It's the time of year when we traditionally look back on the last twelve months and make plans for the next. I'm a traditional girl so ...
In 2018 Womag writing was a bit up and down. A big blow came when the owners of Woman's Weekly demanded all rights for any new stories. I consider this incredibly unfair. Other magazines have contracts allowing the publishers to use stories as often as they like and in any format, for no extra fee – yet still allow the authors to retain moral rights and reuse the stories themselves. I won't give up all rights to my work, so have lost my biggest market. The entire issue severely knocked my enthusiasm and for some time I didn't write anything.
There was good news though. I had my first ever publication in The People's Friend (then a couple more – and more will follow). I also made my first sale to In The Moment magazine. Thanks to a large backlist I actually sold more stories than I wrote this year!
More good news came in the form of several competition wins and placings – all of them from free to enter competitions I'd featured on this blog. My prizes included a book token, publication, certificates, signed books and cash.
I made very little progress on my novels, but I have put together several short story collections, including collaborating on this free one.
As well as writing I've been encouraging others to have a go, through my blogs, a Facebook group and writing workshops. I've also been trying to encourage people to read my books, by giving talks to a book club and at my local library. I'm delighted to have books stocked in several libraries as well as The Bookshop at Lee-on-the-Solent.
Most importantly I got to meet some lovely people; readers and writers who've been friends for years and those I'm just getting to know.
For 2019 I've already agreed to take part in a panel event as part of Portsmouth Bookfest and to tutor at the Hope Cove Writers' Workshop Weekend. Hopefully I'll be taking part in other events for readers and writers and meeting more interesting people. Perhaps the campervan will take me to you? I'll post details of any events on my website.
I'll still write and submit womag stories, but it won't form such a large part of my writing life – simply because the market is now too small to keep me fully occupied. I'll be entering more competitions, and of course will share the details here. There will be more books – and yes, I'll mention those too!
How about you? How was your writing year – and what plans do you have for 2019?