Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Rebutter, surprisingly isn't something you do to bread when you consider it's not been spread with a liberal enough amount of dairy goodness. 

It's actually a refutation (a word which probably deserves its own WWof theW post) or 'a defendent's reply to the plaintiff's surrejoinder'.

Sometimes I'm no help at all, am I?

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Did I... ?

I'm not entirely sure whether or not I've already mentioned these two competitions, but they have great prizes and you might have missed the post even if I did, so I'll do them again.

This one is for script writers. The prize is £250 plus performance of your play to an expected audience of 2,000.

This one is for non fiction. The prize package includes an Arvon course, £1,500, membership of The Royal Society of Literature and meetings with an agent and editor.

Both are (as usual) free to enter.

I know I've mentioned this marvellous writing book before, but as I'm a co-author I like to remind people now an then. It isn't free, but it's great value. Amongst many, many other things, it includes lots of information to about writing for competitions.

(I promise the photo is relevant, but admit only in a tenuos and slightly cryptic way.)

Friday, 12 January 2018


The BBC short story competition is now open. To enter you need to be British and/or resident in the UK and have a prior record of creative writing publication in the UK.

The prize is £15,000, with £600 going to all short listed entries. That seems a heck of a lot of money, especially as it presumably comes from licence payers. What do you think – can a prize be too big?

If playwriting is more your thing, then take a look at this competition. The prize is £2,200 and to have your play broadcast on the world service. Thanks to Hilary for bringing this one to my attention.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018


My dictionary gives three definitions for the word tidemark

It can be the line on a beach at the high water point, the scummy ring around the bath at the level the water reached, or a line on a person's body revealing they didn't have a bath and just washed the bits they thought would show.

I'd like to suggest a fourth – the patterns left on sand as the tide recedes. Don't you think this tidemark is beautiful?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A result

I don't just blog about free to enter competitions – I enter some too. I was a winner in this one, which I mentioned a while back.

Did you enter that one, or have you tried any of the other competitions I've featured recently?

Will you be trying any of those I'll be providing details of other the coming weeks?

Monday, 8 January 2018

Grippingly gothic

This competition is for a story of up to 500 words using the following phrase for inspiration - 
“It might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves.” 

Stories should grip readers in the same way gothic novels captured Victorian imaginations.

Stories will be be selected by actors from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde who will do filmed readings and these will form the shortlist. I think I've got that right...

Anyway, it sounds like fun, is free to enter and offers a £300 prize. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

It's On You

For this competition from On The Premises, you have from 1,000 to 5,000 words to write about an article of clothing.

Hats are OK, it says so. Reprints aren't. It doesn't say so, but as I have a previously published story involving a hat I asked. They said no.

Friday, 5 January 2018

A little alien

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for passing on the details of this competition from Legend Press. You're asked to write up to 200 words on the theme of Alien.

The prize (or prizes) is your choice of book from their catalogue, in paperback or ebook, plus some publicity.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Looking back and forward

At the end of last year, did you look back on the goals you'd set yourself for 2017 to see how many you met? Yes, me too. If you're like me, there were some succeses and some things which ... let's just say they didn't go quite as we'd hoped. We could call them failures, or we could look on the bright side and consider them experiments and learning opportunities.

If we can work out why we didn't meet our targets, and adapt what we do in the future so we get better results in 2018, then we're turning things we didn't do into things we're coming ever closer to achieving.

If you're feeling insecure about any aspect of your writing, including but not limited to your plans for 2018, then you might like to consider joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group – it does exactly what it says on the badge!

Btw, I was a runner up in one of the free entry writing competitions I blogged about last year. You can read my article here. I'll be posting links to lots more free to enter writing contests over the coming days, weeks and months.