Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Bingo is a 'gambling game using cards marked with numbers'. Do you play? The word is sometimes also used as an exclamation in much the same was as 'Eureka' to mean 'I've got it!' Ever say that?

Even if you've never played and never shouted out the word in a moment of enlightenment you can have a go at this competition and be in with the chance of winning a kindle. All you need do is write a new bingo call. (Y'know legs eleven, two fat ladies etc)

You don't need to have played to try this poetry competition either, but having some idea of the game might be an advantage. First prize is £150.

For those wondering about the weird package shown in the last post - it was gardening tools. There will be more about them on my other blog soon.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Something different

Although I have absolutely nothing against receiving a big fat cheque I do like competitions which offer unusual prizes. Perhaps that's partly because I've done OK in a couple of those (My first ever writing success netted me tea with the mayor along with a book token)

Is there anything you'd particularly like to win, or is cash more appealing? Please do let me know if you come across any competitions with weird prizes (or more normal ones)

This poetry competition has great prizes - an Arvon course for the winner and book tokens for 2nd and 3rd.

Talking of different, Cafelit are actively looking for submissions and they accept a wide range of stories. If you have something quirky that you're not sure what to do with you might want to give them a try.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Back again

Some competitions are regular events. The Munch one is now in its 5th year, the Bulwer-Lytton one seems to have been around for a while and the Swanezine one is a regular fixture.

How do you feel about these annual competitions? If you don't win one year are you put off or determined to do better next time? If you do get placed does it make you reluctant to enter again or all the more keen to do so?

I've been shortlisted a couple of times in the Swanezine one which makes me think maybe I'm on the right track so I'll be trying again. Might as well give the others a try too.

Something I really wish would come back is the sun. What's happened to that?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

An update ...

I didn't win the Jeffrey Archer/Curtis Brown/Kobo competition. Naturally I'm disappointed* but coming in the top three of around 1,000 entries isn't too shabby is it? As a runner up prize I received feedback on the synopsis and opening 3,000 words. This was encouraging in parts and also suggested several improvements - all of which I agree with and will take into account when I continue working on the novel.

One of the things they said was 'We particularly enjoyed the connection and contrasts you depicted between the friends Jess and Tanya' I'm pleased with that as initially these two weren't different enough and I worked at giving them different characters whilst still allowing them to have things in common. 

Although I didn't win that one I've had some good news  - a story accepted for the inaugural issue of Ficta Fabula which I mentioned in February (see, I do take my own advice sometimes) I have plenty of work out and competition entries in, so more good news could come at any moment.

I'm also going to try some of these - Salt publishing are currently open to submissions. Passion Up pay $100 for true stories (passion in this case seems to refer to enthusiasm rather than erotica) Printerpix want 'sunshine poems'.

You may have gathered by now that I'm a keen gardener (I'm almost always working on some kind of plot!) So that I can post even more pretty pictures of flowers, I've started a gardening blog

*Not so upset I want to go to Mars but I wouldn't mind some of my words going there.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


The word cherubim is simply more than one cherub.

The photo is partially appropriate as it shows more than one of us, otherwise it could be said to illustrate whichever word is the antonym of cherubim. Rascals perhaps?

Here's a fun monthly competition. You're asked to write a story using photo prompts so you might like to use it for inspiration even if you don't plan to enter the competition. There's a cash prize of $30.

And here's another monthly competition. You have to 'like' their facebook page* to be eligible and on there you'll also find the monthly theme and word count. You submit via a facebook message**. The prize is a $50 Amazon voucher.

*While you're on facebook you could like mine too ;-)

** I've sent mine already. I don't know the punctuation combination for a smug smirk so please pretend this is it :-$

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Gross has a variety of meanings. It can describe something large, outrageous or thick bodied. Twelve dozen of anything are a gross or it can be a total without any deductions.

These tulips are fairly outrageous, but I wouldn't call them gross, would you?

Do you have any words of advice for writers? If so, send them here for a chance to win £100, publication and an invite to a book launch.

Penelope spotted this poetry competition (free if you're under 18, otherwise there's a fee)

Leave a comment here to be in with a chance to win an Amazon voucher.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Promise me something ...

If I mention any new book I'm working on, please check if I've done a synopsis and if I haven't nag me until I have. Getting one written quickly for the Kobo/Jeffrey Archer/Curtis Brown competition was tough. It's been received now and is being considered along with two more. Even if I don't win I'm glad I've done it as getting the plot down to one page really shows up the strengths and weaknesses and will be a great help to keep me on track as I continue writing. I intend to always do a draft synopsis at an early stage in future.

If telling a whole novel on a page sounds tough, how about doing it in a tweet? I had to for this interview (leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning an ecopy of A Year and a Day)

Here's a chance to get a professional director and have your play performed. Among the things you can write about are 'riotous mixture of something'. D'you reckon my garden would count?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Can't stop ...

Just remembered it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. I might well be feeling insecure if I had time to stop and think about it, but I haven't so I don't! I'm really busy, in a good way.

 Hopefully I'll find time to enter a few writing competitions.

Although I've not been home much lately, I still don't qualify as an ex pat. If you do (Lizy for example) you might be interested in this.

All this rushing about isn't exactly the end of the world, but if it were, I could write about it and try to win £100. As I'm actually having fun I'll have to make something up (if I have time)

Doubt I'll have time for this, but it looks interesting.

This one only requires 99 words, so I should be able to manage that and try for the $25 Amazon voucher.