Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Saying it with flowers

Free entry competition news

This competition from ServiceScape is for short stories of up to 5,000 words and offer a prize of $1,000. I've entered for the last three years with no luck, but I'll probably try again. There's plenty of time to come up with something as it doesn't close until November.


Nottingham Writers Studio are running a short story competition on the theme of climate change. You have up to 5,000 words and they're offering numerous prizes from £250 for first place to £15 for runners up. All winners and runners up will be published in an anthology. I made it into last years, so will enter again if I can come up with a suitable idea.

The word count and prize are much smaller for this flash fiction competition. £10 is on offer for the best 10 word story. I can't think of an excuse not to try – and if I could it would probably take more than 10 words to explain it!



Womag news


I've had an acceptance from Take a Break. The only reason this even vaguely qualifies as news is that it was my first from there in a long time, as I didn't submit during the period when they took all rights. I was pleased that I got a yes with my very first attempt under the new terms. 

This market is currently closed to submissions, but there are still some magazines which will consider work by new to them writers. See my newly updated submissions database for details.

Thanks to Jenny Worstall for alerting me to the fact that People's Friend Pocket Novels are now wanted in a slightly shorter length. Guidelines are here.

If you find any of my blog posts useful, encouraging or interesting PLEASE leave a comment. This isn't just to make me feel it was worthwhile posting, although it does do that. The main reason I ask for comments is that it shows the blog is read. That makes it more likely that magazine editors, competition organisers etc will answer my queries and share information with me. In turn that allows me to make this blog more useful for everyone who reads it.

The flowers are to say thank you to all those who do take the trouble to leave a comment and/or supply with information which I can share.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Off to a good start

Free entry competition news

If you saw yesterday's post you'll already know I plan to enter more free to enter competitions this year. (If you missed it, please consider reading and voting for this story of mine. You'll need to provide your email and verify your vote, but I'll really appreciate you making the effort.) I also entered the fable competition which I mentioned a few posts back. As I'm aiming for at least 2 entries a month, I feel I'm off to a good start!


I'm taking a two pronged approach. First I'll be entering more of those I'd blog about anyway, and secondly I'll be searching for even more free contests to enter. If you hear of any, please let me know via a link as a comment, email, tweet – however you like. 

Thanks again to Alyson, who regularly passes on competition links. Her latest find is this flash fiction competition which offers $200 as its top prize. Winning and shortlisted entries will be published. I intend to try this one.

Creative Writing Ink run various competitions, plus provide a list of others you can enter, both free and with entry fees. They currently have a free to enter poetry competition, with a £10 Amazon voucher as the prize. Poetry isn't really my thing, so I'll probably give this one a miss.


The Anansi Archive offer quarterly competitions for poetry, flash fiction (up to 500 words) and short fiction (up to 3,000 words). All have cash prizes and all are free to enter. I entered last time with no luck, but I'll have another go.

This competition is for thrillers and offers $20,000 as the top prize! It's another of those where your popularity and social media reach play a part. I see why the organisers do this, but I wish they wouldn't. 


Fusili Writing have another flash fiction competition. They have an unusual way of working – they wait until they have 100 entries, then pick their favourite to publish and promote on social media. That glory is the only prize, but writing flash fiction is a great exercise and they offer some advice on the site. There's also the option to get paid feedback. I've not seen an example of that, so don't know how useful it would be, but £3 isn't a lot to risk if you feel a few pointers might be helpful

Womag news

I've heard from Siobhan at Seven Days. Cheques for published stories weren't sent out before Christmas as she'd thought, but she's been assured that this will still happen.

In case you're wondering, there's no significance to the tulips, beyond my usual excuse that you could use the photos as writing prompts. Really they're just there because I like them so much and the post looked dull without any images.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Happy New Year and help requested!

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2022 is going well so far!

Have you made and writing plans or resolutions? One of mine is to enter more of the free to enter competitions I blog about.

Last year my plans included photographing and climbing more mountains and publishing this book. That went so well, I started this year full of confidence.

I got carried away and entered this one without realising it was one of those annoying ones decided by votes, not judges. If you like my story, I'd really appreciate a vote! (You'll be asked to give your email and click on a verification link).