Saturday 30 September 2023

Three for free

Free entry competition news

Thanks to Fiona for the details of this competition. As she says, 'Quite a lot of conditions of entry for this competition (so not for me), but would be great if someone from the Womag community won the prize! What is for everyone are the resources on the website, including a Writers’ Toolkit section which is worth a visit."

Thanks to Marguerite for this link to the Weird Christmas short story competition. It's very strange and there's a cash prize.

Here's a horror short story competition for unpublished authors. The prize is $500.

My news

After reading all sorts of things into the reason a publisher I subbed my cosy crime novel to hadn't replied after two months, when the website said I'd hear in one, I plucked up the courage to send a query.

The never received my submission! I'm not sure why as it was done via their own form and appeared to go through OK. 

Oh well, these things happen and it gives me more time to work on the second in the series. I'm now more than halfway through the first draft of that one. I'm very pleased with my progress. 

Despite a recent trip during which we visited lots of castles and abbeys, climbed a few hills and had a day out at a garden, I still wrote every day. (I'll be sending out a newsletter fairly soon, with more photos of that trip, and more about my writing. You can sign up here if you'd like to be on the mailing list.)

How is your writing going? Have you developed a writing routine which works for you?

Thursday 28 September 2023

Sad news about YOURS

I've been seeing various rumours about Bauer adopting a policy of only using previously published fiction in their magazines (for which they wouldn't have to pay as the most recent contracts either give them all rights for accepted material, or allow for reuse).

After contact with a reliable source, I can confirm that this is the case for Yours magazine, and that after many years Marion Clarke is to lose her job as fiction editor there. I didn't sell many stories to that market, but Marion's name is one of the first which I wrote on the A4 envelopes I sent out my first submissions in. I'm sure that, like me, all those who've worked with her wish her well for the future. 

This news is very disappointing for writers - and seems unfair to readers too.

My source (very credible but currently wishing to remain anonymous - which makes me feel like a proper journo!) says that they believe Take a Break will continue to accept new submissions. I certainly hope that's the case!

Anyone got any good news to share?

Saturday 16 September 2023

Over To You

Do you have any womag news?

Any market news? Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Still waiting to hear back on outstanding submissions? Do you have a question? Can you offer tips or encouragement to other writers?

Any other writing related news, questions and comments are also welcome.

Free entry writing competitions

Thanks very much to Sharon Boothroyd for the link to this ghost story competition with a £100 prize. The stories should be set where you live. I'm really tempted to write a haunted campervan tale – I'm currently in mine, so surely that would count?

This competition is for a book (any genre fiction or non fiction) about a person with a chronic condition or disability. The book must be published between November last year and October this year - self published is fine. There's a £1,000 prize.

This competition is just for novels. They must be the first book by an author over 40. It can be published or unpublished. The prize if £4,000.

And this one is for short stories. £2,000 prize.

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

Don't forget to check the submissions database for details of which magazines publish fiction under what terms, and how to submit.

Thanks to everyone for your comments. As well as allowing us all to share information, help and encourage each other, comments also show editors, competition organisers and others that the blog is read and will therefore be more likely to provide information for me to share with you.

Saturday 2 September 2023

Autumn awaits

Summer was a bit variable, wasn't it? Maybe things will settle down as we move into autumn and maybe not, but a new season always feels to me like a new opportunity to get things done and hopefully achieve positive results. Do you feel the same way?

Free entry writing competitions

Here's a short story competition with a £500 prize.

Thanks to Fiona for the link to this competition. Both short stories and poems can be entered, but only by women who were born, or have lived, in Scotland. Do you think a couple of months in a campervan counts?

Fiona also reminded me about the Commonwealth short story prize. For those who qualify, this really is an excellent opportunity.

And thank you to Sharon Boothroyd for sending the link to this riddle writing competition which offers a £200 prize. As Sharon says, it does sound like fun.

Womag news

It seems that, after some time out of office, April from Best of WW is now back to accepting stories and answering queries. If you've got work which has been outstanding for a while, or unanswered pitches or questions, now might be a good time to give her a nudge. Note – this market takes all rights. I don't recommend subbing there for that reason.

If you submitted a story to The People's Friend, prior to 2022 and have not yet had a response, then the story hasn't been successful. See here for more details - and news about Christmas stories.

I'm hopeful that this has cleared the decks a bit and responses will now be swifter than has sometimes been the case over the last couple of years.

My news

The first book in my cosy crime series has been sent to a variety of publishers. It will most likely be a couple of months before I hear back from the majority of them. Those who reply that is, not all do.
While I wait, I'm working on book 2. The first draft is over a quarter complete. Most of my writing time is spent on that, but I have written and submitted a few womag stories.