Saturday, 30 August 2014

Museum of Words

This competition offers three chances to win $200 and one for $20,000. It's free to enter, you can do so in English, Hebrew, Arabic or Spanish and they only want a maximum of 100 words. It would seem silly not to have a go.

I considered using a diagram of the inside of my head to illustrate this post but decided on a photo of Thomas Hardy's desk. Was that the right choice?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Doggy tales

Alfie Dog are now open for submissions again. The guidelines are here.

There's still time to enter the competition too. This one isn't free as you must download five short stories from the site, but as most of them are only 39p each that means a £1.95 outlay for a chance at £200 and publication of your own collection. Whatever happens you'll have an interesting collection of reading material. (You might like to choose one of these ... pretty please)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry which traditionally have seventeen sylables and a seasonal reference. (The picture is of a Japanese anemone which flowers in my garden every autumn)

Don't know about you
but I simply cannot do
a decent haiku

If you can do better (or worse - I'd like to see that!) then you might like to try this competition. There's a £25 first prize.

This publication are looking for submissions of short poetry. They don't pay though.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A ray of sunshine

My story, The New Weather Girl' is in the 30th August issue of My Weekly. 

A while ago My weekly stopped accepting short fiction submissions from authors who'd not previously had anything published by them. I've since heard them described as a closed shop ... but there are still opportunities to be published in My weekly. Features can still be pitched to the following -
Health – Karen Byrom, General

Real Life - - Audrey Patterson
Travel, Cookery – Alison Graves
You can also submit pocket novels. Maggie Swinburne is the person to contact about those. “Pocket novels are exciting, thrilling reads that sweep the reader away for adventures and intrigue, drama and romance! 50,000 words please.”

Monday, 25 August 2014


Thanks to Suzy for telling me about this competition. There's a £20 prize. The deadline is the end of the month, but there's no theme so you can send in something you prepared earlier.

I'm going enter but the lack of theme will make choosing a story difficult. With nothing to narrow it down it's hard to see the wood for the trees and whittle it down to just one.

Did you twig that last paragraph was just to give me an excuse to post this picture? (At least I spared you the barking stuff about branching out into different genres and hoping my entry would be OaK and not wanting to leaf any out!)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

I'm making a habit of this

Recently I met up with another friend I previously only knew through the internet. Sheila Crosby is a great writer, scientist, writing buddy, photographer, yeti keeper, founder of the critiquing group I belong to and all round good egg.

As a change from me driving in the campervan to see her she flew over from La Palma. Another break from my usual m.o. was that instead of tea and cake there was curry and wine ... and sausages ... coffee... trifle ... Well we had a lot to talk about!

Hopefully it won't be too long until we can meet again. If I was to win the £30,000 top prize in this competition, or the £500 in this one then I'd start making travel plans. Alternatively if I won the arvon course on offer here, I might make new writing friends.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The power of three

A few days ago, at an undisclosed location in the south of France, I met up with my writing friends Hilary Mantelpiece and KJ Rolling Pin. The photographer made reference to the opening scenes of Macbeth so we sent him to Coventry ... where his remains have been formed into a new gargoyle.

Our weekend retreat was funded by the two Arthurs (Mr Cone and Mr Doyle to you). They're huge fans of our work. Well, who isn't?

We dined exclusively on ice cream served in cornets formed round the horns of unicorns and drank nothing but the finest vintage peppermint tea.

Naturally our conversation was of literary matters, well worn themes and the loveliness of DC Thomson editors. Do read my friends' accounts here and here for the whole story. Some parts are even true!

No famous authors were harmed in the making of these blog posts. The same cannot be said of cakes and scones.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Hands up who thought I'd put an extra f in the title? Anyone? No? Oh, I was sure I'd catch someone out. Riffling, as you know, means to turn pages in quick succession (my book Paint Me a Picture is such a page turner you're sure to riffle through it) to shuffle cards or something to do with gold washing. A riffle can also be a patch of waves or ripples (I particularly like that one)

Rifling on the other hand is putting spiral grooves in a gun barrel to make it more accurate (the gun in question could be a rifle, but they do it with other kinds too). Rifle can also mean to search and rob or carry off as booty. So someone might riffle through a gun inventory deciding which rifled rifle to rifle.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Need some help?

I like writing (you probably guessed). As a hobby or even way to make a living it has many advantages. But if something goes wrong we are rather on our own compared with those who are members of clubs or work for big companies. (Imagine some stuff about being all at sea, out of our depth, floundering etc and the picture will make sense)

For UK writers help, particularly with contracts, is provided by the Society of Authors. (If you're in need of financial support for your work in progress, you might find this helpful. )

Which aspects of writing, or being a writer would you most like help with? (I can't guarantee I'll be able to provide that help, but maybe between us we can point some people in the right direction)