Friday, 28 February 2020

Just the one

The prize for this free to enter short story competition is $220. You have between 1,000 and 5,000 words to write a story in which, "there is more than one of something that there should absolutely, positively be only one of."

This is allium unifolium, so called because it supposedly only has one leaf. Mine is growing in a big clump, so I can't tell you how accurate that is.

What do you think there should only be one off?

Wednesday, 26 February 2020


For this short story competition from Parsec Ink, you're asked to write a story of up to 3,500 words on the theme of forging. Good word – I can think of several ways to interpet that!

The contest is free to enter and offers a $200 prize. It's only open to non-professional writers. The entry must be sci-fi, fantasy or horror.

Forging can mean creating something strong and enduring – to forge a career, legacy or relationship, for example. The encouragement of my granparents forged my love of gardening. If you forge ahead, you're taking the lead or making good progress.

Forging can be to make an object from metal by heating and shaping it. A forged banknote is a forgery (fake, fraudulent copy) created by a forger.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Win help to get your novel written and published

Me doing a booksigning in Waterstones
This competition from Pen to Print is for potential novelists. The ten finalists will win a year of mentoring and have their completed book published. You have until September to submit a synopsis and the first chapter. First entry is free. If you want to try more than one story idea you can, but it'll cost you £10 a go for the extra ones.

Original cover

In case you're thinking nobody ever wins these sorts of competitions I can assure you they do. I know, because it happened to me! It was quite a while ago now, but I entered a free novel writing competition after blooging about it and Escape To The Country was published as a result. 

Curent cover

Sadly the publishing company ceased trading a few years later, but I was able to self publish the book afterwards and I'm still benefitting from the boost that win gave to my confidence and writing career.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Fancy a week in Greece?

The prize for this free to enter short story competition from Limnisa is a week's writing retreat at a seaside location in Greece. 

It includes food, optional yoga sessions, use of a bike and some other stuff. 

It doesn't include travel costs.

To enter write a story of up to 1,000 words, 'loosely inspired' by the image and/or text on their website. 

If you wish you can also pay for a professional evaluation of your story.

I've been to Greece, so you get photos!

Friday, 21 February 2020

This competition from Harper's Bazaar is for a 2,200 word short story on the theme of summer. The prize is a two night stay in a hotel in Yorkshire.

I have writing friends in Yorkshire, so I'm tempted to give this one a go.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Win a tablet PC

Here's a competition for either poetry or short stories (up to 2,000 words). First entry is free, subsequent attempts cost £10. The prize for each category is a 'tablet PC'. You have until late March to enter.

Widely published authors are not eligible. They've not said how they define that, but as these are just a few of the magazines I've been published in, I guess I'm one of the wide lot!

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Queening it

This competition from Holland Park Press is for poems connected with royalty. You don't need to be in favour (or against) and don't have to actually write about a member of the royal family – dogs or handbags are fine, apparently. The prize is £200.

Here's me and Princess Anne
Some royals seem a waste of space
But I reckon Anne deserves her place
Actually I'm a bit of a fan.

Come on, surely you can do better than that?

Friday, 14 February 2020

Save the planet and win $1,000

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for passing on the link to this free to enter short story competition. The maximum word count is 5,000 and any genre may be submitted, but do take the stated 'provocation' into account.

There are nine prizes of $100 and one of $1,000 on offer.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Have your debut play performed

Here's a competition for debut playwrights. Shortlisted entries will be performed and the best will also win a 'tablet PC'. Entrants must be based in the UK and prepared to travel to Baring and Dagenham to attend the final performance. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Art imitating art?

 Art is both human creative skill, and the results of that skill. The arts are different branches of creative activity. (Painting is an art, a painting is a piece of art, painting is one of the arts.)

The word can also be used to describe a skill or talent which doesn't produce a tangible result. For example the art of not being around when there's work to be done.

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. You can sign up here if you're a an insecure writer, and/or would like to support those who are.

February's optional question is – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

No – not a single one, but many. My grandma was a good amateur artist and my husband is a professional photographer, so naturally I have an interest in these two arts.

In my novel Paint Me A Picture, the main character learns to paint – which saves her life. She and I were both inspired by a trip to the National Gallery. (The cover artwork is by my husband.)

I've attended two writing workshops with a connection to modern art and sold the stories I started at each of them. One of my few historical works centres around a (fictitious) painting, several of my contemporary short stories involve paintings and painters.

I also use photos for, and in, my work. Leave Nothing But Footprints is a romance novel about photographers, and photographers appear in quite a few of my short stories. I also take photos when researching, to remind me of facts, views and feelings.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Meet cute

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for telling me about this competition. They want up to 1,000 words about a 'meet cute' i.e. the first meeting of two romantic characters. It's free to enter and 'sweet Valentine's goodies' and pink champagne are offered as prizes.

I'm guessing the sweet stuff is chocolate, but Alyson suggested it could involve cake. Do you think one of us is right, or could it be something else?

Had you heard the term meet cute before? No, me neither. 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Poetry for me!

I don't usually write poetry, but the entiries for this competition are allowed to be silly, so I might have a go. (Good poetry is also accepted!)

The competition is only open to British and Irish citizens. The prize is a £100 gift card. Entries open today and close on Valentine's day.