A cockatrice (or basilisk) is a mythical reptile whose breath and look can kill. It's also a fabulous heraldic animal composed of a cock with a serpent's tail.
Unfortunately, although I've photographed may heraldic creatures I'm yet to capture a cockatrice. I'll be looking out for one on this year's trips, mostly so I can inform innocent bystanders what it is, but also to take a picture.
Thanks to Bea Charles for telling me about a free competition in Prima magazine. They're looking for 800 word stories and offering a Writer's Bureau course for the winner. You have until the end of March to enter. I couldn't find details online, but you should be able to get the magazine in most UK newsagents. It's also often held in libraries.
Another free to enter competition offereing help and support to writers is this one from Spotlight Books. They're looking for fiction and poetry from authors from underepresented backgrounds (as defined on the entry form). Winning entrants will get help with editing and polishing and recieve a publishing contract.
If you can work the word cockatrice into entries for either of these I'll be very impressed.
Do you think you'll be using today's Wednesday word of the week in any way at all?