Monday, 19 October 2020

Changes at Woman's Weekly


In case you missed the news, reported in the comments to my last post (thank you, Chris!), Jane Kemp has taken over from Emma as fiction editor at Woman's Weekly. I've invited Jane onto the blog to explain exactly what she's looking for at the moment, and will let you know if there's any response. 

Sadly the Woman's Weekly Fiction Specials will finish with the December issue. Obviously that's a disappointment to those who write for that market, but it will impact on us all, as a shrinking market means greater competition. 

In an effort to cheer people up, my next post will contain LOTS of links to free to enter writing competitions.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Over To You

Do you have any womag news?

Please read the comments for the latest news about Woman's Weekly.

Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Any other news?


Feel free to use the as a picture prompt. If you'd like other writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.


I'd love to hear your competition news.

Have you entered any writing comps? Had any luck? Heard about interesting contests? Got any tips to pass on? (Although I only feature free to enter competitions in my posts it's fine to share news about other competitions too.)

Do you have writing tips to share, questions to ask, or suggestions for this blog?

If you'd like to read an interview about my writing, you can do that here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

IWSG and more free to enter writing competitions.

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. This month's question is –

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

To me a working writer is someone who puts time and mental effort into their writing, to make it as good as they can, and who then attempts to have it published for financial gain. This may, or may not, be their main means of support. They probably enjoy at least part of the writing process, but perhaps don't do it solely for pleasure.

A hobbyist, in my opinion, is someone who writes mainly for their own enjoyment. They might edit their work if they like doing that. They might enter it into competitions or submit for publication – but any success is a bonus, not the reason for writing.

An aspiring writer is someone who'd like to write, but has never yet made any attempt. As soon as they string words together in a creative way they cease to be aspiring and really are writers.

I'm a writer. I don't generally define it further than that, but out of these options, working writer fits me best. I take my writing quite seriously in that I research and learn all I can, and revise and edit until the piece is as good as I can make it. I try hard and put in a lot of hours – and I hope for a reward of some kind.

Do you agree with my definitions? Which of the options – working, hobbyist or aspiring, do you think describes you best?

Thanks to Alyson for passing on the link to this free to enter fantasy/ science fiction competition. They want up to 3,000 words. The top prize is £100. Entrants must be over 18 and the work can't have been previously published.

And also for mentioning this flash fiction competition in a comment to an earlier post. Very short, and weird, Christmas stories are wanted There's a $50 prize, plus the winners will be read on a podcast (by the author if they wish). This sounds like fun, think I'll have a go myself. I'm sure I could do weird if I disconnected my inner editor.

Thanks to @The_StorySmith for bringing this paid publication opportunity to my attention. They're looking for horror stories involving cake. I'll probably give that a mis as 'I've run out' is a bit on the short side!

Talking of competitions, I won one! The Secret Attic run monthly free short story and poetry competitions, plus some with entry fees.

I've got a new short story collection coming out soon. You can pre-order it here. The first three in the series, and all my other books, can be found here.