Wednesday 7 April 2021

Reasons to be cheerful

It's spring, my favourite season, and the garden is looking lovely. The lockdown restrictions in the UK are starting to ease and I, and many of my friends and family have had their first vaccination. I've got a new book coming out this month. The audio version of Escape To The Country has been recorded and sounds really good. And it's Insecure Writer's Support Group day!

Free entry writing competitions

A reminder about the Erewash romance
. You can enter a short story or poem, or both. There's a small cash prize, plus publication. There are other competitions listed on the website.

For this competition you're asked to explain why you love your favourite book, poem or play. You can do that in up to 750 words, or via a short video. There are several categories with a £300 first prize in each.

This poetry competition is only for those aged 11 to 17. Apparently the prizes are 'amazing'.


This month's IWSG question is, "Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?"

My answer – I don't make a point of it, but it happens. If I come up with an idea I'd like to write I wouldn't shy away from it just because it was potentially controversial, and if I felt a story would work best written in a less usual format then that's how I'd write it. 

Most of my short stories and novels could be described as nice, cosy

and cheerful. They generally start at the beginning, go on to the end and look like a typical story on the page. But I've written and sold stories which don't. I've used second person, unusual layouts and non linear timelines. I don't do that for effect, but because it feels the right way to tell that particular story.

My published works include topics such as racism and homophobia. I've created transgender characters, and gay ones and those with mental or physical disabilities and
. I don't do this to shock or get a reaction. It's simply that I think of my characters as real people, and we're all different.

How about you? Do you take risks in your writing?

Womag news

If you've submitted work to The People's Friend and not yet had a reply, you can find out why here. And here's detailed info on their requirements for the annual.

I have a story in the current issue of Swedish magazine Allas – and it's nicely purple!

Other news

In May I'm presenting a workshop titled Creating and Developing Fiction Writing Ideas. It will be on Zoom, so you can take part from anywhere.

If you'd like to keep up to date with my latest book releases and news, get a free short story and be in with the chance of getting review copies of my audio books, you might like to sign up to my newsletter. I also have a website.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Patsy - your PF links don't seem to be working (or maybe it's my computer!).

Patsy said...

@ Rosemary – I just tried and they're working for me. Hopefully it was just a temporary blip.

Marguerite said...

Controversial issues in my writing? Maybe, but I would always be careful about the audience. Now swearing - that's a whole other thing! I don't - and therefore, none of my characters could! That might cause me some problems eventually! ;)
Thank yo for the competitions as always :)

Sonia Dogra said...

Lovely spring in your garden Patsy. I do feel writer's mustn't shy from writing what they feel without really thinking of the controversy it creates. For that is the purpose of writing...Putting varied views out in the open. Isn't it? Kudos to you!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love Spring too. That's great that you don't shy away from controversial subjects if they are part of the story you're trying to tell. Glad your audiobook sounds good.

Anne Higa said...

Happy IWSG Day! I love all of the beautiful spring pics. Hope you have a great April.

Anne from

Jemi Fraser said...

Spring is filled with such joy and hope!
Thanks for the info on the contests!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you guys can get out and enjoy spring now! Congratulations on the audio book.

Lynn J Simpson said...

Yes, we are all real people and all different! What we may think is controversy, another may think as normal. So what really is controversial? You got me thinking! Love all the spring photos. Flowers are not yet blooming in my area of Canada!

Damyanti said...

Lovely to see the sights of spring! Thanks for the contest info.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Yes. You're doing great in creating diverse characters. I want to do that, too.

Mary at Play off the Page

ados123 said...

Thanks for the competitions as ever, Patsy.
I love experimenting with different story layouts. Have sold several with unusual patterns to them - even one as an acrostic with each paragraph beginning with a letter which made up word.

Lisa said...

Spring is my favorite time as well! You sound so busy!

Ellen Jacobson said...

Quite a few people have been mentioning second person in their answers. I'm really intrigued by this. I might even have to experiment writing in it one of these days.

jenny Worstall said...

Woman's Way no longer taking fiction...I have left a comment on the end of a previous post about Woman's Way but thought I would put it here as well. I found out the hard way! I had a story scheduled for the recent edition (and another for May) but couldn't see it when I looked on Readly. When I queried, they said they have taken the decision not to publish fiction any more. Sorry to see another market bite the dust and keeping my fingers crossed more opportunities for us all will spring up soon!

New girl on the block said...

I love the beautiful spring flowers too. Thank you for the link to TPF blog. It was really helpful to get an explanation for the delays. Still living in hope, but definitely holding fire before sending any new stories in.

wannabe a writer said...

Hi Patsy. Thanks for the comps info and for the TPF link. I must admit that I haven't submitted many to them recently because I haven't had any response from them for stories I sent by email early last year. I've been submitting to Yours Fiction but am also having no response. Perhaps somebody is trying to tell me something! Mind you, I haven't seen any copies of Yours Fiction in the shops for a while now. Are you aware of whether they are still publishing? I agree with you about the spring! Such a lovely time of year. Can't wait for the weather to get warmer.