The magazines all publish Bumper Summer Issues so I thought I would join them, as there are loads of snippets of news to tell you all about.
Firstly, I was out shopping today and bought 3 items in WHSmiths which I urge you all to buy also. They are:
1. Writing Magazine, the issue dated September 2011. It contains a marvellous article by Vivien Hampshire, entitled Save Our Short Stories. She's interviewed several fiction editors, and gives a run down on which magazines are not entirely closed to fiction and which are still accepting fiction or even expanding their fiction requirements. She recommends (as do I!) joining the Bring Back Fiction campaign on Facebook. Great article, Viv, and thanks for the blog-plug!
Added 22:20 - just realised this mag also includes an article by Elaine Everest on using your own experiences in your writing, and she's quoted me. I'm everywhere, me! Another reason to buy the mag!
2. The latest issue of Best, which contains a short story by Bernadette James (well done Bernadette!) It also contains a fiction token - you need to collect 4 to enter their forthcoming £1000 short story competition I posted about a couple of weeks ago.
3. Sally Q's latest My Weekly pocket novel, entitled Sunlit Secrets. I believe it's the first 50,000 word pocket novel she's had published (after several 30,000 word ones). It occurred to me that pocket novels are a low-cost, low-tech alternative to Kindles. I've been considering buying a Kindle to keep in my handbag so I would always have something to read. Pocket novels do the same job, for just £1.99 an issue! By the way, get over to Sally's blog for the chance to win a copy of Sunlit Secrets, and also to take part in her forthcoming birthday bash. She even gives away her age. Which I, being two years younger than her, would never do. Oh, oops.
Now then, here's a new ongoing monthly competition site for short stories. It's run by experienced writer, competition judge and Writers' Bureau tutor Andy Ellis. The interesting thing about this competition is that Shirley Blair, the fiction editor of People's Friend, has been in conversation with Andy about these competitions. It's possible that in future winning stories will also be considered for publication in People's Friend. Andy's accepting stories in 4 categories - romance, historical, horror (not for PF!!) and children's. Entry fee £7. Top prize is 70% of total entry fees. Go take a look.
Adrian Magson, whom subscribers to Writing Magazine will know through his regular columns, has written a How To book - Write On! which has just been published. He's sent me a copy, (thanks Adrian!) and has offered a signed copy to a reader of this blog. I'm going to run a little competition in a couple of days time, with this book as the prize so make sure you come back here and enter! The book looks like a very useful addition to any writer's bookshelf - I'll review it when I've finished reading it.
National Short Story week is not until November, but do bookmark this site and keep an eye on what's going on.
Thanks to everyone who has emailed me via this blog to tell me of their successes. I love to hear how this blog has helped people on the road to publication. It's great to know it's not all doom and gloom, and new writers are still able to break into the markets and sell their stories. Keep it up, everyone! And if you do come across a new market or writing opportunity, let me know!
And to those who've asked - editing of my novel is going well. Summer's difficult because of holidays, but I've been able to get on with it in between camping trips. Still on target to have it ready for submission by the end of the year. I veer between thinking, hey, this is ok! and blimey, this is awful. Which I guess is normal and healthy behaviour for novelists.