Sunday, 29 November 2015

Poems in the park

Here's a poetry competition, with book tokens as prizes.

Don't think I'll enter, but only because my poems generally go something like this ...

There were trees in the park
they were covered in bark
but you couldn't tell
as it was totally dark

Friday, 27 November 2015

Mystery Minotaurs

I may have mentioned this one previously, but it's a good one if you happen to be an unpublished author with a completed crime novel. The prize is a $10,000 advance.

We recently went on a minor tour of Wales and thanks to some creative navigation on my part, our route was at times a bit of a mystery.

(Yes, I know but have you any idea how hard it is to photograph a real minotaur?)

Seems some people are having trouble with the link, so here's the full address -

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


A guaranty is an undertaking to meet a payment or other obligation on behalf of another. It's usually made in writing. More than one are known as guaranties and they're made by a guarantor.

A guaranty can also be something used as security for a guaranty.  So a guaranty should, in theory, guarantee that the guaranty is met.

Confused yet? If so, don't worry about it and stick with guarantee. That can be used instead of guaranty as well as meaning a formal promise or assurance.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


There are just a few days left to enter this competition. Fortunately you're only required to use 150 words - so you can do it!

The subject is trees, you can submit a story or poem and the prize is a collection of books written and signed by Nick Perring.

If you like, you can also guess the species of tree in the photograph.

Monday, 23 November 2015


A while ago I blogged about The Poised Pen's short story and poetry competitions. I'm pleased to say that I actually got around to sending an entry - and delighted to say I've been long-listed! I'm sure I recognise some of the other names on the list too.

I'd love to say I'll be jumping in the van to read at the results event in Liverpool on 7th December, but it's a long way and we already have trips booked for December so I'm not sure it's possible. The transport manager is looking into it.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Bad dreams = great opportunity

For this competition, you're asked to write a short story inspired by these words of Stephen King - “There’s something to be said for a shorter, more intense experience. It can be invigorating, sometimes even shocking, like a waltz with a stranger you will never see again, or a kiss in the dark, or a beautiful curio for sale at a street bazaar.”

Given the competition title and the involvement of SK, I'm guessing the kisser will have bad breath and the dancer will tread on your toes. But we all know I've been wrong before.

The prize is online publication plus "a place on a Guardian weekend Masterclass with Philippa Pride, Stephen King’s UK editor."

Friday, 20 November 2015


No, not another advert for my new book*, but a free entry short story competition. The prize is publicity on their site, plus €10.

*Which is very nice.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Writing scholarship

The ideal candidate to win the $4,000 prize in this competition is a retired factory worker, but other people can enter too. Anyone at least 16 who can write in English in fact.

I can't think of a suitable illustration, so I'll just pick something at random and try to make it fit ...  Okaaay .... Ah! I know.

Winning this would be a step in the right direction for those hoping for a career in writing.

Gosh, but I'm good.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


I quite often cogitate (being a gardener and a writer makes it compulsory) but have only just realised that excogitation is also a thing. That means to think out or contrive, whereas cogitate is to ponder or even meditate.

By my calculations that means I can now spend twice as long looking at the pretty flowers and claiming I'm working by plotting on my plot.