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.


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!


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.

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.