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 All work must be previously unpublished.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.