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.


ados123 said...

Thank you very much for all those competitions, Patsy. All added to my 'possibles' list for this year.
Congratulations on your Take a Break success. I had three stories published with them in the past but didn't make their list, sadly. I liked their quirky style!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info, Patsy. Your blog always motivates me to write and enter competitions.

Eirin Thompson said...

I've just had a look at the updated guidelines - so helpful to have everything set out so clearly in one place. This must have been a lot of work - thank you very much. Further evidence that this is the blog to read if you have any intention of submitting material to the women's magazine market.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your acceptance. That's great news!

Marguerite said...

A November deadline is great, maybe ;) or maybe not... procrastination being what I excel at. Thank you for the many diverse competitions, as always, Patsy. And congratulations on the Take a Break story.

Marian said...

Thank you very much for all of the news, Patsy. The 10 word story sounds like it might be really hard, but fun to try!

Carrie said...

Thanks for all the news, Patsy - some great comps to have a go at! And congratulations on your acceptance to Take a Break - I've had one too which has cheered me up as has your pic of lovely flowers.

ChrisC said...

Thanks for comp news Patsy! A couple of good ones there to add to my list. Well done on acceptance-shame it's a closed market for new writers. I always check up on your submission guidelines - wouldn't be without it, thank you.

Cathy Cade said...

Good news that some of the 'all rights' magazines are changing their conditions, but with so many that no longer consider writers they haven't previously published, opportunities now seem few and far between.
On the plus side, I haven't heard back yet from People's Friend about my last story. Rejections in the past have arrived quite quickly (apart from the lockdown logjam) so dare I hope? And today I received my cheque from SevenDays; what a shame they've folded so soon :(

Jenny Worstall said...

Thank you so much for all you do for writers, Patsy! And congratulations on the Take a Break publication.

I think PF pocket novels are now a little shorter, between 37 and 39,000 words.

Lovely flowers!

Patsy said...

@ Alyson – I don't know how the list was decided. It didn't seem to be entirely logical.

@ Unknown – Excellent. That's why I do it!

@ Eirin – It is quite a lot of work, yes. I'm glad it's appreciated.

@ Natalie – It certainly cheered me up.

@ Marguerite – For best effect deadlines need to be long enough, but not too long. Of course the right length varies from person to person. I'm best with only just enough time!

@ Marian – I thought much the same!

@ Carrie – Maybe we'll be issue buddies? That would be nice.

@ Chris – I wonder if the reduction in pay rates will mean fewer submissions and they'll open up to new writers?

@ Cathy – Good to know you got paid. I haven't been yet, but the post here seems to come in batches, not every day.

@ Jenny – Thanks for that. I've added it into the post and amended the database.

Sheelagh said...

That's great info Patsy thanks, I will definitely give the 10 word story a go. There is a weekly six word story competition in the Irish Independent open to all, every week.The prize is €30 & the top 5 get published every week,I have entered a few times and made the top 5 at least 3 times but the €30 eludes me. Its good fun and the entry email address is for anyone interested in entering.
Congrats on your story acceptance in Take A Break too.

Sue McV said...

Thanks Patsy. I've just checked out your updated submission guidelines which are really useful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updated guidelines Patsy Really helpful. Congratulations on your Take a Break success. I only had 2 stories published with them so didn't make the list. Sharon H.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great Take a Break accepted you! I wouldn't submit giving up all rights either.

New girl on the block said...

Thank you for all the submission information. The short 10-word and 6-word competitions sound fun.

Wendy said...

Thanks, as always for all the competition and magazine information you share with us. Congrats on the acceptance too.

Bendywriter said...

Thanks, Patsy. Now, if only my brain wasn't stuck in a powersaving mode. (I blame 'Dry January'. . . )

Bubble said...

I have a question, Patsy. Jackie, who posts lists of published stories on the facebook page, has noticed Best seem to be publishing a weekly story again. Do you know anything about this?


lionsshare said...

Just voted for your story, Patsy - which I enjoyed. Thanks for all the comps info. I haven't done any for a while but they are a change from womag stories so always good to try. Shame about Seven Days but as many have said it was difficult to find. I found it in the health section in WHSmith - odd! Best wishes, Linda

Patsy said...

@ Sheelagh – Thanks for the details. I'll add them in to my next post.

@ Sue – Thanks.

@ Sharon – Sorry you didn't make the list. I'm wondering if they might open up again soon.

@ Alex – I'm surprised anyone does, but we're all different and have different attitudes to our writing.

@ New Girl – They do!

@ Wendy – Thank you.

@ Bendywriter – In the long run it should leave your brain in better shape, although I confess after doing it for two years I'm not taking part this time.

@ Bubble – I know they publish some runners up stories, but I think the last competition was for Christmas ones so maybe they're using others too. I'll see what I can find out.

@ Linda – Yes, a real shame about that mag. I hope they try again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the updated submission guidelines, Patsy. Very much appreciated. And congratulations on your Take A Break acceptance. I’ve always bought the magazine, and also hope they open their list in the future. Hopefully the new year will bring better times for us writers.
Michael D

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Congrats on Take A Break acceptance Patsy and thanks for comp details, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Always find your blog really useful.
Have voted for your story - fingers crossed.
submission guidelines and competitions always appreciated - even though I rarely get round to submitting!

Polly Grace

Patsy said...

@ Michael – I certainly hope so!

@ Elizabeth – Thank you.

@ Polly – thank you!

claire said...

A 10 word story is quite a challenge but definitely one worth taking. Thanks for all the info on free comps. It saves trawling through the Internet looking for them. I always think it's tricky finding the right tone for an American comp though.