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.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Publication opportunities and more



 Free entry competitions


Thanks to Marguerite for both of these - "
https://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/a-midsummer-tale/ 1000-5000 words on the Summer Olympics until 21st June, Amazon gift cards as prizes.

Also, Secret Attic has relaunched, currently with monthly short and flash fiction categories by the end of each month for cash prizes, and a weekly one, no prize, but publication for winners.
Details change for the weekly one and a specific prompt given."

And here's an update from Sharon Boothroyd "Secret Attic have now changed the story length for their ongoing fiction competitions, and they are now free to enter.
They haven't got many entries for their 100 word story comp. The prize is a writing related book. The closing date is the last day day of April."

Thanks both of you!

A not free competition

I very rarely post about competitions with entry fees, but I'm making an exception for this one from Radio Victory. They're looking for stories of 600 words inspired by a song title from the 50s or 00s. The entry window is the whole of May. Prizes include having the winning stories broadcast, a book bundle, and a voucher. I'm making the exception because I'm involved with the Portsmouth Author's Collective which is supporting the competition - and because I'm going to be interviewed on the radio!


Calls for submissions

Dimensionfold are looking for speculative poetry (science fiction, fantasy or horror) to go in an anthology. There's no payment, but successful poets will get a pdf copy and the opportunity to buy copies at a discount. 

My news


We'll be off on our travels fairly soon (brace yourself for a LOT of photos!) I'm trying to get as much done as possible before I go. For that reason, I've put two of my books on pre order. There's this collection of crime short stories, and this cosy mystery novel.

I'm unclear about the benefits or otherwise of pre-orders, other than there being less to do just prior to launch. I'll let you know if I gain any useful insights.


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 6 April 2024

Free entry competitions and other stuff


Free entry competition news

Thanks to Carol Bevitt for the link to this short story competition which is 'open to all adults'. Carol says 'it's public voting, but the prize is good and there's no entry fee. Plus they've dealt with the AI issue in their T&C's. And have two categories to distinguish between the previously published, and the new writer.'


Here's a micro fiction competition. They define that as '1500 characters (not words)'. All entries must relate to Africa in some way, but it looks as though almost anyone can enter. (The rules are complicated eg you can't take part if you have -  A blood relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity within the second degree of consanguinity with any individual who provides services in the Consortium or with any of the members of the Jury that is constituted for the competition.) You'll be required to prove who you are in order to enter, eg with your passport.  


I know some of you will be thinking it's too much faff. Fair enough. However, that might reduce the number of entries, giving you a better chance of winning the
750 first prize.

For this competition from the British Czech and Slovak Association you may write fact or fiction. There's a suggested, but not compulsory them and the prize is £400.


As with all competitions I feature on this blog, the above are free to enter. I do my best to warn people of potential issues (such as rights grabs) but it's your responsibility to check the rules, decide if you can comply with them, and wish to enter. I simply don't have the time to thoroughly investigate them all, and the companies behind them, nor to give detailed breakdowns of the rules - plus there's the risk I may misunderstand something and therefore mislead you.

Womag news

There are a few details of the story lengths and themes currently wanted for The People's Friend here.

My news

The garden is looking nice!

Both my cosy crime novels, Acting Like A Killer and Disguised Murder and Community Spirit in Little Mallow will be reduced to 99p or 99c this week (depending on when you see this, the offer has either just started, or will in a few hours ... or you'll have missed it!

I also have a new collection out. As you may have guessed from the title and cover the 24 stories in A Clean Bill Of Health all have a medical/wellbeing theme.

I'm still experimenting with book marketing and am taking part in these three promotions - April Cozy Mysteries Sales Event, Sweet April Stories and Mayhem & Motives.

Saturday 30 March 2024

A quickie because...

My news

It's my birthday, the sun is shining and it's actually stopped raining, so I'm keeping this short and going out to do some gardening (right after I have another slice of cake!)

Later I'll be drinking tea, kept warm by the amazing tea cosy Sheila Crosby made for me. Isn't it great?


Free entry writing competition news

Thanks to Alan Barker for sending me the details of this monthly 50 word competition. The prizes are critiques from author and editor Morgen Bailey (who runs the competition.)

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Spring!


It was the vernal equinox yesterday - which gives me the perfect excuse to share some springtime photos. Not that I need an excuse...

Free entry competition news

Thanks to Alyson Faye for the link to Northern Life's short story competition. The prize is publication and a copy of the magazine.


And thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for this one - a travel writing competition with a £200 prize. Every time I post about a travel competition I feel I should enter - I probably will one day!

Thanks to Jane for the reminder about this poetry competition.


My news

The kindle versions of In The Garden Air, and Beyond The Garden Wall, both collections of 24 plant, flower and gardening related short stories, are currently free.