture, OK? Don't go reading anything into it.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group 'meets' online on the first Wednesday of each month. Do join us if you're ane insecure writer - or would like to support those who are.

My current insecurity revolves around sales figures. I rather suspect I'm not alone in this!

To try to boost sales, I've been offering some of my books for just 99p (or 99c) This does help, but then I worry that it's not fair to those who paid full price when it first came out. What do you think about that?

To avoid that problem, I started off my last book at the lower price and then put it up to the regular price of £1.99 ($2.99). That seemed to go well and I intend to repeat the exercise with my next (still to be written) book.

Obviously I can't do that with those which have been out for some time though and I do feel they deserve to be read so I think I'll continue with the price promotions and hope those who've already bought the books will forgive me.

The current offer is for Paint Me A Picture which will be available at the reduced price until 8th May.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A quick note

Thanks to Sheila Crosby* for reminding me about this free entry flash fiction competition.

You have just a few days and only 75 words to write a story which features music. There are cash prizes.

*I don't want to put you off or anything, but I've seen her entry and it's pretty brilliant.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Paint Me A Picture

Paint Me A Picture is on offer this week for 99p (or 99c). Sharing my tweets, mentioning it on Facebook and generally letting people know, and/or downloading it will make me jolly smiley and stuff.

Mavis Forthright carefully rehearses her jump from Portsmouth's Round Tower. She's existed for over five decades. Lived hardly at all. Will end her misery with a few second's fall into the cold sea. Except she's not quite ready to die. A half day's delay to try a bacon sandwich from the cafe won't matter. Mother's no longer there to disapprove. 

She delays another day to lend Janice a book. Then a week to use her new paints. A month. Until the end of term. Mavis makes new plans; to create paintings full of emotion, to live, perhaps even make friends.

As if to balance her survival a number of people connected to Mavis die. At first that doesn't matter. They're people she dislikes. Mavis continues painting, tending her garden, feeding the birds and keeping her home properly clean, without additional concern. Then people who've been kind to Mavis are killed or injured. That shouldn't happen.

Why are people dying? Is it because of charming Norman who's back from her past, or is that strange boy Jake her mistaken guardian angel? Perhaps Mavis herself is to blame. She must learn the truth, stop the deaths and protect those she's learned to care about before she can enjoy the new life she's making for herself.

For those who're wondering about the cover image, my lovely husband created it. The picture is of the Round Tower in Portsmouth, where much of the book is set. The Round Tower is connected by a short piece of sea wall to the Square Tower, which is where we got married.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Get drawn in.

If you'd like to win a place on a residential illustrating and writing for children course, take a look here.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Who Cares?

Thank you to Fiona Ritchie Walker for passing on the details of this free to enter competition which is being run to 'raise awareness about caring'.

Fiona, who won the poetry competition last year says, "I would love to see them gets lots of entries  this year - I'm a pretty new carer and think Carers Uk do an amazing job."

There doesn't seem to be any entry restrictions, but I'm guessing that the prize of £150 in High Street vouchers will be most useful to someone who is reasonably close to a UK High Street.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


My tongue is protractile. I'd stick it and prove it, but that'd be rude, so here's a tulip instead.

The term usually refers to body parts and simply means they can be extended or protruded. Another word for the same thing is protrusible.

Which do you like best - protractile or protrusible?

Monday, 25 April 2016


Congratulations to Fiona Walker for winning the Startford-upon-Avon Literary Festival competition, after seeing it mentioned here!

I won't say that's as good as winning myself because quite frankly I'm nowhere near that generous, but it is good to know people are reading and benefitting from the blog. And it does give me an excuse to celebrate.

Not in the same league, but I have a story shortlisted in the Kishboo competition for the second time. The first time I came second and I expect you can guess where I'd like to come this time! To help my chances, please do 'like' or vote for Pursued to Glory.

Some of my writing buddies also have a story in that issue and you're allowed to vote for more than one, so do have a read through the others and vote for those you enjoy.

I also have a cheery poem in the same issue.