Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Happy New Year!

Wishing you much happiness and lots of wonderful writing in 2020.

I'm hoping next year will carry on as this one is ending – I've just had a story accepted (for The Weekly News) and now we're going away in the van.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Post Christmas Sale!

Are Boxing Day and New Year sales still a thing? I remember seeing news reports of people queuing up for hours, sometimes even camping out overnight, in order to get incredible bargains. Does it still happen? Have you ever done it?

As far as I can recall, I've never had any kind of involvement in a post Christmas sale ... until now! From Story Idea to Reader is half price this week.

Here's the blurb ...

An easily accessible guide to writing fiction.


Whether brushing up your writing skills or starting out, this book will take you through the whole process from inspiration to conclusion.

Are you looking to submit your work for publication, enter a competition, or do you want to self-publish? This practical guide will help you every step of the way.

Between them, Patsy Collins and Rosemary Kind have sold hundreds of short stories, written sixteen published books and produced numerous articles for Writing Magazine and similar publications. They've both judged writing competitions and run workshops, and Rosemary has read and edited thousands of short stories and published dozens of books for other writers.

With the information, help and encouragement in this book, you too could see your work in print.

Buy it now and give your writing life a boost.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Festive fun

Whether you celebrate Christmas, something else, or nothing at all, I hope you enjoy yourself between now and my next blog post.









As you're here, how about joining in a word association game? 









Just read the word in the last comment and type the first word which comes to mind. I'll start it off with – Christmas.


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

And finally ...

 
Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for sending me the link to this competition to win a writing retreat. All you have to do is tweet about the book you'd like to write – although if you win, I think they'll be expecting you to make some progress! It's a great prize, but as I have my own mobile writing retreat I probably won't enter.

This is the last of my daily posts featuring free to enter writing competitions. I'll be back with more free competitions in 2020 (although not every single day!) I can do you a writing prompt, short exercise and story/scene suggestion every day for twelve months, iA Year Of Ideas would be any help.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2019

It's true I tell you

The Spread the Word life writing competition is free to enter and offers a prize package including mentoring, an Arvon course, £1,500 and membership of the Royal Society of Literature. You have up to 5,000 words to write something intended to be true.

I could tell them about the time I flew with the Red Arrows, or when I performed in the Albert Hall, or swam the channel, or abseiled down the white cliffs of Dover ... Oh, true ... In that case, I can only use one of those examples.


Congratulations to Alyson who has won the e-copy of From Story Idea to Reader – an accessible guide to writing fiction. Please contact me or co-author Rosemary J. Kind to claim your prize.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Happy Winter Solstice!

It's the winter solstice today (in the Northern Hemisphere) and from now on until midsummer the days will gradually get longer and brighter. The winter solstice has long been celebrated by those whose lives are dictated by the seasons and who feel a connection to nature. It's associated with rebirth and fresh chances.




The University of Southampton offer a wide range of free to enter writing competitions with a green theme. The current ones (scroll down to find them) include those for scriptwriting, flash fiction and a novel. Prizes average £500.

I'd planned to provide a daily free to enter writing competition from 8th December up until today – but you know what plans are ... I'm keeping going until Christmas Eve.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Anything goes

The Writers and Artists Yearbook short story competition has a word count of up to 2,000 words, offers an Arvon course (valued at £1,000) as a prize and closes on the 13th of February. This year there's no theme.

Do you like the freedom to write about absolutely anything, or prefer having some sort of prompt to get you started?

What do you think Bagpuss is planning to write about? Or is this just an excuse to play with the mouse?

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)

Friday, 20 December 2019

Prize announcement.

This free to enter writing competition is for up to 17,000 words of science fiction or fantasy. There are quarterly prizes of $1,000 and an additional grand prize of $5,000.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)

The winner of an e-copy of A Year Of Ideas : 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises is 'Unknown' who said they'd most like a writing prompt for 6th January. THE DAY. The day we eat up the random leftovers –M altesers and pickled onions anyone? The day our trouser waistband is snug. The day we bin the card from Muriel and still have no idea who she is. The day of the first blank page of the year and… Help! Well done. Please contact me to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who had a go, there were some great entries!


Commiserations to those who didn't win. If you've not already got Not A Drop To Drink and Are We Nearly Famous? then maybe you'd like to download one or both as a kind of consolation prize – they're both free.

There's still time to enter this similar contest to win an e-copy of From Story Idea to Reader – an accessible guide to writing fiction.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Poetry is King

If you can write a poem which features royalty in any way, you could win £200 in this free to enter competition. Entrants, and the royals they write about, can come from anywhere in the world.

Can you guess the royal connection to this fence?

There's still time to enter this competition for an e-copy of From Story Idea to Reader.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Nice


Nice generally means pleasant, kind or satisfactory. It can also be used to show fastidiousness, a subtle distinction or something requiring careful thought.


This free to enter competition is for short stories of up to 600 words. The prize is a £30 Amazon voucher and publication on the site. It sounds as though they want entries to be nice so here are some pictures to get you in the mood ...





Talking of nice, it was Alyson Faye who kindly sent me the link to this competition.
















(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)

If you know anyone 25 or under who is or was in care and is resident in the UK, be nice and tell them about this free writing competition in which they could win shopping vouchers.



Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Out loud

The Soundworks short story competition is free to enter. The winner will have their story professionally recorded and put on the website (Here's mine from a few years back). Previously published stories may be submitted.

The photo is an unprofessional reading of one of my stories!

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)

There's still time to enter my competition to win an e copy of A Year Of Ideas: 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Get going

Here's an ongoing travel writing competition. It's free to enter, there's a weekly £250 currency prize and overall prize of £1,000. Best of all though, it gives me a chance to spam you with more of my own travels photos.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th December until Christmas Eve.)




















One of the places I like to travel to is Scotland, and one of the people I like to meet when I'm there is author Rosemary Gemmel, so I'm looking forward to reading her book Scotland People and Places, which is currently free to download.



Sunday, 15 December 2019

Playing about

If your 30 - 40 minute play is one of the best entries in this free to enter competition, you'll have your work performed in Arundel and earn a £200 fee. There's also an overall award of £250.

Although there's an impressive castle at Arundel, I've only ever driven past the town. I'd like to go – and I'd love to see your work performed, so do let me know if your play is selected.

In the meantime, here's another English castle. Do you recognise it?

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th until the winter solstice.)

Saturday, 14 December 2019

From Story Idea to Reader

If you've not yet got a copy of From Story Idea to Reader, here's your chance to win an e-version.

Here's the blurb –

An easily accessible guide to writing fiction.

Whether brushing up your writing skills or starting out, this book will take you through the whole process from inspiration to conclusion. 

Are you looking to submit your work for publication, enter a competition, or do you want to self-publish? This practical guide will help you every step of the way.

Between them, Patsy Collins and Rosemary Kind have sold hundreds of short stories, written sixteen published books and produced numerous articles for Writing Magazine and similar publications. They've both judged writing competitions and run workshops, and Rosemary has read and edited thousands of short stories and published dozens of books for other writers.

With the information, help and encouragement in this book, you too could see your work in print.

Buy it now and give your writing life a boost 


And here's all you have to do to win –

Tell us, in 50 words or fewer, about a reader of your writing. They can be a real person, totally made up, or not even a person at all.

Entries are to be made as a comment to this blog post only and close at midnight on 21st December. The winner will be announced a few days later and asked to supply their email address in order to recieve a digital file of From Story Idea to Reader. If they already own a copy, they'll be sent a mystery book written by either myself or Rosemary.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Free feedback

This free playwriting competition includes great prizes, such as a premier in London, 10% of the box office and a £6,500 commission for your next play. That's jolly good if you happen to be the lucky winner. I hope you are, but they'll be lots of people taking part, so you're just one small fish in a great big pond.

Unusually this competition offers something of value to every single entrant – feedback. If you have an interest in writing plays, I think it's worth jumping in the deep end just for that.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th until the winter solstice.)

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Super top secret Ock

Here's a competition for writers or illustrators of children's picture books. Creating one sounds like a lot of fun, but I expect it's harder than knocking up a few doodles or thinking of something fun for your main character to do.

The prize is £1,000. Hmm, maybe I should have try ... Here's Ock. He goes on undercover missions that are so super top secret I can't tell you about them – and he eats sausages. Little ones.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th until the winter solstice.)

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Idea

An idea is a concept or plan formed by mental effort, a mental impression, an intention, vague belief or fancy ... and what you need to start every piece of writing.

A Year of Ideas: 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises is a book by me! You can try to win yourself a kindle copy by telling me, in 50 words or fewer, which day you'd like a writing prompt and why. Your answer can be true, funny, silly – whatever you like as long as you specify a date and give a reason.

Entry is by comment on this blog post only.

Closing date is midnight on the 18th December.

The winner will be announced on the 20th. Sorry, the prize can only be redeemed by those in the UK.

If the winner already has this book, then they may choose one of my novels or a short story collection instead.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th until the winter solstice.)

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Surprise!

There are prizes for this free to enter poetry competition, but I don't know what they are! Regular readers of this blog will know I'm not much of a poet, but I'm tempted to enter just because of the mystery prizes.

How about you? Would you enter a competition without knowing what you could get, should you win?

Thanks to Alyson Faye for sending me the link for this competition.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Crime pays

This competition for a crime novel is only open to those who've not previously had a novel published (self published is OK, as long as you don't enter the self published book.) The prize is publication and an advance of $10,000.

Fortunately there are no photos of me committing any crimes, even if some do look like evidence.

(I'm featuring a different free to enter writing competition every day from the 8th until the winter solstice.)


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Wild and free

The prizes for this non-fiction writing competition include publication and some amazing trips through the wilderness of India. You're asked to write 500 to 1,000 words on one of the following –


  • Narrate an account of an experience in your life that brought you closer to nature. 

    (OR)
  • Write a short piece on your ideal utopia and some of the things you would find there.

    (OR)
  • Write an informational piece on something that we could all adopt to live a happier, healthier life - whether it’s an ideology, dietary improvements or physical activity!


  • You may include photos, drawings or a video, but whatever you do, you need to do it fast as entries close on 16th December.

    My little wildflower meadow is my personal utopia and I expect to find lots of flowers, bees, butterflies and other creatures there.















    I'll be featuring a new free to enter writing competition every day from now until the winter solstice.


    Wednesday, 4 December 2019

    Living the dream?


    This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is – How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? What would you change or improve?

    The thing I'd most like to change is to make better use of my writing time. I have a bad habit of getting distracted by social media, emails and ... well, too many things. A few more book sales would be nice too.


    In a lot of ways though, I am living the dream. Despite wasting some of it, I have time to write. I travel around in the camper van doing fun stuff, including writing, presenting writing workshops and meeting writing friends. I get to see my stories and articles in print pretty often... Actually, I have a whole website about that stuff.

    One of the best things about being a self employed writer is that I can write whatever I like, and as much as I like. That's good as there's a lot I want to write about. So much in fact, I've written a book about things to write about.

    A YEAR OF IDEAS – 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises

    I think that titles probably gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect, but here's the blurb in case you'd like a bit more information ...

    All writers need ideas. We need topics and themes, prompts to get started and a little encouragement to keep going. New writers may be wondering where to begin, daunted by a blank page and want help to transform thoughts into fiction. Even the most experienced have dry periods when ideas don't flow, or times when they appreciate a push to try something different.

    Patsy Collins' methods are proven to work. She's employed them at workshops where she's never failed to get her attendees, from brand new and nervous to burnt out, not just writing but producing interesting scenes, snippets and stories.
    Each of the daily sets of prompts in this book have been used in some way by Patsy, to create her own work. She needs a lot of ideas as she's completed five novels, co-written From Story Idea to Reader (an accessible guide to writing fiction) and produced nineteen collections of themed short stories, averaging two dozen per book. Hundreds and hundreds of her short stories have been published – mainly in women's magazines. She blogs, writes articles, wins competitions and is always working on something new.
    Whether you're a new writer, or a more experienced one temporarily out of ideas, have hours to fill or just five free minutes, you'll find something in this book to help get you writing – every day of the year.

    The prompts and suggestions can be used for short stories or longer works and in any genre.
    You can buy it here. The ebook is £2.50 ($3.22) and the paperback £6 ($7.75).

    How about you? Are you living the writing dream? Would a book of ideas and exercises help, or is there something else which would get your future writing self where you want to be?

    Saturday, 30 November 2019

    Need a nudge to get you writing?

    If you find writing prompts and exercises useful then you might like my new book.

    A YEAR OF IDEAS – 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises

    I think that titles probably gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect, but here's the blurb in case you'd like a bit more information ...

    All writers need ideas. We need topics and themes, prompts to get started and a little encouragement to keep going. New writers may be wondering where to begin, daunted by a blank page and want help to transform thoughts into fiction. Even the most experienced have dry periods when ideas don't flow, or times when they appreciate a push to try something different. 

    Patsy Collins' methods are proven to work. She's employed them at workshops where she's never failed to get her attendees, from brand new and nervous to burnt out, not just writing but producing interesting scenes, snippets and stories.
    Each of the daily sets of prompts in this book have been used in some way by Patsy, to create her own work. She needs a lot of ideas as she's completed five novels, co-written From Story Idea to Reader (an accessible guide to writing fiction) and produced nineteen collections of themed short stories, averaging two dozen per book. Hundreds and hundreds of her short stories have been published – mainly in women's magazines. She blogs, writes articles, wins competitions and is always working on something new.
    Whether you're a new writer, or a more experienced one temporarily out of ideas, have hours to fill or just five free minutes, you'll find something in this book to help get you writing – every day of the year.

    The prompts and suggestions can be used for short stories or longer works and in any genre.
    You can buy it here. The ebook is £2.50 ($3.22) and the paperback £6 ($7.75).

    What gets you writing?

    Friday, 29 November 2019

    Friday Freebie

    The winner of an e-copy ARC of Maggie Of My Heart by Alyson Faye is Lynn Love. Congratulations! Please contact Alyson directly, to get your prize.

    Wednesday, 27 November 2019

    Philology

    Philology is the science of language. Keen as I am on English, that doesn't make me a philologist, as I don't do anything scientifically. However an alternative definition is the love of learning and literature, so I probably am a philogian, or at least partly philological. How about you?

    Btw, there's still time to enter the mini competition to win an ebook. Just leave a comment which includes one of the M words here, before midnight tonight.

    Friday, 22 November 2019

    Friday Freebie

    Alyson Faye has a new book out – Maggie Of My Heart. She tells me the story is – "set in post-war Britain, it's about a relationship between a spiv and an escort girl, (Maggie) and the blackmail/murder in their relationship; it's my homage to the old film noirs."

    You can read more about it here.

    If you're a reader in the UK, you can try to win an e copy, by leaving a comment using (one or more) of the words Murder, mystery or mayhem. (Comments which aren't entries are also welcome, but if you use one of the M words, please state it's not an entry, to avoid confusion.)

    Entries close midnight Wednesday 27th November. Winner will be announced on this blog next Friday and invited to contact Alyson to arrange receiving their prize. If they don't respond, no prize will be awarded.


    Thursday, 21 November 2019

    Fantastical Tyneside

    Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for passing on the details of this free to enter short story competition.













    The Word are looking for previously unpublished science fiction and fantasy stories of up to 3,000 words. The prize is publication, and for the top three, £100, £50 or £25.

















    The competition is part of WRITE Festival run by South Tyneside Council, which is jolly handy as I've been to Tyneside and now feel totally justified in sharing some of the photos I took in that general area.
















    I'm not totally sure they'll help with writing your entry, but I've done my best to select some which might.