Thursday, 30 July 2015

Just time for a quickie

There's hardly any time left to enter this competition and as far as I can see there's no prize other than kudos and the chance of publication, but they're open to a wide range of writing.

Poems, stories, articles, diary entries, letters and blog posts are all welcome, just as long as they're on the theme of 'passion'.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Carking cares

Cark is the harsh noise made by a carrion crow. They do sound as though they have a lot on their minds, maybe that's why cark also means burden.

Carking is an archaic term for something worrisome. I hope nothing happens today to carken you with carking doubts.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Valerie Wood Competition

The top prize for this short story competition is publication and £100. You need to write between 500 and 1,000 words and mention  one of the listed 'iconic Hull connections'.

It's only for those who haven't yet been commercially published.

I've not yet been to Hull, so here's a picture of a wood.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Short story quotes

This competition closes on 1st August, but as you don't actually have to write anything yourself, just quote someone else, you should have time to try for the £50 prize.

Feel free to quote from one of mine! The short story collection is still free (get it here or here) and there are loads to buy here.

And if you're in the mood for competitions where you needn't write very much, do have a go at my 50 word one.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Parergon is work that's subsidiary to your main employment, or an ornamental accessory. Parerega is the plural in either case.

As a parergon to writing, I act as a photographic assistant (and I like to think I'm Gary's parergon, although I'm usually more wondswept than ornamental)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Betjeman poetry prize.

I think this poetry competition may be intended for youngsters, but the rules don't seem to give an age limit so maybe any students can take part?

I'm neither a youff nor a student. I'm not really a poet either, but I did have a go here.

This looks like a good place to write poetry, or anything else, doesn't it? It's 'The Shack' now in Mottistone Gardens on the Isle of Wight.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Max Gate

Thanks to Gail Aldwin for passing on the info about this flash fiction competition. There's a chance for your work to be published on the website and also of winning an unspecified small prize.

I've been to Max Gate a couple of times. It's well worth a visit - as is the nearby 'Hardy's Cottage' which has a wonderful garden.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

In the Corner

The only prize for this competition is publication, but if you're after fame and glory rather than cash, you might like to try it.

Actually fame and glory aren't guaranteed either, but you never know what could happen.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Chicken House Prize

If you write novels for children and fancy winning a competition which offers representation and a £10,000 publishing deal, then you really should take a look here.

Ok, so this isn't a chicken, but he was making himself very much at home in the castle grounds ...

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


A gaff can be either one of two horrible sounding fishing implements, or a slang term for a person's home. Gaff can also mean a plan or secret, most often used in the phrase 'don't blow the gaff' which is similar to not letting the cat out of the bag. (English is fun, isn't it?)

Don't make the gaffe of adding an e - that's a different word.

Threave castle was once the gaff of Archibald the grim. (Upsetting him was way more than a gaffe)

I wonder if he used a gaff to catch fish in his moat?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sophie King Prize

It's our wedding anniversary today and appropriately enough I have details of a romance writing competition. (Thanks to Sharon Boothroyd for telling me about it) The prize includes recording of the story, £50 and feedback from an agent, so it's well worth having a try.

Reckon I'm justified in using a couple of our wedding pictures to illustrate the theme of romance ...

Friday, 10 July 2015

Summer Loving

Here's a competition on the theme of 'Summer Loving' with a book as the main prize.

I love summer as it means I get to go out in the van, meet friends and family and visit interesting places like this.

A big bunch of points if you can tell me where it is.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


A pie is a baked dish with pastry on the top and bottom (just on the bottom is a tart, just on the top is a gastro pub cheat). Easy as pie means very easy (so why can't those over-priced pubs get it right?). A pie chart is a representative circle divided into sections.

Pie in the sky* is unrealistic expectations or promises (possibly made when pie-eyed which means drunk) A pie can also be a piebald (black and white) animal or bird, a chaotic mess of printers' type or a former currency unit in India.

*Not to be confused with pie in Skye which is a picnic on a Scottish island.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

At sixes

Thanks to Heather for finding this competition. You only have to write six sentences. The prize is a  Writer's Bureau short story and novel writing course, so I reckon it has to be worth a try.

Something else that's worth a try is getting a phone signal in deepest, darkest Devon. Here's my lovely husband giving it a go.

Hooray - that impressively tenuous link brings this to six sentences!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Think in pictures

Thinkerbeat are running another short story competition with a small cash prize. They also have one for short scripts suitable for animation and as well as the cash prize, the winner will see their script animated. That sounds like fun.

Talking of fun, We've been on another trip (to the west country this time). I had a wonderful time and took lots of photos. Feel free to use this one as a story prompt.