Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Keep your standards up

When I checked my dictionary to see if standardise should be spelled standardise or standardize I found that both versions are acceptable. Either way it means to make something fit in with a standard.  Have you noticed that standardisation often seems to involve bringing everything or everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than trying to raise them up to the highest possible level?

Standardizes, standerdizing and standardized should all have a z according to my dictionary, although not to the spellchecker on my computer. That's helpful.

A standard is a level of quality, principles of good behaviour or a type of flag or lamp and the way some plants are trained. It can also mean the accepted norm or average.

If you can present a good argument about education, even if you don't do so in standard English, you could yourself £150 in this competition.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Great Unknown

There are two versions of this competition. One's for poetry, the other prose. In both cases the theme is the great unknown and, as far as I can see, publication is the only prize.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Book of the Month

The winner of this monthly competition will have their self published novel reviewed in The Guardian. That's all you get, but I imagine the publicity would boost sales.

Do you read reviews? Or write them?

Would you like these three as your guardian angels?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Playing about.

The winner of this play writing competition will get $10,000, publication of the play and a staged reading. I play about at writing, but I think it'll take more than that to impress the judges.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


A £25 Amazon voucher is on offer for the winner of this sonnet writing competition.

There's no theme but, as tragic love affairs often seem to be used as a subject for poetry, I thought this picture of love-lies-bleeding was appropriate.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Held to account

An account can be a narration or description, arrangement with a bank, assets of that arrangement, method for obtaining goods on credit, financial record keeping, counting or reckoning. If you have to account for something you must give an explanation.

It can refer to a proportion eg romances account for at least half of my stories* or it can mean to kill or dispose of. I haven't ever heard it used in that way - have you? Another use is to consider or regard. Eg he was accounted guilty.

If you are of some account you're considered as important. My husband is of some account to me. I met him when I worked as an accounting assistant and accounted for the money he wanted to spend. There are several ways he gives a good account of himself, but I'll take into account the fact you may not want all the details.

*I've no idea if that's true as I don't account for each genre separately.

Win this competition and you can pay £2500 into your bank account. (I'm sure the judges will take the personal statement into account, so on no account forget to include it)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mish Mash

This regular competition looks like fun. Each quarter three random words are selected for entrants to include in a 500 word story. Shortlisted entries will be published and narrated by actors. The winner also gets $100.

For the competition starting 15th July the words are oxidation, love and alphabet. Don't waste time trying to work out what a towel elephant has to do with any of this* - get writing!

*Although there's a 100 points in it if you can come up with a convincing explanation.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Self publishing awards

If you've self published your novel (as I did with this one) you might be interested in this list of 50 different awards you could try for. The ones I've randomly clicked on seemed to be free, but they might not all be.

Thanks to Liz Brownlee for bringing this to my attention.