Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Your turn!

Most Wednesdays I provide a word of the week, but I'm not going to today as it's my birthday. (Feel free to make it extra special by downloading one of my books*, or leaving a review for one you've read).

Instead I'm going to sit here munching cake and let you tell me your favourite word, or one you find interesting, or which you're proud you can spell, or even embarrassed you get mixed up with something similar.

*If you're tempted by the new one, Through The Garden Gate, you might want to wait until 12th April as it'll be on special offer then)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Thank you to everyone who voted for my story in the Kishboo competition - I came second! The results are here.

Monday, 28 March 2016

She's a good egg

Beatrice is getting eggcellent at tracking down competitions to share on this blog and has found another smasher.

Come on, scramble yourselves and get cracking on this one  ... (What? It's Easter - I'm pretty sure that means you have to let me off terrible egg-based puns.)

You have until mid June to write the required 750 words and don't have to shell out for an entry fee. First prize is €50. Unpublished fiction only, but I think that's the only restriction.

Saturday, 26 March 2016


Thanks to Daniel White from Thinkerbeat for letting me know about 101 words. The site wants you to write stories of ... go on, guess ... yep 101 words! If you've grasped that part, the rest should be easy.

In exchange for your lovingly edited story, they'll provide feedback. If they like the story, it will be featured on the site and if they really, really like it you could win an Amazon gift card.

The submitted work must be unpublished, but I couldn't see any other entry restrictions.

I think there are 101 crocus here, but I may have counted the yellow on in the bottom left twice.

Friday, 25 March 2016


This competition is for stories of up to 300 words. The prize is publication in the Worthing Herald.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


A ceramist is a person who makes ceramics.

I had a go at school - I wasn't anything like as good as whoever made this and my efforts didn't last anywhere near as long.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Rhyme on

Many thanks go to Bea
for passing on to me
this comp for poetry
run by a library
do send in an entry
it is entirely free
you could win money!
Er ... here's a piccy
of a pink poppy.

Monday, 21 March 2016

I didn't win, but ...

A while ago, I blogged about a competition with the prize of an audio version of the winning story. I didn't win, but ... the person running the competition liked mine so much, he arranged for it to be recorded as well.

You can listen to Holiday Temptations here.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

A novelty

Thanks to my cousin Christopher, for sending me this link for a novel writing competition. There's a £20,000 as the prize. Entrants must be unpublished, so sadly I can't try this one. Christopher thought that maybe one of my blog readers would like to try.

I considered illustrating this post with an embarressing photo of him - but then remembered that could go two ways, so I've picked on another member of our family instead.

What do you reckon to my chances of getting away with this?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Nottingham Writers' Club

Today writing buddy and fellow #writingchat co-ordinator Carol Bevitt is my guest ...

Last year Patsy kindly agreed to judge the 2016 Nottingham Writers Club National Short Story Competition, and we shared our experiences of belonging to writers’ groups.

There is so much available online for writers that writers’ groups/clubs have got lost amidst all these opportunities, so it’s easy to miss what may be available to writers locally. I've been a member of Nottingham Writers’ Club for 15 years now. I joined just before the celebrations for the club’s 75th anniversary, and in 2017 it will be the 90th anniversary*.

I've been able to benefit from hearing talks by both local and nationally known writers (Miranda Seymour, Stephen Booth, Simon Brett, John Harvey, and journalist Liz Jones among them). On one occasion we even had national TV cameras outside the building we met in. Edwina Currie had been booked (months before) and her talk coincided with the publication day of her revealing diary.

Writers’ groups can help build confidence too. I know how much I've personally benefited from the feedback I've received from judges of club competitions as well as the general support and advice from older published members over the years.

Learning to receive, and give, constructive feedback at manuscript readings has been a valuable skill, but possibly the hardest to feel comfortable with.

In 2015 I put together and led mini writing sessions for members to participate in. I would never have built up the courage to attend workshops, writing conferences and other related events without the confidence I've gained from attending the writers’ club.

Certainly over the past five years NWC has welcomed more new and developing writers, and quickly realised these writers were reluctant to enter competitions because they didn't feel they could compete against more experienced writers. So began the NWC National Short Story Competition (three years ago) giving a little feedback on each entry, and clearly defining an earnings limit for ‘professional’

writers, so it was fair to everyone.

It’s very satisfying to hear positive feedback from entrants after the final results are announced and they've all received the comments from the assorted readers of the manuscripts. Social media has become very important too, and I'm part of a team who do club posts on Twitter and Facebook. The website remains our main contact point - and the way most visitors find and contact us.

Nothing stays the same and this year we changed meeting dates and locations. While we still have our formal meeting at the Nottingham Mechanics (a popular venue for many social groups and organisations) it’s a week later, and two weeks after that our informal meeting is held across the road at a pub- its quiet mid-week- and a great place to get-together as no one is bothered by a group of chatty writers reading manuscripts, or holding different discussions around the table- fuelled by lemonade or something stronger.

Of course, not every group is the same. You might find a small group that meets in a member’s home, or local venue, better than a slightly larger more formal group. A few may put restrictions on eligibility, or have a waiting list. So visit and try them out if you can.

The best thing about going to writers’ group/club meetings is the mix of people that share your interest in writing, and all the ideas and experiences that feed your creativity. So if you’ve never considered trying out a writers’ group make 2016 the year you experiment…

* Last December, Nottingham was successful in their bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature, and along with Lord Byron, D H Lawrence, and Alan Sillitoe (a former member of NWC), the club was able to add to the heritage element having been in existence since 1927.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Corporiety comes from corporeal and is the quality of being or having a material body - just like Brilly here.

Oh, not that sort of material... Gosh, English can be confusing, can't it?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Poetic pairing

Here's a different poetry competition. The entries must be collaborative efforts between two people of different generations. One must be under eighteen. They don't have to be related, but it's fine if they are.

All the shortlisted entries will be made into 200 postcards, which will be given to the poets and the winners will also got book tokens. If I knew any children who could write poetry, I'd be having a go at this. Obviously they'd have to do pretty much all the work.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Castles, Cashmere and Cathedrals

Those three items are important to the history of Elgin and might well be important to writers of stories for this competition. A knowledge of Elgin and 18th or 19th century will be a huge advantage to entrants, which might well put some people off. There's a £350 prize on offer, plus the possibility of paid publication.

I haven't (yet) been to Elgin, but I have visited a few castles and cathedrals...

Saturday, 12 March 2016

In the beginning

The theme for this competition is 'new beginnings'. You're asked to write 1500 - 2,000 words and there's a prize of £30 worth of books from You can choose paperbacks or ebooks.

We'll be beginning a new trip in the van soon. I expect I'll take photos.

Friday, 11 March 2016

It's (not) all Greek

Here's another competition with a writing retreat as the prize. It's a week in Greece this time and includes optional yoga sessions. If that all sounds too relaxing, you can chose to have 5 sessions of personal online tutoring instead.

I took this photo somewhere in Greece. I don't know if it's near the retreat location - Geography isn't my strong point.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Living the dream

If your dream is to win paid publication, an engraved award and lots of free books for your short(ish) fantasy story, then take a look at this competition.

My fantasy is to swan around in a camper van, making up stories, looking at castles and eating cakes.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Dissentient can mean a person who dissents (or a dissenter) or can be used as an adjective for disagreeing with an official or majority view.

The book buying public don't seem interested in my novel Firestarter, but a few dissentient voices have given it good reviews.

Lunching out

This travel writing competition offers £1,000, publication, lunch and a positive critique for first place. You'll need to write from 5,000 to 30,000 words and live in the UK or Ireland to enter.

I like travelling and writing. I often combine the two, but am yet to try travel writing.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Winning Ways

I'm delighted to have another article in Writing Magazine. This time it's on 101 Ways to Win With Writing Competitions.

Appropriately enough it's in the 2016 competition guide, which is free with the April issue (out now).

There's the usual mix of inspirational articles and good advice throughout the magazine as well as details of hundreds of writing competitions. 

If you're at all interested in entering writing competitions, it would be worth getting a copy.

Monday, 7 March 2016


This looks like a good opportunity for anyone who writes speculative fiction novellas.

Do you write speculative fiction, or novellas, or both together?

Or perhaps you like to make people think?

If you prefer reading short stories, then take a look at this bargain.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Play time

If you've written a play which is at least 80 minutes worth and would like a four week run at Southwark Playhouse, 10% of the box office and £6000 to help you write another one, then you should probably take a look at this competition.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

A bit of a change

Metamorphose Novella Contest
We are currently accepting submissions for our novella contest (20,000 to 40,000 words, sci-fi, fantasy). Metamorphose strives to publish emerging writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. One winner will be published in Metamorphose’s Anthology in the fall. All finalists will receive free professional tips on their submission and may considered for later publication. The prize for first place is $50 (USD) and publication in
the anthology with potential for royalties. The winner will be announced publicly after April 15th, and featured on our website. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all our authors!
Opens: February 1
Deadline: March 31
Prize: $50 + royalties on anthology sales
Entry Fee: Free
Contact Info: Tammy Davies,
Metamorphose Short Story Contest
We are currently accepting short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner from each category will be published as the featured short story in Metamorphose’s Anthology in the fall. Four finalists will be considered for publication in the fall anthology. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.
Opens: March 1
Deadline: April 30
Prize: $25 and publication in the anthology
Entry Fee: FREE
Contact Info: Tammy Davies,
Metamorphose Short Story Publication
We are currently accepting short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words for publication on our website. Each year the top 3-5 stories will be published as the featured short story in Metamorphose’s Anthology in the fall. All accepted submissions receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.
Open: Always
Pay: Stories published in the anthology are eligible for royalty sales.
Submission Fee: FREE
Contact Info: Tammy Davies,

Friday, 4 March 2016

Pin drop

If you'd like your short story narrated by a 'special guest' then this competition is for you.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

With a little help from my friends

The first Wednesday of the month is when the Insecure Writer's Support Group make their posts. Do join us if you're a writer, insecure, supportive or all three.

My online buddies come in the 'all three' category. Although they might have lots of doubts over their own work and abilities they're usually very quick to point out the merits in everyone else's stories - even the ones which need a bit of work before they'll be ready to go off.

A good review group or critique partner will be honest about the faults, but will make you think it's worth fixing them. Mine do that and I'm extremely grateful to them.

Thanks, girls! x

btw, my short story collection, Over the Garden Fence is on special offer at 99p/99c this week.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

More acorns

I was pleased to be 'mentioned' along with several writing friends in the recent Little Acorns competition.

I'm even more pleased they're running another competition this month. All you need do is write 300 words. Actually it's a bit less than that as they've provided 6 to get you started. You have all month to do it, entry is free and there's a £20 prize.