Friday 31 December 2021

Update on Seven Days

Siobhan Kielty and I have been in communication about Seven Days magazine. She has asked me to pass on the latest information via this blog. Sadly she's confirmed that, "the publisher of SevenDays has decided not to continue with the magazine in its current format." However there is a small glimmer of hope as "In the new year, the magazine will be available digitally in the short term while its direction / closure is decided."

I asked that if there was anything we could do to help secure the magazine's future and Siobhan replied, "I’m doing everything I can to resurrect it in one for or another! I’m hopeful there will be a place for it somewhere. I’ll let you know if there’s any news."

In response to my earlier query about payments she said, "I escalated the request and cheques should have been sent out to all writers." She assures me that all writers whose stories have been published will be paid. She will personally check with the accounts manager on the 3rd that this is happening.

Any work which has not been published, whether accepted or not, won't now be used or "may be freely submitted elsewhere with all rights offered."

Siobhan added "Although I'm really disappointed that the magazine won't continue, it was outside of editorial control. It was well received but I suppose it's exceptionally tough out there at the moment. I for one was proud of SevenDays and loved the fiction. At least some people had a chance to get their work in print (and they WILL be paid!)

I’ll keep you posted on any lifelines for SevenDays. Thanks again; your fiction army made the magazine really good. I’ll be in touch on 3rd. All the best, happy new year."



Wednesday 29 December 2021

The inbetween time

It's a funny time of year, isn't it? Some people take time off writing now as they have family commitments or are otherwise extra busy, some are enjoying a welcome break from work and using the time to get lots of writing done, and yet others are just eating cheese, reading and aren't 100% sure what day it is.

How about you? Are you writing? Have you made any writing related New Year resolutions or plans? Personally I'm not writing, but I am doing writing related admin and making plans for 2022 – and eating cheese, obviously!

Womag news

Sadly it seems that Seven Days magazine will not continue. It feels like we're one step forward and two back with womag markets, doesn't it?

Free entry competition news

OK, it's not really news as I think I've mentioned all these in previous posts, but here's a bunch of free entry writing competitions. I think that should be enough to keep you busy until 2022!

The Red Dragon play writing competition offers a £1,000 prize. And there's £500 on offer to the writer of a one act play in this one.

This competition offers paid publication, plus lots of other stuff for science fiction of up to 8,000 words.

You could win an Arvon residential course with this short story competition.

There's £1,000 in vouchers on offer for the winner of this poetry competition. And this poetry competition has a top prize of $2,000.

The prize for this fable writing competition is £500.

This one is for short stories, songs, poetry or visual art and offers a top prize of $1,000 and here's one which offers £1,000 and engraved whisky glasses to the winner.

Why does nobody ever offer cheese as a prize?  I like cheese. And cake. And cheesecake.

Tuesday 21 December 2021

A happy little writing challenge

 Happy winter solstice!

Here's the nearest I think a blog can get to party games ... I challenge you to comment with a cheery festive/Christmas/winter type greeting which is different from mine above and from any comments already posted.

Once you've done that you can help yourself to a virtual mince pie or cranberry tart, plus your drink of choice.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Over to You!

Do you have any
 womag news?

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.

Here's a free short story competition with a $250 prize.

And this is "a free-to-enter poetry and art contest with over $10,000 in cash prizes, paid via PayPal. This is a huge opportunity for any and all writers or artists".

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?

Wednesday 8 December 2021


Did the blog post title grab your attention? It would have worked on me! 

It's not just click bait, I promise. There is a relevance to writing. I have a tendency to include lemon drizzle* in my stories – they're a kind of delicious citrusy motif.

Do you do anything similar? Maybe a lot of your characters drive the same kind of car, or ginger cats often lurk ready to jump into the action, or there's a particular name you frequently use?

* Other cakes are available. I know – I've done the research!

Womag news

Thanks to Jane Ayres for passing on the ISSN for Seven Days. It's 2753-1295. I had asked ALCS, but they told me they couldn't find it so it was safe to assume there wasn't one!

Free entry writing competition news

Secret Attic have a monthly short story competition which is free to enter, however the prize of a $20 Amazon voucher is only awarded to members and membership isn't free. Winning stories will be published, whether you're a member or not, but you may opt out of this if you wish.

There's also a 'weekly write' which again is free to enter, but only members receive the cash prize. All winning entries will be published.

This competition is for fables of up to 350 words, written in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson. The prize is £100 and you've got until early April next year to enter.

If you're a playwright with east or south east Asian heritage, then take a look at this competition which offers a £1,000 prize. I'm not massively keen on competitions which are only open to a restricted group of people, but I accept there are often good reasons for them.

There are prizes on offer for this poetry competition. They don't say what they are, other than that they'll be 'exciting experiences'. As the competition theme is 'A Life After Conflict' I find that just a bit alarming! 

This competition is for flash fiction with a twist. At first I assumed they meant a twist ending, but then I thought about the picture and blog name and now I'm not absolutely sure about that. Anyway, the prize is publication and promotion on social media. If you wish you can pay £3 for feedback on your entry.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Getting ready to prepare

December already! It's the time of year when I start thinking that I really should try and get organised for next year. To help with that, please let me know what kind of writing related content you'd like included on this blog. I don't promise to act on every single suggestion, but if a large number of people all want the same thing I'll do my best to provide it.

 Womag news

In the #PFWritingHour yesterday it was confirmed that The People's Friend 'always' want 3,000 word stories. 

For those who've not come across it, the 
#PFWritingHour is a twitter event from 11 to 12 every Tuesday. It's usually good fun.

Free entry competition news

This competition from Anansi Archives offers small cash prizes for flash fiction, poetry and short stories. The good news is that it's quarterly, the bad news that the current competition closes at midnight tonight.

You've got a lot longer for this one, which is just as well as they're looking for up to 8,000 words of realistic science fiction. There's a prize bundle including paid publication.

This competition is for Valentine's poems and offers £100 in vouchers as the prize.

My news (just in case you've missed it!)

My latest novel is now out! Acting Like A Killer is a cosy, romantic murder mystery, set in Falmouth (West country) and Lee-on-the-Solent (south coast of England). There's a dog in it, and castles, cake, the seaside, friendship, birds, flowers ... all the good stuff.

Sunday 28 November 2021

No more rehearsals

Free entry competition news

You'll probably have heard the phrases 'life is not a dress rehearsal' and 'there is no planet B'. Both came to mind when I read about the latest competition from Nottingham Writers Studio. You have up to 5,000 words to write your story. There are a range of prizes from £250 for the winner to £15 for highly recommended. As well as the money they'll each get a year's free membership of NWS and have their story published in an anthology. (I was a runner up last year last year.)

My news

My romantic murder mystery Acting Like A Killer is out today! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped (or is about to help) with the promotion for this and/or ordered a copy. As always your support is greatly appreciated.

The ebook will remain at the introductory price of £1.99 ($2.99) for a few more days and then go up to the regular price of £2.99 ($3.99).  It can also be read through kindle unlimited. The paperback version is now available too. You can get it from Amazon, or order through bookshops and libraries. If you do read a copy, I really hope you enjoy it.

I'm no actor, but I have made a video of me reading the first few pages.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Thanks, maybe, yes, no and please.

Womag news

Several people have asked about the rejection policy with Seven Days, magazine, so I asked Siobhan. Her (very swift) reply was – "I’m not sending out rejection responses so 2 months / 60 days would be the cut-off for assuming and sending elsewhere." She added "the fiction content has now increased – which can only be good news." 

Thanks, Siobhan. It's so much better to know where we stand within a reasonable period of time than to wait and wait and wait and still be left wondering.

Free entry competition news

For this competition from On The Premises, you're asked for 25-50 words on holiday stress. The first prize is $35. I'm very tempted to have a go at that one.

Thanks to Alan Barker for letting me know about this crime writing competition. Stories can be up to 2,000 words and the top prize is £1,000 plus some nice whisky glasses. I'm definitely entering that!

Here's what seems to me to be an odd poetry competition. Entries are to be inspired by something within the TV show Twin Peaks, which I've never seen so it makes no sense to me. Possibly American spellings, such as 'donut' will help. Still, as with all the competitions I feature, it's free, they seem to like a bit of alliteration, you can have up to three goes and there's a £75 prize. I'll probably give it a miss, but if I do enter I'll craft couplets concerning my curious compulsion for chocolate cake.

A request from me

My romantic murder mystery Acting Like A Killer is officially released on Sunday (it can be ordered now). Anything you can do to help support it will be very welcome. 

That support includes, but isn't limited to, buying a copy of the ebook or paperback*, asking your library to stock it, or borrowing through kindle unlimited. If you do read and enjoy it, a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads would be wonderful.

Also sharing tweets and posts or otherwise letting people know the book exists will be very much appreciated.

*books make excellent and easy to wrap gifts ;-)

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Over to you!

 Do you have any womag news?

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?

My news

Just a reminder that my murder mystery novel Acting Like A Killer is out next week, and that my friend Rosemary J Kind and I are doing a combined launch event for our books.  

We'll be reading the opening pages, getting interviewed and answering questions from attendees.

It's free to take part. Email for the link.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Couple of things ...

Free entry competition news

Thanks to Alyson for sending me the link to this competition. If you can write up to 500 words about why you love London, you could win up to £500.

My news

Together with my friend Rosemary J Kind, I'll be taking part in a Zoom chat /; book launch.  Rosemary will be talking about her historical novel, Vi for Victory and I'll be discussing my romantic murder mystery, Acting Like A Killer.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Womag updates

I'm still on my travels, so not always finding it easy to keep up with news. Luckily I have friends who help to keep me informed. Thank you to those who have passed on the following bits of womag news ...

Those writers on the Take a Break closed list have been sent news contracts, offering a much lower rate of pay, but no longer requiring all rights. 

The fiction editor at YOU is still reading and buying stories which were sent prior to them temporarily closing to new submissions.

The current word count requirements for Yours fiction are –  450, 800,1400, 2,000, and 2,700

The word count range for Seven Days is confirmed as 500 - 1,200 (not 500 - 1,000 as stated in one issue.)

Thursday 28 October 2021

Happy hallowe'en!

How do you feel about writing and reading spooky, ghostly or horror stories? I'm on the wimpy side and prefer the cosy kind.

My news

If you like reading ghost stories which aren't too scary, you may enjoy one of my four collections of slightly spooky stories. Slightly Spooky Stories II is currently reduced to 99p / 99c.

Free entry competition news

 Thanks to Alyson for the link to this competition. There's £500 on offer for a memory recounted in 400 words. These don't need to have a hallowe'en theme.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Yellow Room now not reopening

I've received the following message from Jo Derrick –  "I am afraid I have decided not to relaunch The Yellow Room Magazine after all. There are far too many obstacles and so few resources available. I had hoped to receive several subscriptions or orders by now, but only received four. This is in contrast to nearly fifty submissions. 

I'm very sorry to disappoint you and your blog followers."

Whilst I don't feel it's the job of writers alone to keep magazines running, it's worth remembering that if they're not supported then they won't be able to operate. If there's a particular magazine you really don't want to stop publishing you might like to consider buying a few issues, or perhaps buying a gift subscription for a friend or family member.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Competitions and hairy beasties

I've not posted many competition links lately, but I do have excuses of sorts, and I have some free to enter competitions for you today.

The excuse first – We're travelling in our campervan in fairly remote Scottish locations, which means internet access isn't always available.

Also I've been attempting some promotion stuff for my new novel, Acting Like A Killer. I'm spectacularly bad at this, so if you can help at all with spreading the word, that will be very much appreciated. 

The paperback is already available from Amazon at £10, or can be ordered through bookshops and libraries. The ebook is on pre order at the early bird price of £1.99 and will be released at the end of November.

Now the competitions ...

This one from Hamer is for lyrical non-fiction of up to 500 words from UK writers who are over 40 and haven't had a book published by a trade publisher. Top prize is £250.

For this one you need to write a lot more words and include a serious crime. The prize is a $10,000 advance.

The Commonwealth short story prize offers regional winners £2,500 and £5,000 for the overall winner.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Seven Days

The new womag Seven Days is out now – and I'm delighted to say that I have a story in the first issue and several readers of this blog have also had stories accepted.

I do hope that as many of you as possible will consider buying an issue, subscribing and/or spreading the word about this publication to those who might be interested in reading it. Editors can only buy our stories if enough people by the magazines.

Along with my story they published a mini bio and mentioned my romance novel, Escape to the Country

Isn't this illustration great? Until you've read the story you'll have to take my word for it that it's perfect for the story.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Over to you!

 Do you have any womag news?

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?

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Intentions realised

Today is release day for my latest short story collection! Thank you so much to everyone who has already ordered Criminal Intent and/or has been helping me let people know it's available. Your support means a lot to me.

The ebook will be remain at the introductory price of 77p (99c) for a few more days, then go to the full price of £1.99 ($2.99). It is also available through kindle unlimited.

 The paperback is now available too. You can get it from Amazon, or order through your local library and some bookshops (ISBN 978-1914339103).  If you get hold of a copy I do hope you enjoy reading it.

Free entry writing competition

The Green Stories novel writing competition offers £1,500 in prizes.

Free writing course

If you've ever intended to write a novel, then you might find this free masterclass from Cat Lumb of interest.

Monday 4 October 2021

Another change at YOU

South African magazine YOU have 'decided to close for submissions until January' at which time there will be a new fiction editor.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

A new womag market!

I've ben asked to post the following, and as I was sure some of my blog readers would be interested, I was happy to agree.

A new women’s weekly, SevenDays, is launching next month. The magazine is aimed at mid-market readers aged 45+ and includes puzzle content, fiction, craft projects and heath & wellbeing features. We are currently looking for fiction contributors. Short stories of 500 – 1200 words, not previously published, first rights only, author retains all other rights. We are offering £75 per story and welcome uplifting, quirky, humorous, nature-inspired and thought-provoking reads. Family, friendship and nature are significant themes. Romance, historical, comedy, mystery and thrillers are all invited genres. Serials will be accepted at the same rate. To submit work for consideration, please email 

Was I right? Are you interested in new markets?

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Markets and murder

Free to enter competitions

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for sending me the link to this eco Santa competition. They want environmental stories for young children and offer a £100 prize.

Alyson also passed on the details of the Turn the Page competition. The prize for the best novel opening is a place on a 'How to write a page turner' course from W&AYB.

Thanks to Jane Bettany who sent me a link to this publication. She says – "I spotted this possible story market online earlier. They pay £35 per page for contributions (capped at £150 per submission), and accept photography, artwork and fiction. There don't appear to be any specific guidelines for stories, but I suspect the fiction will be more at the literary end of the spectrum."

Although it's too late to get work accepted for the next issue, it does state that '
Submission taking will be ongoing'.

And thank you to Chris who shared these poetry markets.

Stinging Fly is the high-profile literary journal. They publish poetry, fiction, essays, interviews and short stories. The magazine also accepts poetry and prose in translation. All work must be previously unpublished. They pay $30 per magazine page for fiction and non-fiction, $50 per poem and $250 for featured poet.

Split Lip magazine is a literary journal. They accept poems, fiction, memories, interviews and reviews. Fiction must be from 1,000 to 3,000 words in length, memories under 2,000 and short fiction under 1,000. They pay from $25 to $50; payment for print is $5 per page.

Rattle is a poetry magazine. They publish poetry and translations of poetry. Each issue features a theme related to a particular community of poets, such as teachers, or slam poets. They pay $200 per poem in print, and $100 for online contributors. All submissions are automatically considered for the annual $2,000 prize.

My news

It's been a few years since I released a novel, but at long last Acting Like A Killer is available for 'pre order'.  As with Criminal Intent, there's an early bird discount for the ebook. The normal price will be £2.99 ($3.99) but fat the moment it's £1.99 ($2.99) I don't think that's bad for over 400 pages of murder, romance, castles, caramels, friendship, scenery and a very exciting boat trip!

Here's the blurb –


Amelia Watson needs a dead body by tea time. Less urgent, but more important are – time for a life, the chance to solve crime, an uncomplicated romantic relationship, promotion at work, to be less hurt by her parents' distance. And then there's Nicole, and the attractive stranger...

Of course Amelia doesn't get all she desires, or appreciate everything that life brings. Along the way her priorities change and she ends up with far more than she'd bargained for. Will the unexpected bonus break her heart?

It won't actually be out until 28th November, when the paperback will also be available, but you can order the ebook here.  As always, anything you can do to help spread the word about my books will be very much appreciated.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Over to you!

Do you have any womag news?

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?

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Three free things

I'm away in the van having a lovely time looking at gardens and castles and things*. Um, I mean I'm researching hard and promoting my new book. I might even squeeze in a bit of actual writing.

Don't think the fact that I'm taking it easy for a while gives you an excuse to do the same though. I have three free things to keep you busy.

If you're interested in ecological matters, you can try winning one of the cash prizes offered for the Green Stories competitions. Poets and humour writers might like to try this competition with a $2,000 prize. As always, these writing competitions are free to enter.

On Friday Claire Buckle is presenting a free online short story workshop.

Womag news

It appears that individual editors at The People's Friend are now notifying authors when their stories are in the magazines, rather than admin. (I've got one in the current special.)

And finally, Carol Bevitt has passed on a piece of good news – My Weekly have slightly increased they pay rate for their pocket novels.  That's definitely a step in the right direction. There's a post about it and link to the full guidelines here.

*As we've only just left, the photos here are from previous trips. I'll be sharing lots of new ones soon, here and on social media.

Saturday 4 September 2021

A couple of things...

Free entry writing competition news

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for reminding me about the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook competition. They're looking for stories, for adults, of up to 2,000 words. The prize is publication on their website and an Arvon course.

The Commonwealth short story prize is open to submissions. To enter you must be a citizen of a commonwealth country, and send in a piece of unpublished work between 2,000 and 5,000 words. There' are several cash prizes of £2,500 and one of £5,000.

My news

The ebook of my latest short story collection is now available to 'pre order' for the absolute bargain price of 77p (99c). It will be released on 5th October and shortly afterwards go up to the normal price of £1.99 ($2.99) so if you fancy a copy, get it now! There will also be a paperback version, which you can buy from Amazon, or order through your local bookshop or library.

Anything you can do to help let people know about this book, or my romantic murder mystery which will be released 28th November, will be very much appreciated. Eg sharing my tweets and Facebook posts.


There are a huge variety of crimes, committed for many different reasons. Those which seem justified or are at least understandable. Others for which there can be no possible excuse. Some crimes are calculated and deliberate, others unplanned or even accidental. More still are planned but don't happen.

There are also multiple ways for the criminal to be caught out or made to pay for what they've done. The police, an amateur detective or even their victim might bring them to justice. And sometimes what at first appears to be a crime is revealed to be nothing of the sort.

Criminals, victims and those wrongly suspected all have a story to tell. This book contains 24 of them.

Monday 30 August 2021

Guest post by writer and magazine editor Jo Derrick

You may have heard that The Yellow Room magazine has reopened for submissions. I've invited the editor, Jo Derrick onto the blog to tell us more.

Thanks for joining me today, Jo. Can you tell me why you've decided to relaunch the Yellow Room?

It was really a snap decision I made following the death of a very good friend and fellow writer, Jane Wenham-Jones last week. We first met through Quality Women's Fiction Magazine (QWF), which I launched in 1994. I published some of Jane's first short stories and she was a huge supporter of the magazine, as well as of my future endeavours in both publishing and writing. I realised how much I missed being part of a community of women writers and publishing their work. I also need something to keep me busy, as my daughter is off to university in September and I'm finding I have more time on my hands. I'm also having a break from writing, and editing a small press magazine will fill the gap nicely. 

It's great news for writers when any market opens or reopens, as we seem to be losing more than we gain. Do you have submission guidelines?

I have published very basic guidelines for now. Prospective contributors will have more of an idea of what I'm looking for once they have read a copy of the magazine. Unfortunately, I don't have any back issues left. 

The Yellow Room is a place where women writers can gather together for support, encouragement, inspiration and friendship. Editor Jo Derrick is always on the look out for new talent as well as short fiction by more established writers. Female writers are invited to send in short stories of between 800 and 3000 words in length. Please only submit one story at a time and the story should not have been previously published elsewhere either in print or online. Jo will consider stories in any genre, but is particularly looking for those which highlight the female experience and psyche. Please send stories as an attachment (preferably Word or docx) with a title page stating the word count and that First British Serial Rights are offered. Double spacing on the manuscript, please. 

Send to:

What kind of style are you looking for? The sort of story which might be published in a woman's magazine, or something darker, more literary?

This is a difficult one to answer. I don't want anything too dark. Edgy might be a better description. I do enjoy literary short stories, but they must be accessible to the reader and not too experimental. I'm not keen when writers start to mess around with structure or language, for example. In some ways I'm a bit of a traditionalist and believe a good story comes from character. I enjoy reading womag fiction, but some of the stories don't have enough oomph for my taste. Having said that, some of my favourite short story writers are regular contributors to magazines such as Woman's Weekly, Take A Break Fiction Feast and The People's Friend. The Yellow Room Magazine will feature stories that are slightly quirkier, allowing the writer to take more risks. I have received five submissions so far and have accepted one of those. The story I've accepted highlights the issues surrounding the murder of Sarah Everard, but in a very subtle way. I don't want the reader to be preached at. I am looking for stories which resonate.

Do you have a top tip (or tops tips!) for those submitting to you?

I've kind of answered that question above. I would say read a current copy of The Yellow Room before submitting. That won't be possible until Issue 10 is published, but potential contributors may email me for a pdf of a back issue to give them an idea of the sort of thing I’ll be publishing. Read the guidelines carefully. I do state a minimum word count and someone has already send a story of fewer than 800 words. I would also encourage those hoping to submit to 'Like' The Yellow Room Magazine Facebook page to see regular updates of what I'm looking for, to follow me on Twitter (@yellowjo) and read The Yellow Room Editor Blog: The Yellow Room Editor If you scroll through older blog posts, then there are some good tips for writers and I think the blog posts give a good idea of who I am. I hope to get a website back up and running before too long, simply because this will allow people to subscribe and order copies of the magazine more easily. I would also encourage writers to email me with any queries or suggestions. I assume that potential contributors are avid readers of all kinds of fiction. Most importantly I want stories which haven't previously been published online or in print.

How long should writers expect to wait for a response, and will you reply to everyone or operate the policy of 'if you've not hear within X months it's a no' which some other magazines have adopted?

I think it's very important to respond to a submission as soon as possible. I can't stand having a backlog of submissions waiting to be read. I got back to those first five submissions in a matter of days, as there were so few. I can't always promise I'll do that. If I'm inundated, then it will take me longer to read the stories. I will reply to everyone who sends in a story and I do try to give very brief feedback. If I reject a story, it's not a reflection of how that person writes. It will simply be a question of what is right for that particular issue of the magazine and my personal taste. 

Do you take all rights?

Certainly not!! I abhor magazines that do this. It shouldn't be allowed. A writer should always be entitled to own the rights to their stories. I take First British Serial Rights. 

Will you be offering payment?

We hope to make a small payment to writers whose stories are included in the magazine. This will depend on subscription take up. Contributors will always be sent a copy of the magazine in which they feature. Sometimes I offer a free subscription instead of cash payment. As anyone who has ever published a literary magazine will know, cash flow is one of the main obstacles. 

It's always a good idea for writers to read the publications they hope to submit to – how can we do that?

Keep an eye out on The Yellow Room Facebook page as to whether I can find a pdf of a back issue to email to potential subscribers. There will also be news of when the next issue will be available to buy. 

And now for the tricky question – why yellow?

That's an interesting question! I guess it's partly to do with that famous short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper. It's mainly to do with the fact that when I started QWF Magazine back in 1994, the room I worked in was painted yellow. Several years later when I moved to our current house, the office I wanted to use was painted yellow. What a strange coincidence, I thought. It was as though it was meant to be. And yellow is such a pretty colour, isn't it? Great for magazine covers! 

Thursday 26 August 2021

Guest post by womag writer and author Cat Lumb

Today's guest is womag writer, novelist and writing coach, Cat Lumb who has a fantastic free offer for you! (Talking of free, did you see my last post with five free to enter writing competitions?)

Have you ever felt like your writing isn't good enough - that you'll never be a 'good enough' writer to be published?

I used to be that writer.

I would hide my work in folders or notebooks and never showed anyone in case it proved that my writing was sh*t. Slowly I started to share it with friends and family, who were obviously kind and didn't want to hurt my feelings (that's the only reason they complimented me, right?). Even when I joined a writing group I thought they were just being nice to welcome me into the fold. 

I never believed I would be 'Good Enough'. 

But then I learned how to challenge these thoughts and accept that I can be good enough.

And now I've had my short stories win competitions, been published in anthologies, and even have a novel out there in the world - all of which have received positive reviews and feedback that I actually believe. 

If you want to discover that confidence, and truly understand that you *are* a good enough writer to have those dreams come true - sign up to this FREE Masterclass I'm delivering and I'll show you how. 

Believing You're a Good Enough Writer: Sat 28 Aug | 2-3pm (UK)

Can't make the Masterclass? Check out the blog I shared On Being a Good Enough Writer here for some tips:

Thanks, Cat. I'm sure many of us have at some point wondered if our writing is good enough. I certainly have.