Saturday, 3 December 2016

The same difference

The W&AYB annual short story competition again offers an Arvon course as the prize. Unusually there's no theme this year.

Do you prefer competitions with or without a theme?

I like themes as they encourage me to write something new, rather than dust off something which has been hanging around gathering rejection slips.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Whee! is an expression of delight. The exclamation mark isn't compulsory, but I feel it's justified.

Whee! is the sort of thing a person might say either because it was the launch day of their first ever co-written non-fiction book, or to show how thrilled they are to have purchased a copy of the rather excellent From Story Idea to Reader. (Wheeeeeeee! is what you squeal when being spun round on a children's roundabout in the park after a celebratory glass of something bubbly. Apparently.)

From Story Idea to Reader is available from Amazon as a paperback (£9.99) or ebook (£3.99). If you'd like it in a different format, such as pdf, you can obtain them direct from the publisher.

For a full list of contents, click here.

Monday, 28 November 2016

I'm rooting for you.

Thanks to Tracy Fells for bringing this free to enter, weekly flash fiction competition to my attention.

There's a new prompt each week and the winners of the best 150 word story get free entry into the Bath Flash Fiction competition, which offers a £1,000 prize.

Sunday, 27 November 2016


The current competition from Words Mag, has the theme of 'murder'. You have until the end of the year to submit your entry which can be up to 2,000 words long. First prize is £50.

I don't know for sure that anyone has ever been murdered in this castle, but it's possible. What do you think?

Friday, 25 November 2016

A bright flash

Brilliant Flash Fiction have a quarterly competition which is free to enter and offers a cash prize. The theme for the current one, which closes on the 15th of January, is 'Aftermath'. The top prize is €50 and the word limit 500.

You may also submit stories of up to 1,000 words, but no payment is offered for those.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mini masterpiece

Here's another 50 word competition. The prize is a collection of books.

Last time I blogged about one of these teensy story competitions my entry was commended, so I really should have a go at this one.

The books illustrated aren't part of the prize, but it took me so long to create that image that I'm going to use it everywhere I can. If you like the look of any of them, you can buy them here.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016


Estimation is the process or result of making an estimate, an opinion or judgement of worth, or an old term for esteem.

By my estimation it's time for another plug for my books. You'd all go up in my estimation if you bought one ;-) Or read it on Kindle Unlimited, or borrowed it from the library ...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Feeling adventurous?

If you've published an adventure novel, you could enter it in this competition from the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, for a change to win £10,000. If you've written one but it hasn't been published you can enter that too and possibly win the help which will see it published.

I climbed up a jolly big hill. That's about as adventurous as I usually get.

Entries accepted from all nationalities.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Creative Café Project and CaféLit

The following post is by my guest, Gill James.

The idea for the Creative Café Project was based partly on the old coffee houses in Vienna, where almost in rent-a-table fashion musicians, and other creative practitioners would meet and debate for hours enjoying excellent coffee, and on De Gaulle’s and André Gide’s maisons de la culture. It’s all about providing creative spaces for creative people.

Nexus Art Café, Manchester

A book event at a creative café 

The Creative Café Project

The Project lists cafés worldwide that meet Creative Café criteria, offers advice to cafés about how to become more “creative”, suggests activities that creative practitioners might take on with cafés, and reviews cafés. Visitors can search for cafés on place names, post codes and by activity.

Read more here.

What a creative café looks like

A creative café may simply have free newspapers for customers to read or, more and more frequently these days, it might offer free Wi-Fi. It might hold book events and / or display art work for sale. The more proactive creative cafés have full lists of events. Do take a look at the list of activities offered.
The project has brought along two new concepts: the literary salon and the writer in residence. Both of these activities are very rewarding for writers.

Salford Museum’s café is a typical creative café

We’re always on the lookout for more cafés, reviews of cafés and creative practitioners willing to work with cafés. We’re also running a series on writers in cafés. If you’d like to get involved in any way, please use the contact form on the site.


CaféLit supports the project by raising awareness, producing short stories that can be consumed as one enjoys a drink in a café and through the small profit made on the annual publication of The Best of CaféLit.
Each story has a drink associated with it. This gives the mood of the story. Take a look at a few here. Stories are anything between 100 words and 3,000 words. You are welcome to submit. See our guidelines.
At the end of each year we select a few of the stories to appear in our Best of volume. We pay the editor and the publicist 7.5% of the profit each and the rest is shared 50 / 50 with the project. We don’t make a huge profit but it does pay for a few flyers. Authors often donate their royalties to the project. They are also offered a 25% discount for life on all CaféLit publications. The project itself gets a little funding from elsewhere.
Our annual get-together in London is fun. Here are details of this year on 3 December. Alas, full now.

Coming soon

From 2017, CaféLit writers will be able to receive a discount on all Chapeltown, Red Telephone and Bridge House books as well as CaféLit.
All CaféLit contributors, whether just online or in The Best of, will be offered an author page on our web site.
A second celebration of all the imprints will be offered in Manchester in the summer.
Watch this space. Why not sign up for our newsletter?