Two things I wanted to draw your attention to today.
Firstly the non-controversial one - help author Nicola Morgan out by taking 5 minutes to fill in this survey on blogs. What are your blog-reading habits? What makes you go back to a blog over and over? I must admit I want to see the results of this survey! I'm wondering if blogging has had its day. Everyone seems to be on facebook or twitter instead, these days.
And secondly, the magazine Best is holding a Christmas short story competition. Details are here. 1000 words, with a top prize of £1000. You need vouchers to enter but they can be printed off the internet, the first one is here. Sounds great, doesn't it? BUT before you enter do read Helen Yendall's post on her experiences of being a runner-up in last year's competition. It seems Best will publish the top 3 stories but only pay the winner. Make sure you're happy with this before you enter.
Personally I would prefer to see the prize fund split between all writers whose stories end up published. Because although there's kudos in coming second or third and seeing your story in print, kudos doesn't pay the bills and that story can't then be sold elsewhere (first rights will have gone).
What do you think? Would you be happy to be second, published, and unpaid? Some writers have asked Best the question both on their website and on their Facebook page, whether the runners-up will be paid, but so far no one's had a response.