Sunday, 24 May 2015


I won the this silver trophy in our writing group's annual short story competition. Nice, isn't it?

I also have a new website. I'm still fettling it; any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Friday, 22 May 2015

It's the future

There are monthly cash prizes in this science fiction and fantasy writing competition.  There's also a grand prize of $5,000. You have up to 17,000 words to tell your story, retain all rights and it's free to enter. Definitely worth a try, I reckon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Specious means either misleadingly attractive or superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

Custard made with salt instead of sugar would add speciosity to your trifle. An example of speciousness is the specious claim that as chocolate is dervived from plants, a family sized bar of Aero counts as one of your five a day. That's only true if you choose the orange flavoured one (she adds speciously*)

*mint's a plant, so the green ones are OK too.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Complicated Caladria

For this free competition you need to write a story set in the fictional world of Caladria, using one of the detailed themes provided. Doesn't sound my kind of thing at all, but if you like goblins, dragons and the word consternation and fancy winning a £25 gift card, you'll probably like it.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Bitmead and Bruntwood.

Winning the Luke Bitmead bursary will earn you a publishing contract and £2,500 cash. It's free to enter and open to anyone over 16 who hasn't had a novel traditionally published and who's written a complete novel for adults.

The organisers are particularly interested in entries from those whose personal or financial circumstances make it difficult for them to focus on writing.

Playwrights will probably want to have a look at this. The prize fund is £40,000!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

All about the words ... and lifeboats

Wordsmag have three writing competitions this year. Two open themed and one for murder stories (must try that - haven't killed anyone for ages)

Here's a chance to win £2,000 to spend on a trip for writing a 500 word travel piece. £4 per word is a pretty good rate!

Thursday, 14 May 2015


I've been working jolly hard at 'not-the-day-job' as you can see by the rucksack of camera gear I'm carrying.

The occasion was the naming ceremony for  Gosport's shiny new ferry 'Harbour Spirit'. I was very excited that we had a tug escort with water jet for our trip.
It wasn't all fun though. I conducted vital research into the kind of mini cakes I might want to serve at a book launch. With the latest book currently being assessed by a publisher that's something I just might need to know.
Actually the hardest bit was resisting pressing the big red button labelled 'ship's horn'.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


A monticule is a small hill. Sounds rather friendly, doesn't it? The sort of place you'd walk up to enjoy a picnic involving ginger beer and home made cake. A monticule can also be a mini mound caused by a volcano.

Here's the view from a hill (quite a big one) I climbed up last summer. Recognise it?

Clue ... instead of climbing up, you could just swan about down the bottom.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Weekly poetry competition

There's good news and bad news with this one. Bad news is there's no prize. Good news is the competition is weekly, free to enter and offers the (voluntary) possibility of your work being published in a book.

I was struggling to find an illustration for this one until I remembered poetry can be about absolutely anything. These are rhubarb forcers. Good luck with that.