Saturday 18 May 2024

Over to You

 Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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


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.


Womag / competition news

Thanks to Sharon Haston for notifying me that My Weekly are running a short story competition for amateur writers. The prize is publication, a signed book and a film download – and I imagine that after being published in the magazine the author would go on 'the list' and be able to regularly submit to the magazine.

Today is your last chance to enter the competition to win a free book cover design.

My news

The second book in my cosy mystery series has been proofread and sent out ready for ARC reviews.

Saturday 11 May 2024

What do you write? (and places to send your work)

I'm interested to know genres and forms you write – please let me know in the comments, and I'll try to find suitable competitions and publication opportunities for you. I ask, because sometimes I see something which seems very niche, or is just so different from the kind of thing I write, that I wonder if it's worth posting about it. Obviously I can't promise to find something for everyone, but I can avoid dismissing an opportunity someone would have considered perfect.


Free to enter writing competitions


Thanks to Alyson for the link to this short story competition. They want  There's more info on the website to help. The prize is $3,000 plus possible publication in an anthology. If the anthology happens, writers of included work will earn a share of the royalties. Looks like anyone over 18 can enter.

 

Other opportunities



Thanks to Sheila Crosby for telling me about this grant for older writers of speculative fiction. (I can't say I like they way they speculate us grown up writers look, but I wouldn't mind the cash!)


There's still time to enter the competition to win a cover for your book (real or imaginary).

Linen press are looking for short stories. Women only for this one.

Monday 6 May 2024

A couple of quickies

If you have a book finished, or nearly finished and are thinking of trying to get an agent or publisher then this free online event on Thursday evening might be of interest. 

And if you enjoy writing prompts and exercises and/or find them useful, you might like to know that the kindle version of the little purple book is currently 99p / 99c.

btw, I'm now sharing more of my own writing news on the blog embedded on my website, so if you want to know what I'm up to (and are prepared to risk even more campervan trip photos that will appear here) take a look over there now and then.

Saturday 4 May 2024

Win a free book cover design

Today I have a guest post and exclusive competition from Hannah Zhang!

Hi, I'm Hannah, a freelance illustrator and designer based in New Zealand, and I am collaborating with Womagwriter to to host a competition where you can win a free illustrated book cover! To give you an idea of the kind of thing I do, I've created a couple of mock covers for well known books. If you'd like to see examples of my other illustration work here is my website.


To enter, simply make a comment on this blog post with the title of your book, its genre and (optionally) a short 1-2 sentence description of your book. This book doesn't have to be finished, or even real. You could make up a title just for fun, it could be a book that you are thinking about writing, or even an existing book that you would like to have re-designed. If it's for a real book you're going to publish, and wish to use my design, I'll provide the cover files for you to upload

Maximum two entries per person. Entries close in two weeks (on 18th May). Good luck! 

From Patsy – Hannah will select a winner from all entries received by the closing date. I'll announce the winner on here and invite them to contact Hannah directly. (If you're not sure how to leave a comment, see here.)


Womag news

Details of the Best competition (as far as I can see and recall, the rules haven't changed.)





My news

I was on the radio Thursday. If you missed it but would like to hear me waffling on about my writing, you can do that here.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Just the one today...


Last week I thought I was super organised, and ended up making two posts on the same day. No idea how I'll mess up this week, but it'll be in a different way!

You'll probably get all kinds of oddness from me from now until autumn (and I might not stop then!) as due to travelling I'll put things in posts and schedule them when I can, but they might get published before I've properly finished them off. Hopefully that'll be better than nothing.

It seems jolly cold for the time of year, so I'm sharing some summer sunshine.


Womag news


I was fortunate to have a story accepted by The People's Friend this week, and asked 
what season they're currently scheduling for. I was told that late summer and early autumn are still OK.

Publication opportunity


Thanks to Lindsay for this – "If you fancy a flash fiction challenge, Paragraph Planet publishes one 75-word story every day on the website. There's no payment but it can be a good way to kickstart your creativity. Each story must be exactly 75 words, including the title, and formatted as one paragraph. Submission information is on the website https://paragraphplanet.com/submission.php"

Next week, I'll have a fun, exclusive competition to win a book cover design, for a book you've finished and are waiting to publish, your current WIP, or one that's just a figment of your imagination.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Publication opportunities and more



 Free entry competitions


Thanks to Marguerite for both of these - "
https://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/a-midsummer-tale/ 1000-5000 words on the Summer Olympics until 21st June, Amazon gift cards as prizes.

Also, Secret Attic has relaunched, currently with monthly short and flash fiction categories by the end of each month for cash prizes, and a weekly one, no prize, but publication for winners.
Details change for the weekly one and a specific prompt given."

And here's an update from Sharon Boothroyd "Secret Attic have now changed the story length for their ongoing fiction competitions, and they are now free to enter.
They haven't got many entries for their 100 word story comp. The prize is a writing related book. The closing date is the last day day of April."

Thanks both of you!

A not free competition

I very rarely post about competitions with entry fees, but I'm making an exception for this one from Radio Victory. They're looking for stories of 600 words inspired by a song title from the 50s or 00s. The entry window is the whole of May. Prizes include having the winning stories broadcast, a book bundle, and a voucher. I'm making the exception because I'm involved with the Portsmouth Author's Collective which is supporting the competition - and because I'm going to be interviewed on the radio!


Calls for submissions

Dimensionfold are looking for speculative poetry (science fiction, fantasy or horror) to go in an anthology. There's no payment, but successful poets will get a pdf copy and the opportunity to buy copies at a discount. 

My news


We'll be off on our travels fairly soon (brace yourself for a LOT of photos!) I'm trying to get as much done as possible before I go. For that reason, I've put two of my books on pre order. There's this collection of crime short stories, and this cosy mystery novel.

I'm unclear about the benefits or otherwise of pre-orders, other than there being less to do just prior to launch. I'll let you know if I gain any useful insights.


Over to you

 

Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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



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.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Free entry competitions and other stuff


Free entry competition news

Thanks to Carol Bevitt for the link to this short story competition which is 'open to all adults'. Carol says 'it's public voting, but the prize is good and there's no entry fee. Plus they've dealt with the AI issue in their T&C's. And have two categories to distinguish between the previously published, and the new writer.'


Here's a micro fiction competition. They define that as '1500 characters (not words)'. All entries must relate to Africa in some way, but it looks as though almost anyone can enter. (The rules are complicated eg you can't take part if you have -  A blood relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity within the second degree of consanguinity with any individual who provides services in the Consortium or with any of the members of the Jury that is constituted for the competition.) You'll be required to prove who you are in order to enter, eg with your passport.  


I know some of you will be thinking it's too much faff. Fair enough. However, that might reduce the number of entries, giving you a better chance of winning the
750 first prize.

For this competition from the British Czech and Slovak Association you may write fact or fiction. There's a suggested, but not compulsory them and the prize is £400.


As with all competitions I feature on this blog, the above are free to enter. I do my best to warn people of potential issues (such as rights grabs) but it's your responsibility to check the rules, decide if you can comply with them, and wish to enter. I simply don't have the time to thoroughly investigate them all, and the companies behind them, nor to give detailed breakdowns of the rules - plus there's the risk I may misunderstand something and therefore mislead you.

Womag news

There are a few details of the story lengths and themes currently wanted for The People's Friend here.

My news

The garden is looking nice!

Both my cosy crime novels, Acting Like A Killer and Disguised Murder and Community Spirit in Little Mallow will be reduced to 99p or 99c this week (depending on when you see this, the offer has either just started, or will in a few hours ... or you'll have missed it!

I also have a new collection out. As you may have guessed from the title and cover the 24 stories in A Clean Bill Of Health all have a medical/wellbeing theme.

I'm still experimenting with book marketing and am taking part in these three promotions - April Cozy Mysteries Sales Event, Sweet April Stories and Mayhem & Motives.

Saturday 30 March 2024

A quickie because...

My news

It's my birthday, the sun is shining and it's actually stopped raining, so I'm keeping this short and going out to do some gardening (right after I have another slice of cake!)

Later I'll be drinking tea, kept warm by the amazing tea cosy Sheila Crosby made for me. Isn't it great?


Free entry writing competition news

Thanks to Alan Barker for sending me the details of this monthly 50 word competition. The prizes are critiques from author and editor Morgen Bailey (who runs the competition.)

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Spring!


It was the vernal equinox yesterday - which gives me the perfect excuse to share some springtime photos. Not that I need an excuse...

Free entry competition news

Thanks to Alyson Faye for the link to Northern Life's short story competition. The prize is publication and a copy of the magazine.


And thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for this one - a travel writing competition with a £200 prize. Every time I post about a travel competition I feel I should enter - I probably will one day!

Thanks to Jane for the reminder about this poetry competition.


My news

The kindle versions of In The Garden Air, and Beyond The Garden Wall, both collections of 24 plant, flower and gardening related short stories, are currently free.

Saturday 16 March 2024

Over to you

Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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



Womag news

Alyson spotted this on Twitter (I refuse to use its stupid new name!) tweeted by The People's Friend '
Fiction Ed Lucy is looking for 3000 word contemporary stories set in early summer onwards!'
I'd send her something, but as she's not yet read the last 5 I submitted, I can't. I expect there are others in the same situation.

Saturday 2 March 2024

More of the free things

 

Free entry writing competitions

The Black Orchid novella award offers $1,000 for a traditional mystery of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

The Wergle Flomp poetry competition offers a $2,000 prize.


The BBC short story competition requires a record of previous publication (exact requirements are specified) is open to UK nationals and residents only and offers a £15,000 prize.

Thanks to Fiona for the link to this poetry competition. She says 'looks like it will stretch my brain cells! Hopefully someone else who read the blog might enjoy it too.' The prize is a share of £1500

Womag news

The winners of The People's Friend short story bursary competition have been announced here.

Free reads



I'm taking part in (yet) another promotion which offers free reads to those who sign up to the author's newsletters. This one is for romance and cosy crime books. 


The way these things work is that each participating author shares them with anyone who might be interested and we all hopefully gain new readers. Writers are also readers, and some of you might like to learn about marketing strategies, so I thought it reasonable to include you in the 'might be interested' group.

My news

It looks as though we'll be able to get back to our travels again, reasonably soon. There are a few things to get sorted first - including me trying to get ahead with my writing so I'm free to explore, and take many, many, photos once we can get away.

UPDATE Please see HB's request for help in the first comment.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Free entry writing competitions - and free reads

Here's the first tulip (in my garden) of spring! No idea why it's so early - it's not a new one and didn't flower in February last year. Maybe it knows writers often have to work in the wrong season and decided to offer moral support?

Free entry writing competition news


There's very little time left to enter the Harper's Bazaar short story competition. In the past this has always had a rights grab clause in the rules. This time they've phrased it slightly differently - making it very unclear what you'd be committing yourself to, copyright wise.  The prize is a two night stay in Hampshire.

The Alpine Fellowship are offering £3,000 for the best piece of writing on the theme of language. They have a poetry competition too.

If you're resident in the UK or Ireland, haven't yet secured a publishing deal and fancy writing an essay of at least 25,000 with the option of doing that in Italy, the Fitzcarraldo prize will be perfect for you. The prize includes publication and £3,000.




Free reads

I'm taking part in another promotion which offers free reads to those people who sign up to the author's newsletters. This one is for mystery, suspense and cosy crime books. As with all these things you can download as few or as many as you like, and unsubscribe from the mailing lists at any time.

As well as possibly making more people aware of me and my writing, I think they're a good risk free way to try work by new authors. What do you think of them?

Monday 19 February 2024

Saturday 17 February 2024

Over to you - and another opportunity from The People's Friend

In case you missed it, here's another opportunity from The People's Friend. It's not as good as £10,000 for a single story, but any increase in the amount of fiction being published is good news.

Do you have any
 writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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

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.


I'm also taking part in a promo thingy. If you're interested in finding new mysteries, crime stories and police procedurals to read (or are just curious) take a look here.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Free entry writing competitions, an opportunity and promo news

Free entry writing competitions

For this short story competition, you only need write between 400 and 500 words, and they've already done the first few for you! First prize is $100 Aus. You don't need to be Australian to enter.

For this one you have to be a British national or UK resident - there are other requirements too. Both the maximum word count and prize are bigger - 8,000 and £15,000.

Opportunities

If you're interested in getting agent representation, and are in an under represented category (defined as writers of colour, disabled writers, LGBTQIA+ writers, and working class writers in this case) take a look here. Thanks to Sheila Crosby for that one.


My news

I have another new book out!

SLIGHTLY SPOOKY STORIES V

Ghosts, sixth sense and things not of this world aren't always scary, though they can be. Some help or warn, frighten or comfort those who perceive them. Others are here for their own purposes, waiting for a chance to move on. We might see, hear or feel them, perhaps they'll only reach us through our subconscious.

Are ghosts memories and echoes of the past, contacts from another time and place, or figments of our imagination? Whether you believe in them or not, ghosts, spirits and mysterious spooking happenings all provide stories. This collection contains 24 of them.

I'm also taking part in a promo thingy. If you're interested in finding new mysteries, crime stories and police procedurals to read (or are just curious) take a look here.

Saturday 3 February 2024

Free fiction (and non-fiction) competitions for February

 


Free entry competition news

Thank you to Sharon Boothroyd for the reminder of the W&AYB short story competition, with the prize of an Arvon residential writing week.

Thanks to Fiona for passing on this essay writing competition. There's a £1,500 prize, but you must live or have been born in Scotland, or have a long term association with the country in order to enter. (Which gives me the perfect opportunity to litter this post with photos from my trips there!)

Thanks to Alyson for this one – from On the Premises.
VEHICLE

For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which some kind of vehicle plays an important role. Merely using the vehicle as a simple plot device or to help characters get somewhere is not enough. For instance, "While flying home I made a bunch of new friends on the flight" isn't good enough, because the same story--making new friends--could easily be told without the plane.

One entry per author. No fee for entering. Maximum length of 5,000 words and minimum length of 1,000.

If a novel series is something you'd like to try yourself, take a look at this competition (thanks again to Fiona for this one.) They already have some ideas for the stories they want, but authors are invited to submit their own ideas for developing the series.

Both published and unpublished authors may apply. The prize is a five book contract (for each of the six briefs). If I wasn't already working on a series, I'd be very tempted to try - I'd probably go for the gothic house one, but the queens one also appeals and the research would be interesting.

Other publication opportunities

And thanks again to Sharon Boothroyd for sending this link to a publisher inviting novel submissions. Submissions close 28th March. Sharon points out that this is a small publisher, which can have advantages and disadvantages.






Saturday 20 January 2024

Over to you


Do you have any
 writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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


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.

Free entry competition news

Thanks to Fiona for the link to this poetry competition. I can't help with the verse, but if you need assistance drinking the prize, you can count on me!


My news

My latest cosy crime novel is out now!

Thank you so much to those who have already ordered, or reviewed it, those who are going to, and everyone who helps spread the word that the book is on sale.


Saturday 13 January 2024

Updating and free entry writing competitions.

Womag news

TPF have answered some of the questions about their bursary prize, which were raised in my last post and elsewhere, on the fiction editor's blog. Now I understand where the prize money is coming from, I can understand why this prize is for new writers only. 
They've also updated the rules for the competition, which I'm less positive about.

I've started updating my magazine fiction submissions database. If you spot anything which isn't right, or even better have something to add, please let me know (in a comment, email, tweet etc)

Free entry writing competition news

This competition is for the best piece of writing of to 2,500 words (fiction or non fiction) on the theme of language and offers a £3,000 prize.

And here's a poetry one from the same people, with the same prize.

This competition is for stories of 400 - 500 words (written to a supplied prompt) and offers $100 AUD as first prize.


Other opportunities

Thanks to Sharon Boothroyd for this publication opportunity – "The Daily Mirror are now publishing short stories in their community page.
500 words and you need send a photo of yourself. 
There's no fee. 
I guess they'd want stories that reflect modern society in some way. They'd need to appeal to a newspaper readership of both sexes and ages."

If you have books to sell, then having work published in a national paper might be good publicity – but there's no guarantee it will help sales (it didn't for me the one time I tried it). There's also the possibility that publishing credits will help when submitting to agents/publishers, or impress your granny, or just make you happy. 

btw, although they don't pay for fiction, there's a chance to earn money from non fiction stories here.



My news

My cosy, romantic murder mystery, Acting Like A Killer is currently on offer for 99p (or 99c).


If you like cosy mysteries, you might like to sign up for one or more author's newsletters here, and get a free ebook each time.

Saturday 6 January 2024

Exciting opportunity from The People's Friend

For a while now The People's Friend have been hinting at an exciting new opportunity for writers. Thanks to Liz for solving the mystery by sending me the details. 

I'm not sure why they're doing this, as they're not short of writers, but it really is a great opportunity for someone. If I'd seen this as a new writer I would most definitely have entered.

If you're thinking of having a go, do visit their website to check all the details (I couldn't find the page) to check you're eligible. If you are, I strongly suggest buying the current issue and the special and reading them thoroughly before writing your story. 

Once you have a draft of your story get the next copy, read that and then your story to try to gauge if it fits. As they're asking for something 'suitable for the Friend', I don't think this will be the time to push the boundaries.

Good luck if you do enter!


Update - There's now a post on TPF fiction editor's blog about this. (Thanks,  Alyson)