Saturday 13 July 2024

Dependable Friends, puffins - and three free writing competitions


Free entry writing competition news

Here's a competition with categories for poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and unpublished books. There's a prize pool of $1,000.

This competition is for stories of 550 words or fewer which include a character with a print disability. The prize is an echo dot (that sounds familiar, but I'm not sure what it is) and a voucher.


Thanks very much to Sharon Boothroyd for sending the link to this free poetry competition on the theme of togetherness. Sharon has the impression they're thinking of community rather than romantic love. Note - all entries will be published on the website. Some may go into an anthology.

My news

Yesterday our wedding anniversary, and launch day for Dependable Friends and Deceitful Neighbours in Little Mallow, the second book in my cosy mystery series. I'd very much appreciate anything you can do to spread the word e.g. sharing my social media posts, or this very short video


The picturesque seaside village of Little Mallow is suffering a spate of robberies. Arnold Stewart, verger of St Symeon's interrupts a burglary in progress and saves the church's antique silver. His friend, schoolteacher Ellie Jenkins, is another victim. Who can be responsible? And are they also guilty of other, far worse, crimes?


Naturally, police officers Crystal Clere and Trevor Harris are investigating, and young Adam is asking many, many questions. Arnold's kind-hearted employer Reverend Jerry Grande is praying for answers, and for those involved. Cameron isn't so much interested in solving the crime as keeping Arnold safe and showing him the beauty the world has to offer. All those people are old friends of Arnold's. 


His new friend Aurora is more interested in solving the mystery of Castle View. There's definitely something odd going on at the house next to Arnold's flat. Against his better judgement Arnold finds himself involved. He's even more suspicious of the neighbours to his other side. They're hiding something – he really hopes he's wrong about it being a body!


Can Arnold and his friends untangle the lies being told in Little Mallow?









I'm delighted with the early reviews I've had on Amazon and Goodreads.


As with all my books, Dependable Friends and Deceitful Neighbours in Little Mallow is available as an ebook or paperback, can be read via kindle unlimited, ordered in bookshops and requested at your library.



Puffins!


Here's a little film of the cute little beaky creatures.

Saturday 6 July 2024

Who? When? Where?


Good morning from wherever we are now! I confess to feeling a little disconnected from reality, spending so much time in beautiful, peaceful, natural surroundings. 



We've not watched TV for six weeks and only been online for short bursts, almost all of it writing related in my case. 




Good job I didn't have a bang on the head yesterday, and need to prove I was OK by knowing the day of the week and who the prime minister is! (I do know now, and I voted by post, and I think I'm posting this on the right day, so there's probably no real cause for alarm!)





The pictures give an idea of what we've been doing (see the blog on my website if you'd like lots more detail and photos), and I have been working on my novel, as well as getting ready for the release of this one.




What have you all been up to?



Saturday 29 June 2024

Still here!


We're still in Orkney, and still enjoying it very much, even today when the weather is showing us why people tie their sheds down here.






I haven't done anything in the way of womag fiction, but have been working on the next novel, and keeping up the blog of our adventures. Well, I'm posting every day, but we're doing more stuff than I include. The photos in this post are a random selection taken from there.

Thanks to everyone who is leaving comments, or supplying info, or both to help keep this blog going whilst I'm on my travels and not able to spend much time on it. That's very much appreciated and makes taking time away from our adventures to put up posts feel worthwhile.


Free entry competitions

On The Premises have a short story competition - 1,000 to 5,000 words, with an expert as one of the characters. First prize is $250.





Saturday 22 June 2024

Viking graffiti?

 

Free entry writing competitions

Thanks to Fiona for sending the link to this free poetry competition, with £100 prizes. UK residents only.

And thanks to Sharon Boothroyd for this Here's a free to enter love letters competition below: CD 31st August.

https://www.valwood.co.uk/val-wood-prize



My news

We're still enjoying Orkney in the campervan. I've made some progress on the third book in my cosy mystery series (the first one is currently on offer at 99p / 99c) 



Mostly though, I've been hiking, sightseeing, eating cake, bird watching, taking photos such as the ones in this post, and blogging about our experiences.


Just to keep my holiday snaps somewhat writing related, it seems probable that those scratchmarks in the stone are actually Viking graffiti. I had read there was some inside Wideford Hill chambered cairn, where I took that shot, but couldn't believe I'd really found it. Since then I shared it with a group who know about these things, who assure me it's the real thing.



Saturday 15 June 2024

Over to you

 

Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Still waiting to hear back on outstanding submissions? Do you have a question? Can you offer tips or encouragement to other writers?

Any other writing related news, questions and comments are also welcome and appreciated. As well as allowing us all to share information, help and encourage each other, comments show editors, competition organisers and others that the blog is read and will therefore be more likely to answer my questions, or provide information for me to share with you.


Feel free to use these photos as picture prompts. If you'd like written writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.


Don't forget to check the submissions database for details of which magazines publish fiction under what terms, and how to submit.

Saturday 8 June 2024

Reporting in...


Sorry, I don't have anything in the way of womag news, nor any free entry competitions for you this week. 




I'm not sure if that's because I'm away (in Orkney did I mention it?) and therefore not on line much, or because not a lot is happening. Perhaps a bit of both?



We're having a great time exploring these beautiful islands, taking many photos and making an attempt at filming, editing, and uploading to Youtube.





I've written about some of our adventures on the blog on my website, and I'm making progress with the third book in my Little Mallow cosy mystery series. So far I've got about 9,000 words, which is nearly a tenth of a novel - except of course it doesn't work quite like that with first drafts!




What is everyone else up to - working hard or having fun? You're going to need a good excuse if you're not doing at least one of those!


Saturday 1 June 2024

Magazine response times

Womag news

Here's some information from The People's Friend about response times, and other things. I suggest reading the whole thing, but here's a snippet 'if you haven’t had an acceptance within a year of submission and you know your story was safely received, your story has been unsuccessful.' Although a year seems a long time, I very much welcome a definite cut off period.


Back in 2019 I sent a story to a magazine (not TPF). In 2020 I sent a query, as I'd not heard anything. In 2021, after hearing nothing I gave up on it and submitted it elsewhere. It was accepted, published and paid for in 2022. A few days ago, I received a reply to the query sent in 2020, rejecting the story, but assuring me it has been read and considered. I wonder when that happened?


My news

We've reached Orkney now, but I'm a bit delayed with my picture processing (too much time spent taking more!) so these are some shots taken at RHS Harlow Carr on the way up.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Free book publicity ? AI concerns

Free book publicity

Discount Stuff on Twitter (yes, I still call it that!) will post about your free or discounted books if you message them.



Update
 Ooops. This wasn't supposed to appear in it's own post – this kind of thing is what happens when I try to get organised and get stuff ready in advance. Oh well, as it's here, I'll add in a link to the AI issue Marguerite has mentioned in the comments .– https://www.pcworld.com/article/2343263/facebook-wants-to-use-your-posts-for-ai-training-how-to-object.html and a picture of me sitting by a really big rock, taken right at the start of our latest campervan adventure. If you want to hear and see much more about that, follow the blog updates on my website.

Saturday 25 May 2024

Book cover competition result – and other stuff

This is my last 'written at home' blog post for ... no idea, actually! The photos are of my garden, taken on a last look round before heading north.

All being well, there will still be regular(ish) posts, written and posted from the mobile writing retreat (aka our campervan). If any are sparse, or look like I got distracted before I finished them, it might be due to poor internet access, but will most likely be because I did get distracted! We're going to Orkney and there's so much there I want to see. Hopefully you'll make allowances.


Competition result

I have the result of my book cover design competition. Thank you to everyone who took part - and congratulations to the winner!

Hannah, who is providing the prize, says –"I really enjoyed reading all of them. I would like to choose the entry of 'The Italian Connection' by Elizabeth McGinty as the winner as it sounds like a wonderful story that I would love to illustrate!"


If Hannah and Elizabeth are happy to share the result, I'll show that in a future post – and if anyone else offers a suitable prize* I'll run more competitions here.

*Anything vaguely writing related, or chocolate, cake, cash etc


Free entry writing competitions

If you can write a story of between 25 and 50 words, you have a chance of winning $35 with this competition from On the Premises.

Here's a competition from ALCS for educational writing. It's only for 'traditionally published' work though. I couldn't see how they defined that, but they do ask who the publisher is. The prize is £2,000 in total.

My news

I have a new short story collection out! This will probably be the last one for a while, as I intend to focus on my novel series over the summer. But then I do have a habit of writing stuff other than what I was 'supposed' to.

Crime In Mind is a sister publication to Criminal Intent – both contain 24 short crime stories and are available as ebooks, paperbacks and through kindle unlimited. They can also be ordered in bookshops, or requested in libraries.




Saturday 18 May 2024

Over to You

 Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Still waiting to hear back on outstanding submissions? Do you have a question? Can you offer tips or encouragement to other writers?

Any other writing related news, questions and comments are also welcome and appreciated. As well as allowing us all to share information, help and encourage each other, comments show editors, competition organisers and others that the blog is read and will therefore be more likely to answer my questions, or provide information for me to share with you.


Feel free to use these photos as picture prompts. If you'd like written writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.


Womag / competition news

Thanks to Sharon Haston for notifying me that My Weekly are running a short story competition for amateur writers. The prize is publication, a signed book and a film download – and I imagine that after being published in the magazine the author would go on 'the list' and be able to regularly submit to the magazine.

Today is your last chance to enter the competition to win a free book cover design.

My news

The second book in my cosy mystery series has been proofread and sent out ready for ARC reviews.

Saturday 11 May 2024

What do you write? (and places to send your work)

I'm interested to know genres and forms you write – please let me know in the comments, and I'll try to find suitable competitions and publication opportunities for you. I ask, because sometimes I see something which seems very niche, or is just so different from the kind of thing I write, that I wonder if it's worth posting about it. Obviously I can't promise to find something for everyone, but I can avoid dismissing an opportunity someone would have considered perfect.


Free to enter writing competitions


Thanks to Alyson for the link to this short story competition. They want  There's more info on the website to help. The prize is $3,000 plus possible publication in an anthology. If the anthology happens, writers of included work will earn a share of the royalties. Looks like anyone over 18 can enter.

 

Other opportunities



Thanks to Sheila Crosby for telling me about this grant for older writers of speculative fiction. (I can't say I like they way they speculate us grown up writers look, but I wouldn't mind the cash!)


There's still time to enter the competition to win a cover for your book (real or imaginary).

Linen press are looking for short stories. Women only for this one.

Monday 6 May 2024

A couple of quickies

If you have a book finished, or nearly finished and are thinking of trying to get an agent or publisher then this free online event on Thursday evening might be of interest. 

And if you enjoy writing prompts and exercises and/or find them useful, you might like to know that the kindle version of the little purple book is currently 99p / 99c.

btw, I'm now sharing more of my own writing news on the blog embedded on my website, so if you want to know what I'm up to (and are prepared to risk even more campervan trip photos that will appear here) take a look over there now and then.

Saturday 4 May 2024

Win a free book cover design

Today I have a guest post and exclusive competition from Hannah Zhang!

Hi, I'm Hannah, a freelance illustrator and designer based in New Zealand, and I am collaborating with Womagwriter to to host a competition where you can win a free illustrated book cover! To give you an idea of the kind of thing I do, I've created a couple of mock covers for well known books. If you'd like to see examples of my other illustration work here is my website.


To enter, simply make a comment on this blog post with the title of your book, its genre and (optionally) a short 1-2 sentence description of your book. This book doesn't have to be finished, or even real. You could make up a title just for fun, it could be a book that you are thinking about writing, or even an existing book that you would like to have re-designed. If it's for a real book you're going to publish, and wish to use my design, I'll provide the cover files for you to upload

Maximum two entries per person. Entries close in two weeks (on 18th May). Good luck! 

From Patsy – Hannah will select a winner from all entries received by the closing date. I'll announce the winner on here and invite them to contact Hannah directly. (If you're not sure how to leave a comment, see here.)


Womag news

Details of the Best competition (as far as I can see and recall, the rules haven't changed.)





My news

I was on the radio Thursday. If you missed it but would like to hear me waffling on about my writing, you can do that here.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Just the one today...


Last week I thought I was super organised, and ended up making two posts on the same day. No idea how I'll mess up this week, but it'll be in a different way!

You'll probably get all kinds of oddness from me from now until autumn (and I might not stop then!) as due to travelling I'll put things in posts and schedule them when I can, but they might get published before I've properly finished them off. Hopefully that'll be better than nothing.

It seems jolly cold for the time of year, so I'm sharing some summer sunshine.


Womag news


I was fortunate to have a story accepted by The People's Friend this week, and asked 
what season they're currently scheduling for. I was told that late summer and early autumn are still OK.

Publication opportunity


Thanks to Lindsay for this – "If you fancy a flash fiction challenge, Paragraph Planet publishes one 75-word story every day on the website. There's no payment but it can be a good way to kickstart your creativity. Each story must be exactly 75 words, including the title, and formatted as one paragraph. Submission information is on the website https://paragraphplanet.com/submission.php"

Next week, I'll have a fun, exclusive competition to win a book cover design, for a book you've finished and are waiting to publish, your current WIP, or one that's just a figment of your imagination.