Saturday 17 December 2022


Brrrr! Don't you sometimes wish writing was a more active occupation? I get involved in a story and don't notice how cold I am until I stop and then it takes a lot of tea to warm me up again.

Free to enter writing competitions

The Secret Attic run regular competitions for fiction of various lengths. To qualify for the Amazon vouchers you need to be a member which costs £12 a year, but you can still enter the competitions for the fun and glory (plus publication) without doing that.

The prize for this year's W&AYB short story competition is a place on an Arvon course. I've heard that as well to the useful writing stuff they serve good cake. If you've been, can you confirm that?

The L Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future contest offers a $1,000 prize every quarter for sci-fi and fantasy stories of up to 17,000 words.

Other Publication opportunities

Thanks to Alyson for pointing out that Bridge House Anthologies are looking for submissions on the theme of 'Gifted'.  Successful submissions will be published and you may earn a small amount in royalties if the book happens to do well.

Womag news

I've sold a couple of stories to TAB, 800 and 1,200 words. One was subbed in January, so don't give up on those which have been out for a while. (This is a 'closed' market.)

If you'd like to share the word lengths and waiting period for some of your successes it will help people judge what's in demand and how far in advance we need to send it.

As always –

New blog posts are published each Saturday.

All blog readers are welcome to use the comment section to share writing news, tips, successes, links to competitions and other publication opportunities, to ask questions and to respond to comments from others.


Fiona said...

Hi Patsy,
Yes I’m with you on the chilly aspect of writing when you get stuck into a story! Do you wear fingerless gloves? I do and think they’re great. My charity project this year was making 30 pairs for a scheme my sister’s involved with. If you would like a pair let me know!
I’m in a bit of limbo with PF, the only mag I send stories to, as my summer and ‘anytime’ stories from last year are still with them. That’s why I’ve been concentrating on competitions instead. Now I’m back to poetry - sent 2 to the Love Letter to London comp you listed. Poems always seem more manageable when I’m trying to snatch bits of time in the run up to Christmas.
Congrats on your acceptances. Sounds like a reason to cut into a big cake to me!

Marguerite said...

Lipstick and Lies is being launched next year - this is via Secret Attic's website:
It now looks to be part of a longer project culminating in a book the following year with monthly prizes awarded. I know a few people on here had wondered if it was going to return. Not sure it is for me but will give it a go :)
I had a follow up email from Commonwealth Writers (which I had completely forgotten I'd entered!) this week - long lists months down the line...
I'm not doing well in this cold weather :( I wasn't designed for it - maybe I should eat (even) more cake... Merry Christmas, Patsy and everyone else!

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Ah right- many thanks for this update Marguerite!

Sharon Boothroyd said...

I've tried the lipstick and lies link.
It navigates you to a log in box.
As I'm not a member of SA, I'm unable to find out any info about the L&L project.
It's a shame that it locks non- members out. If that's the set up, I will be unable to participate.
Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New year to all!

Maisie Bishop said...

I'm also a fan of fingerless gloves for winter typing. And I'm also shut out of Lipstick and Lies as a non - member of Secret Attic. It's a shame. I love this website usually.

Marguerite said...

Okay - I understood it was for all - I will pursue tomorrow - frozen fingers tonight :( Deb had said it was 'open'.

Sheelagh said...

On the positive side if your fingers are freezing from writing for so long you're obviously getting through a lot of writing so well worth the chilled fingers me thinks. Sadly my fingers have remained toasty this weather as I've barely written anything the last while. I love the photos Patsy, amazing really. Best wishes to everyone here for a lovely Christmas & may 2023 bring your best writing ever. Now if anyone has any tips to share on how to chain oneself to the laptop & avoid distraction I need all the help I can get! I love it when I'm doing it but often find it so hard to get started.

Marguerite said...

I think I'll just hibernate until May ;) Lipstick and Lies link should now be accessible :)

Patsy said...

@ Fiona – The lack of responses some of us are experiencing from TPF is disheartening, isn't it? I withdrew my outstanding ones. I can cope with rejections, but not with waiting two or more years without them being considered.

That cake sounds a great idea – and the gloves!

@ Marguerite – Thanks for that link. Good to know Lipstick and Lies didn't just vanish. Thanks to for checking and helping to make it visible to all.

@ Sharon and Maisie – Looks like that was just a glitch and it's fixed now.

@ Sheelagh – You're right that getting started is the hardest part. It might help to have a regular writing time each day or week. Make yourself pick up then pen, or hover your fingers over the keyboard, even if you think the words won't come and there's a good chance they will.

Maisie Bishop said...

Thank you so much for sorting the Lipstick and Lies glitch. That looks like a fun competition.

ados123 said...

Oh, the Lipstick and Lies looks good. Thanks for the link @Marguerite.
Thanks as usual for all the comps, Patsy. Currently working on an idea for the Glencairn Glass Crime comp. Enjoying it and fingers are not too cold :)

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Could I just check that L&L want stories of just 700 words? Before, they accepted a longer length.

Marguerite said...

I think the website will be updated but in brief, up to 700 words exc. title, Sharon.

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Many thanks.
I have plenty of stories that meet the brief, but not at 700 words.
I have 800 word ones but I feel that cutting them down will spoil them.
The word count narrows it down drastically for me I'm afraid, so unless it becomes more flexible and the word count is made longer, I will gracefully bow out.
Good luck to all who enter.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Thanks Patsy and everyone for the info given. I did unsuccessfully try to join Secret Attic as a member but had an issue with PayPal, which I never use, will maybe try next month.

I have a list as long as my arm of story ideas but just need to organise myself into writing with or without gloves!

Huge big thank you Patsy for generously giving your time, ideas, info not forgetting photos to this blog and for all those who also contribute. Here is my contribution, Scottish Book Trust run a free monthly 50 word competition, this is the link for December.

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and New Year see you all in 2023

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Patsy sound advice which I'm going to try to implement from 1st Jan

Marian said...

Thanks to Patsy and everyone else for all the tips. I think I might try the fingerless gloves.
I can't really offer much about waiting times. I was lucky enough to have a Christmas story published in The People's Friend last week, which I submitted in June, but I also had an acceptance last week for something I had submitted earlier, but which was an 'anytime' story. I tend to submit 'anytime' stories because I procrastinate so much that I miss the six-month deadlines for seasonal ones!