Wednesday, 15 February 2012

This and that

Now the dust has settled over that Woman's Own competition furore, time to update you on a few pieces of news.

A while back I advertised a free-to-enter competition with a theme of Moving Home, run by estate agent Peter Barry. The results have now been announced, and I'm delighted to see that one of this blog's readers, Tess Kimber, came second. Well done Tess! All 12 of the shortlisted entries have been posted on the Peter Barry blog so you can take a look and see if you agree with the judge's decisions.

The organiser, Justin Burns, also did some wonderful analysis of the competition entries, which he posted here. These make fascinating reading - they had submissions from 29 different countries, and some were written by pets and ghosts!

For those of you interested in non-fiction writing, take a look at Laura Marcus's website, here. She lists some great links related to journalism, and has a useful FAQs page for anyone considering branching out into journalism.

Ages ago I heard of an interesting online weekly writing competition - Write Invite. I blogged about at the time, and it's still going strong. I know several people who swear by the inspiration they get from taking part in this (including Tess Kimber!) The competition runs at 5.30pm sharp every Saturday evening. You pay your entrance fee ahead of time, then at 5.30pm some prompts appear and you write for half an hour, allowing time to upload your story before the time is up. The best stories are published on the site and voted on by members, and the winner gets a decent prize.

You won't write a whole womag story in half an hour, but you should end up with something which can be worked on. Those of you who've read Della Galton's book, Moving On, might remember her giraffe-poacher short story which she used as an example of a story which could be expanded into a novel. Well, that one started life as a 400-word Write-Invite competition entry, before being worked up to a womag story. And I wonder if she will write the novel as well...? So if you're free on a Saturday early evening, why not give it a go?

Right, well I've got the next two days off work, for no better reason than it's half term and I had a couple of days holiday from last year to use up. So I'll be getting on with some serious writing, as well as going out to enjoy the winter sunshine. A four-day weekend - I could get used to that!


Patsy said...

I'm not usually home in time for this comp, but I have tried it and enjoyed doing it. Think if anyone was finding it hard to get writing this might be just the push they needed.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Womag. I might just try that comp.

Julie xx

Diane Fordham said...

Lots of good info there, thank you :-)

Dream it, then do it said...

I didn't make the shortlist for the Peter Barry comp but I have to say how well run it was. Despite being oeverwhelmed by entries they published the shortlist on time and soon announced the winners.

Laura Marcus said...

Thank you very much for the link to my website. I hope it's useful to anyone who wants to try journalism or non-fiction writing. Or is just interested in the world of journalism. The site is regularly updated.

Geraldine Ryan said...

I'd like to recommend WriteInvite too - I've had at least three stories out of the nugget of the idea I wrote for the comp. Recently I've been doing a lot of writing on Saturdays to finish various things so by the time 5.30 comes round I really don't want to do any more. But it's great for getting the writing muscle going if you're having a bit of a block.

Congrats to Tess on her placement in the Moving On competition!

ados said...

Congratulations to Tess on her shortlist. Another of your readers was amongst the final twelve in the Peter Barry competition ... me. "A Place in the Sun". I can also say it was a well run competition and the stats. were really interesting.

Debs Carr said...

Congratulations to Tess and thank you for all the useful links and suggestions in this post.

Celia said...

Well done, Tess!
I can also vouch for the usefulness (and initially TERROR) of doing WriteInvite. Although I can't play any more (PayPal no longer a viable medium for me post-hacking)in the past I've now sold 5 womag stories that started life as WriteInvite entries (none of them came anywhere)
If you're the sort who's good at exams under pressure, do give it a whirl!

Nick said...

I run a writers group in Dorset so entered the Write Invite comp with high hopes. Unfortunately I have never received my prize money for my win in Jan 2012. Please read my blog post about this before entering!