1. Over at Take A Break Towers, they have a new lady Claudia Woodward in charge of sending out payments for stories, and she appears to be super-efficient. Sarah England and I have both received payment for stories, which then sent us scurrying off to the newsagents to see if we were in the current Fiction Feast. But we're not -we're due to be in the next issue (out later this month).
This is great news - there is nothing worse than having to wait ages for payment. Now you know that when you receive notification of payment, your story will be in the next issue, and you haven't missed its publication. Well done TAB!
2. Woman's Weekly HQ have sent a letter out to their regular contributors, pleading for more 1 and 2-page stories. 1-page stories should be 900-1000 words, and 2-pagers should be 1800-2000 words. Don't send odd length stories as they are harder to fit into the magazine. Longer stories are ok for the fiction specials.
They're also asking for more unusual stories, and especially humour. Avoid relationship break-up stories and present tense as they've had a glut of those recently. Read the latest issues (and remember the Fiction Special is available on Kindle these days) to keep up to date.
3. And a charity competition - take a look at this great competition which aims to raise money for a cancer charity. It's being run by writer Kath Kilburn who is a regular name in both the womags and writing mags. Entry fee £2.50, stories may range from 50 to 1000 words, and must include the phrase 'knock on effect'. Deadline 14th May, top prize is £100 or half the entry fees. The rest of the entry fees goes to the charity, The Knock On Effect which aims to break the taboo of cancer, and get people talking about it. It's about survival not suffering.
I bet we've all been touched by cancer in one way or another. What a brilliant charity, and a really great competition supporting it. Hope you all enter it. I'm going to.