Sunday 27 June 2021

A few more freebies

Free entry competitions

Evesham Festival of words are running a limerick competition, with a £25 book token as the first prize.

The first prize for this flash fiction competition from FCES is $20,000! There are runner up prizes too. Entries accepted from anywhere in the world.

For this competition from Bath Spa University you just have to say why you love your favourite book, poem or play to win £300. You don't even have to write the answer – you can record it instead if you prefer.

My writing

Here's one of my short stories you can read for free.

Womag news

Yesterday I received a copy of Ireland's Own in the post and discovered they'd published a story I'd submitted last October. Usually, if they're going to use a submission, I hear back within a couple of weeks. I'm sure in this case that it was just an oversight or technical glitch. Fortunately I'd not since sent it anywhere which only takes unpublished work, so it was a nice surprise without any potential drawbacks, but that might not have been the case.

This isn't the first time I've not known about a story being accepted until I've seen it in a magazine, or got a payment. It happened with my very first submission and as far as I can remember at least three times since. More commonly (although not actually common) is to hear back about a story long after the usual response time. 

When considering whether or not to re-submit a story elsewhere, keep in mind that neither editors nor technology are infallible. Just because you usually hear within a few weeks doesn't mean you always will. If the editor usually sends rejections then, after a suitable period, query any non response. With those who say that after a certain period stories can be assumed to be rejected then wait at least as long as they say, even if you've always had any acceptances much more quickly. If the magazine uses social media, has a blog or sends out contributor emails, check these in case they contain news of a delay or change in the way they handle submissions. 

If you do discover that, for any reason, you've submitted a story somewhere that you've since realised you shouldn't have sent, contact the editor immediately, marking the email as urgent and explain what has happened. The sooner they know, the less of a problem it's likely to be.

Friday 25 June 2021

Update about The People's Friend submissions

In the last over to you post*, there were queries about submissions to The People's Friend made prior to the first lockdown in 2020. I contacted Lucy Crichton to ask whether these might still be under consideration and what authors should do about these. She responded very swiftly. Thanks, Lucy!

The good news is that although the fiction team are still working from home, she has now been able to get into the office, so all postal submissions can now be read. I didn't ask how big the pile was, but it must be enormous.

Lucy says that anyone who has already been published by The Friend should raise any queries directly through their assigned editor.  Because there was already something of a wait for responses prior to lockdown, it is possible that stories sent then have still not been read. These are now being processed and authors should have a response within the next few weeks. 

My advice to people who are as yet unpublished by The Friend, and still waiting to hear about pre lockdown stories is to be patient just a little longer. Answering queries will take up time which could otherwise have been used to read submissions.

Don't forget that The Friend submission guidelines have now changed. Following the new requirements will help process our stories (a little) more quickly, so try to remember about the file names etc.

* It's still fine to comment there. I do check these and do my best to find answers to any questions raised whenever they're asked.

Wednesday 23 June 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?

The #WritingChat topic tonight is using humour in our writing. Everyone welcome to join in by tweeting 8-9 UK time, using the hashtag.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Eight free to enter writing competitions!

I have a big batch of writing competitions for you today! If you would like me to keep posting about these, then please leave a comment on this post. (This blog post – not the sign post!)

This competition from the University of Southampton is for radio plays. The prize is a script appraisal and treatment from the Literacy Consultancy.

For this short story competition from On The Premises, you're asked to write about a monster. The prize is $250.

Secret Attic run a monthly short story competition. You can submit anything you like, including previously published work, as long as it's under 1500 words and not poetry. There's a £20 Amazon voucher for the best entry. That story, and selected others will be published in 'a booklet' which will be available as hard copy and pdf. Everyone who has a story selected will receive a pdf copy.

The winners for the current competition will be announced on our wedding anniversary, so I'm quite tempted to send something romantic!

A reminder about Wordhound's regular competitions for children 12 years and under. There's a new prompt each month, a prize and they do their best to give some kind of encouragement to each entrant. Writers may submit from anywhere.

You can write fact or fiction for this competition from BCSA. Anyone may enter, as many pieces as they wish, but do read all the details about what they're looking for. There's a £400 first prize.

This poetry competition has a £150 prize.

If you consider yourself to be working class, live in the UK or ROI and are over 18, you can enter this competition from W&A. There's a £200 prize. They're looking for the beginning of an unpublished work.

For this competition from Black Spring Press you can send anything, even if it's rushed and imperfect, from anywhere. (You'll need to sign in to Submittable to see the details). The prize is a publishing contract offer, with an advance. I've got lots of imperfect unfinished stuff and am really tempted to give this a go.

Are you tempted to try any of these? If not, is that because you don't like to enter any kind of competition, or have I just not found one to suit you?

Sunday 13 June 2021

Just a quickie

Here's a photo from my novel research, writing competition and one of my short stories for you to read.

The Hysteria Writing Competition is free to enter, has categories for poetry, flash fiction and short stories with a £50 prize for each. Writers of any nationality may enter. Unpublished work only and this must be available for the anthology. 

Wednesday 2 June 2021

In a rush...


Ooops! I nearly missed posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. I'm blaming the bank holiday, the sunshine and being busy – in a good way. That's not only left me unsure what day it is, but also means I've not had time to feel insecure. 

Do you like being busy? I do, as long as I'm not too busy, but I know some people to have a period of calm after any activity or project, to prepare them for whatever is coming next.

Busy as I am, I do know it's June and will make sure I have time to stop and smell the roses. I photographed these at Mottisfont Abbey yesterday.


Womag news

Just in case you missed the news, The People's Friend are no longer accepting postal submissions (I don't think any of the magazines do now?). There's an update on what's happening with existing submissions here.

Free entry writing competition news

This competition is only open to 'underrepresented' writers in the UK. If you qualify, you're in with the chance of a prize which includes £10,000. You do need to act fast though!

This one is also only open to UK residents, and also requires that they've not previously had work published. Winning entries will recorded to form part of the stories festival and the author will get free tickets.

My news

In my last post I mentioned I'd found an outlet for some of my non-fiction pieces. I've since decided to try some fiction there too. Here's my story.