Wednesday, 27 January 2021

BRRR - perfect weather for the three Rs

Gosh, it's cold out. Perfect weather for staying indoors, except for an occasional brisk walk, which is exactly what I've been doing. My time has been put to good use with my version of the three Rs – writing, researching and reading!

Free to enter writing competitions news

Creative Writing Ink run regular writing competitions for work in any genre and any length. Your piece must be inspired by one of their prompts and posted online somewhere. You enter by providing a link. There's a prize of a £10 Amazon voucher (you could buy one of my books!)

Here's an ongoing short story competition. You can submit a new piece of 1,000 to 3,000 words each month. The prize is $30.

For this novel writing competition you're asked to begin writing a novel in a genre you've not tried before. There's a $500 prize.

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for sending me the link to this flash fiction competition. Anyone over 18 may enter and there's a £200 prize.

Alyson also told me about this call for submissions. There's no payment, but you might earn royalties.

I mentioned this competition previously, but wanted to remind those of you who have written a novel and are looking for representation, as it seems like an excellent opportunity to get noticed by agents.

Womag news

YOU magazine in South Africa is now open for submissions again. Apparently there were initially a few problems with the email system, but that seems to be OK now and authors are receiving acknowledgements (not auto instant ones) advising them to allow up to six weeks for feedback,

I'm attempting to get up to date guidelines. In the meantime, here's a link to previous posts about YOU.

My news

In the words of my husband, I'm moving the business side of my writing up a gear. I've joined ALLi, –the Alliance of Independent Authors, have arranged for someone to produce an audio version of one of my novels (if that's successful I'll do the same with the others), have commissioned new cover artwork, bought a big batch of ISBNs ready to make my books more widely available instead of relying on Amazon and am trying to learn something about marketing.

Everything is in the early stages and it's all a little daunting at the moment, but I'm doing it in small stages and it feels as though I'm making progress. If you're interested in any of those things, please say so in the comments and I'll make sure I let you know how it all goes and share any top tips, useful links and pitfalls to avoid.


ados123 said...

Many thanks for the competitions, Patsy.
Good luck with your marketing. Sounds interesting. Maybe you could do a blog post on what you did/how its going at some point?

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for the updates, Patsy. Well done on moving your writing business on! I've still to join Alli, or have any books in audio, but my three Scottish novels do have their own ISBN and are published by Ingram Spark (as well as Amazon) for wider distribution. It's a good idea so that readers can order your books through bookshops and libraries.

carrie said...

Thanks for the comps, Patsy, and good luck with moving your writing business on a stage. I agree with ados123, you ought to do a blog post about it all.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Thanks for all the info Patsy, there's a lot there to keep us busy.

Best wishes on the next stage of your career and moving your business up a gear.

I too am very interested in joining Alli and all that is involved, so look forward to reading a blog post if you decide to write one about your experience of becoming a member.

Alyson Faye said...

Congrats Patsy on going down the audio path and expanding and for posting the comps news Aly

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great you'll expand your books to a wider audience. And yes, it is cold outside!

Sally Jenkins said...

Interesting to hear about you ramping up and expanding your writing career!
I'd very interested to hear how you get on with all of that. Fingers crossed for success!

Patsy said...

@ Alyson – I'll share stuff I learn along the way.

If anyone reading this has any experience of book marketing and would like to write a blog post, please get in touch!

@ Rosemary – I'd love to have my books in more libraries and that's one of the reasons I'm starting to use Ingram Spark.

@ Carrie – I'll post about any progress I make.

@ Elizabeth – I'll either write one myself, or get someone who knows more to write a guest post.

@ Aly – Thank you.

@ Alex – I suspect it's even colder where you are.

@ Sally – Thanks. If there's success I'll definitely be blogging about it!

Marguerite said...

So many competitions I don't know where to start! Thank you, Patsy. The 'regular' ones are handy to know about because you can always dip in.
I would like to know more about your marketing journey as it happens - when I read about the marketing etc..., it always looks so daunting. Good luck with branching out :)

Jenny Worstall said...

Thanks for al the useful information and best of luck with your new ventures! Will be great to hear how it all goes.
In case it is of use to others, I have a story in Prima today. They take all rights, so I emailed to ask about ALCS. They said it was fine to claim ALCS (even though they take all rights).

Liz said...

There's a Facebook group called 20BooksTo50k, which focuses on marketing for indie authors. You - and others here - might find that helpful, Patsy. I haven't self-published, but I am a group member and I keep an eye on it in case I have anything I want to self-publish in the future. It's a very active group and people seem keen on helping each other. It's not a craft group, it's all about marketing, building your audience, and rapid release.

New girl on the block said...

What do people in the group think about submitting to TPF at the moment? I've only had one poem published by them, but no stories, so I still have to submit stories by post. I've nearly finished a 3000 word story which I'd like to submit to them, but I'm not very motivated by the prospect of my story lying in an empty office until the end of lockdown. Are others submitting or waiting? Please let me know. Thanks.

Marguerite said...

I submitted to TPF in the summer - but yes, having just read that they are all stacked in their office, won't be doing any more at the moment :( They will surely have a massive backlog when they manage to open their doors!

Patsy said...

@ Marguerite – Regular competitions are good in several ways. One is the opportunity to read previous winners and get a feel for what the judges might like.

@ Jenny – Congratulations on winning their monthly competition. As I understand it, you can claim ALCS from work you've given up all rights to, but must obtain permission from whoever now owns it (for each individual story) and inform ALCS that you're not the rights holder. I suggest you keep a copy of the email giving you permission just in case there's any issues later on.

@ Liz – Thanks for the tip. I've joined up.

@ New Girl and Marguerite – I believe some postal submissions have been collected from the office and are being read, but whether or not that's true, they will have a huge backlog to work through. If you have anything that's time sensitive, or which might suit another market, posting it to TPF might not currently be your best option.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Re: TPF -I've put submitting on hold, as they said on their twitter hour a few weeks ago that it might be a good idea to delay submitting snail mail work.
They are mainly reading and publishing work from their story authors who are allowed to email stories to their allocated editor.
This is why the same author names are appearing every week in their mags!
It's very frustrating for us, as we don't know how long we'll be waiting for decisions.
To be fair to TPF, it's probably frustrating and very difficult for them too, as they don't know, either - it's down to lockdown and tier restrictions in Scotland.

New girl on the block said...

Thanks for the advice. My story isn't time sensitive, so I might hang on to it for a while.

Eirin Thompson said...

I love your new montage of magazine front pages at the top of the blog, Patsy. I'm guessing these are all titles in which you've had work published. Something to be very proud of, as well as being encouraging to all of us who submit in hope.

Linda said...

Thanks for all your advice and comp news, and good luck for your business ventures - a new year - a new motivation!

Interesting to hear your views on TPF. I can send my submissions by email but have to outline the story first and get permission. Even so the process seems to be incredibly slow at the moment. I had a rejection recently for something I subbed in December 2019! I'm glad I don't have to rely on short stories as my main income.

Patsy said...

@ Sharon – Yes, I'm sure it's just as frustrating for the PF team as it is for authors. For those who've already submitted several stories by post it probably is better to hold off sending more for now and concentrate on writing for other markets or perhaps working on a novel or competition entries for a while.

@ New Girl – That might be best. I suspect they're going to have to be very ruthless when they eventually read all those postal submissions.

@ Eirin – Yes, the image is made up from magazines I have work in. At one time I went to a lot of trouble to get a copy of everyone. About the time I realised how much space I might eventually need I also started selling in other countries, so gave up on that. I don't like to throw away the ones I have saved though.

@ Linda – You'd think it would be quicker for emailed stories, especially as those by new authors aren't being read at the moment but that isn't the case. Working from home must somehow make the process more time consuming.

Kate Blackadder said...

Impressive news, Patsy. Look forward to hearing what comes next for you.

Sue Cook said...

I've just seen your list of womag titles on your other blog. It's just what's needed. My sister is just getting going in this market but finding it frustratingly difficult to access this sort of info even on this site. I'm just going to direct her to now. Thanks!

New girl on the block said...

I tried to submit to this competition
using the email address they gave. Unfortunately it bounced straight back as undeliverable. I've sent a query via the 'contact us'link on the website, and am awaiting an answer. Has anybody else had this problem?