Saturday, 31 May 2014

My Regency novella - FREE!

For today and two more days, my Regency romance novella, Mr Cavell's Diamond, is free to download for Kindle. If you read it, I'd love a review!

Here are the links:

Buy from

Buy from

Friday, 30 May 2014

Some magazine news

Three little snippets today, from the world of womag.

Firstly, The People's Friend magazine have launched a newsletter. Go here and sign up at the bottom of the page to receive it. I must admit, of all the magazines, the PF team seem by far the best at embracing social media. Their Facebook page is always entertaining. Their blog is informative and fun. And they're on Twitter @TheFriendMag. Well done, all at PF!

Secondly, Woman's Weekly are currently 'desperate' (or so I hear) for 1800-word stories. So get writing to that length! Check your stock of unsold stories - can some be edited down or addited up (Sally Quilford's word, that one) to 1800?

Thirdly, I've heard from several people that Anthony Lambert is no longer the fiction editor at That's Life Fast Fiction (Australia). Does anyone know who the new editor is? Everyone I know who worked with Anthony liked him a lot, so I know many will be sad that he is no longer there. I don't know why he's left.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Good news from a guest blogger

A while ago, Sandra Pollard was a guest blogger here, writing about life as an ex-pat short story writer, trying to break into the UK magazines. She also mentioned her book on whales for which she was trying to find a publisher.

She recently emailed me with the following great news:

You may remember that you kindly gave me some space on your blog a while back. Like you I’m a short story writer, but haven’t had too much time to fit those in lately, although I did have a story in My Weekly last week titled “Leaving”. It was refreshing to see it after slaving away with the book for so long.
On that note, I found a wonderful publisher, quite by chance, called The History Press. They are based in Stroud, Gloucester, and have overseas branches including the U.S. one in South Carolina. To cut a long story short, after a frenetic few weeks my book will be coming out on June 24. From start to finish with The History Press, this has taken six months! New Zealand orca researcher Dr. Ingrid Visser (BBC programme “The Woman who swims with Killer Whales”) has given a fantastic review for the cover (not shown on this photo as I didn’t have it when they sent it through for approval), and following all the fallout from the film “Blackfish” we are hoping for lots of sales. As well as being on sale through The History Press, it will be available from and Barnes & Noble. 

Well done Sandra, I'm delighted to hear that your book has found a home. This is an inspirational story - just shows that if you have a story to tell, and can tell it well, no matter how niche the subject if you keep at it you can find success.  Great news too on the My Weekly publication. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Publishing with Alfie Dog - guest post by Hilary Halliwell

Here's a guest post from womagwriter Hilary Halliwell whose short story collection has just been published by the wonderful Alfie Dog Fiction. Thanks Hilary, and best of luck with your book!

For the short story writer is a truly wonderful resource for submitting your short stories for possible publication; and reading the wonderful selection of short stories of all genres on the site will prove both an enjoyable and educational experience for all lovers of the genre. The short story is enjoying a renaissance of late and with more anthologies being published every year by the big names, short story writers are no longer the poor relations in the fiction market. Rosemary Kind, the editor of Alfiedog says, ‘All stories are reviewed and if needed, edited; but only the best are accepted for publication on’
Alfiedog was launched two years ago and so far has accepted over 1,400 stories from 330 writers, the authors located in no less than twenty four countries around the world. Download costs are very competitive and the whole website is both attractive and very professional.
Rosemary says, ‘Where stories are not quite up to publication standard, time permitting, we always try to assist the author.
Hilary Halliwell’s book, ‘Love, Laughter, Tears…’ will be the twenty eighth book that we’ve published, of which eleven are single author short story collections. Of the others, five are multi author collections and, a sixth multi author collection is also due out in June. Our goal is to provide a platform and an income to short story writers, and, we are more than happy to enable a second income to be earned from stories that have already been published, copyright permitting. Our first short story competition launched this May and details can be found on’
There is a wealth of talent out there and provides an attractive and professional shop window for all short story writers and readers too. I personally have found that submitting to is a joyful experience. They are quick to get back to you, no months of waiting to hear, and, they will do all they can to guide and help you through the process. I for one can’t thank them enough, my first collection comes out this week and I am very excited.
Sending your submission costs you nothing. Send your story as an attachment with some brief details about yourself to . There are freebies to be had as well. Patsy Collins has a collection of seven of her fabulous stories in,
Not a Drop to Drink… which is available as a free download. With other free downloads including Crime through to children’s stories, it’s all there, so take a look.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget that short story competition that has a great, fantastic first prize of £200 cash and…publication of a short story collection! Perhaps this is the chance you’ve been waiting for, so why not give it a go, I’m certainly glad that I did….
Hilary Halliwell’s short story collection, Love, Laughter, Tears… is available from the May 10th as an ebook or paperback, from alfiedog and amazon.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Write a 3000-word autumn story...

.... and sell it to People's Friend.

In a very useful blog post, Shirley Blair, fiction editor of The People's Friend, specifies exactly what she's looking for right now. Longer is better, at the moment, it seems!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Alfie Dog Fiction - competition

Press release from Alfie Dog:

To mark its second birthday Alfie Dog Fiction is launching its International Short Story Prize. The first prize will be £200 AND publication of the author’s short story collection, with editorial support for completion where necessary. The book will be available as both an ebook and paperback and the author will receive 5 complimentary copies of the paperback as well as royalties on all further sales.
Alfie Dog Fiction prides itself on bringing quality short stories to a wider audience, with all submissions being subject to editorial review, and where necessary editing, before publication. Over the two years since the creation of its website has grown to represent over 300 authors around the world with more than 1300 stories in multiple electronic formats. It also publishes a range of single author and multi-author collections in both ebook and paperback forms and a limited range of novels. Individual stories sell for as little as 39p.
Founder and editor, Rosemary Kind says, “We have always sought to encourage new writing talent as well as supporting our better known authors. Offering a writing prize is a natural progression from our philosophy of encouraging reading and writing of short stories.”
The competition which closes on 30th September is open to any writers over the age of 18 writing in English. The entry fee is simply to download five paid stories, by different authors, from the site. Writers then submit one of their own stories, but, unlike the usual submission requirements of Alfie Dog Fiction, it must be a work that is previously unpublished and between 1000 and 2000 words. Full details of the competition can be found on
What a great prize! Definitely one worth entering, and I'd love it if one of my blog readers won...!