Thursday 21 December 2023

Until next year...

This will be my last post until next year. By then the days will be getting lighter (for those in the northern hemisphere), most of the festive food will have been eaten and we'll all be making great progress with our 2024 plans and resolutions ... or at least thinking about getting started on them, or feeling pleased we've not made any.

Next year is also when I'll be releasing the first book in my cosy mystery series. As part of the marketing plan I'm trying to build up my newsletter mailing list. To help do that I'm taking part in a joint promotion with other authors of mystery, thriller and suspense books. Around 70 of us are offering a free book (some samples. some full novels) to those who join our lists. If you're interested in reading that genre, take a look here and pick up some freebies. You can take part whether or not you're on my mailing list and can sign up for as many, or few, as you wish – and of course you can unsubscribe from any of them at any time.

Thanks to Aly Rhodes for the link to this free to enter competition – and also this one.

Until 2024, Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Best wishes for the New Year – basically I hope you enjoy yourself in your own way, no matter how and what you celebrate.

I'd love to hear about some of the things you enjoy about this time of year. 

For me, it's walks on clear bright days, Christmas pudding, getting cosy under a blanket to read, listening to traditional carols, a glass of Baileys, shiny lights, excessive baking, and of course being in contact with loved ones.

Saturday 16 December 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.

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.

(Edited to say - there will be one more post before Christmas, then I'll be taking a break until sometime in the New Year year.)

Saturday 9 December 2023

Virtually saying it with flowers

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and comments on the last post, and for the lovely virtual flowers! Sorry I'm not getting time to reply to everyone, but I do read and appreciate them all. 

Here are a few flowers in return.

btw, I changed something on my computer and can now see the adverts on this blog. Sorry, I can't avoid them. Please be VERY cautious of any of the writing ones. I definitely DO NOT endorse the companies concerned. Some might well be fine, but I saw one requesting submissions which is a well known vanity company.

Call for submissions

Thanks to Fiona (who has a story in this year's anthology) for this call for submissions to Bridge House Publishing. The authors of selected stories will get a share of the royalties and can buy books at a discounted rate.

Free entry writing competitions

This short story competition has the theme of near future manned space exploration and offers paid publication to the winner.

Here's a Valentine's poetry competition with a prize of £100 in vouchers.

Thanks to Alyson for the link to this flash fiction competition. The prize is a £50 voucher.

Thanks to Fiona for the link to this short story competition from W&AYB which offers an Arvon course, worth £850 as the prize, and also for this one. You'll need to read all the info carefully, but it looks as though they're open to almost anything creative about a particular area of Colchester – 
Submissions could be in the form of, but are not limited to, poems, riddles, local advice, anecdotes, short stories, photography with captions, short films or spoken word. There doesn't seem to be a requirement to live locally. The top prize is £300.

My news

I've not had time to work on short stories, but have made reasonable progress with my cosy crime novel series. The second book is now with my lovely beta readers. 

As part of my marketing efforts for this series, which will launch early next year, I've created a short ebook to introduce the location and some of the characters. That's available to anyone who'd like to sign up for my newsletter. If you've already had a link to download the book, then you're already signed up. (This newsletter is about my own writing – it's not an email version of this blog. Sadly I've not been able to get that working properly.)

Saturday 2 December 2023

The latest...

Free entry competition / submission opportunity

Thanks to Marguerite for the link to this short story competition for horror writers. The best will be published and win an Amazon gift card.

I've heard from Doug at Witcraft who are currently running a free entry competition.

Send us skilfully written stories that are brief, humorous and engaging, with the emphasis on wit, word play, absurdity and inspired nonsense. No entry fee. Submissions close December 15, 2023. Word limits: 200-1000. First prize A$50, second prize A$20, third prize A$10, payable via Paypal only.

Witcraft are also open to submissions. 

Personal stuff

The family situation I previously mentioned is still ongoing. We're caring for my elderly mother-in-law, who until recently was very independent. She currently requires multiple visits to provide basic care each day. We are getting some help, but as her only other child lives over four hours away and has numerous commitments we're doing most of it. It was hoped that a procedure earlier this week would make a big difference. Unfortunately although it has improved her quality of life she's a long way from regaining her independence. 

Please bear with me if blog posts are lacking in well-researched content, seem thrown together or as though I went out halfway through writing them.

Writing, and the support of writing friends, has been a huge help to me throughout this. Some of the readers of this blog have previously said that feeling connected to other writers via the comments helps them in different ways. For that reason I'll do my best to keep putting up posts.

There isn't anything you can do to help with the family situation (we're getting professional advice and support) but you can help me feel better about largely neglecting this blog by leaving comments to encourage and support each other, and share the news and information I'm not keeping up with.

If you'd like to say something sympathetic, or to cheer me up, please comment with the name of a flower. I'll gather them together into a posie of good wishes.