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.