Friday, 28 August 2015

Irish connection

Creative Writing Ink run a monthly, free to enter writing completion, with a small prize.

They're based in Ireland, which is where I took this photo.

Admittedly it isn't much of a connection, but the picture might make a good story prompt. (The ghostly silhouette is Gary - double points if you work him in too)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Consign either means to deliver something to someone (or arrange for that to be done) or to put a person or object in a place in order to be rid of them. Eg the editor consigned the manuscript to the return envelope.

A consignment is a group of items which are to be, or have been, consigned.

Con sign is a cheating or misleading sign which doesn't live up to what's written on it. Eg those which say 'up to half price sale' when in reality it's the discount which will be up to 50%, not the sale price.

Monday, 24 August 2015


I'm experimenting with both technology and marketing. Part of that involves setting up a mailing list and, eventually, sending out newsletters.

If you'd like to be a guinea pig either click here for the pretty purple version of the sign up form, or add your details below. In either case you'll be sent a confirmation email and you'll need to click the link on that. You'll be able to unsubscribe at any time if you no longer wish to see the newsletters.

If you'd like to receive occasional email newsletters from me, just add your details below.

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Just the tip

Thanks to Sharon Boothroyd of Kishboo magazine for sending me the link to this competition fron Online Writing tips.

You have between 2,000 and 5,000 words to play with and until February for inspiration to strike, International entries are welcomed and there's no theme - so there's no excuse for not having a go. The rest of the site looks interesting too.

Talking of interesting sites, don't forget to read the latest issue of Kishboo (it's free online) and perhaps even think about submitting something for the next issue.
A review of one of my books perhaps ;-)

My writing tip - pointy end of the pen to the paper (or fingertips on keyboard) and get on with it.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

And the winner is ...

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my competition to win some Rhodia notebooks. I enjoyed reading them and seeing the wide range of styles and the original takes on the theme. Well done!

Picking a winner was a really tough decision! Actually so tough, I had to ask Brian, the nice man from Rhodia, to help me. He said, "Those were awsome to read." He picked his personal favourites, adding, "They were all really well written though."

So there are actually three winners. Here they are (in order of entry)

She’d scrawled in the notebook, 'If you're reading this I’m dead and the monster is loose in the house. I can only offer you what I have learned. It can disappear from sight but try as it might it cannot hold its own breath.'

The pages of the notebook fluttered. 

*By Jo Styles (Rona J Frith)*

The notebook was placed in front of me. I turned over the page; a clean sheet, a new leaf. She told me to write down everything I could remember.

My pen hovered; I hesitated. Tomorrow I would try again.

*by Maggie Storer*

Curiously, I approach the notebook laying open on the park bench.
The exposed pages burble scrawls, sketches, quotes, potential…a myriad of styles.
A large inked arrow points towards a space at the bottom.  
I read, ‘Inspire me.’
Can I? I deliberate; then pen rumours briskly over soft paper.
*by Lexi Walker*


Could the winners please email me - patsycollins53 (at) - the UK address to which you'd like your notebooks sent. The nice man at Rhodia has asked me to give him your emails too, so they can confirm you get your prizes. If you'd rather I didn't do that then just let me know.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Hydrochory is passive dispersal by water. Plant seeds being carried downstream, fruit swept by tides and currents to a distant shore, writers drifting round a pool on a lilo, that sort of thing.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Story in a teacup

There are three competitions here - One for flash fiction, one for under 16s and one for short stories. The themes are Emerald Mountain, Swirling Mist, Moonlight Jasmine or Green Gaucho. The prizes are excellent (£2,500 for the main competition)

Only UK resident, non professional fiction writers may enter.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Inner Sins

For this competition, short horror poems are wanted. The prize is $50 plus publication.

Cake is one of my inner sins. I'm not sure it'll be any help with the competition though.

Friday, 14 August 2015


Congratulations to Claire Chappel who won the Max Gate flash fiction competition after finding out about it from this blog. You can read her excellent winning story here.

The picture shows the attic windows Claire mentions in her story.

And congratulations to ... er ... me for coming third in Spintinglers July competition. You can read my entry here. Spinetinglers have a new competition every month and offer cash przes from £100 to £25.

The winner of my notebook competition will be announced in a few days ...

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Sorry, I've not given you much notice for this short story competition. You may use any theme though, so perhaps you could submit something you prepared earlier? 

The winner "will receive the annual Dastaan Award worth PKR 50,000 (approx. USD 500)". I'm not sure what that is in pounds, but I expect it's a worthwhile amount.

btw, if anyone has a question for The Weekly News fiction editor Jill Finlay, they can ask it here.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


A monolgue is is either a long speech by one person, a dramatic work for one performer or a scene within a longer piece where just one person speaks. I'm not sure if that means anyone who talks to themselves is a monologist whose monological habits cause them to monogolize from time to time, but I expect it's something like that.

I tried chatting to this chap, but that turned into a monologue.

Anyway, moving swiftly on ... If you've written a monologue, or fancy giving it a go, you might like to enter it in this competition.

Monday, 10 August 2015


Remember Willow? She's my dad's dog ( I've just been visiting and did some research for my latest WIP whilst I was there, which is as closely connected to writing as this post will get).

 I first saw her when he'd had her just two days and she was just a little bundle of fluff.

This is her about four months old.

This is Willow now at just over a year old. I wish my novel would put on weight at the same rate.

I'll post another picture when she's full grown - you won't mind if she keeps her feet on the ground for that one, will you?

btw, I'm just about to post more pictures of animal cuteness on my website.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Think you can write?

This romantic novel writing competition seems a little complicated, but as the prize is a two book deal with Harlequin, I think it's worth a go for anyone who writes the kind of thing they publish.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had their initials combined and then used the motif all over their homes and gardens, including on this rose arch. That's romantic, isn't it?

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Getting graphic

This competition is for graphic novelists. You need to create a four page spread, for which you could win £1,000 plus publication in the Guardian new review.

Graphic has several meanings. As it's not Wednesday I won't go into them now - instead I'll leave you with this image, which illustrates at least one of them.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


It's time for the August Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Do think about joining if you're a writer who's either insecure, supportive or both.

This month I am feeling a bit insecure, but only in my non writing life. Something not good happened and we've had to change our plans for the rest of the year. I'm disappointed that much of our travelling will have to be postponed, but it does mean I've been able to get more writing done than planned. That side of my life is going very well - and being able to 'escape' into my stories is doing me a lot of good at the moment.

Do you ever find that even if writing can itself cause us concerns and frustrations it can also provide a welcome distraction or break from other issues?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

I won one

Just to prove I do enter at least some of the competitions I blog about, I've won one.

Thinkerbeat have more competitions coming up. They all have a small cash prize, but the 'Spinners' one has an interesting extra. Winning lyrics or poems will be set to music! I don't often write poetry, but I'm tempted to give it a go.

It's best I don't sing, so here's a clip of a bagper instead. (My filiming although totally rubbish is considerable better than my singing)