Saturday 19 November 2022

Over To You

Do you have any
 womag news?

Any other writing news? Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Any other news?

Feel free to use these photos as picture prompts. If you'd like other writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.

Free entry writing competition news

I'd love to hear your competition news.

Do you have writing tips to share, questions to ask, or suggestions for this blog?

My news

As I said in my last post, my travels are making it difficult to keep up with this blog, so you won't see much from me here until I'm home next month.  

The photos might not be much of an excuse, but they're the best I can do! If you'd like to chat and/or see even more photos then pop over to the blog on my website.

I'm taking part in a book fair in Newbury on 3rd December. Do come and say hello if you're in the area - no obligation to buy.

Saturday 12 November 2022

I'm back! - temporarily and with competitions and stuff.

We're still away in the mobile writing retreat (I'm up to chapter 6 of the first draft of my current WIP) but I'm back on the blog today. I hope the photos go some way to explaining why I'm not around much.

As I'm finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with things at the moment, other than an 'over to you post' this will probably be my last one until early December.

Womag news

Best are running a festive fiction competition with a £500 prize.

I've been told that The People's Friend have large stocks of both 1,200 and 1,500 word stories, so aren't looking for more of these at the moment. 

I can't tell you what they do want – for most writers there seems to be a long waiting time before any lengths are read.

Free entry writing competitions

If you've not already signed up for Globe Soup then take a look. They run a range of interesting free (and paid for) competitions, plus a supportive online group.

There's still time to enter the Love Letters to London competition. There are good cash prizes, a wide variety of writing types can be entered and you don't need to be a Londoner to take part.

Other publication opportunities

Timber Ghost Press are looking for flash fiction, poetry and short stories about 'things which go bump in the night'. A small payment is offered.

The Short Fiction Journal are looking for ... well, you can probably guess. They pay 2p per word.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Guest post by Eirin Thompson

I'm currently up in Scotland in the mobile writing retreat (camper van). The scenery is wonderful, so I'm getting plenty of exercise and as the weather isn't so wonderful I'm also getting a fair bit of writing done. Getting online isn't always easy though, so apologies for the lack of competition links etc. Instead, Eirin Thompson is here to offer words of encouragement.

You probably already know Eirin from her womag stories and comments on this blog.

Some Advantages of an Extensive Back-Catalogue

By Eirin (E.D.) Thompson

It’s difficult to dispute that the young are better at lots of things. Gymnastics. Rock music. Getting the most from their phones. 

But here’s the good news (for those of us of a certain age) – when it comes to writing, older might very well be better. At least that’s my opinion.

Clearly there have been some very fine books written by younger authors. But, as regards having a wealth of experience upon which to draw for weaving stories, older writers simply have bigger back-catalogues.

I came to writing for popular women’s magazines later in life. Part of me wishes I’d discovered the opportunities sooner. But another part acknowledges that I might not have been ready.

Seeing my work in the ‘womags’, as they are fondly known, is an absolute thrill and a joy, and I think a big part of the reason I’m having a measure of success is because I’m versatile, and that’s due, in significant part, to my age.

Being older, and close to my mum, for example, I have an eye and an ear for zingy women in their seventies, which has given me Maureen and Jean, a recurring double-act in The People’s Friend about whom I love to write.

But, like a Russian doll, I also contain all the younger versions of myself, and can tap into these for characters of a variety of ages. I thoroughly enjoy writing what the ‘Friend’ refers to as ‘Junior’ tales – those told from the point of view of a child – and I think these work because I can see the situation in the story from the perspectives of both the child and the adults.

More good news is that it is entirely unnecessary to have a carefully-constructed and flawless CV in order to write fiction – all experience is valid. It doesn’t matter if you made mistakes, took time out to raise a family, changed career twice or three times or even got sacked (or dumped, or heartbroken, or lost or hurt in some other way), because everything is redeemable as potential material, and the more, the better.

No one on any magazine fiction desk has ever asked me what qualifications I have to submit work to them. And, now that I am also writing suspense novels, my publisher there has yet to ask me such a question. In both lines of writing, editors seem interested pretty much exclusively in what is on the pages you submit – if the material is good enough, then you’re good enough.

My new novel, Closing In, has at its core a mystery, which I hope will have readers turning the pages compulsively. But it is also a story about relationships and emotions, and I sincerely believe this gives the book a richer texture. I could not have written this novel twenty years ago, and not just because Caroline, my main character, is in her fifties.

I am not anti-younger writers. Not at all. But I am pro-older ones.

‘Closing In’, with the author name E.D. Thompson, is, in nutshell this: Christmas. An old flame. And a BIG secret. It is the product of my fifty-five years on the planet, much of it spent reading. I’d be delighted if you took a look.

There's more information about Eirin and her womag writing here and as I'm not online much to chat, she's very kindly agreed to respond to some of your writing related questions.